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Could higher prices mean less glass?

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:35

Earlier this month, David Griffin, project manager for DGB Glass Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas, re-quoted an over-budget job because the owner needed to cut costs. The unfortunate solution—less glass, Griffin says. “The project was half strip windows and half curtain wall originally,” he says. “After the re-quote, the curtain wall went away altogether. [Owners] are saying to us that masonry walls are cheaper than glass walls.” The steep rise in the price of building materials and fuel during the year has forced owners to reconsider building spending, Griffin says. For some projects, glazing makes for the easiest cut, he says. According to a June 16 forecast from the Turner Corp. in Dallas, owners will get no reprieve from high prices in the second quarter. The Turner Building Cost Index set the second quarter estimate for building products up 2.75 percent from first quarter and 11.89 percent higher than the same period last year. This forecast comes on the heels of a June 5 price hike of 7 percent from glass manufacturers. The salvation for glass companies comes from architects’ ongoing demand for transparent building envelopes. Melissa Mather, project architect for Ballinger in Philadelphia, says glass has been an irreplaceable element for jobs she has worked on recently. However, she says from listening to her peers about most of their projects, even the large-scale ones, the overall square footage costs of curtain wall and glass sytems are a general concern for owners. “If basic material costs are making a lower cost system come in at costs comparable to medium-budgeted systems, it will be affecting the industry,” Mather says. John Rotchford, operations manager for Colonial Mirror & Glass Corp. of Brooklyn, N.Y., does not consider less glass to be a trend, particularly because demand from architects remains so high. “How far can prices go before someone is going to find a better alternative to glass? Glass has a unique place in the market, and it’s tough to duplicate," he says. However, "all you need is to make it expensive enough before someone is going to find that alternative.” Share this article:

Source: http://www.glassmagazine.com/news-item/commercial/could-higher-prices-mean-less-glassAuthor:

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