Flat Glass Manufacturing Discussions Open GANA’s Glass Week

March 25, 2010

The Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) annual Glass Week event kicked off this morning at the Paris in Las Vegas with a meeting of the Flat Glass Manufacturing Division (FGMD).

Stephen Farrar of Guardian presented a report from the Climate Change Committee, noting that, “Climate change has obviously been one of the top two or three issues for GANA over the last year.”

Glass manufacturers have aimed to increase awareness that they will be disadvantaged with having to pay carbon credits when foreign manufacturers aren’t so burdened, “I think we’ve gotten that message through reasonably well,” he said.

He pointed out that regulation efforts regarding cap-and-trade provisions that caused such concern last year have somewhat simmered in Congress, as health care has taken center stage, but added, “Our attitude is that just because it’s not moving right now there’s no reason to stand on the sidelines.”

Indeed, among the regulatory issues discussed today on this topic was the potential upcoming legislation from Sens. John Kerry and Lindsey Graham (CLICK HERE for related article); a lawsuit from the National Association of Manufacturers against the Environmental Protection Agency regarding its greenhouse gas regulations; and efforts being made in California toward standards to keep heat out of vehicles that will impact all glass manufacturers (CLICK HERE for related story).

Also during today’s meeting the GANA membership committee, led by technical director Urmilla Sowell, reviewed updates to its Guide to Architectural Glass and resolved the few word-smithing comments. The division expects to begin charging for the popular document in the future. Several items also were reviewed in the in-progress Physical and Mechanical Properties of Soda Lime Float Glass glass informational bulletin (GIB). The LEED Recycled Content for Glass GIB was not reviewed by the group as it has recently passed a division ballot. The newest GIB is one thus far titled Daylighting that has been adapted from an article from the Efficient Window Collaborative.

The mandated document from the division’s education committee presents information on how daylighting and expansive use of glass can reduce use of electric lighting in buildings, in addition to other benefits, as well as information on picking the right glass. “It’s a very important issue as it ties into efforts to tighten the building codes,” commented Farrar.

The technical committee made plans to go through the draft, revise and add additional material on the topic of how daylighting can assist in energy savings.

Under the topic of “new business,” GANA executive vice president Bill Yanek proposed to the division a future project to consider: collecting data on capacity utilization. Kim Mann, GANA’s general counsel, noted that the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department have guidelines that do allow trade associations to compile such sensitive information, so the question remaining for the group at large was one of their interest in such a project.

As one member pointed out, “If [a survey were] conducted today - we’re talking about capacity utilization - a week later all of the information might be obsolete.”

Mann agreed that it would need to be an ongoing process that would eventually show tendencies within the industry.

Other concerns were that not all float manufacturers are represented within the association (an invitation to participate would be extended, was the staff response) and that the term “capacity” would need to be better defined as the cullet-to-sand ratio differs among manufacturers.

Ultimately the discussion was suspended, at least until GANA staff has further researched the topic and provided detailed information on why it might be useful and informative for members and the industry at large.

Glass Week continues through Saturday, and is co-located with the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance annual meeting (CLICK HERE for related story) and the Building Envelope Contractors Conference beginning on Saturday. Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for updates from the conference.

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