Anticipation builds for GlassBuild America
Building on last year’s event (pictured), 350 companies have reserved about 116,000 net square feet of exhibit space for 2011 GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo, to take place Sept. 12-14 in Atlanta. Photo by Robb D. Cohen, www.robbsphotos.com.
Despite the downturn, the glass industry continues to invest in value-added products and technologies to meet demand for increasingly better performing and aesthetically pleasing options. From new equipment to boost efficiency on the fabrication floor, to decorative glass that offers a myriad of designer choices, to energy efficient glass products that help architects balance daylighting and energy goals, the industry refuses to stand still alongside a stagnant economy.
Proof lies in the efforts of those companies that will promote their products and services at GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo, Sept. 12-14, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. As of July 15, 350 companies had reserved more than 116,000 net square feet of exhibit space. Of those exhibitors, 97 were non-U.S. companies, with China leading the way at 32 companies, Italy at 24 and Canada at 20. Fifty-four first-time exhibitors had also signed up to exhibit, up from 22 in 2010.
"There's a real buzz building for GlassBuild America this year," says Denise Sheehan, vice president of GlassBuild America and Industry Events for the National Glass Association, which organizes the show. "We are selling booths every day, and of the 350 companies, many are new. In addition, we are seeing our repeat exhibitors increasing their booth size, so the floor is really filling up."
This year's event will see the return of the Innovative Product exhibitors, qualified companies dedicated to breakthrough products in the fields of energy conservation, solar energy and 'green' technology. They also showcase groundbreaking advances in manufacturing, fabrication and product design. Among these Innovative Product exhibitors will be Konarka Technologies. A first-time exhibitor, Konarka will promote its Power Plastic 40 Series, a lightweight, thin-film organic solar material that the exhibitor claims is more versatile than traditional solar panels. Erdman Automation also will be on hand to promote its Fixed Head IG Secondary Sealer, IG Flexible Spacer Applicator and Hand Assist Glazing Table. NanaWall Systems will launch the NanaWall WA67 aluminum-clad, wood-framed folding glass wall system; and Solar Innovations will feature its Series SI5000WHP impact-certified wood and aluminum facade system for commercial and residential vertical, slope-glazed and skylight applications.
"The Innovative Product exhibitors are a major draw," Sheehan says. "Exhibitors like the designation because it is recognizing their cutting edge products and services, while attendees are looking at it as a place to find that next great addition to their business. Everything is really jelling in a positive way for us, and we are confident that this is going to be great show for exhibitors and attendees alike."
The Architects Forum
"We are also excited about the expanded opportunities for architects to network, learn and earn [American Institute of Architects Learning Units] at this year's GlassBuild America," Sheehan says. "In addition to attending our inaugural Architects Forum, participants will have free access to the show floor to connect with customers and see firsthand the latest advances in glass technology."
The Architects Forum, presented by NGA; the American Architectural Manufacturers Association; AIA Georgia; and AIA Atlanta, will take place Sept. 13. It is designed to provide architects the opportunity to share information about the glass and glazing industry while earning AIA LUs during the forum and educational seminars the following day. The event will feature Edward Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, a non-profit, non-partisan organization established in 2002 in response to the climate change crisis. Mazria will discuss Architecture 2030's goal to achieve a dramatic reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions of the U.S. and global building sectors by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed and constructed.
Kai-Uwe Bergmann, an associate partner with the Bjarke Ingels Group, also will give a presentation titled "Bridging the Gap from Utopia to Reality." A Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design AP-certified architect, he specializes in architecture, urbanism, research and development.
"We're especially pleased to introduce the Architects Forum to our agenda this year," says David Walker, NGA vice president of Association Services. "Architects have long appreciated the role glass plays in their structural and aesthetic designs, and the forum is a major step toward improving their experience at the show. We've recruited world-class speakers, created robust networking opportunities and even secured AIA learning credits for their professional development."
Glazing Executives Forum
Not to be left out, glaziers will have the opportunity once again to participate in the annual Glazing Executives Forum, Sept. 12. Specifically created for glazing company owners, executives and project managers, GEF will feature breakout roundtable sessions during which attendees will discuss topics such as estimating best practices, energy codes, contracts and legal issues, storefront and curtain wall failure prevention, and traditional vs. pre-stick glazing.
In addition, returning favorite Jeffrey Dietrich, senior analyst, Institute for Trend Research, will give his sixth annual economic forecast, providing insight into glass industry financial and operating trends.
Kevin Surace, chairman and CEO of Serious Materials, will also be on hand to discuss the movement toward more energy efficient buildings and how glaziers can be a part of this important trend.
In addition, attendees to this year's GlassBuild America will be able to participate in the Second Annual Window & Door Dealers Forum, Sept. 13, organized by the Window & Door Dealers Alliance.
"Our trio of educational forums―each designed by and for professionals from an important segment within our industry―are distinguished by their impressive line-up of speakers and facilitators, candid interaction between participants and an intense focus on executive-level education that simply can't be found anywhere else," Walker says.
More educational opportunities
This year's event also will feature seminars on building integrated photovoltaics and trends in decorative glass. Richard Voreis, CEO of Consulting Collaborative and a member of the Pythagoras Solar advisory board, will conduct the BIPV seminar. To be held Sept. 14, the session will address the market trends, challenges and opportunities associated with this emerging technology, as well as integration of BIPV with curtain walls and other fenestration products.
Kris Vockler, vice president of operations for ICD High Performance Coatings, will lead the decorative glass session, Sept. 14, during which attendees will learn about current issues related to decorative glass and their potential impact.
"GlassBuild America remains the preeminent annual event for the North American glass industry," says Phil James, NGA president and CEO. "We continue to invest heavily in the event by creating important new networking opportunities with our forums, raising the profile of energy efficiency advances with the Innovative Product exhibitors and solar energy seminar, and expanding our exhibitor base to maximize the buying and selling prospects for all attendees."