What’s new in the glass and glazing industry

  • 3 Apr 2017

Howard Chapmhowardchapmanan, Buildingtalk Editor.

Buildingtalk celebrates 40 years of GGF support for the industry plus trends and training, and why so many new glass and glazing product launches coincide with the FIT Show.

Buildingtalk is helping celebrate 40 years of the GGF with a special e-Newsletter.

PrintThe industry has come a long way since those early Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF) days. 

In 1977 it was mainly single glazed steel windows, drawings done by hand, 16 week lead times, and companies like Anglian and Everest just beginning to develop new aluminium and uPVC products.

The technology around glazing facades, glass walls, windows and doors has changed out of all recognition in those 40 years.

The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) is playing a major role at the FIT Show 2017 (23-15 May at Birmingham NEC) with presentations, seminars, videos and a special 40th anniversary party on the show’s “Big Tuesday”, where opening hours will be extended until 8pm.

Below we take a brief look at industry trends and training opportunities, plus how the industry has responded to the threat from terrorists and from fire.

The FIT Show

FIT Show 2017 Vertical LogoIn the UK in May we have the FIT SHOW with around 250 exhibitors from the glass and glazing industry. It will be a great opportunity to see new products and to learn from industry experts about the latest trends.

Increasingly suppliers time their product development cycles to the FIT Show calendar.

Hundreds of new products and services will be on show exclusively for the first time. For example CR Laurence (CRL) will showcase a new frameless glass balustrade system and seamless designed soft-brake technology sliding systems for frameless glass panels.

FIT Show 2017 video

Good reasons why you should be there….

Industry trends

Howard Chapman, Buildingtalk EditorEarlier this year I visited the BAU 2017 exhibition in Munich, the world’s biggest construction trade fair, to take a look at the latest developments is glazing facades, windows and doors.

I was particularly impressed how the digital revolution is linking design with manufacturing including robotic assisted machines helping create perfectly built bespoke glazed systems. A good example was the innovative Schuco 3D parametric façade system with automatic opening windows.

New developments also include an enhanced version of their panoramic slimline facade system.

On the interiors front, glass partitioning is increasingly seen as the ‘agile solution’ to creating light, maximise square footage, offer privacy and sound insulation where needed.

With bi-folds and wide span sliding doors continuing to be the biggest growth area for the industry, we consider the impact on insulated glass unit (IGU) manufacturers

New thermally efficient glazing is also reducing the environmental impact whist maximising the sense of light and space.

Training opportunities

Training support through the GGF, rebranded as Helix Training as part of its new branding strategy, will continue to help develop individuals and businesses, including specialist industry training such as Individual Compliance, previously known as MTC.

Helix Training will offer numerous courses during 2017 including in conjunction with the Building Merchants Federation. Fire Resistant Glazing and Manual Handling will be delivered in partnership with the GGF and Pristine Condition. 

REHAU are also offering a new and free of charge RIBA CPD as part of specialist fenestration training on the importance of considering windows, door and curtain walling systems within building design.

Fire and terrorism

The recent terrorist attack in London was a reminder about the threat we face, including the continued threat to buildings from bomb attacks and fire. It is sobering to remember that a City of London bombing by the IRA resulted in more than 500 tons of glass being swept up off the streets.

We look how the latest window films protection can significantly reduce the impact on glass facades as well as windows and doors and glass partitions and walls can be protected in the event of a terror bomb incident.

On the fire protection front, take a look at the Glass and Glazing Federation video that demonstrates the remarkable performance of Fire Resistant Glazing versus ordinary glazing.

Looking to the future

The glass and glazing industry needs to work together to minimise the impact of Brexit with the inevitable challenges the opportunities that this brings, as well as helping the industry keep up with new Government schemes such as “Each Home Counts”.

And finally, in early May, Phil Pluck takes up the post of new Chief Executive of the GGF. We wish him well as the GGF begins its next 40 years at the heart of the glass and glazing industry.

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