Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So Day 1 of GlassBuild America is in the books, and after a slow start the afternoon saw some brisk movement throughout the hall. My first thought is this year the show floor looks the best it has ever looked. The exhibiting companies really brought their "A" games. I am blown away by the style and class so many of the booths are showing. Really top notch!

As for seen on the floor... and the way I do this is in a rapid-fire style... so hang on, here it comes....

The first guy through the gates this a.m. was Dan Pompeo, the headlining manufacturer's rep—one of the best around no doubt. As always, the gang from Walker Textures dazzled not only with their impeccable clothing choices (as always), but the continuation of the Saturday Night Fever style dance floor. I've noted in the past that PPG sets the fashion tone for traditional booth-wear, and Rob Struble did not disappoint with lightweight vests that had pockets. Nice stuff, Glenn Miner and Joanne Funyak were styling as always.

Great looking booths... Cristacurva left you speechless—just strong. My friends from General Glass International had amazing examples of what they do in full size surrounding the space, and, they are serving ice cream in their booth. So, you get great looking stuff and one of the greatest foods around! Loved the Lauren International booth. As they told me, it's hard to make rubber products look exciting. Well they did, and they did it with style! Guardian Industries' booth was huge and very impressive. No doubt Earnest Thompson, Chris Dolan and company are bringing the best every time out now. They raise the bar with each show.

I met one of my blogging heroes, Bill Evans [Evans Glass Co.] on the floor. The guy is awesome in print, and inspirational as heck. Just a thrill to meet him in person.

The Glazing Executive Forum was a veritable "who's who" of the best glaziers in our world, along with some seriously good suppliers. It looked like things went very well though I'll be curious on what everyone thought of the keynote speech, and I'll have to bring that up in a future post.

The highlight of my time though was the whole Quanex experience. Quanex is without question the dominating presence at the show... bigger than life. This year though I had an amazing opportunity to get inside the booth and have time with the Chairman, President, & CEO of Quanex David Petratis. I did an interview with him that will be up on soon, and quite frankly I found him to be engaging, genuine and motivating. The guy is a gem. Then later I got to meet Mike Hovan in person for the first time after following him for years and catching up with great old favorites like Erin and Larry Johnson, Joe Erb and new friends Brian and Kim Kress. Just a thrill for me, for sure. Ironically they all like the older version of my blog when I was a little "harder" with my edge... I'm a kinder, gentler blogger now... but you never know maybe my teeth with show again...

All in all, Day 1 was a crazy whirlwind of a show. People are busy right now, but I believe everyone is very worried about the coming months. No one can really accurately predict what next year will bring, and I think that just scares people to the core.

Day 2 and 3 I'll be all over the floor. I look forward to catching up with more people and seeing things that are "new" for me. So that's the goal. To me the show is strong because, as noted above, the exhibitors really came out strong. People that are attending are enjoying the benefits of that for sure.

Read on for links of the week and the pre-show blog.

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 11, 2011, as exhibitors finished assembling their booths in the usual mad dash to opening day, a sharp-eyed security guard noticed flashes of light coming from under the Barkow truck in the 800 aisle of the GlassBuild America show floor. As he approached, two men ran off, one from under the truck where he was apparently taking pictures.

Given the anniversary of the infamous date, this event brought in the Georgia police, who scanned the truck's chassis with mirrors. They quickly concluded that it was a botched job of glass truck espionage by two local yahoos.

Why the interest? For 2011, General Motors widened its truck body. Barkow's solution: "Super single" rear tires that buy enough room between the body and the outside of the tires. With President John Weise's permission, I snapped this photo with my handy iPad so I could instantly upload this trade show tale of innovation and attempted copycatting.

Steve Jobs famously said that innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower, a sentiment that resonates at every trade show, perhaps more so when times are tough. This year's GlassBuild America welcomes attendees to visit Barkow and the 392 other companies--including 73 new exhibitors--for the up-close, kick-the-tires experience only a trade show offers.

Glass Magazine extends that welcome with its own latest innovation (thank you Mr. Jobs): the glass industry's first magazine Apple app. You can download it free here.

