I was in Las Vegas earlier this month attending the National Glass Association’s Building Envelope Contractor’s (BEC) Conference, and during casual conversations more than one glazier brought up concerns over meeting the challenges of installation liability.
For one glazier, the discussion was about the size of the internal department required to assess risk and provide the pre-requisite design assistance associated with complex building projects in today’s environment. And even with this department on hand, how this work can temporarily prioritize attention away from more critical project tasks, leading to delays nobody wants.
A smaller glazier I spoke with did not have engineering staff, and generally avoided quoting less familiar and more risky projects or parts of projects that would rely on an external engineering firm to create stamped drawings. He noted how moving documents back and forth, and the management and clarification communications that go with that, can lead to severe risk and time and cost impacts.
A solution to both concerns is straightforward: have a knowledgeable glass and metal fabricator deliver a complete “erector set” like kit of products – on time, ready for installation complete with stamped drawings. Realistically, we are probably not talking whole buildings, here, since that is the job of the glazing contractor, but rather structural walls,entrances, vestibules,canopies, guardrails, executive glass offices, and so on. The smaller (but important) part of the overall project that gets lower priority for a glazier building “a monument,” or the entire project for a smaller glazier for which installation flow is everything to his profit margin.
Because this work is an integral part of what the fabricator does every day, the risk and overall cost is much more manageable, and it can truly provide timely flow.
At Glass & Mirror Craft, we’ve always recognized the glazier as our primary customer, and thus some time ago we listened and learned about their biggest concerns. Glass fabricators such as ourselves typically don’t have an engineering department … but we do.
We do because we believe every architectural system we deliver should come with the least amount of risk and headache. We do because we want toprovide the design assistance glaziers need to turn quotes around quickly – and that’s credible quotes, with significant detail. We do because we want to continually think through the best way to kit a deliverable to simplify installation.
It’s an approach where everyone comes up a winner.