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USGNN Original StoryGrowing Green

Greenbuild seems to be the right show in the right place at the right time. The green movement is growing, and so is the show, which is being held at McCormick Place in Chicago this week.

The green/environmental movement touches on both the political, social and design aspects of our society. And all these are present at the event in Chicago. Former president Bill Clinton opened the event. The number of associations exhibiting at the show certainly attests to the social aspects of the movement. Design-wise, the number of architects and architectural students attending demonstrate the roots that green is growing in the design community.

And the architectural glass and metal industry has a role to play in the environmental movement, with green increasingly a mantra for industry companies.

Don McCann, manager, architectural design group for Viracon, Owatonna, Minn.

According to Don McCann, manager, architectural design group for Viracon, Owatonna, Minn., the show is growing every year. "We walked the show for a couple of years and decided to exhibit last year and this year is definitely bigger and busier," he said.

"This show gets general contractors, developers, architects-people all across the board," McCann said.

McCann characterized Greenbuild attendees as "doers." "They're the ones who do the work, the specifiers, etc. We get more requests for specific numbers here versus the American Institute of Architects (AIA) show where it is more top level architects who are looking for more product information," he explained. "The questions here are about sustainability, what the carbon emissions are." The company was showing its new sustainable design packaging.

Mike Riley, a commercial representative for Pella Windows & Doors, also reported his booth was getting good traffic. "We're seeing a lot of architects," he said. "Pella's very big on green-recycling and energy efficiency-and we're showcasing a fiberglass window that is 30 percent more energy efficient. It's a triple-lite unit that can have blinds between the lites. They really like that, especially in medical facilities."

Eric Ottem, senior market analyst for Andersen in Bayport, Minn., said, "Twelve months ago you might have heard of green. It was definitely the theme of this year'sAIA show and now you hear it every day in the media. It's so steeped in Andersen's culture; we've been doing it 15 years and you have to remember to bring it into today's current conditions."

And there are all kinds of facets for being green.

A Marvin Windows company representative discusses the energy efficient qualities of its products with an attendee.

Gary Hildebrand, northern Illinois sales representative for CPI, Lake Forest, Ill., said, "We're here because we're green-our products are manufactured right here." The company was showing its controllable skylight-Controlite. "We're getting a very good response," he said. "The product has been a good draw for us at the booth."

CP Films, for example, was promoting the green aspects of film (energy efficiency, fade protection). "It's been a fantastic show for us. I've never seen a show like this. The line is so long people are waiting two to three hours to register," said Kelly Kelley, district representative for the Martinsville, Va., based company.

Lou Podbelski, vice president sales and marketing for SAGE Electrochromics, Faribault, Minn., said, "This is a good show for us as it is for everyone. If you're the least bit green, the audience is presold. We're riding the green wave."

Allan Rylance, mid-states metal market manager wall products division for UnaClad, Anoka, Minn., said, "We're promoting our metal wall products and fabrication. We're seeing a lot of architects here. We educate the architects about our products and then get them specified. Our customers are the glass fabricators." The company offers AIA-registered courses.

Glen Miner, architectural market manager performance glazing for PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, explained that the company's low-emissivity glass "plays right into LEED certification." The company was promoting its green credentials not only for glass but also for its coatings. On the glass side, Miner said, "A lot of people are coming up to us here with projects and our glass fits right into it."

Traco was getting a great response on the energy saving aspects of its NRG (NexRated Generation) product line. According to Greg Lusty, product marketing manager commercial products for the Cranberry Township, Pa., based company, it was getting a great response on the energy saving aspects of its products.

Bill Lang, product development manager with Vistawall, which is now part of Oldcastle Glass, reported, "We're seeing a lot of architects and contractors, a diversified crowd." Its Green Building Initiative is an education tool to let architects and designers know about how the company's products support the LEED rating system.

"Sustainable construction is undoubtedly one of the biggest and noisiest topics in our industry today," said Eric Nilsson, vice president of CertainTeed corporate marketing, Valley Forge, Pa. "In this cluttered marketing environment, we understand the challenge in ascertaining what does and does not constitute green construction, which is why we created the CertainTeed Green Building Products reference guide. This brochure, like our booth, was designed expressly to provide industry professionals a concise information source about our products and how they impact the environment and their sustainable projects."

There is definitely a lot of energy and excitement at Greenbuild. Green is a marketing buzzword that is destined to grow like prairie wildflowers. Environmental issues and sustainable design and building are movements that will also benefit the architectural glass and metal industry, because it is green, in the best sense of the word.



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