Like all trades involved in the construction industry the glazier trade in Germany has been suffering from the continued slackness in the building sector for years now. Even though the German construction sector got off the international economic crisis lightly thanks to the state’s economic stimulus programmes the situation in the building segment of the market is anything but satisfactory for these firms.
For a long time affected trades therefore set their sights on existing buildings. Driven by billions of funds made available by the KfW, the Reconstruction Loan Corporation, energy-saving refurbishment measures are currently the central pillar for the German building industry. This also benefits the glazier trade because as a rule obsolete windows and/or glazing are replaced in the wake of modernisation measures.
And even the firms whose service portfolio does not include the installation of insulating glass have to largely generate their jobs from their existing customer base due to the continued low number of new buildings. Their opportunities here are as good as ever because the choice and diversity of glass products has never been wider.
Especially in the field of interior design so important for the glazier trade, glass is making increasing inroads in applications hitherto dominated by wood, stone or tiling thanks to glass’s design and care benefits.
Those aiming for long-term success must keep up to date with latest technical developments. Photo: Rene Tillmann/Messe Düsseldorf
A comprehensive overview of new products and glass treatment technologies is provided by glasstec 2010 in Düsseldorf. Photo: Rene Tillmann/Messe Düsseldorf
Regardless of the reticence to invest amongst many property owners due to the still unreliable economic situation, the potential of this material is reason enough to be optimistic. For those planning to optimise their property to be more energy saving or simply give it a more modern slant, the glass sector offers a plethora of products for just about every application.
From flooring to walls and even ceilings – virtually anything can be enhanced with special glass. Glass stairs and floors are just as trendy here as precisely customised all-glass showers or luminous ceilings. Kitchens also increasingly prefer attractive glass wall tiling over conventional tiles.
Proving just as versatile are the glass products for building skins; here glass producers’ product portfolios range from appealing transparent canopies and high-performance functional glass for efficient thermal, solar and acoustic protection to individually finished and highly-functional glass façades. At the end of the day no other trade in the interior or exterior building sector enjoys such diverse application possibilities.
Knowledge is Key
At this year’s glasstec the joint stand of the Federal Association of Glazier Trades will once again be a central meeting point for glaziers. The BIV programme encompasses live demonstrations and a number of interesting workshops on topical themes. Rene Tillmann/Messe Düsseldorf
Craftsmanship alone, however, no longer suffices to compete successfully. In order to be perceived as competent partners by customers in the age of freely accessible Internet information glaziers are well advised to always be update in terms of state-of-the-art glass products and finishing techniques.
This also applies to business investment decisions. Here, too, familiarity with the latest technologies is decisive for future development because new technologies such as enamelling, sand-blasting or laminating of glass open up more and more opportunities.
The best environment to gain a comprehensive overview of the current developments on global glass markets is provided by international trade fairs such as glasstec in Düsseldorf. The most important trade fair for the glass sector is held this year from 28 September to 1 October and will present not only the current product portfolio of glass manufacturers but also the latest manufacturing technologies as well as the complete cross-section of applications for glass in interiors and building skins.
There is scarcely any other way to gather such comprehensive first-hand information on innovations and current trends in such a short space of time and in such a compact area. Once again this year plenty of groundbreaking innovations and information will be showcased at the Special Show “glass technology live” and the accompanying symposium.