The glass industry finds itself at the intersection of dynamic forces as the construction sector thrives, aging buildings demand revitalization, and the Great Resignation reshapes the workforce landscape. These converging factors are presenting both challenges and unprecedented opportunities for the glass industry, driving innovation, and transformation.
Glass Continues to Shine Despite Turbulence
Despite the persistent threat of a recession, labor shortages, supply chain issues and other concerns plaguing the glass industry, US demand for residential and commercial glass remained strong in 2023. Fueled by young homebuyers and the mass internal migration from the coasts to the country’s interior, the post-Covid lockdown construction boom and infrastructure development are primary catalysts for the glass industry’s robust growth. From towering condominiums and apartment complexes to contemporary residential neighborhoods and planned communities, architects and builders are incorporating glass elements more often to achieve aesthetic appeal, energy efficiency, and sustainability.
Restoration Breathing New Life
Simultaneously, the declining infrastructure in many regions is creating a surge in renovation and revitalization projects. Since the mass adoption of insulated glass units in windows and doors, the number of window failures has steadily increased. With an average lifespan of 10-20 years, an increasing number of Insulated Glass Units (IGUs) fail and need replacement every year, reaching millions in total. With a total market value in 2021 of $12.8b, it is expected to increase to $17.2b by 2026. Cardinal Glass alone produces about 25,000,000 IGUs a year. Existing buildings are also being upgraded to meet contemporary standards for energy efficiency, safety, and aesthetics. The glass industry plays a pivotal role in this transformation, providing solutions such as energy-efficient windows, smart glass technologies, and innovative architectural designs to breathe new life into aging structures.
The Great Resignation Shifting Business Practices
Lastly, The Great Resignation, a phenomenon characterized by a significant number of employees leaving their jobs in pursuit of better opportunities, work-life balance or retirement, is reshaping the labor market. In the glass industry, Baby Boomers make up a significant part of the owners and workforce. This is creating huge opportunities for newcomers, opening a space to quickly gain market share while seasoned providers begin to leave the workforce and make room for the next generation.
Recognizing the multifaceted challenges posed by the construction boom, declining building structure, and workforce shifts, franchise brands in the glass industry are poised to thrive in the coming years and foreseeable future. For these reasons, and many others, residential and commercial glass is the ultimate, “sleeper industry.” Right now, opportunities within the glass industry are abundant for individuals seeking ownership, estimating, office or installation roles. With the opportunity of companies and brands training you in-house, a safety net is put in place if you are lacking previous experience, meaning just about anyone can get in on the boom. Emerging brands like The Glass Guru are positioned to not only meet the current market demands, but to also shape a future of sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, and technologically advanced residential and commercial glass solutions.