Thursday, July 31, 2008

Commercial glaziers need to get involved in CMA

Greetings from my hometown of Chicago.

Attended the Cubs game Sunday, where Notre Dame football star Jeff Samardzija added some much-needed energy by tossing two flawless innings in relief in his first big league save. Must've known I was in town for some type of meeting on the topic of energy.

Oh yeah ... the reason I'm here ... energy efficiency ... windows ... the Component Modeling Approach (CMA).

My first meeting representing the NGA as a newly minted member of the NFRC.

I'm impressed. Tech guys from leading companies fill the room. The best in the biz, living out their passion. And the forum is democratic too!

Chicago provides a great background, with some of the greatest architecture on the planet. A distinct blend of the old and new. Heck ... they even chose part of this skyline as the setting for Gotham City in the latest Batman movie (aka the Chicago Tribune Building).

An observation from a homie returning after several years: the brick guys have left town. Glass is the standard feature gracing these buildings. The architectural flair of the Finnish designers really shines through. Am I back in Tampere, Finland?

But I digress ... I was drawn here by the Component Modeling Approach, in all its glory. I find that those who stand to benefit most from the CMA run the show. Most here are apathetic to the issue, or just plain absent. Some actually fall asleep! Insulated glass issues get more play.

Get this: Only 8 percent of the active voices in the audience on the CMA are commercial glaziers -- the specific group it affects! That means 92 percent of those making decisions and voting -- or simply abstaining -- have no dog in this hunt. Hello ... Majority rules on this one, and a whole bunch of unsuspecting glazers are about to get massacred.

Let's get involved!

Like I said earlier, the NFRC is comprised of some of the most talented pros in the business. They’re passionate about glass. And the staff at the NFRC is terrific. So this isn’t personal.

It’s business. It’s about economic winners and losers. And those who are asleep at the wheel can expect to wake up in a big mess on the side of the road.

Speaking of sleeping, while energy effiency rules the day at this meeting, I remain in awe of how quiet my hotel room is, despite facing one of the busiest streets in America: Michigan Avenue -- The Magnificent Mile. Of course, this moment of peace is sponsored by the glass industry! Fabulous windows ... great spacers ... professional framing, etc.

Yet another overlooked benefit of today’s glass: peace and quiet. Ah ... That’s why they call this a "luxury" hotel. (Even the auto guys that defined the word luxury would be proud).

Just wish there was a bit more noise here from the commercial folks.

They sure don't want to wake up one morning and find that their work just got a lot more expensive, thanks to the CMA. Would be a shame for the brick guys to be re-invited to the party. And we all know what that means ...

By David W. Walker, vice president of Association Services, National Glass Association

No comments: