It’s That Time of Year

Summer sets as the autumn tradeshow season dawns. GlassBuild America, September 10-12 in Atlanta, and CSI Construct, September 25-27 in Nashville, bring that bittersweet reminder that we have entered the third quarter. This year’s expos are expected to showcase new fenestration products to meet commercial buildings’ increasingly stringent performance and code requirements.

Last October, Hurricane Sandy proved to be the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history with damages estimated at $68 billion. The 2013 hurricane season already has produced four named storms. Entering into the peak of the season, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued an update in August predicting a 70 percent chance of seeing above-average activity in the Atlantic with potentially 13-19 named storms, six to nine hurricanes and three to five of those hurricanes becoming major events.

Hurricane impact-resistant fenestration products help address commercial building owners’ concerns for mitigating damage to their property and protecting occupants from shattered glass and wind-borne debris. A breadth of storefront and entrance systems are available to comply with high-velocity hurricane zone (HVHZ) wind zones, as well as Miami-Dade and Florida Building Codes.

DOE_EnergyCodes_map_imgAs model energy codes become a reality, more building owners will seek fenestration systems offering high thermal performance. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Energy Codes Program maps current and projected commercial building energy code adoption activity. For example, in Georgia where GlassBuild is held, ASHRAE 90.1-2010/2012 IECC or equivalent is projected for adoption by the end of 2015. In California, this already has been adopted.

Energy efficiency, recycled content and daylighting remain key criteria in LEED® v.4, recently approved by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). In Tennessee, where Construct is held, the USGBC reports that four “municipal governments have made policy commitments that advance better building practices by rewarding leadership with LEED … Tennessee state ranks 22nd in the nation with 529 commercial buildings that are LEED registered and certified, totaling more than 63 million square feet.”

This November, Pennsylvania will host USGBC members and allied professionals in Philadelphia for the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. The state ranks fifth in the nation with 1,816 commercial buildings that are LEED registered and certified. Detailed market reports are available for download online at under the resources page.

USGBC enjoys membership crossover with the American Institute of Architects (AIA). While AIA champions green building goals, it no longer requires its members to specifically earn continuing education credits for sustainable design. Although there are differences by state, AIA members now are required to complete 12 hours of health, safety and welfare (HSW) education, where eight hours previously were needed.

Thousands of AIA members earn these credits at their local chapters’ annual conferences and conventions, many of which are held during the autumn. A list of AIA’s 300 component organizations, contacts and events can be found at under the AIA Chapters page. For example, AIA Illinois annual conference is scheduled for November 7-9.

Also is hosted in Illinois, Glass Expo Midwest takes place October 31-Nov. 1 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel. Now in its 18th year, the event is conveniently co-located to welcome Fenestration Day attendees.

Whichever tradeshows and conferences you attend this autumn, remember to do more than just attend – participate! If you’re in a seminar, ask the speaker a question. If you’re in the expo hall, make time to see the newest products. If you’re at lunch, strike up a conversation with a colleague. These events are among the few industry forums for face-to-face interaction. Be sure to take advantage of them.