Androiders, your tablet app is coming very soon.

Just a few years ago, the thought of reinventing the wheel was preceded by the question why. But the road keeps changing, and speed and traffic keep increasing. In our 24/7/365, post-9/11 world, news about reinvented wheels is delivered and received however you need and want to learn about it—in print, on your computer, smartphone or tablet. So whether you're delivering or receiving a load of glass, or needing to know what technology will be on it tomorrow, you have more choices. And that's a beautiful thing about innovation. 

Harris is publisher of Glass Magazine. Write her at

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lost in the excitement and action of Hurricane Irene was the earthquake that struck earlier that week. Thankfully, there were no reported deaths or major injuries, and for the most part, everything and everyone survived. However, one thing that came out of it was said perfectly by Arlene Stewart, the legendary energy consultant, in a tweet. Here goes:

"@ArleneOnEnergy 10 yrs ago, I watched SE code bodies look at Nanette Lockwood like she was nuts for advocating for seismic provisions. Vindicated much?"

And there ya go. For years, people have been warning of issues to come, and even though we skated on this one, the seismic provisions still should be addressed and put into play. As for Nanette Lockwood of Solutia, it's been many years since I had the honor of working with her, but she happens to be an absolute authority on so many of these issues. If she told me to prepare for another quake tomorrow, I'd drop everything and go. So, this whole scenario bears watching, and we'll have to see how it affects us in the glazing world, because it will. And oh, if you are not following Arlene on Twitter, you need to.


  • One tough result from the hurricane was the damage in Vermont. The iconic covered bridges that stood for so long were completely wiped out. Towns flooded. Just awful...
  • The Steve Jobs resignation was also a tough one to take. While many expected this day to eventually come given his health battles, the finality of it all is still stunning. Apple is more than Steve Jobs, and I am sure their products (and love of everything glass) will continue on, but it won't be the same. By the way, here is a quick and simple article outlining three main takeaways from how Steve Jobs did business.
  • We are coming up on another anniversary for this blog. I started in October of 2005, and almost 400 postings later, I am still here, still plugging along. Thanks to everyone who reads this and supports it. And just a note: I do actually post this on Sundays at my original site. Ironically, it gets tons of hits from the state of Virginia that day. I guess I am popular there! Anyway, it continues to be a thrill that many of my stories/opinions/comments get picked up by competitors to run the day before my posts appear Tuesdays in the always-excellent e-glass weekly. I appreciate everyone for following along.
  • Missed noting my brother's birthday last week... and for his big day, the best gift he got was a year-long membership in the Dairy Queen Blizzard Club. Who would have thought that the first Perilstein to have a membership in such an epic club would be the skinny one... Happy Birthday bro...
  • Football predictions: As many may know, I have not been into football this year, but I still have to make my traditional (and usually wrong) call on who wins it all. So, fans of 30 teams will be happy and fans of the two I pick, not so much. Here it goes: Your Super Bowl will be the New England Patriots vs. the Chicago Bears. For some reason, I think Jay Cutler will have a huge year this year, and Brady and the Pats look unstoppable. Of course, and as always, I hope I am wrong.
  • Last this week, here we are on the cusp of the show of the year: GlassBuild America kicks off Monday the 12th. The show floor is sold out, and attendance is gaining some nice momentum. I am really looking forward to seeing so many of the folks I can usually only hook up with at GBA. I will also, per tradition, be posting nightly with all of the flavor, pomp and color of the show. If you are coming to the event, look for me running around or at my booth #1104. See you there! 

Read on for links and video of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

As most of you know, GlassBuild America is right around the corner. This is the glass industry's one event that brings everyone involved with glass — glaziers, fabricators, manufacturers, dealers, etc. — together in one location. If you've never been, then this is the year to come. Let me share a few reasons why.

First, the cost is more practical than ever. Have you seen the price of flights to Atlanta? Not to sound like a used car salesman, but they're insanely low. A couple of the big travel sites (Yapta, Kayak, etc.) let you track the historical price of flights, and when you run them for Atlanta, they're as low as they've ever been. They've gone down even more in just the last couple days. So, the travel cost can't be an excuse. Go ahead, book a flight.

