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Curtain Wall Mock-Up – Shedding Light in the Office

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How (and Why) we Built a Curtain Wall Mock-Up

Over at our sister company, MP Drafting, we recently put together a mock-up of a full curtain wall assembly system. While much smaller than an installed system, it has all the functional components a curtain wall needs.

You can see the finished product in the photo below and check out our video at the end of this article to watch the project from start to finish. But first, read on to learn why we built it and what we learned from the experience, including how it has helped us avoid some common mistakes.

The finished product in our MP Drafting design studio. The curtain wall is framed by 4x4 and 1x6 lumber to simulate a floor line, allowing us to have a two-story application.

Why we built a curtain wall mock-up

You might be wondering why we decided to construct a curtain wall assembly to store inside our shop. Aside from the fact that it’s a great conversation piece, we actually have a few practical reasons for building it.

We wanted to have a tangible representation of a curtain wall system and its various components to improve our drafting process. Our drafters spend so much time looking at curtain wall components in 2D drawings, but not nearly as much time actually seeing and getting their hands on the actual parts they’re drawing. So we wanted to give our drafters, especially those with less experience, a more intimate understanding of curtain walls and their components. There are several important reasons for this.

If you think about it, drafting is kind of like painting (but not the abstract kind). In both cases, you’re creating a 2D representation of something 3D in the real world. To do this properly, an artist needs to study their subject. Of course, you can paint a landscape, for example, without ever having been there, but the accuracy of your representation will suffer.

It’s the same with drafting. You can draw standard wind load or dead load clips, but if you don’t understand how they actually work, and if you’ve never actually seen them, you’re likely to make mistakes. Creating high-quality shop drawings is all about accuracy and attention to detail.

Another reason for building the mock-up was to avoid costly mistakes we’ve made in the past. For example, a common mistake drafters make is improperly showing wind load and dead load clips, splits, and F&T clips.

Seeing these components properly installed on the mock-up has helped our drafters draw these complex details.

In fact, the mock-up includes several details and conditions that are particularly challenging to draw, including brake metal corners, splice sleeves, dead load anchors, wind load anchors, spandrel glass, and F&T clips.

Since the mock-up was built, our drafters have referred to it at least once a week. We also use it for onboarding new drafters. We show them the components, how they look in real life compared to a 2D drawing, and talk about the individual components that comprise the curtain wall.

What we learned from the process

Building the mock-up was a great learning experience. It really cemented some key concepts for those involved, including how to properly locate shear blocks and weep holes, and figuring out the sequence of F&T clips.

Another realization was just how much more difficult it would be to install a curtain wall on a much larger scale. For example, perfectly aligning the holes from the mullions and shear blocks is challenging enough; just imagine doing it from a lift – or outside in the cold during the winter! That would introduce a whole new set of challenges.

This experience opened our eyes to the challenges installers go through on a daily basis. And it emphasized the importance of making their jobs as seamless as possible. The best way we can do that is to create clear, concise, and accurate drawings. If we can do that successfully, we can remove any ambiguity and make the installation process as smooth as it can be. As a result, we’ll save time by avoiding mistakes in the first place and producing a better product.

See for yourself

Watch the full video below to see the project step by step, including some of the key challenges we faced and how we solved them.

Did You Know – BIM in the Glazing Industry

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Did You Know that B.I.M. is now being used by the Glazing industry? So, what is Building Information Modeling? This video shows an example of a glazing B.I.M. drawing and talks about how this technology helps the glass industry

Thanks to MP drafting and design for the B.I.M. 3d video used in this video
Lin – https://mpdrafting.com/

Let LearnGlazing.com Do the Lifting

The team at LearnGlazing.com understands that you probably don’t have the time to figure out how to structure such a program and implement it consistently. But we also know that you don’t have the time to deal with employees who don’t know how to perform their roles effectively and efficiently, nor do you have the time to deal with a high turnover rate because employees feel they are poorly fit for their tasks. This is why we have done the heavy lifting for you, designing an internal training system that you can adjust to fit the particular needs of your company, and which is easy to organize and run routinely.

Ready for LearnGlazing.com? Jump right in and sign up for free. Use the link below to subscribe to USGlass Magazine and gain instant access to the training.

www.LearnGlazing.com/USGM

If you have any other questions or comments feel free to reach out to us here.

Did You Know – Panic Hardware for Glazing Systems

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Did you know that there are three basic functions for door operation when it comes to door closers? This video talks about automatic closers and some terminology to help you understand how they work.

A special thanks to Account Manager Jenifer Truhn and https://www.wesco.com/ for their help with this video.

Let LearnGlazing.com Do the Lifting

The team at LearnGlazing.com understands that you probably don’t have the time to figure out how to structure such a program and implement it consistently. But we also know that you don’t have the time to deal with employees who don’t know how to perform their roles effectively and efficiently, nor do you have the time to deal with a high turnover rate because employees feel they are poorly fit for their tasks. This is why we have done the heavy lifting for you, designing an internal training system that you can adjust to fit the particular needs of your company, and which is easy to organize and run routinely.

