Volume 38, Issue 7, July 2003


Is Glass Stenciling the Answer?
Dear USG,
We have come to the beginning of a new era with the glass industry and it will be a disaster if we donít have the cooperation of the manufacturers, distributors and the glazing shops to show our concern with the new types of glass that are being made and used in a vast assortment of applications. We must define what these new glasses are. Are they Solex, Blue green, Evergreen, etc? We need the manufacturers to label the glass with a stencil, as they would a tempered label, or combine the two with the code numbers or color numbers so that they would be easy to identify. 

In the case of insulating glass, is the reflective on the number-two surface? Is there low-E on the number-three surface? Is it #V6 when it is, for example, manufactured by Viracon? It becomes a nightmare for a person measuring a specific unit of glass for replacement, whether broken or otherwise. How does he begin to identify the manufacturer, type, color, film (if any), special numbers? Donít tell me to look in the engineerís office for the close-out and as built plans or warranty book from the specifications at the time the building was built. They look at you like youíre crazy! ďWhat book?Ē is usually the answer. 

Letís get together and request that the manufacturers consider such labeling to make it definitive as to what glass was used for that specific project so there cannot be a mistake and to prevent the building from looking like a checkerboard after the glass replacement. The guessing game could be over if we knew what type of glass was used. It can become very expensive to the glass shop owner when these mistakes occur. Besides, it does not look good for the glass shop or the entire glass industry when someone looks and sees a different color of glass against a backdrop of something other than what it should be.

After many years in this industry and after seeing and taking part in all the great changes, I believe we can do it. We must all strive to keep mistakes at a minimum. Letís make a difference. As our industry becomes more complex with all these different types of glass, we should keep up with the times as we have with the use of computers, which have changed our industry unbelievably so.

Let there be no more checkerboard walls of glass in any of the buildings in our cities. When we can eliminate this problem we will also look good.

We can stop suggesting that the replacement of these so called high-performance products will be difficult and costly because thereís no way of knowing the type of glass used or who manufactured it. 

The manufacturers will see eventually that we are right in our suggestions to label all glass so that it is identifiable to the tradesperson. If replacement has to be done, it is recognizable and ordered in a timely manner. Everyone (owners, contractors and glass shops) is then happy and there is no loss of money.

In the case of small cuts or replacement glass from larger drops that have no label, for insulating units we should scribe the number on the spacer, or make a small label and secure it to the inside of that particular lite at the bottom corner so it is not conspicuous. 

We have to help each other. You have to watch your brother. We have to protect our industry and we have to let the manufacturers know we need their help as well in this situation.
Martin Coleman
All City Glass Inc.
Las Vegas

Fed-Up With Verbose Spec Writers
Dear USG,
I just finished reading Dez Farnadyís article in the May 2003 issue (see page 8). Now, Iíve only been in this industry for 38 years, but as far as Iím concerned, Dez hit the bullís-eye.

Standard and architectural spec writers usually spend the first three pages of their specifications messing with our heads, and then write six more pages just to ensure that weíre beating our heads against a wall. If they go to so much trouble to find all this information about the product, then why donít they just say they want Solarcool #2 bronze? Why make it difficult? 

My son once worked for a major electronics manufacturer. He said that his group would develop an easy-to-use product, but after the spec writers got a hold of it, no one could figure out what it was or what to do with it. Is our industry the same way?

Come on guys, if you want ľ-inch, clear, tempered glass, then say you want ľ-inch, clear, tempered glass. Who cares if it has 90, 91 or 92 percent light transmittance? No one is impressed with how much you know, and as a matter of fact, the talk in the estimating room often turns to how little you actually know.
Steve Hull
Manchester Services
Westminster, Md. 



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