The End of an Anno Domini
Okay, okay, we’ve been talking about it for the past few weeks so I’ll just come out and say it. Here are my picks for the top five glass industry stories of the year.
Now when I say “top five” I don’t mean in terms of popularity or shock value. These five are my picks for the stories that will have the most impact and effect on the industry. Here they are in order:
- ASHRAE’s withdrawal of its addendum to 90.1 that would have reduced the amount of glazing allowable in buildings. (See the story here). That addendum had the potential to do more damage to the glass industry than any other single regulation since the original 90.1 was developed years ago. The glass industry responded in force and ASHRAE withdrew the amendment.
- The U.S. Department of Commerce’s placement of countervailing duties on Chinese curtainwall and its subsequent enforcement including the decision that certain curtainwall coming through Thailand (see the story here.) is subject to the same tariffs. This is an issue that is far from over but the tariff was welcome by those who see China as having an unfair advantage in the U.S. market. The Chinese solar glass industry currently is under similar scrutiny as well.
- The Great Glass Canadian Condo Caper, in which the glass in balconies throughout Toronto began breaking, leading to an actual governmental ordinance concerning the issue, followed by the filing of a number of class action suits around them. Unlike the ASHRAE issue above, the industry stayed mum on this one and a significant amount of glass mis-information traversed the consumer media.
- The increase in glazing-related lawsuits in general, in which we see lawsuits now being filed for any number of glass injuries and accidental deaths. No one ever wants to see anyone injured or worse by glass. The case with the most serious implications for the glass industry involves those in which that glass was up to code when it was installed but may not be up to current code. Verdicts in such cases could have tremendous impact on the economy.
- The strategic development of Saint Gobain in North America. The company has been here for quite a while, of course, but its acquisition of Sage late last year and Solargard, the window film manufacturer, this year, signals a long-term energy related value-added strategy that will serve the company well as it grows here and everywhere for that matter. It will also be interesting to see the results of its suit against View alleging patent infringement.
Just a quick update on Lyle because so many of you ask about him: Lyle underwent his stem cell transplant last Tuesday, Christmas Eve. From everything the doctors have told him, it went exceedingly well. He is now working through the final side effects from the transplant/chemo/radiation, so please keep him and his family in your prayers. Assuming no changes, he may be able to go home as early as next week, making it a very happy new year indeed for Lyle and his family. And, to you and your family, too:
Happy New Year!