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Q + A with Viracon | At the Forefront of Transformative Solutions

Creative thinking, adoption of innovative technologies and processes, and a commitment to quality and sustainability set Viracon apart and position it for long-term success

Essentia Health


ViraconFrom the Sphere in Las Vegas and the Rainier Square Tower in Washington to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and One World Trade Center in New York, Viracon glass and products can be found in some of the most beautiful and iconic structures. Maintaining a competitive edge in the glass fabrication industry requires a combination of creative thinking and the adoption of innovative technologies and processes. This not only sets a company apart from competitors but also positions it for long-term success in a dynamic market.

Throughout its 50-plus-year history, Viracon has developed and introduced industry-leading technologies that deliver a diverse range of aesthetic and performance options for building owners and architects as they design their distinctive buildings. Viracon continuously develops value-added insulating glass features along with high-performance architectural glass coatings.

In 2021, it introduced Viracon PLUS™, a strategic partnership program designed to foster innovative architectural glass technology and bring those new technologies to market faster. Last year, it unveiled a first-of-its-kind glass Viracon Identification Number system for insulating glass units.

I recently sat down with Garret Henson, vice president of sales and marketing, and Jessi Mages, strategic product sales manager, to discuss Viracon’s approach to distinguishing themselves in the industry through innovative technology, extensive customization options, and a commitment to quality and sustainability.

Garret Henson
Garret Henson
Jessi Mages
Jessi Mages

How has Viracon evolved over the years, and what sets it apart from other glass fabricators?

Garret Henson: Viracon’s selection of innovative architectural glazing options, combined with technical expertise and dependable service levels, differentiate us from other glass fabricators. From aesthetics to strict environmental and energy specifications, to critical budget and delivery requirements, our input makes a difference and helps make our clients’ visions a reality.

How does Viracon position itself in the market compared to other glass fabricators?

GH: We distinguish ourselves in the industry through innovative technology, extensive customization options, and a commitment to quality and sustainability. We invest in state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and technologies to produce high-performance glass products with precision and efficiency. We understand the diverse needs of architects and builders and offer a range of customization options, including various coatings, print patterns and insulating glass compositions so clients can tailor our products to their specific project requirements. 

We also incorporate sustainable practices into our manufacturing processes wherever possible, aligning with the growing demand for eco-friendly building materials and presenting an attractive choice for environmentally conscious projects.

Salesforce Tower
Salesforce Tower

With your focus on sustainability, do you have any plans to expand into solar?

Jessi Mages: Yes, solar is coming! Within our Viracon PLUS™ product family, we focus on the voice of our customers, upcoming legislation and niche issues. The process to become a partner inside this segment is stringent and takes time as we search for the best solutions and partners to bring products to market.

In line with forecasts, are you seeing a surge in demand for safety and security-oriented glass solutions from your customers?

JM: Demand is on the rise, and our products can meet codes from hurricane to forced entry/ballistic resistant, to cyber security and beyond. Specifically, our CyberShield® with Pilkington DataStop™ product is engineered to reduce the transmission of radio frequency electromagnetic radiation to prevent eavesdropping.

Are we finally going to start seeing electrochromic glass in more projects?

JM: Yes, smart glass has been getting a lot of attention lately. It has taken 20-plus years for smart glass to commercialize. Our partnership with Halio is entering its third year and allows us to directly source the electrochromic device and then laminate it into a glass unit. Both companies do what they do best, which minimizes risk in the market and offers the best smart glass option. And the Inflation Reduction Act, specifically the Investment Tax Credit, is helping drive additional consideration from our customers and developers for smart glass.

In the trend toward larger, oversized glass, what measures or investments have you undertaken?

GH: Larger format IGUs have become part of our daily vernacular. Our project cycle time is traditionally longer than most, which can give us a head start on emerging large glass trends and allow us to make early investments within our manufacturing operations and client services capabilities to make sure we are ready to meet customer’s oversized glass needs.

What future glass fabrication trends or developments can we expect?

GH: The glass industry will see continued advancements in technology, including glazing solutions that can enhance protection, amplify R values, create energy and further natural light optimization. And as sustainability becomes a more critical factor in construction and design, glass fabricators are expected to focus on eco-friendly practices and materials.

Launching and scaling new technologies within the commercial architectural space is difficult and loaded with challenges. How does Viracon establish confidence in, and de-risk their customers from, emerging technologies?

GH: Through multiple strategies. Before introducing new technologies or products, Viracon conducts extensive testing and validation to ensure that they meet industry standards, comply with regulations and perform reliably. Ensuring that new technologies comply with industry standards and regulations is a fundamental de-risking strategy. 

Viracon also collaborates with key clients on case studies before a widespread technology launch, allowing us to gather feedback, identify potential challenges and make necessary adjustments. Viracon’s collaborative partnerships with industry experts and technology providers offer additional expertise, resources and validation.

Providing flexible implementation options allows our customers to adopt new technologies gradually or customize solutions based on their specific needs, reducing the perceived risk associated with large-scale technological changes. 

And finally, providing a clear, long-term roadmap for future technology development reassures customers of our commitment to ongoing innovation and support. Sharing our long-term vision helps our customers understand how emerging technologies will evolve and remain relevant over time.

We’re always looking ahead and keeping our customers and clients front and center to identify what we should be doing next. While our architectural glass solutions continue to evolve, our decades-long commitment to service and quality will remain. 


Tara Lukasik

Tara Lukasik

Tara Lukasik is Managing Editor of Glass Magazine and Window + Door Magazine. Email her at