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The Panes of 2021

In The News

The construction industry has faced unexpected challenges and obstacles in 2021. Here, the Window Geeks take a closer look at some of the contributing factors.

Every silver lining has its cloud

While 2021 has seen problems affect most industries, we’re going to focus on what we know and love most. Windows have seen a similar issue arise as many other sectors in the construction industry: increased demand.

With the climate crisis on the minds of both consumers and governments, steps are being taken to make going green all the more attractive. The BC Step Code has been adopted to set energy standards. As well as rebates are offered to steer people toward energy-efficient options.

But the more they learn about new technology, the more they want it regardless. High performance windows reduce pollution and save on hydro bills, maintain home comfort better than ever before, and offer fantastic noise reduction. Seeing so many people eager to improve their efficiency credentials is a fantastic feature no matter what their driving reason is, but the demand for high-performance glazing is skyrocketing.

A throttled supply chain

If increased demand could be met with increased production, there would be no problem. Sadly, that is not the case. North America’s capacity to produce float glass plummeted by more than 40% between 2005 and 2016. Canada itself currently has no float glass production facilities, making us reliant on countries such as the USA. 

The plants serving us are already putting out as much glass as they can, so increasing capacity is something that takes considerable time. 

Global congestion

Unfortunately, supply chain issues that would normally have been bad enough on their own are being exacerbated by additional factors, with the COVID-19 pandemic the most glaring of all. The problems and shortages at all levels of manufacturing have caused great disruption since the beginning of 2020. One very obvious consequence has been the shipping container crisis. A container that could once get to Chicago from Beijing in 30 days now takes more than 70. 

Much like the glass supply issues, this problem does not have an overnight solution. This, of course, has been a major blow to all manner of industries. The persistent opening and closing of economies has only made matters worse. As Michael LeBlanc, a senior advisor with the Retail Council of Canada, recently told Global News: “Everything from shipping pallets to the cost of containers to getting on the boat. We’ve seen all those costs hitting retailers. So it is both causing slowdowns, a shortage of supply in certain items and cost increases.”

Moving forward

While we cannot foresee the future, we do know that the problems of 2021 can be overcome. We at Centra have felt the impact of the issues ourselves. We’re working tirelessly to find solutions, and we’ve been amazed and humbled by the understanding of our customers as we navigate a complex new world together. The future is certainly bright…

We are your certified Window Geeks

Centra Windows is not only the manufacturer but also the installer of its product, which enables us to offer a full warranty, eliminating any confusion between product performance and installation. We view the house as a system and understand how each of the elements must work correctly to maximize the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. Contact our local Employee Owners at 1-888-534-3333 or send us an email at for more information about this topic and many more. You can also sign up for our biweekly newsletter, providing all the tips and tricks about the window industry.

Written by: Les Ferris , October 19, 2021
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