BEC Panel Addresses Contract Glazing
Process from Four Different Perspectives
March 21, 2012
by Penny Stacey, firstname.lastname@example.org
|Courtney Little, president of ACE Glass Construction
Corp., was one of four participants on a BEC panel titled "How
Contract Glaziers Can Assist in the Buildings of the Future."
What do you get when you put together an owner, an architect, a
general contractor and a glazing contractor? A very interested room
of contract glazing firm representatives, it seems. That was the
scenario during a final session of this week's Building Envelope
Contractors (BEC) Conference in Las Vegas, organized by the Glass
Association of North America.
The panel featured owner David Bellman, senior vice president of
Avalonbay Communities Inc.; general contractor John Kane, executive
vice president of HITT Contracting Inc.; architect Keith Boswell,
technical director for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; and contract
glazier Courtney Little, president of ACE Glass Construction Corp.
Bellman began the panel by saying, "I'd like you to understand
our perspective." He went on to explain how the use of glass and
aluminum have changed in his business, which buildings high-rise
apartment buildings across the United States. "As the market has
changed a little bit, glass and aluminum have become a bigger part
of our buildings," he said. "People love it."
Bellman aims to involve manufacturers and glazing contractors early
in the process. "No one knows better than you what a [curtain]wall
is worth," said Bellman.
Boswell echoed Bellman. "Design development is a key phase of the
job," he said. He encouraged the use of mock-ups and said a major
item of concern for him, as an architect, is "how systems come together."
"So much of what we do is aligning expectations," he added, stressing
that expectations not only need to be met, but care needs to be
taken throughout the job. "Treat each and every project as if it
is the last one you will ever do," said Boswell. (CLICK
HERE to view an interview with Boswell, featured in the March
Kane spoke from the perspective of a general contractor and explained
the importance of communication among general contractors and glazing
contractors, even when a problem arises. "Nothing ages more poorly
than bad news," he said. "The sooner [we] know [about a problem],
the better we can all work together to mitigate the impact on the
job." He said he holds weekly meetings with owners, too, and discusses
"time and money" on each job with the owners.
Little advised attendees he was happy to hear what some of the
others on the panel had to say about working with glazing contractors
early in the process. "I think partnering earlier and better helps
the whole process," he said.
He also expressed empathy for what architects and designers have
to keep up with on each job. "They have thousands and thousands
of things they have to deal with," he said. "They're just trying
to build a building and we're here to help them."
Scheduling was a recurring theme throughout the panel's duration.
Little advised he is more than willing to work with general contractors
and architects to meet their schedules, but remains open about the
impact of difficult scheduling items. "We say, 'if you want that
schedule, here's what it's going to cost,'" he said.
Change orders also can be troubling, according to Little. "Another
thing we see is that [the general contractor] will agree to a change
in cost, but not in schedule," he said. The panel was followed by
an hour-long question-and-answer session, addressing items such
as how owners select architects; whether architects are ever willing
to commit to a glazing contractor early in the process; the importance
of value-engineered options; and more.
The BEC Conference concluded yesterday. Look to the April issue
of USGlass for more from the event.