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Guardian’s Keynote at GANA’s BEC Conference

Net Zero Envelope

Commercial Facade Value Chain

I  just returned from the BEC Conference in Las Vegas and wanted to share a few golden nuggets from the show floor. Although there were a number of interesting presentations, it was the Keynote by Guardian President Scott Thomsen, entitled “State of the Glass and Glazing Industry” that I found captivating. Thomsen’s address felt fresh and truly relevant to the evolution of the glass and glazing industry.

Thomsen, at the helm of Guardians Global Flat Glass Group is advocating a different way of doing business, based on what he called the “Battle for the Wall”. He defined this effort as the increasing competition of various materials for exterior wall space. He noted that there are a number of systems that are gaining market traction, such as stucco, stone, precast, etc. In addition, the latest ASHRAE standards attempted to reduce the maximum prescriptive window to wall ratio from 40%, down to 30%. This limiting attempt, was a narrow and short sighted view of a how to improve building energy efficiency.

Guardian is determined to support our industry as a whole, to maintain the window to wall ratios and grow that percentage of glazed area by enhancing the communication, cooperation and integration of the supply chain.  This new approach also advocates and embraces the innovation of game changing products like those from View, which are installed with our own Net Zero™ Envelope Systems from BISEM.

As a Guardian partner, I have experienced this strategy first hand, and felt the company’s engagement and support for super energy efficient envelopes.  They are perfectly in line with what I see as the future of the glass industry. They have made a direct commitment by shepherding disruptive technologies from cool ideas by scientists to cost effective, manufactured, tested products.

In summary, what I took from this exciting and relevant conversation was a reminder that Glaziers must be involved in the early phases of design, as the mechanical and electrical systems are developed. We have to bring our expertise and understanding to the table and advocate for more day lighting and visual light transmittance through the use of high efficiency glazing systems.


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