I spend a lot of time thinking about how the commercial glass and glazing community can collaborate on an ongoing basis with the broader architectural community. Architects are a critical part of how we create modern commercial spaces, and they’re continuously looking for new, sustainable and efficient ways to realize forward-thinking and innovative designs.
It’s our job to meet those needs. Window and glass systems are an important part of overall building design. It’s up to our industry to build relationships and to provide those quality, high-performing solutions that architects and designers demand. This is especially true as new building codes and standards mandate higher levels of performance, and as a drive toward greater sustainability becomes more important.
So, how can we help? There are a couple of ways.
Make High-Performance Products Easy to Specify
Architects need information to do their jobs properly, and it’s the responsibility of the commercial glass and glazing professionals to get them that information as easily as possible. When drafting a specification, they might need anything from thermal performance specifications, color options, LEED performance documentation, data sheets or even detailed specification guidelines. Any or all of this information could be required before a specific product becomes a specification.
It is increasingly important that this information be accessed quickly and seamlessly, particularly as specifications grow more complex due to the pressure from newer building codes. Anyone drawing up a specification for a new building in New York City, for example, needs the right information to be sure the product selected is up to code. To do their jobs well, architects are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and we need to provide them with the technical information required to help make high-performance fenestration products essential parts of new designs.
Continue Delivering New Insights
Over the last decade, the commercial design community has embraced flexible warm-edge spacer technology for high-rise applications for several reasons. The technology’s workability has brought new efficiencies to projects throughout North America, along with outstanding thermal performance. The benefits are clear, and the real-world proof is out there.
This has happened in part through relationship-building and effective communication of the benefits that true warm-edge spacers can provide. The technology has also proven itself in demanding commercial applications, heightening its appeal among commercial builders and designers. As word about the benefits continues to circulate, the momentum only stands to increase in the coming years. Meanwhile, North American commercial vinyl and window profiles are in the position that warm-edge technology was in not too long ago. Performance has caught up to demanding applications, and we need to communicate those benefits as often as we can. We have an opportunity to provide invaluable assistance, helping architects to understand the thermal and structural capabilities of today’s commercial vinyl to meet a project’s requirements.
It is our job to continue these conversations with the architectural community and to demonstrate how we can help achieve aesthetically beautiful, high-performance and cost-effective designs. Continued proactive engagement is the way forward.