On the Road with USGlass

Just a Shame

This is my end-of-summer patchwork-quilt of a blog, with a few pieces of this and that, stitched together in such a way that they accomplish the purpose for which they were designed. They are thoughts precipitated primarily from our industry’s news stories of the past few weeks.

1- It’s raining glass in Bethesda, Maryland–Well, not quite “raining,” but glass has fallen from the city’s only LEED Platinum-certified building more than once during the past few months. In fact, building management issued a statement saying that it had “identified six exterior panes of tempered glass that were affected by a ‘defective condition.’”

So after first pondering exactly what that “defective condition” might be—and you know it too, I started to think about all the entities affected when something like this happens.
Luckily, no one has been hurt physically. Those who work in the building have had to account for the possibility of falling glass. The glass manufacturer, contractor and installer are now providing stopgap solutions while they each strive to figure out what went wrong and why. The building’s management company surely must worry that this will affect its occupancy rates, provide negative publicity and keep the retail establishments and restaurants on ground level from doing their usual level of business. We will stay with the story, but it’s just a shame all around.

2- Now comes the first year anniversary of the date the Venezuelan government seized the Guardian manufacturing plant there and decided to nationalize it. If you haven’t had a chance, read the two-part report by DWM editor Trey Barrineau about the current state of the plant. I like to think that the workers there are still wearing their Guardian uniforms more out of defiance than anything else. And how dignified has Guardian been through it all? Very. They’ve had hundreds of millions of dollars in property and equipment stolen from them. Yet they have focused on the safety of their workers and former workers, some of whom have worked for the company for many years. We will stay with the story, but it’s just a shame.

Not an enclosure for short arms. You know who you are Intercontinental!

3- It happens to me so often, and did so again just a few weeks ago, that I am sharing my personal pet peeve with you. I love seeing glass used in shower enclosures. It looks great, it doesn’t get stuck to you nor does it allow leaks and drips like shower curtains do. But some hotels, in what I am guessing is an effort to be stylish and frugal, have taken things too far. I am referring to the ever-growing trends of glazing an inoperable piece of glass approximately a third of the length of the tub right to the tub and the adjacent wall. It looks nice and has clean, unobstructed lines. Yet invariably it means I can no longer reach the faucet in said shower unless I get in. Note to hotels: Love the glass, but adjusting water temperature while under the water is not good. You either freeze or burn ’til you get it right. Please take pity of those of us with arms shorter than an orangutan. We most likely won’t stay with this story, but it’s still a shame.