Monday, September 12, 2016

Many times in the past 11 years I have hammered in this space on the lack of respect our industry sometimes gets. And while some of that disrespect may be warranted, most of it is not. As an industry, we do a very solid and admirable job of working with the code bodies, offering insight, and in the end producing products that meet and exceed all standards set. And it’s an unending process, too. The groups that work for our industry, with tons of volunteers (and always needing and wanting more of those), keep setting the bar higher and higher.

Some examples? I am excited about the upcoming launch of from the NGA. That will be a huge and helpful educational tool that everyone can benefit from. I am always into what IGMA has going on. When I read this week about their upcoming education conference I was excited because one of the main goals there is continuously improving long term performance of one of the crucial products we all produce and install. I’ve covered what GANA has done and is doing many times here. I’ve also noted my hopes and appreciation for the NACC and their angle to certify glazing contractors. That can be something that really makes a difference when outsiders question our skills. Add in the great work being done by AAMA, AEC (more on them below) and others, and you have to feel good about the way we go about business.


  • Speaking of AEC, this incredible story included dogged work by that group in chasing down an aluminum stockpile in the Mexican desert. The fabulous Twitter feed of John Wheaton (@JohnLWheaton1) led many others and me to it and it truly is a must read. 
  • Congrats to Mary Avery of Tubelite on her promotion to VP of Marketing. Mary is off the charts talented and her work with Tubelite over the years has been smart, creative and effective. Awesome to see her efforts recognized! Plus I do usually love it when a marketing person gets the pat on the back… you know since it’s usually marketing’s fault for everything. (Inside marketing joke…)
  • Next weekend I leave for Germany and glasstec, so next week’s post will be focused on that and what I hope to see and accomplish. But the comical thing for me is I started to pull some clothes to pack and it hit me that I don’t think I have worn a coat and tie or suit since the 2014 glasstec. Maybe once or twice, but surely not often. 
  • Speaking of clothes, but with an industry spin, I have four shirts--all same make and model--yet all fit completely differently. One is gigantic, one too small and so on. Can you imagine if we as an industry did stuff like that? I’d be thrilled if I could get shirts within the tolerances we allow for tempered.
  • Last this week, it's rare any more for me to look forward to a new show on broadcast TV, but I am. “Designated Survivor” with my old pal Kiefer Sutherland of “24” fame is the star in the ABC drama. The previews look fantastic, so I’m hopeful I’ll have a new show to get lost in.

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

Max Perilstein 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 6, 2016

Requirements for product life cycle declarations are officially on the books. Is your company ready? Calls for life cycle assessments are appearing in everything from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program to ASHRAE and the International Green Construction Code. For glass and glazing manufacturers looking to compete for sustainable building projects, completing LCAs of products will be essential.

“Ultimately, the industry is moving toward more life cycle thinking,” says Helen Sanders, vice president of technical business development for SageGlass. “It’s not just, ‘am I saving energy in the building.’ It’s, ‘am I making the right choices with the materials I’m using?’”

A key driver of this trend is LEED Version 4, Sanders says. As of this month, LEED v3 certification will be completely phased out in lieu of LEED v4, which provides points for LCAs in the Materials and Resources category. Life cycle has also made its way into IgCC and ASHRAE 189.1, which are in the process of being merged. The green construction codes allow users to follow a performance path that calls for a whole building LCA. “If someone wants to pursue a whole building LCA, they will come to you for information on the life cycle of your product,” Sanders says. 

For several years, industry organizations have been working to prepare for these LCA requirements for glass and glazing products. The groups have developed Product Category Rules for numerous industry product types, from flat glass to fabricated glass to window systems. These PCRs provide the framework that allows manufacturers to develop Environmental Product Declarations about the life cycle of their individual products. 

In April 2014, the Glass Association of North America and NSF International developed a Flat Glass PCR. In September 2015, after years of work, a joint association task group published the Window PCR. The PCR, developed by GANA, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, covers single windows, skylights, curtain wall and storefront, for residential, commercial and institutional buildings. And, in August, IGMA and GANA officials announced the approval and release of the PCR for Processed Glass.

“The completion of the PCR for Processed Glass is the successful culmination of a combined industry effort spanning many years that started with the Flat Glass PCR, and then the Window PCR,” said IGMA Executive Director Margaret Webb, in the announcement. “This PCR was developed as a core product with processes for coated, laminated, heat-treated, decorative and insulating glass. The industry can now provide credible EPDs for their customers.”