Ready for LearnGlazing.com? Jump right in and sign up for free. Use the link below to subscribe to USGlass Magazine and gain instant access to the training.

www.LearnGlazing.com/USGM

If you have any other questions or comments feel free to reach out to us here.

Did You Know – Door Closers for Glaziers

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Did you know that there are three basic functions for door operation when it comes to door closers? This video talks about automatic closers and some terminology to help you understand how they work.

A special thanks to Account Manager Jenifer Truhn and https://www.wesco.com/ for their help with this video.

Let LearnGlazing.com Do the Lifting

The team at LearnGlazing.com understands that you probably don’t have the time to figure out how to structure such a program and implement it consistently. But we also know that you don’t have the time to deal with employees who don’t know how to perform their roles effectively and efficiently, nor do you have the time to deal with a high turnover rate because employees feel they are poorly fit for their tasks. This is why we have done the heavy lifting for you, designing an internal training system that you can adjust to fit the particular needs of your company, and which is easy to organize and run routinely.

Ready for LearnGlazing.com? Jump right in and sign up for free. Use the link below to subscribe to USGlass Magazine and gain instant access to the training.

www.LearnGlazing.com/USGM

If you have any other questions or comments feel free to reach out to us here.

Can We “Out Train” a Labor Crisis?

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We get it. It’s no secret. People in the glass construction and design field are facing unique obstacles. On top of the typical challenges of quoting and managing projects, they are dealing with supply issues, which means facing delays in ordering materials, switching manufacturers, and working with vendors who are similarly overloaded. And while all this is happening, project timelines are still getting shorter, windows are always getting more complicated, and engineering requirements are becoming stricter. It’s a mess!

Something has to give. But what tools do we have at our disposal to tackle and possibly circumvent these issues? The answer is simple: training. Access to the right information at the right time is how we make the impossible a reality. Whether it’s keeping satellites in orbit or managing the communication between a contractor and vendor, effective training is what helps us achieve our goals.

That’s why we set out to focus on the following three issues facing business today:

  • First, filling existing roles is difficult.
  • Second, improving productivity and communication is a real challenge.
  • Third, implementing a training program seems daunting and could potentially disrupt the flow of daily business activity.

Who Is LearnGlazing.com? Who Is It For?

Before we answer all of life’s questions, let’s focus on some housekeeping.

LearnGlazing.com is an educational resource for the glazing industry. Its information has been utilized by individuals trying to get into the glazing field as well as glazing businesses and professionals looking to extend their knowledge and improve productivity.

The training material is organized into 38 courses housed within 10 different topics. The bulk of the material consists of self-guided “slides” and a combination of video, and each course provides its own quiz at the end. LearnGlazing.com allows a business to designate a “Group Leader” to monitor student progress within their organization. A certificate of completion is sent to each student once a course has been completed.

So you’re probably asking yourself, how much does this all cost? That’s the amazing part: the great people at USGlass Magazine have partnered with LearnGlazing.com to bring this training to you for FREE. How does this work? Each student must have their own subscription to USGlass Magazine. Once the student goes through the signup process (found here), they will gain instant access to the full body of training.

Now, back to those three challenges we mentioned earlier. The team at LearnGlazing.com set out many years ago to address these areas within our businesses: filling existing roles, improving productivity and communication, and implementing a training program without disrupting the flow of daily business activity.

Let’s dive in.

Filling Existing Roles Within Your Organization

We’ve all done it. We’ve pulled talent in from other construction or architectural related fields. We’ve gone on a wing and a prayer. Sometimes this is a smart move, but it doesn’t get us completely across the finish line. There’s nuance to the glazing field, and glazing systems can be very tricky. Cutting, transporting, design, fabrication, not to mention the problems we can create if we don’t know how to place an order accurately. That’s where training comes in — specifically, LearnGlazing.com. LearnGlazing.com helps bright people who may or may not be “construction minded” to speak the language. It provides a road map for new hires to show them what responsibilities might be required of them.

Then there’s the other side of the coin. Trying to pull in glazing talent from the field is another excellent idea. Why not have the people who’ve “lived it” manage the projects as well? While this is a sensible idea, there are still challenges. Again, what are the responsibilities of the role? What are the new tasks asked of the employee? Training like that offered by LearnGlazing.com answers these questions.

Improve Productivity and Communication Within Your Organization

What’s that? LearnGlazing.com is only for project managers? We think not. In fact, we know that’s not the case. Rick from Eagle Valley Glass had this to say about LearnGlazing.com:

“We have a shop made up of varying experience levels ranging from front office staff having very limited exposure in the Glazing Industry to semi-retired field crew members with 40+ years of hands-on experience. Our entire staff has been progressing through the programs and finding useful information applicable in a variety of areas. Those that are new to the Industry are exposed to a broad range of valuable information at a faster rate than without these tools available. For those that do have a few years under their belt, I have seen a sparked interest in moving into positions of greater responsibility. For those that have “seen it all,” this is a good refresher and has opened some dialogue on different ways of doing certain things. Our ultimate goal is to have a more balanced level of knowledge across the board for all our employees. LearnGlazing has provided a well organized platform for us to identify where additional focus on education and training is needed as well as exposing those that have more to offer than we had been aware of.”

