by Tom Minnon, LEED® AP, CDT, Eastern Region Sales Manager for Tubelite Inc.

As we begin 2012, I add blogging to my list of New Year’s resolutions and new skills. In our industry, “What’s new?” is a question we’re constantly asked by architects. Staying current, accessible, relevant and knowledgeable are expectations. These are especially important qualities when discussing sustainable design and environmentally responsible construction.

The challenges, codes and opportunities pertaining to green building will continue to increase in the coming months. For the last several years, sustainability issues have gained momentum and the conversations have gained depth. In my upcoming blogs, I’ll explore considerations and requirements of green attributes in commercial fenestration. Topics are likely to include daylighting, views, natural ventilation, indoor air quality and VOCs, recycled content, maintenance and durability, re-use and restoration, energy-efficiency and thermal performance, as well as specific applications such as in high-security projects or hurricane zones.

For me, the green building conversation and its practical implementation are a way of life. I’ve been working with architectural glazing systems for almost four decades. I earned my Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) professional accreditation when this green building rating system was still on version 1.0.

I also wake up each morning with the knowledge it takes to renovate a 30-year-old house into a water-efficient, energy-efficient home using sustainable materials. I understand what it’s like to sort through a myriad of manufacturers’ claims regarding recycled content, regionally sourced materials, energy efficiency, eco-friendly manufacturing and life cycle analysis (LCA) when selecting building products, interior finishes, sustainable landscaping practices, and renewable energy sources.

Whether prescribing green goals to residential, commercial or governmental project, the complexity will remain, even as established organizations and institutions attempt to simplify it. Two approaching milestones will be the USGBC’s release of LEED 2012, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), which will be available this Spring, and the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code.

I’m looking forward to sharing the lessons that I’ve learned, and those that I’ve yet to learn, with you. Feel free to add your comments and questions. It’s through our individual experiences that we find the insight in collective wisdom and enrich the value of our industry for a brighter future.


Tom Minnon, LEED® AP, CDT, is the eastern region sales manager for Tubelite Inc., serving clients from Maine to Georgia. With nearly four decades of industry experience and many professional accreditations, he regularly provides educational and consultative support to architects, buildings owners and glazing contractors regarding storefront, curtainwall, entrances and daylight control systems.