Volume 40,   Issue 7                                  July 2005


Building Buildings Better

A New Resource for the Contract Glazing Industry
by Brian K. Pitman

The Glass Association of North America (GANA) is releasing the newest manual in its library of reference documents for the industry, focused primarily on project management for the contract glazing industry. At the 2001 Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference, attendees were surveyed about potential projects to develop on behalf of the industry. One of the top picks was the development of a manual for project managers.

Four years later, the desire for such a reference has been fulfilled. The new document is titled the Project Managers Reference Manual, and is available for purchase on the GANA website at www.glasswebsite.com.

An Industry Effort
The finished version of the Project Managers Reference Manual originated with GANA’s BEC division technical committee, whose members recognized that little published reference information pertaining specifically to the topic of project management exists within the curtainwall industry. The technical committee appointed a subcommittee chairperson, who solicited a group of volunteers with credentials and background ranging from family-owned and -operated glazing contractors to the largest glazing contracting companies in the United States. This group was then asked to develop the manual. The intent of this publication is to provide procedural guide references that begin with estimating and sales flows, and continue through project closeout. 

From Beginning to End
The Project Managers Reference Manual walks the reader through the entire process, beginning with contract set up, in which the team with the winning bid on the project hands over all pertinent information to the operations team. Integrating that information is vital in working with the general contractor, as well as in setting up the project team. The manual also stresses the importance of planning specific details beforehand, such as internal document control (as documentation is absolutely vital to successful project management), testing requirements and system design with full review.

The procurement process can be very time consuming, but is an absolutely important aspect to successful project management. The first step in the process (as with many aspects of successful project management) is to make a checklist. This list will guide you through the process without allowing minute details to pass by unattended. Different sample checklists and forms (including information from AIA Masterspec®) are included in the manual’s appendices.

A chapter on testing and quality control is an imperative tool for successful project management. Covering all the bases is the only guaranteed way to provide the general contractor and building owner with the final product they expect and that you contracted to provide. Material and field testing are covered (using the all-important testing checklist), and quality control importance is covered through all aspects of the project.

The manual also covers field installation. This is the stage in which potential problem issues can arise if advance preparation, paired with proper selection of field workers, suppliers and materials, is not executed. A sound safety plan, quality control and the aforementioned checklists are offered as tools in this section.

Finally, the Project Managers Reference Manual discusses closing out the project properly with all documentation squared away, all warranties and guarantees filed, proper storage and filing of documentation for a pre-determined length of time and a full project performance review. By learning from the processes of the past, good project managers can make slight adjustments and enhancements on the next project to bring about a greater chance for success, profitability and peace of mind.

Visit www.glasswebsite.com to learn more. 

Brian Pitman is the marketing and communications manager for the Glass Association of North America based in Topeka, Kan.

© Copyright 2005 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.