Volume 44, Issue 4 - April 2009

Legislation & Legal

Bill Could Mean More Energy-Efficient Glass and Glazing in West Virginia

Legislation is pending in West Virginia that would amend the Code of West Virginia to allow county school boards to enter into energy-saving contracts and extend them by 15 years. If passed, the new law could help move the county schools toward the use of energy-efficient glazing.

The legislation (H.B. 2872) encourages “energy-conservation measures” to reduce energy consumption operating costs of facilities. Included in the allowable measures are storm doors or windows, caulking or weatherstripping, multi-glazed doors or windows, heat-absorbing or heat-reflective glazed and coated door or window systems or other door or window modifications that reduce energy consumption.

Curtis Wasner is a project manager at General Glass Co., a contract glazier in Charleston, W. Va. He says having legislation in place such as the proposed H.B. 2872 would help encourage more green building throughout the state.

“We’ve seen a big shift toward green building here, from the performance of the metal to the performance of the glass,” says Wasner, who says of the last few school installations they’ve worked on energy-efficient glazing systems were used. “We’re trying to encourage green building with everyone,” he adds.

Others are a bit more cautious when it comes the pending legislation.

“Any time we can try and reduce costs and energy demand, especially for the school systems, it allows them to save money for the other things that they need,” says Mike Holt, a project manager with Central Glass Co. in Charleston, W.Va. “The important thing with this, though, is to make sure it’s done correctly on the legislative end and that it’s implemented where it’s actually needed. Schools that were built 50 years ago were not designed with energy conservation in mind, so just replacing the windows may not necessarily solve all of the problems the structure may have.”

Holt adds that with new construction energy-efficient glazing systems are in almost all of their jobs.

New Law Encourages Energy-Efficient Construction in N.J. 

Legislation was passed in New Jersey recently that encourages public entities, including the state, counties, municipalities, school districts and public colleges, to implement energy savings improvement programs. Through the new program, public organizations will be able to contract with energy services companies to implement energy saving measures. The money saved through the reduction in energy expenses will defray the cost of energy infrastructure improvements. The use of high-performance glass and glazing, doors, windows and other construction elements is just one way public agencies will be able to benefit. 

Many glass companies also may find benefit in seeing more high-performance materials used in the state’s construction.

“We are clearly supportive and in favor of this legislation, but whether it has any ‘teeth,’ will need to be determined,” says George Smith of Pedricktown, N.J.-based J.E. Berkowitz L.P. Smith, who handles the company’s energy purchases, ISO quality and facilities management, also was the project executive in charge of constructing the company’s new plant in Pedricktown, which features a number of the efficiencies that are now being encouraged by the state’s governor. 

Viméxico Wins Appeal

Viméxico S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of Vitro S.A.B. de C.V. in Mexico, has been notified of a final non-appealable decision denying Pilkington Group Ltd.’s opposition to resolutions adopted at a shareholders meeting held in December 2006 when the merger of Vitro Plan S.A. de C.V. into Viméxico was approved. A company representative noted that at the time of the first decision the court supported the company’s stand that it had complied with all of the legal requirements for such a merger. 

As a result of this new decision, it has been ratified that all resolutions are valid and binding for all shareholders, including those who voted against such resolutions. In addition, the court confirmed the dismissal of all claims demanded by Pilkington in its original complaint and confirmed the validity of the merger of Vitro Plan into Viméxico. 

In a February 2008 release Vitro noted that its subsidiary in the flat glass business unit, Vitro Plan, approved at a 2006 shareholders meeting its merger into Vitro’s Viméxico subsidiary. As a result of this merger, Vitro’s flat glass business unit reduced its debt by $135 million USD. 

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