When you see the glossy and shiny new, tall sky scrappers of today, what is the first thing that you notice? Obviously apart from the height, what we see is glass, lots of glass; in fact its like a tall structure of only glass. But solid glass.
And America has reported that it is facing a shortage of this very same glass. Some hundreds of thousands of square feet of glass is required to build a typical high-rise office tower. Demand is so high that suppliers are unable to keep up with their needs. It is not because there is a construction boom – activity of building is slowly picking up. But what has happened is that during 2008 and 2009 recession, many of these commercial glass makers downed their shutters and that is what has hit the business. These glass makers are getting back on their feet but it restarting idled glass factories is a costly and time-consuming process. Thus property developers say the current shortage could last well into next year, if not longer.
This glass, known as curtain-wall is adding on to the overall cost of realty as its price has risen over 30% to record high. So many buildings have been built but standing bare from the front as they are waiting for the glass to come. And funnily enough, it is the glass guys who now set the “project time table” and not cement or steel makers.
Moral of the story – sometimes even the ant is mightier than the elephant!