Worldwide Views  
GlassCon Global 2016 Provides  
Detailed Discussions on Major Topics  
b y E l l e n R o g e r s a n d N i c k S t . D e n i s  
Bruce Nicol (far left) moderated the Transatlantic Debate, which included panelists James O’Callaghan, Eckersley  
O’Callaghan; Helen Sanders, Sage Glass; Aulikki Sonntag, Roschmann Group; and Christopher Johnson, SOM.  
hen great minds come to- Discussions and Debates  
component? People. Pay attention to  
Facades are becoming increasingly people. Pay attention to light … how do  
happen and GlassCon Global dynamic, not just in terms of the glass, we do that? We need to innovate … Op-  
016 just proved that. Architects, engi- but the entire skin. Taking a close look timize for energy, comfort, cost and we  
neers and building owners, along with at this issue, Keith Boswell, technical need to guarantee that delivery,”he said.  
glass fabricators, manufacturers, sup- partner with Skidmore, Owings and He noted that the right choice of glass  
gether, great discussions  
W
2
pliers and contract glaziers took part Merrill (SOM), moderated the session depends on climate orientation, build-  
in the second biennial conference in “The Role of Glass in Adaptive Facades.” ing type, and more. It’s important, he  
early July at the Renaissance Water-  
front Hotel in Boston.  
Panelist Thomas Henriksen, global said,to balance performance issues with  
leader façade engineering with Mott energy demand. And there are many  
Administered by the Finishing MacDonald, said his passion for glass is options that enable such a balance.  
Contractors Association (FCA) Inter- one reason he was part of the conference.  
“We need an intelligent control to  
national with a number of partners,in-  
“It would be a big shame if, because make it all work,something automated  
cluding the Glass Association of North of regulations, we could no longer put it’s a bit complicated … but if you  
America (GANA) and USGlass mag- glass in buildings,” he said. “We need don’t do this right, you have increasing  
azine, GlassCon Global provided two- to innovate together. The consequence heating and cooling costs,” he said.  
and-half days of thought-provoking could be no more glass in buildings,  
Helen Sanders, vice president of  
technical business development with  
Steve Selkowitz,group leader for win- SageGlass, also spoke.  
“I think about it in terms of active  
seminars and technical presentations and that would make me very sad.”  
that covered industry trends and de-  
velopments, new and innovative tech- dows and building envelope materials  
nology, and much more. It also offered and senior advisor for building science facades vs. passive facades, because  
tabletop displays by a number of spon- at Lawrence Berkeley National Labora- there is a place for passive glass. It just  
sors, as well as networking and social tory, also participated in the panel.  
events (see sidebar on page 80).  
has to be incorporated with other el-  
“What is the most costly building ements to make an active facade,” she  
78  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | August 2016  
www.usglassmag.com  
Mic Patterson gave a call to action to become more involved at the university Economist Anirban Basu led a forecast  
level to educate and prepare students focusing on architectural facades.  
that looked at the glass industry’s future.  
said. “Do we have the tools in terms technologies of the time.  
of active glass to meet the energy de-  
mands? Yes.”  
ratio, it’s gradually changing,” he said.  
The panel discussed the concept “If this were to take place, there would  
of leased façade components. James no longer be the grandfather [clause],  
She added that there is more accep- O’Callaghan, director of Eckersley or would there?”  
tance of these innovations in Europe. O’Callaghan, sparked the debate with  
Moderator Bruce Nicol, senior busi-  
They’re less cost-driven. Here they the idea of facades being adaptable ness developer, high-performance  
are the exception to the rule whereas over time. This, he said, would change buildings at Dow Corning, asked the  
there, they are more the rule than the the way the building skin is designed, group whether the glass industry  
exception,” she said.  
Another challenge, Henriksen said, on future technology.  
as the façade could be updated based would push this kind of innovation  
concept.  
“The bottom line is that it’s a com-  
said Christopher Johnson, associate modity-based business,” O’Callaghan  
You have to get them to experience with SOM, who was also a panelist. responded. “… The idea is to sell as  
is how you price a building that hasn’t  
been built before.  
“I think it’s a fascinating proposal,”  
it, but you also have to have the tools. “We would have to completely change much of the same thing as possible.  
We need better tools for energy model- the way we think. In looking toward Historically it’s been difficult to get in-  
ing and daylight modeling, etc.”  
the future, we often think about how novation to move quickly.”  
the building will weather. This shifts it  
He said the float line, for exam-  
to,‘how will the design evolve, and how ple, hasn’t changed in half a century,  
Across the Pond  
When GlassCon Global launched will technology evolve?’”  
“Whereas industries around us have  
two years ago, it included the popular  
He said this would also change the dramatically changed… Marrying in-  
panel discussion called the Transat- thinking of fabricators and engineers novation with that concept has been a  
lantic Debate. It again took place this on the production side, and he noted challenge and remains so.”  
year, focusing on how the building the impact on codes. “When you look  
skin can evolve to meet the needs and at the prescriptive window-to-wall  
continued on page 80  
www.usglassmag.com  
August 2016 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
79  
WconotirnludedwfriodmepaVgiee79ws  
of ways to work together,” he said.  
As Patterson added that conversa-  
tions like these have been happening  
for a long time and the interest is there.  
The next step is to take action.  
“We have to move beyond dialogue  
and leverage this into action.We recog-  
nize there’s a way to do that.We have an  
idea and will move on it.It starts with a  
small step,” he said, suggesting that in-  
stead of a semester on facades, maybe  
it starts with a day of glass.  