The design and building industry is moving toward product transparency, asking manufactures to make life cycle disclosures, and these industry PCRs allow manufacturers to provide this information. So, is your company ready? 

Katy Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Since we are coming off Labor Day weekend I thought it was appropriate to talk about…labor! More specifically, the continuing battle to fill jobs in our industry. And actually the search for workers expands to an entire construction segment. We are surely not alone. What can we do other than talk and complain about it? One thing that is happening, but thanks to our bizarre political climate right now, I am not sure it will be pulled through, is a move in Congress for a few acts that can bring additional training and push to segments like ours. One is the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act and another Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity for Careers Act, or the Four Cs for Careers Act, and both have potential to at least create programs that could get more people into our systems. In addition, the Perkins Act, which was created to support the needs of industries like construction, is on the table for when Congress returns this fall. Not a lock for major success obviously, but a start. And we have to start somewhere.

Meanwhile, as I was preparing this, I came across a quote that I think makes sense with regards to how we get and then KEEP our employees:

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” – Richard Branson

This plays to culture and many companies in our industry really do this right, but it is something that is always evolving. You always have to be on top of the situation. Hopefully between the acts above, more education and training, and companies embracing a positive culture, we can at least tread water and then gain on the employee needs. But a long road ahead for sure….


  • Another angle of employee/industry concern: health insurance costs. It’s going to keep getting uglier. This story from USA Today turned my stomach (but no way will I go to a doctor for that; can’t afford it!) Anyway, as most of you know, the rates will keep going up and up some more. This is a massive issue that somehow now seems completely off the radar really. I will note many companies are doing as much creatively as they can to combat the rate increases. As a brief example, I was very impressed when I heard/saw that my friends at Binswanger Glass had introduced some proactive measures to support better health for all in the efforts to keep rates under control. I am sure many others are doing that too. Because in this day and age, you have to.

Ok enough of the bad news… moving on to our world. 


  • I love innovative products. And innovative usages of products. I’ve written about many here like BIPV, dynamics, digital printing, Childgard glass, privacy and so on. The latest innovation I learned about at the recent GANA event is via the gang at Viracon: Glass that can protect the interior from cyber-spies. Basically someone with the right equipment can position outside an office building and attach to the Wi-Fi inside and with nefarious intentions do serious harm. So it was cool to see a product developed and advanced (as I know there’s been similar in the past) that can combat that. Props to Ron McCann and the team there on this one. Good stuff.
  • Just a heads up, the latest version of LEED--LEED v4--is now ready to be the only version of LEED accepted in the marketplace. Many still use the LEED 2009 and that has been allowed as LEED v4 has been rolled out. But come October, that option won’t be there. If you are not up to speed on new LEED and are active in getting requests for info or submittals for it, you may want to brush up on your research.
  • Last this week, this was just the last Sunday until February without NFL Football. So that season now begins. I am much more of a college guy now thanks to my absolute dislike for Roger Goodell. But I still follow a bit and I know many of you need my prediction for the Super Bowl. This year I am going with Cam Newton and the Panthers to win it all over my pal James Wright’s Cincinnati Bengals. 


Read on for links of the week... 

Max Perilstein 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, 2016

In my last glassblog post, I presented a variety of observations about projects, trends and issues regarding glass, glazing, cladding, enclosures, façades and building envelope systems from the perspective of a professional services provider, working on various curtain wall and cladding projects—small and large; custom and standard; consultative, design and engineering—throughout the United States. This blog continues that theme, looking at topics such as Professional Engineer seals and drawings, jobsite observations, glazing scopes and more.

1. PE seals and drawings
PE sealed calculations are required on almost all curtain wall projects, but without bridging the gap to the next step and requiring PE Sealed shop drawings, there is no guarantee that the two products are coordinated. In fact, if only one item should require PE review and seal, it should be shop drawings. Those are the documents from which the wall is fabricated and constructed.

How many times have we seen shop drawings not match the calculations? (Answer – many times.) This is especially true if calculations are being provided by a third party or outside engineer, and the shop drawings are being provided by the client or manufacturer. There is no guarantee that the drawings match the calculations unless they’ve got a stamp on them.

