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BEC Panel Addresses Contract Glazing Process from Four Different Perspectives

Post Time:Mar 22,2012Classify:Company NewsView:341

What do you get when you put together an owner, an architect, a general contractor and a glazing contractor? A very interested room of contract glazing firm representatives, it seems. That was the scenario during a final session of this week's Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference in Las Vegas, organized by the Glass Association of North America.


The panel featured owner David Bellman, senior vice president of Avalonbay Communities Inc.; general contractor John Kane, executive vice president of HITT Contracting Inc.; architect Keith Boswell, technical director for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; and contract glazier Courtney Little, president of ACE Glass Construction Corp.


Bellman began the panel by saying, "I'd like you to understand our perspective." He went on to explain how the use of glass and aluminum have changed in his business, which buildings high-rise apartment buildings across the United States. "As the market has changed a little bit, glass and aluminum have become a bigger part of our buildings," he said. "People love it."


Bellman aims to involve manufacturers and glazing contractors early in the process. "No one knows better than you what a [curtain]wall is worth," said Bellman.


Boswell echoed Bellman. "Design development is a key phase of the job," he said. He encouraged the use of mock-ups and said a major item of concern for him, as an architect, is "how systems come together."


"So much of what we do is aligning expectations," he added, stressing that expectations not only need to be met, but care needs to be taken throughout the job. "Treat each and every project as if it is the last one you will ever do," said Boswell.


Kane spoke from the perspective of a general contractor and explained the importance of communication among general contractors and glazing contractors, even when a problem arises. "Nothing ages more poorly than bad news," he said. "The sooner [we] know [about a problem], the better we can all work together to mitigate the impact on the job." He said he holds weekly meetings with owners, too, and discusses "time and money" on each job with the owners.


Little advised attendees he was happy to hear what some of the others on the panel had to say about working with glazing contractors early in the process. "I think partnering earlier and better helps the whole process," he said.


He also expressed empathy for what architects and designers have to keep up with on each job. "They have thousands and thousands of things they have to deal with," he said. "They're just trying to build a building and we're here to help them."


Scheduling was a recurring theme throughout the panel's duration. Little advised he is more than willing to work with general contractors and architects to meet their schedules, but remains open about the impact of difficult scheduling items. "We say, 'if you want that schedule, here's what it's going to cost,'" he said.


Change orders also can be troubling, according to Little. "Another thing we see is that [the general contractor] will agree to a change in cost, but not in schedule," he said. The panel was followed by an hour-long question-and-answer session, addressing items such as how owners select architects; whether architects are ever willing to commit to a glazing contractor early in the process; the importance of value-engineered options; and more.

Source: www.usgnn.comAuthor: shangyi

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