Second, is the industry-leading educational content. Sure, there are other seminars and conferences throughout the year. I'm sure all of them are worth your time. But the Glazing Executives Forum has become an event you simply must attend if you're serious about being successful in your business. You'll learn more about the latest trends and products in the industry, along with economic and financial information to put it all in perspective. Plus, you'll be in a room of your peers all focused on finding solutions to common challenges in the industry. We're also pleased to add a new forum this year directed at the architect community.

In addition to the forums, we have seminars on two of the biggest trends in glass: decorative glass and building integrated photovoltaics. The decorative glass session will be moderated by Kris Vockler of ICD Performance Coatings and her ace team of panelists. The BIPV seminar will be led by Richard Voreis of Consulting Collaborative. Both moderators have recruited a top-notch team of experts to share their insights on these two vital areas of growth.

Third, the show itself. Have you seen the list of exhibitors? There are some major names on that list. And there's only one show that they all attend. Simply stated, if you want to go to one place where you can see the latest in all things glass, this is it.

So, it's not that expensive to go, you'll learn a lot and you're highly likely to bring a good idea back to the office. That sounds like a good return on investment to me. 

Matt Rumbaugh is senior manager, education and training, for the National Glass Association. Write him at

Monday, August 29, 2011

I had a great blog already written, but due to Hurricane Irene I decided to change it up. Because I post this blog on Sundays, the full force of the hurricane and its aftermath will not have played out completely when I post this. Obviously, my thoughts are with everyone in its path. Hopefully, everyone is staying safe.

Given the circumstances, my normal batch of commentary, snark and kudos is just not appropriate. All I can say is that a hurricane is bad wherever and whenever it hits, but the fact that Irene is hitting places that normally don't get hurricanes makes this even worse. Compounding the problem is that so much in our world depends on what happens in cities like New York. Basically, if New York sneezes, the rest of the country can catch a cold. So, it does beg the questions: how much of an economic effect will this hurricane have, and how far will it reach?

It has been a very good summer for the glass and construction industry (especially compared to the winter and spring). Will this derail or lengthen it? No matter what the result is, hopefully everyone  hangs in there with as little issues as possible. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

I will close with some levity though: specifically, this story on what the folks are hoarding in Brooklyn ... and it's not water. I guess we all deal with things in different ways!

I'll be back next week with a regular post. 

Read on for links and video of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

They say a photo (or in this case, a video) is worth a thousand words, so I will keep this short.

In this frustrating economic environment, sometimes it's easy for me to get bogged down by falling ABI numbers and gloomy construction forecasts. Then I see videos like this, and I'm reminded that the future of the glass industry is bright: very bright.

Our industry, and those working in concert with it, continue to make product advancements that stretch the limits of glass applications, and the imagination. I continually see products and projects featuring glass in new and innovative ways, and that makes the glass industry an exciting place to be. 

Will we live in a world where our highways are made of glass solar panels like those in this video? Will glaziers installing BIPV today be installing solar highways tomorrow? Who knows? But it's interesting to think about.  


Chase is editorial director of Glass Magazine, e-glass weekly and Write her at

Monday, August 22, 2011

An absolute rollercoaster of a week news-wise: we had good news, sad news, surprising news, and what could possibly be considered depressing news. And, we had glass still falling from the sky. Really, it was all over the map, so let's take a look at what happened.


