Think of the Decorative Possibilities

Decorative glass continues to offer architects and designers increasing possibilities for innovative design, and the AIA show in San Antonio was the perfect place for attendees to see the range of offerings in one place.

Greg Saroka, president of Calgary, Alberta-based Goldray Industries Ltd., said that he was surprised he was not getting more questions on the subject of green building. "People are looking for new and glitzy rather than green," he said.

"One thing we have in our AIA presentation is how decorative glass fits into green building-daylighting, getting light into the structure but still having privacy," he added.
Saroka said the company was seeing a huge increase in products that help to achieve LEED certification. "Government projects are definitely more green oriented. The private projects still have more "wow me" to it," he said.

Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. Inc. vice president of marketing Max Perilstein reported that his company was showing a new digital image product that can show any image as an interlayer.

"It's also green-laminated and helps in meeting some LEED related categories, which is the thrill of the day for people here at the show," he explained.

Polytronix Inc. introduced a new LED glass in its booth at the show. "Architects want to know how it works; they see the glass and get ideas for what they want to do with it," said Sam Shao, program manager for the Richardson, Texas-based company.

Studio G3 Glass has set up a joint venture in China to supply decorative glass products to more price-sensitive segment of the market than its North American production facilities do, said Johnny Tse, manager/art director of the company based in Coquitiam, B.C.

Taking another tack, CHMI president Tony Lambros said of his hardware supply company, "custom capability is a big factor for us. Architects like that the hardware can be made unique. We continue to manufacture in the U.S. and while it gets harder, that will remain part of who we are."

Spymirror, a specialty one-way mirror, was featured in the Glas Troesch booth.
Volker Hermann, representing the Swiss company in the booth, said that one-way mirror has the highest growth rate of any interior glass.

"Furniture companies have picked up on the application of one-way mirror in the product and incorporated it into their furniture, mainly for bath or living room furniture," he said.

"You can buy a microwave oven with a TV in the glass space so that Mom can cook while the children watch TV," he explained.

"Once the furniture industry does something like this, the consumer becomes aware of it and this opens up opportunities for the design community."