The Russian and North American markets are, however, really quite different; each has its own unique and distinct characteristics.
Russia’s market is deeply impacted by the well-known geo-political difficulties that have produced a series of reactions and counter-reactions that still loom over the local economy. Trade between Europe and Russia dropped significantly during the first quarter, causing a weakening and deceleration of development of that market, which had in the past proven extremely lucrative for enterprises in both regions in the past. The ongoing credit struggles and slowing of building and construction in general have not, however, prevented the stronger and more active local businesses from investing and, above all, identifying the best products in terms of performance and quality from among the various product offerings. And that is precisely what is occurring in the IG systems market where, in contrast to the recent spread of products commonly believed to be lacking in reliability and safety, there is a quest by the savviest industry professionals for more competitive solutions with extremely high technological content. At Mir Stekla the interest in windows and IG units was focused on the more avant-garde products, as Matteo Padovan, General Manager of OOO Fenzi and OOO Alu Pro, explains: “Despite the current negative economic conditions in which the country finds itself, visitors were especially interested in our highly energy-efficient products. The combination of Chromatech Ultra spacers by Alu-Pro and the Fenzi sealants is confirmed as the best solution currently available for the creation of authentic insulating glass units based on warm-edge technology”. The energy-saving solutions offered by the Glass Alliance (Fenzi, Alu-Pro and Rolltech) network meet the new demands of the Russian market for innovative products engineered specifically for architectural projects that call for increasingly high-performance IG units and windows.
The situation in the US market is entirely different. Even though slightly diminished in the last few months, excellent US market performance is matched by constant growth in the use of IG units in residential and commercial construction. Dave Devenish, General Manager of Fenzi North America, has this to say about the current trend: “The manufacturers of IG systems and flat glass processors in general show they appreciate the advantages offered by Fenzi and Glass Alliance network products. Our sector is constantly changing, both in terms of production processes and in terms of the technical characteristics of insulating glass and Fenzi has always been at the forefront in offering its clients the solutions most suited to their needs. Most builders and glass processors work on a “just-in-time” basis and Fenzi is certainly among the few firms that manage to quickly provide high quality, technologically avant-garde products, while maintaining a competitive price point”. Warm edge products are constantly being perfected because they must comply with (and, often, in the case of Fenzi products, even anticipate) increasingly stringent energy requirements. This explains why the range produced and marketed by the Glass Alliance will be in the spotlight at GlassBuild America, slated to take place in Atlanta, September 16th to 18th.