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USGNN Original StoryApogee’s CEO Talks with USGNN on Energy Solutions and the Future of Commercial Construction

After delivering his keynote address at the Glass Association of North America’s Fall Conference this morning, Russ Huffer, chairperson and chief executive officer of Apogee Enterprises Inc., sat down with USGNN.com™/USGlass magazine to talk further about “The State of the Glass Industry.”

Among the topics he discussed were the technological advances which he sees playing a big role in the next five years—chief among them being coatings. Demand for high performance glass is high today, Huffer commented, and coatings remain a strong way to add value to flat glass and allow manufacturers to differentiate their products, particularly from overseas competitors.

Huffer also offered his input on the future of commercial construction.

“One of the things that’s important to note today is there is no bubble,” he commented. In other words, there has been no significant overbuilding of commercial construction as residential construction has faced. “Because of this phenomenon [forecasters] expect a commercial construction downturn, but it will be shorter lived,” he said.

With regards to downturn, he also addressed the rumors that have circulated of a potential glass shortage (CLICK HERE for related story).

He noted that several float lines have shut down, and the solar industry is going to be looking for additional capacity. However, offsetting that are the decreases in the residential and potentially (however small) in the commercial industry. He commented, “My feeling is if you’re selling glass you want it to be a shortage, if you’re buying you want to be a surplus.”

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