What’s the point to the above? Doesn’t it cost more money to get PE sealed drawings? Yes. But not much more, and not compared to the cost of an incorrect installation. The installation should match the intent and detail in the shop drawings, which should match the calculations. Clients should build this into the cost of the project. It can also be considered a value to GCs and owners to reduce risk.

2. PE seal assurances
A PE Seal still doesn’t ensure that the wall has been properly detailed to accommodate resistance to air and water infiltration, or thermal continuity. A PE seal covers the structural adequacy of mullion framing, infill materials (usually), connections, anchors and movements. Air, water and thermal issues are separate “system design” or “system engineering” issues. And they are equally important. Water intrusion is far more common than a structural failure. Plus water is quickly visible and has a broad impact on interior finishes, comfort, degradation issues and life-cycle. Shop drawings need to communicate seal line continuity including transitions to adjacent systems.

Even if a project has PE sealed calculations and shop drawings, along with a properly detailed wall system, there’s no guarantee that the wall will be installed in the same manner. There’s also no guarantee that the drawings have outlined every occurrence or condition in the field. Folks in the field are critical to providing continuity from design to installation, but collaboration between field crews and design professionals should be encouraged. Both need the other.

3. Jobsite observation
Jobsite observation by the engineer of record or by a consultant can seem costly on the front end, but it’s far less costly than a forensic investigation due to a failure after the job has been installed. This is not uncommon especially on mid-rise buildings with multiple façade elements all having to be tied together.

It would be wise for building codes in the United States to require site observations (special inspections like ICC Chapter 17) for cladding and curtain wall projects, which are the realm of the “specialty engineer.”

4. Glazing scopes
When a design professional is quoting work to a glazing subcontractor, two scopes of work are important to define. 

  • The first is the exact scope of work that the glazing sub will be undertaking and for which they want work products from the design professional. 
  • The second is to specify the work products and services requested, such as, design-assist, performance mock up drawings and calculations, project shop drawings, calculations, fabrication drawings, thermal analysis, and others. 

In addition, each scope should clarify, to the fullest extent possible, what actual deliverable will be received. Everyone has a different version of what a shop drawing should communicate. Defining expectations in advance is important. 

Even with that definition, engineering and design shouldn’t take place in a “box.” Frequent interaction between stakeholders, including weekly huddles, video or face-to-face meetings, along with project plan definition and phasing is all critical to keep a project on track and to align with expectations and requirements. 

5. Project plan
It’s all about “the project plan.” The better defined the plan, the better the results. Engineering is “the tail on the dog.” It’s subject to the project plan and design criteria. Engineering executes the plan and should seek to find value spaces and optimization within the plan.

6. Collaboration
Finally, collaboration is the best way to create an environment for a successful outcome on projects.

John Wheaton is the founder & co-owner of Wheaton & Sprague Engineering, Inc., also known as Wheaton Sprague Building Envelope. The firm provides full service design, engineering and consulting services for the curtain wall/building envelope/building enclosure industry, and works at “Creating Structure” for clients. He can be reached at and on Twitter, @JohnLWheaton1. 

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.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

This past week GANA held it’s Fall Conference in Kansas City. As always with events like these, there’s a great deal of information and education (as well as primo networking) available. So a few takeaways from that event…

If you haven’t heard the acronyms LCA or EPD, get ready. You will certainly be hearing more from them and about them in the future. LCA stands for Life Cycle Analysis and EPD is for Environmental Product Declaration. This is a trend that started a few years ago that boasts more transparency in a product's environmental make-up. Green building rating systems are a driver of it, but so are architects and building owners. Mark Silverberg of Technoform, who always leads thoughtful discussions on serious energy issues, was great in taking the audience through the options. This will be an area to watch. But I will also throw it out to you my dear readers: Are you seeing LCA or EPD in your specifications?

In the same session that discussed the LCA/EPD, Dr. Tom Culp gave some updates on the various code and ratings bodies. The push to be sustainable seems to getting more organized with two groups combining standards, and I liked the fact that one standard has an angle that really promotes the use of dynamic glazing. Anyone who knows me knows I am a fan of that technology, so seeing it in the approach here was a daymaker. 

I learned that the NFRC hired a consulting firm to, among other things, “help them understand the commercial manufacturers value chain and what will encourage them to adopt the program.”  I was among many in our industry who told them these things way back in 2004, arguing that the commercial world was different than the residential. In the end, it seems so much of what our industry tried to teach them was ignored. I believe they could've saved themselves a ton of money and resources if they would have listened. Despite this most recent move, I am not sure they will ever really want to understand the commercial world.

