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Clear Collaboration and Camaraderie in California

Latest chapter meeting of the California Glass Association unveils insights, forges connections and shows the power of collaboration in the glass industry 

Tara Lukasik presents at CGA

With a significant number of glass companies, ranging from large corporations to smaller local businesses, the glass industry in California is a tight-knit community. On Jan. 18, glass and glazing professionals turned out in a big way for the year’s first chapter meeting of the newly formed California Glass Association, some from as far away as Utah and even Canada. The packed house event was hosted at the PRL Glass and Aluminum Systems facility in the City of Industry. 

The National Glass Association welcomed CGA as an NGA-affiliated chapter in October 2023. The Chapter Affiliation Program "reflects NGA’s commitment to support and encourage participation in regional glass industry associations through promotional support, access to NGA benefits for chapter members, and mutual engagement in chapter and NGA activities and events." 

Warm welcomes and updates 

Kristie Rehberger, general manager, A Glasco, and a founding member and president of the chapter, opened up the meeting by enthusiastically welcoming everyone and then outlining upcoming chapter meetings in April and July, and events for the year. 

Building on the success of last year’s Camp NAWIC, sponsored by the National Association of Women in Construction and hosted by the Associated General Contractors of America, CGA is looking to hold a similar event in June. Last year’s event encouraged more than 70 teenage girls in grades 8-12 in learning more a career in the skilled trades by providing hands-on experience and training that exposes them to promising career paths in construction. The free weeklong learning program taught the girls how to cut glass

In October, CGA is looking to hold another Kids Construction Expo, where children from grades K through 12 are introduced to the glazing industry, and allowed to touch glass samples and see all the different products that the glazing industry has at its fingertips. 

Wardi Bisharat, architectural glass sales and support, PRL Glass Systems and Aluminum, introduced the PRL Glass team in attendance and shared a few words from leader David Landeros. “What are the many things I love about our industry? Working with our customers and competitors to make this industry great,” says Bisharat. “Over the past 40 years, PRL has grown from a 15-employee glass fabricator to a company employing over 600 people and serving the glass industry. We’d like to welcome everyone.” 

Industry insights, NGA updates 

For my first NGA chapter meeting, I was pleased to share updates from Glass Magazine’s World of Glass report and 2024 Industry Forecast, and Window + Door’s Industry Pulse survey. After going through some findings and forecasts from leading professionals and experts or the North American market, I covered the state of codes in California, including the latest on the 2025 version of California’s Title 24, the Buy Clean California Act (AB262), ASHRAE 90.1-2022 and the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code, and embodied carbon requirements under CALGreen. 

Some highlights: 

  • As the codes move towards net-zero, you’re cutting energy use and increasing energy efficiency, but you need on-site renewable energy to get to net-zero, so the codes are starting to require that element as well. 

  • There is a great opportunity for glass fabrication in terms of pushing towards renewables–rooftop solar, ground-based photovoltaics, and building integrated photovoltaics that can be applied in overhead glazing, opaque spandrel, sun shades, and now vision glazing; that is what drive us to a place where net-zero can be achieved. 

  • For nonresidential construction under Title 24, there are some changes that continue to expand daylighting requirements, which is obviously good for glazing. 

  • There are no changes to the main fenestration criteria for U-factor for solar heat gain, but they are proposing to add a new mandatory backstop for vertical fenestration. While not a problem for normal windows using double glazed low-emissivity in a thermally broken frame, there are some concerns about how it might impact special situations for fire-rated, blast-resistant or historic renovation scenarios. 

  • On the new Title 24 multifamily code, there are no changes to the requirements for commercial-style window, curtain wall or storefront, but there are some small changes for residential style windows, typically used in lower multifamily, to be closer to the single-family home requirements. 

  • For single-family homes, as Energy Star moves to its new version, Title 24 is moving too. The main change is to reduce the U-factor from 0.30 to 0.27 in almost all zones. 

  • California is also looking at addressing embodied carbon of building materials through the Buy Clean California Act, which affects buildings using state funding. So far, the focus is on primary flat glass, not processed glass, so the requirements don’t apply to every combination of glazing assembly, framing, hardware, sealants, etc. 

  • State-funded projects must meet a Global Warming Potential limit of 1,430 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent for flat glass, and product-specific and facility-specific Environmental Product Declarations for primary flat glass. 

After covering various industry challenges—including labor, which according to last year’s Top 50 Glaziers report, is still a primary business concern—attendees learned about industry trends such as energy, security for schools and retail, natural light demand, unitized products and approaches, and education and technology. 


  • Products like vacuum IG are becoming a more mainstream reality after years in development. 

  • Dynamic glass keeps growing with more commercial buildings using electrochromic glass and more options becoming available. 

  • Transparent photovoltaics are beginning to gain steam as investments flow into that space. 

  • There is an increased focus on security—standards like the Active Shooter Protocol—due to school shootings and unrest. 

  • Laminated and resistant products are gaining in popularity. 

  • Growth of glass on the interior of structures as studies show that natural light is great for health and productivity. 

  • Getting tremendous buy in from architects and developers with continued usage in walls, railings, office partitions, entrances, floors and stairs. 

  • More control over the end product is pushing for more shop-built or modular approaches. 

  • Unitized curtain wall continues its growth with more entities entering into that business segment. 

  • Sales is becoming more technical, and salespeople need to be more resourceful and technical than ever before. 

  • Stakeholders are demanding more resources and details surrounding the product installation, either with growth in products like BIM or just traditional documents that show performance and modeling. 

Finally, attendees got a quick message on NGA’s vision and goals, including our new Workforce Development goal that aims to present the industry as a viable and thriving career path; NGA’s Affiliated Chapter Program; the NGA Resource HUB on; the Members-Only Codes & Standards Help Center; and the many manuals, books, reports, design guides, technical papers and other publications available on the NGA Store. After a getting a short preview on the many upcoming NGA events where participants can learn and network, NGA’s Andrew Haring, vice president of business development, wrapped things up with a timely recap on NGA’s MyGlassClass and MyGlassFAB that are working to proactively address the skilled labor shortage is a problem in our industry. 

Why chapter meetings are crucial 

As glass industry professionals share common interests, face similar challenges and collaborate on projects, chapter meetings are crucial for fostering communication, collaboration, camaraderie and coordination among members. They provide a platform to discuss important matters, share updates, plan activities, and strengthen the sense of community within the group or organization. 

Rehberger closed out the meeting by stressing the need for participation. “What do we need to obtain our goals? You—your participation, your interest, your knowledge. We’re still trying to gain momentum, get the word out and get more people involved. Whether you know someone who might be interested in a meeting, can help us find locations, or want to talk about an important topic, just spreading the word is huge and important for us.”  

“The glazing industry needs to survive and thrive, and that’s part of why the CGA was born,” Rehberger adds. “Thank you so much for all your support. We really can’t do this without you.”