  • We will start with the sad news regarding the passing of John Neunlist, president of Admiral Glass in Houston. John was one of those consistent, classy industry guys. He always supported our industry, was a fixture at BEC and simply a force in his world. Our industry lost a very good man last week, and thoughts and prayers go out to John's family.
  • The week also saw more rough numbers out of the Architectural Billings Index. For the fifth straight month, the numbers were down. So now, it's surely an official "trend." However, I am starting to question the whole methodology involved, based on last year's predictions for this year. Our industry is a lot busier right now than what the ABI predicted it would be nine to 12 months ago. And while I think this burst of business is sorely overdue, I am still taking ABI's latest downward trends with a grain of salt. If our world is dog slow in August of 2012, then we'll know right?
  • The good news is that remodeling numbers are nowhere close to being down or depressed. That segment has been going hog wild for awhile and will continue to do so. The era of "spec" buildings is absolutely toast, and with years of inventory on the markets right now, the remodel/retrofit segment looks very promising.
  • Surprising news on the decision in U.S, court to dismiss the lawsuit against the U.S. Green Building Council. I really thought the suit would have more legs, but in the end, the judge attacked the logic behind the suit and sided firmly with the USGBC. The fine folks at have a great recap with insights here. I don't think this is the end of attacks on USGBC. A lot of people still have issues with its programs and the overall value to true sustainability in our world. It will be an interesting one to continue to monitor.
  • Glass keeps falling off of buildings. The newest round is in Toronto, and that news has been bouncing around the Internet like wildfire. The bad thing is that, once again, this can be used as a negative mark against glass as a building product. As an industry, it would be nice to have at least a little run without someone beating on us.

Elsewhere in the very busy week that passed:

  • A hearty congrats to my pal Rich Porayko and his wife Tricia on the birth of their son Levi. I am sure the kid  is already taking after his Dad and hustling like crazy. Levi is their first child... Congrats!
  • A wish of good luck to Joe Krusienski as he heads off into new pastures, whatever they may be. I had the absolute honor of working with Joe for several years and there are not many who are better. They just don't make guys like Joe anymore, that is for sure. Hopefully we'll have a Joe K sighting at GlassBuild America in a few weeks.
  • Many thanks to Ted Knopp of McKenzie Glass in Oregon and James M. who noted on last week's blog that I mis-heard the wording on the video that I posted. I appreciate the catch and now know exactly what I did. I heard what I wanted to hear; what I assumed was said and just mixed it up. In any case, thank you guys for reading and for taking the time to post it. Much appreciated!
  • Also, thanks to Tish Oye of Glassworks in Seattle, Wash., for an awesome link about how architects love glass. You can read the piece here. To get you going, here's the first line: "Architects like to build with wood, masonry, concrete and steel, but most really love glass."

    Is that not cool or what?!?

Read on for links and video of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Last week, Glass Magazine linked to an amazing video story on glass that I somehow missed. After running across it today when working on this post, I had to make it my top story. The link was to a story done on MSNBC about glass, and it was fantastic. Granted, the majority of the piece was not about architectural or commercial glass, but there was enough in there to really put our industry in a positive light. At the end of the piece, legendary architect James Carpenter makes a great statement: "Glass will become more and more persuasive in our lives..."

We need to keep promoting and pushing that sentiment exactly. Glass has been getting a bum rap for years, and much of it unfairly so. Hopefully, with pieces like this; the continued amazing advances on the dynamic, energy, safety and decorative side of things; and hungry people out pushing, we'll keep turning the tide and changing any negative perceptions that remain. Check out the video below:


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

  • This past week, I was lucky enough to join an online "GlassChat" created by Social Media Consultant Patricia Linthicum, who runs the excellent "Looking at Glass" blog. The weekly online Twitter chat is getting more and more popular, and becoming a great resource to learn and build from. I got a kick out of seeing great insights flowing from tremendous people representing companies like Glasswerks, ICD, Glasslam, Gardner, Coral, Connors Sales and more. And don't worry, there was not even a sniff of anti-trust activities; it's basically a great interactive version of something you would follow here or in e-glass weekly. If you want to get in the conversation, there's a group on LinkedIn. Or, if you follow any of the above companies on Twitter, they can lead you there. You can also drop me a line.
  • Also saw a very good update online this week about changes to UFC codes and ASTM F2248. If you or your company is in the blast protection world, it is surely an update to look at and an issue to follow. More can be found clicking HERE. (H/T to the excellent JEI folks.)
  • Football: the pro version is now playing preseason and I am STILL not into it. Getting worried that I lost that groove. College ball is getting closer, and I am somewhat excited about that.
  • The phrase "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" dates back to the 1820's but continues to be relevant today. Though it can be frustrating, it is uplifting when your efforts are copied. Must mean you are doing something right, eh? Anyway, it has been great to be flattered lately.
  • So, we are basically a month away now from the show of the year, GlassBuild America. I am excited about it. Having the chance to see people again and network is crucial. And the opportunity to see the new products and innovations available is a must to help diversification efforts. No doubt, there is some excitement surrounding the event. Enthusiasm also is growing for the Glazing Executives Forum. The breakout session moderators have been announced and it's a who's who of intelligent and solid industry folks. Hope to see you there! 