The conference also featured a tour of the AGC Float Glass facility in Spring Hill, Kansas. For me it was the seventh float plant I have toured, and I still learned new things. The AGC folks really did a tremendous job with this effort; the plant was spotless and impressive. Major thanks to Gus Trupiano of AGC for setting this up. 

Finally, Kansas City also featured some great glass and glazing viewing. Really unique buildings, excellent usage of glass for the most part, and the downtown area was very nice. 


  • Next up on the North American show/conference schedule is GlassBuild America and the Glazing Executives Forum. You seriously can never have enough education, information or networking in your life.
  • But before GlassBuild America dominates the landscape, I am excited about getting to attend my second glasstec in Germany. That show kicks off in a few weeks and now that I have one under my belt, I am pumped to take the show on again. I look forward to reporting back on here some of what I see and experience. And if you are headed over there, I look forward to running into you along the way!
  • Last this week, the always great Twitter feed of Conners Sales Group (@ConnersSales) had an incredible link posted a few days ago. Check this one out. It is an “All Glass Office,” and when I say “All Glass” I mean ALL GLASS. Now I love glass. Live for it. Want it everywhere. But I have to admit this actually was even too much for me--at least for living or working in. Obviously if I was the fabricator or glazier, I would LOVE these jobs.

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

Max Perilstein 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, 2016

Now in its fifth year, the Glass Magazine Top Metal Companies list spotlights the largest metal fabrication companies in North America. Highlighted in the November issue of Glass Magazine, the Top Metal Companies include those that manufacture, fabricate and sell curtain wall, storefront and entrance, commercial interior and exterior railings, aluminum composite panels and exterior sun-control products to the glass and glazing industry.

For the first time, the November issue of Glass Magazine will also feature top-ranking metal finishers in its inaugural Top Metal Finishers list.

While the Top Metal and Metal Finishing lists rank companies by sales volume, they will also provide timely information regarding the state of the metals market as a whole, based on market statistics related to sales volume, product demand and acquisition plans.

The 2016 lists will showcase the successes, challenges, changes and opportunities within the commercial metals industry. Featuring specific metal company achievements, including recent 
projects, the list provides an up-to-date look at the metal industry landscape.

If your company belongs on the Top Metal Companies, or the Top Metal Finishers, lists, be sure to complete the appropriate survey by Sept. 5, and contact me if you have any questions about participating.

Bethany Stough is managing editor of Glass Magazine, write her at

Monday, August 22, 2016

Innovation and technology. Those are words we throw around quite a bit in our world. In some parts of the industry, there’s actual meaning and weight behind them, but in others, it’s empty terming, something that people use to just make themselves look good. On the whole though, I think the majority of the glass and glazing industry truly “walks the walk” when it comes to these terms and making advancements in what they do and how they do it. Now our main base products- float glass and aluminum- may be as basic as they come, but it’s what we all do to them that make it special. And each time I am out and about and see what people are doing or when I am sent new info, it really makes me excited to see how things are progressing. I do believe we have some great things going. On that note, I’ll be at the GANA Fall Conference this coming week, so I am looking forward to seeing what else I can learn and I’ll share here next post.


  • Part of my thought process above came thanks to the latest issue of Glass Magazine, which was focused on “Next Generation Manufacturing for Next Generation Products.” It was a great read that featured several pieces that gave neat insight into product and plant advancements and technologies.  The deep dive into the new plant at Sage was especially riveting to me. Worth the read and nice touch by adding a section for some of the key people involved in building that plant. Good for those hard working folks to get some pub!
  • Also in this issue, another fantastic look at succession planning with a few pieces and a pretty interesting case study. Great content overall. Check it out!
  • And my for my “ad of the month” I am going with Harbison Walker International.  I never heard of them, did not know what they do, but their ad stopped me in my tracks, made me read and want to see more. Well done to whomever was the brains behind that one!
  • Some sad news this week with the passing of Joe Landsverk of Wood’s Powr-Grip. Really good man and he was very encouraging to me both when I started my business and whenever I would run into him at GlassBuild America. My condolences to his family.
  • A while back we covered the whole “transparent wood” is better than glass story and it seemingly popped up again this week with some coverage online. I do not view it as a major threat to our way of life, but should be a warning that the rest of the world is always working on what’s next. (See, more innovation and technology is needed!) Here’s the story and it includes video too. 
  • Last this week, the new iPhone is due to come out in the next few weeks, and rumor is there will be no area for a headphone jack. So wireless, Bluetooth or headphones that connect to the charge port will be it. This is a monumental change. Usually Apple changes the way people do things, but this will be one to watch to see how it works. For me, I do not like Bluetooth headsets: just can’t hear as well and hate having to remember to charge yet another device. 

