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Together at Top Glass

Top Glass 2021 promises education, networking, product previews and more.

March 24, 2021  By SUKANYA RAY GHOSH

In-person networking taking place at Top Glass’s 2019 edition. Networking breaks between sessions will give attendees the chance to have key conversations virtually this year.

Top Glass Conference and Exhibits is on schedule and coming to everyone’s screens on April 21 with industry-specific content for the commercial glazing industry. As with every year, glazing contractors, curtainwall manufacturers, storefront fabricators, architects and building engineers will come together for a day of education, networking and review of the latest technology during the day-long event.

Hosted by Glass Canada magazine, Top Glass is a great place to:

  • Earn continuing education credits
  • Network with industry professionals
  • Browse the latest technology

Everyone had different expectations from the year 2020. It was a year that held so many possibilities before it arrived. But, things do not often go as planned. 2020 will primarily be remembered as the year that an unwelcome guest in our lives, COVID-19, wreaked havoc on the world. However, with the bad came a lot of good. As humans, we evolved, adjusted, innovated, learned to live life anew and kept moving forward.

In 2020, Glass Canada hosted the first ever virtual version of the Top Glass Conference. The industry came together to make the event successful even though it took place right in the middle of the devastating pandemic. The beginning of this year brought the renewed hope of meeting in-person again. However, even though vaccines are out, COVID-19 continues to be a major part of our lives. 


This year, therefore, Glass Canada will be hosting the second virtual edition of the event and ninth edition overall since its inception. Canada’s premier gathering for the architectural glass industry is online, different but has a lot to offer.

Each year, the show welcomes stakeholders of the commercial glazing industry for an intense round of education sessions and to find the friends they need to make their businesses succeed. A big part of every event is the logistics involved in getting everyone together in one venue. Therefore, in the past, the attendees of the event have typically come in from the GTA. Since the show will be held online this year, Top Glass will be welcoming attendees from coast-to-coast using the show’s virtual platform, Pheedloop. 

The virtual trade show will be bringing the latest advancements in technology for the commercial glazing industry from top suppliers. All attendees will have the opportunity to roam the virtual halls of the “show floor” to network with friends, peers and suppliers. As with every Top Glass edition, education remains a top priority. Hosted by industry experts, this year’s four hour-long sessions can help attendees qualify towards continuing education credits. 

Event date: April 21
Time: 11:00 am EST
To register: Follow link on the homepage

An education session goes on in full swing during the 2019 event. There will be no compromises in education at the 2021 event with the added advantage of coast-to-coast participation.

April 21 Agenda

Session: Reflections and Projections – How the Last Year Changed our Industry.
Time: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm

There is no doubt the pandemic has impacted us all in different ways.  Many businesses are failing and the jobless rate increases, yet the Ontario construction industry remains vibrant.  In his keynote presentation, Gary Watson of Diamond Schmitt Architects will offer an exploration that compares our construction activity with the global scene, evaluates changes to the way we work and reflects on these impacts on architectural practice.

Gary Watson, senior associate at Diamond Schmitt Architects
With a background in manufacturing and design, Gary’s passions coincide in architecture. Since joining Diamond Schmitt Architects in 2000, he has worked on a number of award-winning projects with experience in many building sectors, including large-scale academic buildings, athletic facilities, theaters, hospitals, offices and residential. Prior to his time at Diamond Schmitt, he accumulated a broad range of experiences in art, engineering and manufacturing positions, including General Motors Advanced Engineering Group, furniture manufacturing, sand-casting, mural paintings and Toronto’s Pearson Airport. Gary loves learning, technology and creation. These passions resulted in a well-rounded knowledge in the practice of architecture. Gary is an office leader in digital design and building technologies. All aspects of the project from early design to resolving complex constructability issues attract his interest and excitement.

Session: Go deep on new technology in glass lamination
Time: 12:45 pm to 01:45 pm

In this accredited AIA presentation, Kuraray’ Mark Jacobson will introduce attendees to the important concepts around laminated glass and its applications in architecture.

Laminated glass has been used in a variety of architectural applications, ranging from office buildings and schools to institutional and high security buildings. A variety of clear and tinted interlayers are available, providing post-breakage glass retention, UV filtration, acoustic dampening and impact resistance.

This course presents the history and development of laminated glass from its inception as an automotive product to more advanced structural glass applications. In addition to the course material, an additional aspect of the presentation will be a “how to” segment on selecting the appropriate interlayer for a particular application.

This will include going through a decision tree based on the application to come up with the best choice of interlayer.

Mark Jacobson, market manager for Kuraray America’s North American division
Mark Jacobson is the market manager in North America for Trosifol interlayers. He has been involved in the laminated glass industry for over 10 years in architectural and photovoltaic applications. Mark provides training for architects, designers, engineers, and contractors on laminated glass and is a member of CSI. He worked for DuPont for over 35 years prior to his five years with Kuraray and graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering

Session: Embody this – Low-carbon building materials for improved life cycle calculations
Time: 02:15 pm to 03:15 pm
In the architectural glass industry, the fight to prevent climate change has mostly revolved around making more energy-efficient building envelopes to reduce the amount of power needed to heat, cool and ventilate buildings.

But what about the energy used to obtain, fabricate and transport the products used to make those envelopes?  

Climate-conscious jurisdictions such as California are asking designers to provide life-cycle analyses for the products they specify. In response, manufacturers are starting to track the carbon emissions their processes produce and market “low-carbon” versions.

There are also lower carbon alternatives to many common products and materials, even if those features don’t appear on the label. In this presentation, Will Nash of WSP explains the drive for life cycle analyses and environmental product declarations and assesses the growing field of low-carbon options for architectural glazing.

Session: The View from the Top: A look at the latest developments in swing stage technology and safety
Time: 03:30 pm to 04:30 pm
Rik Vandelinde is a project manager for Winsafe and sits on committees developing standards for the safe design and use of swing stages and other suspended access equipment. So, who better to update us on the latest regulations and technology that our workers depend on every day?

Join Rik to discover how to stay safe at heights, how to avoid swing access design pitfalls and how to make your projects run smoother and faster with exciting advances in access equipment.

There will be plenty of opportunities throughout the day at this years’ show for everyone to gather and chat virtually. No matter how good an education program is or how many vendors are exhibiting, the real opportunity at a trade event is in the chance to meet someone new and hear what they have to say. While building in-person connections is still not a possibility, there is no need to miss out on forging new relationships and strengthening old ones. The Pheedloop platform will allow everyone to “walk” the show floor with the added bonus of not tiring themselves out!

Full program at a glance

  • 11:00 am to 11:30 am
    Trade show and networking
  • 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
    Reflections and Projections: How the Last Year Changed our Industry.
  • 12:30 pm to 12:45 pm
    Trade show and networking
  • 12:45 pm to 01:45 pm
    Go deep on new technology in glass lamination
  • 01:45 pm to 02:15 pm
    Trade show and networking
  • 02:15 pm to 03:15 pm
    Embody this: Low-carbon building materials for improved life cycle calculations
  • 03:15 pm to 03:30 pm
    Trade show and networking
  • 03:30 pm to 04:30 pm
    The View from the Top:  A look at the latest developments in swing stage technology and safety

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