Super-Size It  
Social Settings  
The availability of bigger sizes is one  
of the hottest topics these days for ar-  
chitectural glass. In a session moder-  
ated by Dirk Schulte,vice president and  
director of APG International,panelists  
discussed a number of issues related to  
these increasingly large spans. These  
included how to define “jumbo” glass  
and understanding what people actu-  
ally mean by it; quality control; codes  
and standards; as well as manufactur-  
ing limitations, among others.  
n addition to the educational programs, GlassCon Global also included a  
number of networking and social events. These began with a grand welcome  
reception that provided the opportunity for attendees, presenters, sponsors  
I
and many others to congregate and socialize in a relaxed environment.  
GlassCon Global also included a unique mystery networking dinner. Partic-  
ipants were provided a dinner reservations and directions to the restaurant.  
Once there, delegates got to meet new colleagues they may not have known  
otherwise and enjoyed a fun, educational evening.  
For the closing night celebration, attendees set sail aboard the Spirit of  
Boston for a sunset dinner cruise. Participants enjoyed dinner, dancing, en-  
tertainment and incredible city views.  
Speaking of the market size and  
potential for these huge units, Maic  
Higher Learning  
requires help from the industry.  
Doug Noble,head of building science Pannwitz, vice president of Sedak Inc.  
For years we’ve heard it: universities  
aren’t doing enough to provide education at the University of Southern Califor- pointed out, “No one needs this glass,  
when it comes to glazing and facades. nia, said it’s important for the industry but everyone wants it. We have to be  
How can this be addressed? That was and educational communities to work aware of this and try to become more  
the question asked during the“Stimulat- together. Often, he said, it seems the efficient to keep glass competitive.”  
ing Glass Innovation through University industry won’t approach them,because  
Curriculum” panel discussion. Mic Pat- they think universities are more or less should be written to address oversized  
terson,president of the Façade Tectonics looking for funding.  
glass was asked. Urmilla Sowell, tech-  
Institute and recently named director “But,in fact,what we need are topics,” nical director for the Glass Association  
of strategic business development for Noble said, explaining that if they’ve of North America, said that as aware-  
Schuco USA,chaired the session. got projects that are of interest to the ness increases, so will the move toward  
[We have to] recognize the rele- industry they can then guide those re- specific standards development. “As  
The question of whether standards  
vance and importance of education.We search and development efforts.  
demand increases, I think that’s when  
can grab hold of this and really start to  
Scott Norville of Texas Tech Univer- the standards will start to change,” she  
shape change in our industry, which is sity said most of what is done is at the said, explaining that right now, some  
desperately needed,” said Patterson. He graduate level and most funding comes may have a mind-set of “why change  
asked the panel, “Why are we talking from the industry.But there are usually for what may come.”  
about education? Why is this important two problems:  
and what opportunities does it present?” 1)The industry wants a quick answer; surance is a part of the process. Josh  
As the panelists discussed, architec- and Kerwin from Gartner USA, the firm in-  
tural programs offer lots of courses on 2)They may not want the findings to be stalling the glass on Apple’s new cam-  
published.  
pus (which was fabricated by Sedak),  
Noble said he thinks there are a lot noted that insurance could play a  
There is also risk involved, and in-  
materials other than glass. So the easy  
answer, it might seem, would be to cre-  
ate a class for glazing. Unfortunately, of industry people who’d like to have a bigger role in the future with large  
they said, you can’t just create a new liaison at the university level.  
glass. He said, for example, the cost of  
program. But classes can be adjusted  
“Don’t be shy or scared. Reach out replacement could be a deterrent, be-  
to incorporate glazing. This, however, [to us].We can talk and learn all kinds cause it’s not as simple as just ordering  
80  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | August 2016  
www.usglassmag.com  
another lite to replace the broken one. jobs over the past year, but recently velopment manager with Walker Glass  
Fabricators often have a minimum that’s been unchanged. in Montreal, was a participant this year  
order for how many lites can be pur-  
chased at a time.  
Speaking of Apple, Pannwitz was ployment rate is down to 4.6 percent.  
asked by an audience member about “This is because workers are leav- of opportunity for future events.  
whether many clients beyond Apple will ing the industry. Construction is hard “Panels and presentations were  
In the two prior months, Basu said as well as the inaugural session in 2014.  
construction lost jobs, and the unem- He said the event was better attended  
than two years ago, and also sees a lot  
have demand for massive-sized lites.He work, and for many years the industry well-attended and attendees were en-  
responded that currently 30 percent of has not done well at recruiting young gaged, asking many questions,” he  
Sedak’s production is for Apple, and 70 workers.And that ultimately translates said. “To that end, having the ques-  
percent is for other clients. He said this to higher construction labor costs.”  
tion-and-answer session with speakers  
Basu said he projects the consum- at the end of the half day was great.”  
er-level recovery will continue, but For more on GlassCon Global 2016,  
shows there is, and will be, demand for  
these lites beyond Apple.  
cautioned that the U.S. is reaching the visit usglassmag.com for our video  
end of its recovery, and that another newscasts and additional reports. n  
Economic Love  
Construction economics isn’t nec- downturn may begin within the  
essarily exciting. But Anirban Basu’s next two years.  
James Bond-themed presentation,  
The Economist Who Loved Me,” pro- Continuing Education  
Many attendees who took part in  
this year’s GlassCon Global said the  
Speaking of the U.S.economy specif- event provided solid opportunities  
ically,Basu said the most upbeat aspect to learn about new and upcoming  
is that jobs are being added. The con- technologies and developments.  
the authors Ellen Rogers and  
Nick St. Denis  
are the editor  
and assistant  
editor respectively  
of USGlass  
magazine. Follow them on Twitter at  
USGlass and like USGlass on Facebook  
vided an insightful, dynamic look at  
the economy as it relates to glass.  
@
struction segment has added 217,000  
Marc Deschamps, business de-  
to receive updates.  
www.usglassmag.com  
August 2016 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
81