Being Thankful for Progress

We’re approaching the end of November, and that means Thanksgiving and the holiday season is right around the corner. I hope that after the challenges our industry has been through this year, you’ll be able to find at least a bit of time to rest and reflect over the next month or so.

With all of this in mind, I got to thinking about what we—the fenestration industry—can or should be thankful for this year. On first thought, it might seem a bit difficult to identify those things as we continue to navigate the ongoing supply chain crunch, labor issues, and additional challenges that arrived with the pandemic and don’t seem to have subsided.

But I was struck by a couple of recent news items in this magazine. A new report from Key Media & Research suggests that commercial glass-related construction is approaching a full rebound. Elsewhere, a panel of commercial construction industry experts recently noted that construction pipelines are full and expect that the market is headed toward a period of sustained growth. You’ve probably been seeing and hearing similar chatter in the past few months.

This is all good news we can be thankful for, and it’s also worth thinking about a little more deeply. It’s evidence not just of the resiliency of our industry, but of commercial glass and glazing’s vital role in the modern built environment. The benefits are real, and they’re in high demand in new construction. Outstanding efficiency and occupancy comfort. Daylighting and views. Long-term performance.

We’ve helped sustain the demand for these benefits by working with building code communities to demonstrate glass’s ability to meet desirable performance targets in large-format glazing and curtainwall applications. We’ve also done it by utilizing proven technologies such as warm-edge spacer systems, low-E coatings, new kinds of framing, and other solutions. Glass today is an essential part of modern facades—and it’s because of the tremendous effort and innovation our industry has delivered over the past few decades. I’m thankful for the progress we’ve made toward the realization of more efficient, modern commercial construction.

It’s worth thinking about this collective hard work and collaboration as we begin to look toward next year and the future beyond. And while for many in the industry it’s been difficult to forecast too far beyond the day-to-day, it’s important that commercial glass professionals don’t let today’s challenges cause us to rest on our laurels. Make no mistake—it’s rough in the world of commercial glass fabrication and installation right now. But demand for what we can bring to modern buildings is higher than it’s ever been, and it will take our continued efforts and innovation to keep driving that demand higher.

Toward the end of a year filled with challenges, I hope you can find some things to be thankful for in the commercial fenestration space. And I’d love to hear what they are—let me know at