December 03, 2020
Taking on 2021 with Efficient Technology
by Joe Erb
For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the value of resilience and flexibility in the face of unexpected change. It’s a lesson that we can take with us into the new year, so to better face whatever challenges and opportunities are in store as the world begins to emerge from the pandemic.
What will 2021 have in store for the fenestration industry? We’ll see some longer-term ramifications of the coronavirus that may impact the commercial construction industry, including some interesting projections on how office spaces could change in the future. Meanwhile, the residential housing market continues on the upswing. I expect that we’re likely to see this demand, both for home renovations and new home construction, continue as interest rates remain at rock bottom.
Elsewhere, the construction industry is eyeing how Joe Biden’s new presidential administration could impact the landscape. While there are lots of possibilities here, one of the first things that springs to mind is whether or not we could see the return of tougher environmental and emissions requirements for building and construction.
The fenestration industry saw those impacts during the Obama era, and there’s reason to believe that the Biden administration may bring back some stringency at the federal level. But while the Trump era saw an absence of new federal emissions targets, our industry never stopped pressing forward in terms of thermal performance.
There are market-driven reasons for this. Today’s architects and designers are often looking to create indoor environments that offer the highest levels of occupancy comfort, requiring outstanding thermal performance from glass and glazing, along with more innovative characteristics like acoustic and soundproofing. Elsewhere, many American companies have implemented their own internal sustainability goals, which are reflected in new construction they undertake. And as any building and construction professional operating in New York or California could tell you, a number of individual states have implemented their own stringent buildings codes, and window or glass companies wanting to do business across the entire U.S. need to meet those requirements.
The bottom line is this: In 2021, we’re likely to continue to see significant demand for high-performance windows, doors and glass, regardless of the involvement of the federal government. To take advantage, our industry needs to be ready with the progressive technologies that make this kind of performance possible.
Many fenestration professionals have already realized that offering high performance is a competitive advantage, a fact that isn’t likely to change next year or in the future. Warm-edge spacer systems and high-performance vinyl systems are reliable, in demand, and have proven their value in the marketplace. Success in 2021 will require continuing to pursue these progressive technologies and delivering quality, reliable, and high-performing products for our customers—no matter what.
Questions or comments? Contact me directly at Joe.Erb@Quanex.com.