GANA Conference Closes with Glass Industry Outlook
February 24, 2012

by Penny Stacey,

Michael Collins, managing director of Jordan, Knauff & Co., made a presentation on the last day of the GANA Conference.

The Glass Association of North America's Annual Conference closed today in Sarasota, Fla., after a week filled with working meetings, informative presentations and even some fun--including a trivia competition and a luau. Michael Collins, managing director of Jordan, Knauff & Co., provided a presentation today during which he offered some predictions for both the commercial and residential glass industry.

He offered a few general positives, such as that commercial property prices are rising and U.S. office construction "appears to have found a bottom."

"We're looking for increases in some of those segments," said Collins.

Overall, Collins predicted a rise in the future. "In total nonresidential construction, we're looking for an increase this year," he said.

Hospitals also are expected to be up next year in construction. "Hospitals do use a ton of glass," he said.

When it comes to fenestration imports, Collins said these saw a drop from 2009 to 2010. "The door people are getting hammered, but windows less so," he said of the comparison between the amount of doors and windows being imported.

"Typically [China manufacturers] stay away from commercial entry doors because they want to have to deal with the codes and such," Collins said.

With the import of glass, specifically, Collins said China imports currently make up 42.2 percent of the U.S. glass imports at approximately $209 million; Mexico, 11.4 percent at $56 million; Canada, 11. 4 percent at $56 million; and the rest 25.6 percent at $126 million.

Attendees also participated in a GANA membership meeting today, along with a town hall-style meeting. During the membership meeting, GANA executive vice president Bill Yanek provided a presentation on his 7-month deployment to Africa, from which he returned home recently.

Technical director Urmilla Sowell provided an update as well, reporting that the group published approximately nine Glass Information Bulletins (GIBs) last year. "We also saw more than 100,000 downloads of GIBs, and thanks to you guys we were able to put these out there," she reported.

The group's next major event is the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference, scheduled for March 18-20 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

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