Put Me in Coach. But Wait … I Can’t Play

Being an editor for a trade publication is an interesting gig. You’re part of an industry, yet your job
requires you (to some degree at least) to remain an outsider. For this reason, it often feels like you have one foot on the field and one foot in the bleachers. You want the best for the industry you serve and to see real progress, but you’re obligated to be impartial and “tell it like it is.” Even when you don’t love the outcome.

With this issue, I wanted nothing more than to write, “Energy Star 7.0 is here and manufacturers are ready, thanks to new and amazing glass technologies that have finally reached the mainstream market.” I mean, how great would that be—if the new requirements turned out to be just the impetus needed to propel technologies like vacuum insulating glass (VIG), thin-triple and aerogel into everyday windows? What if they suddenly reached a point where they’re no different than solid walls in thermal performance? In some ways, I think that’s the article I’ve waited for all my career. Now, I’m just hoping it happens before I’m ready to retire.

On that note of pessimism, this issue marked a first for me: I added a “Spoiler Alert” to one of my headlines—the one about VIG, thin-triple and Energy Star 7.0 on p40. Under the circumstances, it just seemed like the thing to do, because I suspect we all knew the answer. Nonetheless, I hope you’ll find the details interesting and thought provoking.

On pages 34 and 46, I’m not looking to spoil any news, but I am looking to whet your appetite with
our show preview articles for GlassBuild America and World Millwork Alliance’s annual convention. Last year, the two shows were collocated, bringing all of the best for doors and millwork to the world of glass. But this year, WMA is back on its own again and heading to Kentucky.

As for GlassBuild, I think you’ll find some hot spots, where the event—and the industry—are really heating up. If you make it to Atlanta, you’ll find plenty of insulating glass, but I think you’ll also find that other sectors are ripe with new offerings and competition. Keep an eye out for screens and films, as those are just two I expect to deliver.

This year should also mark a big one for machinery. During the years that followed COVID-19, it was harder than ever for machinery companies to exhibit their equipment, with supply chain issues and so many customers waiting for delivery. Now that the supply chain is in better shape, I think you can expect to see more machines on the floor this year.

Over the course of my research for this issue, I rediscovered one of the industry’s most painful facts: Doors, windows and insulating glass are complicated and, for this reason, progress often arrives at a snail’s pace. The industry has proven—once again—that it can’t be rushed. Door and window manufacturers, machinery companies, insulating glass providers—they’re all acting with great diligence. As someone who is known to do things only when I’m good and damn well ready, I
respect their slow and deliberate progress. So far as I’m concerned, it’s never about who’s first, but who gets it right and does it best in the end.

Drew Vass is the executive editor of [DWM] magazine.
dvass@glass.com

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DWM Magazine

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