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Mar. 23, 2017 -  If the National Glass Association’s GlassBuild America could be described as the best buffet in Vegas, a smorgasbord of delights for every glass nerd in the industry, the Glass Association of North America’s Building Enclosure Contractors (BEC) Conference is more like the Foundation Room on the 63rd floor of Mandalay Bay: an intimate, information-intensive experience for 403 of the biggest names in the business.
The latest in architectural glazing technology will be on display at Top Glass. Here’s an advance look.
The ground is shifting in international commerce. It is a time of great uncertainty, but potentially also great opportunity. Join Glass Canada editor Patrick Flannery and a panel of experts to discuss the recently signed Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and what it might mean for Canadian architectural glass fabricators and contractors looking for business in Europe. Topics will include changes to trade and tariff regimes, differences between North American and European glazing standards and a review of the construction industry prospects overseas.As doubts swirl about the future of trade with the U.S., barriers are coming down across the Atlantic.
Helen Sanders of Technoform Group will discuss new Product Category Rules (PCR) developed by the industry that define the rules for doing a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and creating an Environmental Product Declaration for fabricated glass and windows. EPDs in combination with ingredient transparency labels such as Health Product Declarations and Declare are forming the cornerstone of a new green building paradigm that seeks to track the environmental impact of building materials from resource extraction right through fabrication, use, reuse and disposal and human health considerations of the materials used to manufacture such products. Sanders will describe how process and material transparency have become important parts of such common green building standards as LEED version 4, and how designers and fabricators can use these tools to achieve compliance with these standards.
Tracy Rogers, vice-president of sales and marketing for Keystone Certifications, presents the results of a one-year study he performed at Quanex on the effects of adding a retrofit insulating glass layer to the existing single-pane windows in an older commercial building in Philadelphia.
The Canadian Glass Committee is back in action after long hiatus and has produced the first update to CAN/CGSB 12.1 Safety Glazing since 1990. Working with representatives from ANSI Z97.1, the update has issued new definitions for safety glass and its product categories, addressed new technologies and processes and brought the standard into harmonization with Z97.1 and the relevant Canadian standards and codes.
The IGMA Leadership Development Program focuses on the soft skills a leader needs to achieve his or her full potential. Everyone in the workforce develops hard skills required to be employed in the insulating glass industry, but developing soft skills (communicating effectively with people, recognizing a company's culture and effectively aligning with that culture, understanding accountability in the workplace, etc.) provides the necessary intangibles to become a great leader. Once again, IGMA is leading the glass industry into the future by creating the first leadership development program for manufacturers and fabricators of its kind.
The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance held its winter conference in Clearwater, Fla., Jan. 23 through 26 and heard updates from all our task groups. Here are some highlights.
Glass Connections isn’t just the name of our conference, it’s our motto.
Feb. 9, 2017 -  The National Glass Association (NGA), Vienna, VA, and the Glass Association of North America (GANA), Topeka, KS, have together appointed a joint task force to optimize service to members of both organizations, and to coordinate advocacy and technical support along with education and training initiatives for the glass and glazing industry.  
It really is a new Fenestration Canada. Last year was a transition year that started with the hiring of a new association management team in Zzeem. The Zzeem team have been on a steep learning curve since they started in March of 2016, but by all accounts have managed to bring our association through a very vital period. Our new executive director, Cindy Gareau, has been a fireball from day 1 and has become an important cog in the operation of Fenestration Canada and all the committees that endeavour to bring effective programs to our membership.
Last year, the IGMA held two fabricator workshops in Texas and Minnesota, where more than 80 practitioners from the IG industry were led through the most important aspects of fabricating and testing IG units by the experts of our industry.
As 2017 approaches, the name of Ottawa’s oldest, largest and most diversified glass company is taking on new meaning. Centennial Glass is about to enter the second half of its first century – it’s 50th anniversary – and it’s thriving under careful management that welcomes new efficiencies while maintaining quality workmanship and excellence in customer service.
There was a chocolate cake on a side table at the Glass 8 office at the eastern edge of Winnipeg. It said ‘Congratulations, Glass 8’ in blue icing. It was explained that the cake was a gift from a client. Not bad for a Thursday.
When National Contract Glazing’s John Bastedo is asked what’s unique about the company, he doesn’t hesitate. “It’s the people,” the vice-president states firmly. “We have a process to put a job through, with many people involved. Each job is passed on, and this keeps us on top of jobs and also shows contractors we are on top of things, which builds our credibility. We are proud of our excellent track record of project completions ranging from less complex store-fronts and entranceways, to multi-story, multi-phase contracts in both the private and public sector.”
In my previous two columns I told you about Fred Fulton’s early days in Toronto, his beginnings in the industry with Pilkington Glass, the start up of Sealite Glass, and the establishment of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association of Canada.
There are many stories out there of businesses with humble beginnings that went on to become major success stories. These stories have some elements in common – hard work, risk-taking, seizing opportunity and forging new ways forward, just to name a few. While some business histories may add in these elements, embellishing here and there, all of these elements and more are truly part of the story of Windsor, Ont.-based Contract Glaziers, which began in 1971 as Windsor Glass.
It’s a tough world out there. Margins are tight, clients are demanding, suppliers can be unreliable and the competition bloodthirsty.

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Coming Events

Top Glass
Thu Apr 20, 2017
OBEC dinner meeting - Building Modeling
Wed May 10, 2017 @ 6:00pm - 08:00pm
Glass Connections
Wed Jun 07, 2017 @ 8:00am - 05:00pm
CSC Golf Tournament
Thu Aug 24, 2017 @ 8:30am -

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