As supply decreases for skyscraper glass, prices are beginning to rise considerably. With the new increases, developers are delaying projects in order to re-budget. Prices for curtain walls — more commonly known as metal-framed glass panels — have risen over 30 percent nationally, with shortages estimated to run into 2016.
In the past the Lend Lease Corporation called the shots, but now glass distributors are dictating the time-table for major projects notes Ralph Esposito of the LLC.
Because the production of curtain walls is both a costly and a complex process, many manufacturers that slowed down operations in 2008 and have not regained enough momentum to keep up with demand.
With glass accounting for close to a quarter of construction budgets, mega companies such as The Related Companies have entered the glass manufacturing business in order to produce materials in house. For massive redevelopment projects like the Hudson Yards redevelopment — which requires close to 3,000 glass curtain panels — these in house businesses can better control the supply.
Photo credit: NewYork.com