May 12, 2017

What Do Architects Want? The Same Thing as Everyone Else

by Joe Erb

Quality and cost-effectiveness are always winning qualities, no matter where you turn in the building and construction industry.

It’s no different within the architectural and design community, and that fact was apparent at this year’s American Institute of Architects (AIA) Annual Conference in Orlando. The conference, jam-packed with educational sessions, brought together many important audiences looking for new, sustainable and efficient ways to realize forward-thinking and innovative designs in new construction.

Window and glass systems are, of course, an ever-important part of that equation, and it’s up to our industry to continue building relationships and providing those quality, high-performing solutions that architects and designers demand. All without blowing up the budget for a project, of course.

As a part of that commitment, Quanex attended this year’s AIA Conference, and we had some great conversations. Here are some of the things we brought back with us:

Readily Available Performance.

Over the past several years, the commercial design community has embraced warm-edge spacer technology for high-rise applications for a number of reasons. The technology’s workability has brought new efficiencies to projects throughout North America, along with outstanding thermal performance. The benefits are clear, and the real-world proof is out there.

Of course, this hasn’t happened on its own, but a few things have happened that mean warm-edge technology is only poised to achieve greater prominence in architectural design. First, through relationship-building and effective communication of the benefits, along with an established track record, warm-edge technology is in demand among commercial builders and designers.

And now, there’s supply availability to match the demand. Commercial window and glass suppliers have brought on new lines to meet increasing demand; specifying warm-edge technology is no longer hindered by potential difficulty in sourcing the material. And as word about the benefits continues to circulate, the momentum only stands to increase in the coming years.
Continued Communication for Unexpected Insights.

In the grand scheme of the design process, architects are accountable for far more than just the window systems. And breaking into that cycle of influence with new technologies can be difficult, even if we’ve got the proof of performance to back it up.

Vinyl and window profiles are in the position that warm-edge technology was not too long ago—where the performance has caught up to demanding applications, but the benefits are largely unknown. At least, that’s been the case in the North American market. Consider that vinyl systems have been in use for a long time in Europe, where they’ve proven successful.

It’s our job to keep having these conversations with the architectural community and to demonstrate the ways in which we can help achieve the aesthetically beautiful, high-performance and cost-effective design. Continued, proactive engagement is the only way.

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Posted: May 12, 2017 by Joe Erb Filed under: AIA, performance, tradeshows