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

Max Perilstein 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, 2016

If you missed the excellent blog on tradeshows by Ron Crowl of Fenetech last week, I strongly suggest you check it out. I thought in the very quick and creative way he wrote it, he got the message across on the importance of tradeshows. It’s something that I have been harping on for a while and will continue to do so. If you are not attending these events, with the next big one in the U.S. being GlassBuild America, you are really doing yourself a disservice personally and professionally. 

One key part of GlassBuild that you do no want to miss is the Glazing Executives Forum. I was thrilled to see that Sapa jumped on board this past week as a sponsor. They have done so in the past, so to see them back was exciting. I truly appreciate and respect the way they support the industry with events like this and their internal educational pieces as well. Props obviously also must go to the others that are sponsoring: YKK (loyal sponsor of this for several years), Tremco, Ergo Robotics, Roto Frank, and Novagard Solutions. As an industry guy, thank you for doing your part for our world.


  • I know I have been going overboard on the econ numbers lately, but here’s a great story to share on some of the metrics not watched as closely as well as some specific looks at markets and trends. Worth the read.
  • This may be an old piece but thanks to old friend Scott Goodman of AGC for sending along. The suspended pool in London. Does anyone know, has this been built yet?
  • Congrats to Richard Wilson of AGNORA for being a finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year contest going on in Ontario. AGNORA surely has done some innovative things that are being recognized. Plus I love when our industry has people noticed in overall award categories and not just industry centric. Makes us all look good. Best of luck, Richard!
  • And while we’re on the path of congrats, a hearty one to the McClatchey family of SAF. They just celebrated their 70th year in business. Every interaction I have ever had with this company is always positive, plus they are another company that seemingly is always exhibiting and supporting every show. Congrats, gang!
  • I have to talk Olympics and just how enjoyable the first week was. Some incredible performances and stories. Katie Ledecky is off the charts. Anthony Ervin, winning a gold 16 YEARS after doing it the first time and at the "ancient" age of 35 was awesome. Maya DiRado wowed me. And the two Simones. Manuel and Biles were historical difference makers. Last but not least, Michael Phelps. Wow. And no way do I think he’s actually retiring after this Olympiad either. The second week of these games will surely have a long way to go to catch the excitement of the first!
  • Last this week, the annual “Old Farmers Almanac” Forecast is now out for this winter. Remember it has an 80 percent accuracy rate. This blurb from Country Living Magazine sums it up:

Every region of the U.S. will be hit with a different type of terrible. The Northeast and Midwest can expect "colder than normal" temperatures and precipitation is supposed to be "above normal." If you're in the Pacific Northwest, you can expect a lot of rain and chilly weather. And in the Intermountain and Appalachian regions, where ski enthusiasts would actually like cold temperatures and lots of snow, it's set to largely be warmer and less snowy than usual.

The story did note the South would have a very mild winter. So good for all of you who live there. As for the rest of us, here’s rooting for this forecast to be wrong!

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

Max Perilstein 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, 2016

Like me, I’m sure you’ve described to others your profession in the ‘glass industry’ with the requisite blank stares and polite head nods that ensue from the listener. We need to rethink our description. In reality, I would argue you are part of a dynamic and exciting industry that exemplifies American values and success. 

Each day, I have the pleasure of reading about the myriad ideas our industry is actively pursuing. Some of these ideas will be proven successful, and as a result better the lives of the end user, the new hire at the successful company, or future innovations that are a subsequent result. The ongoing success of the architectural glass business has always depended on developing higher and higher performing materials, all born from your ideas.

Reading through various historical accounts of glass making, I’m struck by three broad innovation trends, which involve improvements in glass chemistry, production and systems. Chemistry improvements in glass include the addition of lead oxide to make glass more attractive and easier to work with, while production improvements include the invention of methods for producing plate glass and eventually float glass, to name a few.

