This past February when the president announced his Better Buildings Initiative, it sent a positive jolt through the industry. Fast-forwarding to the present, last Friday brought news of the next step: a presidential memorandum announcing the Better Buildings Challenge. This latest effort features a ton of very powerful companies and a lot of cash from them that really should push things in the right direction. The initiative now has $2 billion to use to upgrade federal buildings, as well as another $2 billion of private money (from those powerful companies I hinted to above) for energy efficiency projects in existing buildings. The improvement of existing buildings is a biggie as it plays into the hot retrofit segment. It also fills the huge hole that we have as a society in the form of older buildings that suck a ton of energy thanks to outdated and underperforming products. Hopefully, this initiative does not get bogged down or stuck in a game of political football. Too much good can come from it.
- I got painfully lost last week and did not have my GPS. All I can say is the GPS is the greatest invention ever. I will never get into a car without it. Plus, that means I'll never get to do the TV show "The Amazing Race" because I have zero sense of direction.
- The sale of Southwall to Solutia was formally completed last week. It will be fun to watch how this plays out. There's potential for some great synergy. I'm not sure how it will work, but teaming the likes of the awesome Aimee Davis and Julie Schimmelpenningh of Solutia with top performers like Bruce Lang and Tom Marsh at Southwall creates some insane possibilities.
- This past Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that contained an amendment to buy American-made solar products. The Buy American Solar Amendment will ensure that "Buy American" requirements apply to all photovoltaic devices that supply power to Department of Defense property or facilities. This will be big because the Department of Defense will be required to comply with this act. It also closes a previous loophole that amazingly allowed these properties to buy products from foreign entities. This could be a nice boon for the U.S. solar segment and for the folks in the glass industry who are working in it.
- Just a heads up on some fantastic technical resources available: Glass Magazine has some very helpful pieces available here. All I can say is it never hurts to have the knowledge. The smarter you can be in this competitive landscape, the better.
- Thank you to all who checked in on my brother on his hospital adventures. He was just released and is now taking the road back to recovery. Slowly but surely he'll be back at it, and hopefully no more issues come up!
- Normally, this would be in the links section, but this piece was too good. A very interesting read on the great depression, the "banksters" and the guy who brought them to justice. Very ironic as some parts of history really do repeat!
- Last this week: college football is winding down... and lost amongst the wild weekend of games was my alma mater Ohio U choking at their chance to win the MAC Championship. Brutal. Ohio had a 20-point lead at half, only to lose 23-20 at the gun. Fellow Bobcat and AGC Sales icon Rodger Ruff had to witness the carnage in person. Hopefully he's recovering, because that was painful.
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 MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.
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.