Industry players bullish on local glass market

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The organizers of an upcoming glass exhibition said local and foreign glassmakers are confident of their prospects in the local market given the current boom in the country’s construction industry.

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Conference and Exhibition Management Services Pte Ltd. (CEMS) Group Managing Director Edward Liu, citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), reported that construction costs from 2011 to 2016 are expected to reach $70 billion.

CEMS explained in a statement that a large portion of the estimated costs would be used to pay glass manufacturers, benefiting the glass industry.

PSA also recently disclosed that the number of construction permits issued by the government has risen to 32,729 in the second quarter of 2014 from 29,424 in the first quarter.

Non-residential construction projects, meanwhile, was seen to account for a larger share in the market compared to residential projects.

“As we can see all over Metro Manila, we can see a lot of malls carrying the load of non-residential demand,” said Ronilo Matas, executive director and corporate secretary of the Flat Glass Alliance of the Philippines (FGAP).

He explained that glass is useful for office building designs that intend to minimize external noise. More glass also means more natural sunlight coming in, reducing electricity costs. Moreover, glass cools down buildings faster, according to Matas.

Engineer Edgar Sabidong of the Philippine Green Building Council, meanwhile, assured that current technology used by the glass industry makes glass products durable and able to withstand strong winds, allaying fears that relying on glass for building designs is counterintuitive in a country constantly visited by strong typhoons.

“When you design a building covered by glass, you start off with [a]wind panel test which includes visual testing to see if it can withstand wind pressure. Second test is the performance mock-up to see how long the glass will be able to hold on,” Sabidong said.

He added, “Our designers follow certain [designs]and consider construction elements. I think our designers and architects make sure there is an update from time to time.”

Matas, meanwhile, said that FGAP is cooperating with the government to check if raw and processed glass products, for import or export, pass the Philippine quality standards for safety.

He also revealed that the government is trying to come up with a glass industry roadmap.

CEMS is organizing Glasstech Asia 2014, the most prestigious glass exhibition in Southeast Asia, set to take place for the first time in the Philippines on November 25 to 27. The exhibition will be held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The company noted that the event will gather local and foreign players in the glass industry in an exhibition showcasing glass products intended for green architecture as well as sustainable housing and building materials.

“Glass is shaping the local design landscape, addressing stakeholders’ demand for aesthetics and green architecture. Glasstech Asia 2014 aims to connect global glass industry players to local architects, builders, contractors, developers, engineers, and facility managers,” Liu said.

Glasstech Asia 2014 will concurrently feature Hollow Glass Asia 2014, a specialized international exhibition for the hollow glass manufacturing, machinery, equipment, and glass products industry.

Glass Accessories Asia 2014 will also be held as a sideline exhibition for glass accessories and products.

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