Read on for links and clip of the week.


The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at

 The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Johnson Controls' Institute for Building Efficiency recently published the results of its fifth annual Energy Efficiency Indicator survey. Each year, the survey asks those responsible for energy use and real estate decisions about items ranging from management practices and investment plans to technology integration strategies. This year's results indicate a growing urgency to make buildings more energy efficient.

Interestingly, what also stood out were the participants' reported barriers to pursuing energy efficiency investments, including a lack of awareness regarding energy-saving opportunities and projects' inability to meet financial payback criteria.

I believe the glass industry is prepared to meet the growing need for energy efficient improvements. That being said, how can organizations and others who have a stake in this industry—architects, engineers and glazing contractors, to name a few—overcome these perceived barriers to increase future investments in energy efficiency improvement projects?

First and foremost, our industry needs to increase awareness of how proven glazing technologies can transform the building envelope into a real energy-saving opportunity. Once viewed as an energy efficiency "weak link," the time has come for glazing to transition from being part of the problem to part of the solution. The bottom line? Glass should be viewed as a key tool for improving a building's energy efficiency, lowering its carbon footprint, and decreasing cooling and heating expenses by as much as 30 percent.

Simply put, high performance glazing makes buildings more efficient, but not enough people know it. By making awareness a priority, the glazing industry can knock down a key barrier to energy efficiency investments. The increased urgency to make buildings more efficient is certainly a step in the right direction toward a greener and more sustainable future. Here's hoping the results of next year's EEI survey indicate that an increased awareness of glazing solutions is helping to make this future a reality. 

Bruce Lang is the vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Southwall Technologies, Palo Alto, Calif. He also is the president of Southwall Insulating Glass, LLC, a joint venture company established to manufacture energy-efficient insulating glass incorporating Southwall's Heat Mirror film technology. Write him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

My wife, Tammy, had a quizzical look on her face when I told her that I planned to write my first blog about my favorite t-shirt.

My favorite t-shirt―gray with a fading logo and a little oversized―is really nothing special, but I wear it around the house (and even out in public) much more than Tammy would like. Why do I like wearing it so much? Because of the story that comes with it.

Recently, while on a business trip I had the unfortunate circumstance of running over a dead deer in the middle of the freeway. Since I was only a mile or so from my hotel, I continued down the road at a cautious pace. I parked at the hotel and got out of the car in time to hear the last of the air escaping the tire. With a dinner appointment in less than an hour, the tire was quickly replaced with the donut that was in the trunk, and I went on my way.

After a meeting the next day I started to head home, at which point I wondered how far I should drive on the donut. A quick look in the car's user manual indicated that 50 miles was the recommended maximum. I then took the next exit off the freeway in an attempt to find a new tire.

I quickly came upon a rundown garage that had a tire sign in front of it. I pulled in and went inside. Did they have a tire to replace the flat one? Yes. Did they have a set of four? Yes, At a reasonable price? Yes. Now, the most important question: How long would it take to replace all four tires? I didn't want to wait the expected two hours. The gentleman told me they would have me on my way in 15 minutes. I was shocked and said yes right away.

The next thing I knew, a garage door flew open and a small army of men with floor jacks and air wrenches descended on my car right there in the parking lot. I could hear the new tires being placed on the rims and spin balanced. I watched in amazement as the new tires were placed on the car and they told me I was ready to go, all in less than 15 minutes. As I walked out the door, the gentleman handed me a t-shirt and thanked me for the business.

They certainly exceeded my expectations and gave me a t-shirt to remind me of the experience!

Going forward, my hope for this blog is that my words regarding manufacturing efficiency, organization and production flow can create an experience that will keep you reading. 


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