Education is Focus for Glass Industry at Greenbuild
November 18, 2010

Due to the diverse nature of the nearly 30,000 attendees at this year’s Greenbuild, the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual exhibition taking place this week in Chicago, glass industry exhibitors are keeping busy explaining how their products are part of the green movement.

Schott’s Karen Wegert says she’s been “really pleased this year” with the traffic coming through. The show floor has been packed today and yesterday with attendees from a variety of professions. “We’ve had a lot of people come by who are familiar with the product,” Wegert says. For those attendees not familiar with Schott’s glass products, she has been focusing the green message on the company’s Cradle 2 Cradle (C2C) certification of its Pyran Platinum fire-rated glass products. She says several attendees have asked why Schott focuses on “C2C as opposed to other labels.” She points out that this certification has high recognition among their target audience of architects and is connected with the LEED program, making it a good choice for the company.

Michael Krasula at Pilkington has focused on the basics, sharing with attendees “just in general that glass is a good alternative.”

Krasula is among the representatives for several primary glass manufacturers here explaining to attendees the value that glass can offer when balanced with shading solutions. He said that he’s addressed the misconception that 50, 60 or even 40 percent visible light transmittance is the best solution for getting daylight credits through LEED - since building occupants are likely to pull their blinds and forget about the daylight. “In theory daylight is great, but there needs to be a balance,” Krasula said.

To provide that balance, there have been a great many shading solutions here on the show floor. Boyd Aluminum is among the companies providing a sunshade - making this unique product is that the sunshade is that it’s attached to an operable window. The combination of natural ventilation and a shading solution have proved attractive to this audience.

Indeed, the latest trend for window products seems to be doing more - combining thermal performance and impact resistance, for example.

Eric Enloe says EFCO’s message to attendees has been that “we’re not trying to lessen the structural capabilities to give you thermal performance.”

Displaying that message is the company’s XTherm products, including its HX45 high performance double-hung windows, which offers a number of options to reach a low U-factor.

In some cases the solution for “doing more” is an active glazing product. Alongside its detention glazing products, Dlubak has a display of its Green Heat product. Damon Dlubak says the heated window is “really close” to commercial deployment as the company finalizes its testing through UL.

For active shading strategies, Sage Electrochromics has its dynamic glazing product on display here as well. Lou Podbelski, who also is educating attendees about how the active glazing product works and its green benefits, pointed out that sharing the green message here is drastically different from other industry shows, making it valuable for product suppliers focusing on the green message. “They’re already predisposed to the message,” he said of the attendees here.

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