At the same time, our industry has excelled at pioneering ever better systems to use our products to create functional and beautiful architecture--think curtain walls, point-supported glazing and other systems that combine high-performing components into beneficial assemblies that stretch the possibilities of building design and performance.

The systems innovation tradition continues today with new systems coming to market, including more aesthetic options for fire-rated glass assemblies. The availability of butt-glazed, exterior silicone glazed curtain walls, or fire-rated glass floors are a tremendous leap forward from the 100-square-inch panel of wired glass of only a few decades ago.

Most importantly, these industry ideas and innovations come from people of all backgrounds and walks of life, freely pursuing their own vision of betterment. This is especially true in America, and more specifically, one that our glass industry and people exemplify well. Your ideas, innovation and improvement are what make this wonderful country tick for all of us: thank you!

So the next time someone asks you what you do for a living, you could easily say “I’m an inventor, entrepreneur or innovator making this world a better place.” But then again, saying you’re in the ‘glass industry’ already accomplishes all three. Let’s keep the great ideas coming.

Jeff Razwick is the president of Technical Glass Products, a supplier of fire-rated glass and framing systems, and other specialty architectural glazing. He writes frequently about the design and specification of glazing for institutional and commercial buildings, and is a past chair of the Glass Association of North America’s Fire-Rated Glazing Council. He can be reached at 800/426-0279.

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 9, 2016

I know it seems I am constantly talking about forecasts and economic conditions, and it’s probably because I am. Basically I get asked a few times a week about the economy, about the different projections online, and about the different data points, so I like sharing it here. This week had more of the same because several stories came out with reviews of both the first six months of 2016 and more recent month-to-month reporting. The story tones were mixed, mostly because the data was. 

On the positive side, the AIA released a mid-year update, and while noting several roadblocks current and possible, the report was very confident in a positive finish to 2016 and an entire 2017. 

On the flip side, Dodge had their midyear piece and was not as confident, focusing more on the fact that we had fantastic growth and it’s slowing down a bit from that.  Add to that the release that construction spending went down for a third straight month, and you could start sensing concern. The analysts I follow and trust are still very much in the positive camp and actually expect some of these reports to be revised up after further review. A good, quick piece from Bloomberg spells some of it out. Plus we are actually still ahead of 2015 by 6 percent. Basically we are quibbling over how much growth and not just staying positive. In addition, the mid-year consensus has growth predicted to finish at almost 6 percent this year AND next.

Still, the memories of 2009 and 2010 are amazingly fresh in many of our minds and the time it took to really get cranking again seemed to be forever. So whenever we have these blips on the radar, it does cause some angst. Bottom line for me right now is we’re in a good place. Let’s keep rolling but continue to monitor the trends.

One item that can and will have an effect, but is still unknown, is the U.S. Presidential election. In normal cycles a Presidential election has an effect of some type. For those of us living in the U.S., this cycle is as far from normal as you can get. So that is surely an item to always have in the back of your head.


  • I am surely one who tries to support anything sustainable, but I have a question for those of you experts out there. I am online ordering tickets for a few upcoming ballgames. The site notes in order to “stay green” that paper tickets are unavailable. OK that makes sense.  ut then they note, mobile and electronic entry are not available so you need to “print your tickets at home.” So my question is, how are we being more sustainable if I print the tickets vs. the venue printing?  
  • Fun picture-laden piece that came via the great Twitter feed of Viracon’s Garret Henson (@Viracon_Garret) on fritted glass. I love looking at the buildings and usage of glass, but I will say the article is a bit shortsighted. There are many more options than they listed or focused on to meet these aesthetic goals, and I would’ve liked to have seen them mentioned. Despite that glaring omission, I love when glass is shown off like this. I just may have to do my own splashy photo piece showing the options!
  • On that note of great looking glass, I really enjoyed the blog post from Moon Shadow's Kris Iverson last week on the Glassblog. Clear, concise and helpful piece, and yet another reminder that communication rules.
  • Last this week, The Olympics are underway. If you can remember, this was the one that the U.S. badly wanted for Chicago. The effort fell short back in 2009 when the games were awarded, but can you imagine IF Chicago would’ve won? With the security shown at four-day events like political conventions, I could only imagine the mess Chicago would’ve been during this. Oh, and with an Olympiad that close, I would’ve done everything to go, too… I know my pal Tom O’Malley of Clover Architectural with his Chicago connections would’ve taken great care of me!

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

Max Perilstein 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.

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