Talking to Architects about Glass at the AIA Show in Las Vegas

If you want to know what architects want to know about glass, or what questions they have about it, the best place to be right now is the American Institute of Architects convention and exhibit at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.

USGlass/USGNN were there and took the opportunity to talk with some of the visitors to our booth.

The Energy

Mark Honchell, a registered architect in Towanda, Pa., whose firm MHDesign does a lot of work with hotels such as Hilton, Marriott's and Intercontinental, wants to find out more about energy efficient glass.

"Hotels are interested in this technology because glass is the major source of heat loss in these structures," he explained. They're also interested in environmentally friendly design, he added. "We're using geo-thermal technology and design and we need better glass to go along with it. I want to know what energy efficient products are available."

Honchell said that "maybe we're not as sophisticated as we should be in terms of what we spec."

As Seen on TV

Jeff Sullivan, an architect in Naples, Fla., said that he is looking for a glass that he saw on television that mixes the glass with metals like stainless steel. "I thought I saw something like that. Who makes it?" he asked.

Of all the questions of the day, this was the stumper.

"It was like on one of those scientific shows, I think," he added.

Sullivan, who does high-end residential houses, said he is looking for glass that is "out of the norm," but that "clients, because of the cost, are reluctant to use it sometimes."

Maybe getting glass from China would be an option, he said.

He had one final question: "Can they fabricate tempered or bent glass in the field? If they could, it would change the whole industry!" (And he gave a thumbs up.)

That First Curtainwall Step

Joseph Iuviene, Architectural Bureau in Chatham, N.Y., whose firm does a lot of restoration work on historic buildings, is doing his first curtainwall. "I've been reading about bricks for 30 years and I've looked at some of the glass stuff but never really paid much attention. Now, I need a quick course in how to build a curtainwall," he said.

He was at the show to talk to exhibitors to see what answers he could get to his questions, and added that in addition he would like to find information on the Web in downloadable pdf form.

"We know glass, but we don't know this application," he stated. And he was optimistic that his visit to the AIA show would help him find the answers and start to get the knowledge that he needed.

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