Volume 46, Issue 4 - May 2011


The Enemy: Still Us

Youíve probably heard it said before, but no one has ever shown it more graphically than Serge Martin of AGC did during his presentation at the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference in late March in Las Vegas.

There before us was an updated and horrifying look at what everyone says anecdotally, that is, that glass has shown no real increase in price in nearly the past 20 years. Using the producer price index for a number of construction materials, including brick, asphalt, wood and cement, Martin showed that our industry is the only one pricing itself lower as time goes on. Take a look below.

Now maybe if there were some great new and wildly more efficient process to make glass, then perhaps such a curve would make sense. But flat glass is still made by the float process, which, last time I checked, hasnít changed all that much since its creation. In fact, every single hypothesis I could come up for why such trending exists proves false except for one: our own stupidity. What do you think? Why is the glass industry unable to propel itself upward as an industry as almost every other building product sector has? Or are we still just our own worst enemy?


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