International Year of Glass and Infrastructure Bill Create Unique Demand for Glass Systems

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The International Year of Glass coupled with the government’s recently-passed legislation addressing the nation’s infrastructure creates an opportunistic juncture for architects to include architectural glass in their transit projects, according to Bendheim President Ben Jayson.

The United Nations International Year of Glass 2022 celebrates the essential role glass has and will continue to have in society. The UN announced the program last year, and kicked off the celebration with opening ceremonies in February. Last November, the United States signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Part of the $1 trillion, five-year investment plan will allow architects and building professionals to focus on energy-efficient, sustainable design.

Bendheim glass rainscreen system installed at the MTA White Plains Train Station.

Bendheim blue glass rainscreens at MTA Train Station, White Plains, NY by Sowinski Sullivan Architects. Photo by Michael Del Rossi.

Our architectural glass solutions support both initiatives by providing energy-friendly products with aesthetically-pleasing designs and cost-saving systems that expedite the installation process. One recently completed infrastructure project, at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s train station in White Plains, N.Y., included approximately 400 panels of our rainscreen system. The easy-to-assemble system reduced installation time and helped save money on the $95 million project.

“By streamlining and simplifying the decorative glass specification and installation processes, we enable our clients to live our passion for bringing art into architecture,” Jayson said. “We help them by re-engineering the way specialty glass can be used, designing systems that minimize installation and maintenance costs while delivering enhanced aesthetics.”

A key component to the U.S. infrastructure investment is designing more eco-friendly buildings. Bendheim offers a range of sustainable solutions, including our ventilated glass facades and rainscreens. Ventilated facades prevent moisture damage and shield structures from rain and wind. The use of translucent and transparent decorative glass preserves daylighting advantages. The glass rainscreen systems stop more than 90 percent of wind-driven moisture as they modernize and rebrand the building in one swift motion. The systems extend building lifespans, rather than demolishing structures and building anew.

Orleans Train Station | Glass Rainscreen System

Clipped ventilated clear glass facade at Orleans Train Station, Orleans, France. Photo courtesy of Masia Vilalta.

Our glass systems have been used in many infrastructure projects. Another recent application was part of an $89 million project at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, where approximately 11,000 square feet of decorative laminated glass were installed. The project included several applications: a rainscreen over existing opaque walls, a second-skin facade over a curtain wall, and interior wall cladding.

“In conversations with designers and glaziers, we understand that providing systems, which are fully supported by our engineering team, streamlines the process and significantly reduces labor costs,’’ Jayson said. “Reliability and ease of installation play an important role in expediting and reducing project costs.”

eppley glass rainscreen

Eppley Airfield, Omaha, NE by HDR. Photo by Jen Miret.

The International Year of Glass celebrates the role glass has in society and sustainable development. “The vision is to celebrate the past, present, and future of this transformative material following the United Nations’ goals in Agenda 2030,” according to the National Glass Association website.

The focus on glass coincides with the U.S. goal to address its infrastructure concerns, particularly in reducing its carbon footprint. Glass is a sustainable recyclable material, which provides important environmental benefits, especially in mitigating climate change.

“Our work with architects and designers is becoming ever more important, and perhaps even more so in this International Year of Glass,” Jayson said. “We stand at an important crossroads of design and sustainability, and Bendheim will do its part to meet and exceed the critical objectives of our clients and our society.”

About Bendheim

Bendheim is one of the world’s foremost resources for specialty architectural glass. Founded in New York City in 1927, the fourth-generation, family-owned company offers a virtually unlimited range of in-stock and custom architectural glass varieties. Bendheim develops, fabricates, and distributes its products worldwide. The company maintains production facilities in New Jersey and an extensive showroom in New York City