While the initial goal of LearnGlazing.com was to pull in new project managers, we’ve noticed that a great number of our clients have been using this training to bring sales, marketing, and office staff up-to-speed on the “language of glazing.” It’s opened up new doors for internal employees to explore new roles as well as solve problems on the fly that might have otherwise required additional training or conversations. More importantly, trained non-glazing staff knows what questions to ask and can point out minor problems before they become major ones.

Implement Training Without Disrupting Daily Activity

So, we’ve identified the issues. We’ve found a solution to our problems. But how do we bring training into our organization without disrupting the daily operations and flow of activity? We address this by identifying and implementing two key points:

First, we identify the roles within our organization that need to leverage additional training.
Second, we assign a seasoned staff member with the task of tracking student progress and working with the students to connect the dots between the training and their real-life work scenarios.

To aid in these tasks, we’ve provided two documents. First is the Training Implementation Guide that you can download here. This guide will walk you through evaluating your needs, assigning training based on staff role, and the evaluation process.

The second document is the full course syllabus. The course syllabus is complete with an overview for each course along with a set of “Discussion Points” that help facilitate conversation between the student and the seasoned staff member.

No doubt there is a time commitment, but we’ve worked hard to soften the blow of getting started. Also, keep this in mind: putting some time and effort into implementing a quality training program will save you a lot of time down the road, as you minimize problems and better retain employees.

Let LearnGlazing.com Do the Lifting

The team at LearnGlazing.com understands that you probably don’t have the time to figure out how to structure such a program and implement it consistently. But we also know that you don’t have the time to deal with employees who don’t know how to perform their roles effectively and efficiently, nor do you have the time to deal with a high turnover rate because employees feel they are poorly fit for their tasks. This is why we have done the heavy lifting for you, designing an internal training system that you can adjust to fit the particular needs of your company, and which is easy to organize and run routinely.

Ready for LearnGlazing.com? Jump right in and sign up for free. Use the link below to subscribe to USGlass Magazine and gain instant access to the training.

www.LearnGlazing.com/USGM

If you have any other questions or comments feel free to reach out to us here.

October Drone Raffle

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We have some big news! If you sign up for LearnGlazing.com (for free) in the month of October you will be AUTOMATICALLY entered into a drawing for a free DJI Mini SE drone.

Pass this information around to everyone in the office. The more the merrier! Good luck!

Have you seen us in the latest issue of USGlass Magazine­?

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Have you seen us in the latest issue of USGlass Magazine­­?

Well, if you haven’t, then you haven’t seen my second #GlassBuild little photoshop image. That’s right, this little ridiculous poster is now a published one. Hahaha. 🤣. I am a published artist…. Again….

Anyway, This is what happens when my Boss says I’m allowed to create a “quick” 😜 image reminding people we are heading out there and that I’m allowed to submit it.

So after thinking about that, It hit me, what better way than to make a location themed image, that is “slightly” overtop, has good hair, some bling and includes one of the coolest glass building in the world!

I present to you! Our October issue advertisement!

Enjoy!

#skills #lol #photoshop #glassbuild #glassbuild2022 #glass #glazing #glazier #arcitecture #glassindustry #education #training #glassarchitecture #glassnerd #glassdork #class #glassandglazing #wow #glassfloor LearnGlazing.com Glazier Nation National Glass Association (NGA)

Did You Know – The Tin Side of Glass

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Did you know that both sides of a piece of float glass are not created equal? This video goes over the difference between both sides of the glass and why it is important in fabrication.

Our Glass Industry Courses/Classes teach you the basics of becoming a project manager in the glazing business.

To learn more about glazing and how USGlass Magazine helped make our training free for everyone, visit us at https://www.Learnglazing.com/USGM

Follow us on Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/company/learnglazing

Did You Know – Curtain Wall Splice

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Did you know that the vertical mullions in a curtain wall need to be spliced together to achieve the full height of a building? This video explains the importance of these splices and shows where they go.

Our Glass Industry Courses/Classes teach you the basics of becoming a project manager in the glazing business.

To learn more about glazing and how USGlass Magazine helped make our training free for everyone, visit us at https://www.Learnglazing.com/USGM

Follow us on Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/company/learnglazing

Did You Know – Curtain Wall Reinforcement with Steel

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Did you know that the vertical mullions in a curtain wall often need to be reinforced with steel to achieve the design requirements? This video explains how the steel is added to a curtain wall.

Our Glass Industry Courses/Classes teach you the basics of becoming a project manager in the glazing business.

To learn more about glazing and how USGlass Magazine helped make our training free for everyone, visit us at https://www.Learnglazing.com/USGM

Follow us on Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/company/learnglazing

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    Double O Inc.
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    Silicon Valley Glass
  • I use Learnglazing.com to teach all of our new estimators. Their training modules do a much better job explaining glazing systems than I ever could!

     

    Guthrie Glass
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    SG Chicago
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  • We were in need of some basic training for our project engineers. Although as a company we train new hires ourselves, this was a great way to give them some overall training in our field. Everyone who has went through the courses said they have learned something and consider it a great resource.

    Silicon Valley Glass
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