According to the Build America Initiative, approximately 75 percent of the infrastructure in the United States will need to be either renovated or replaced by the year 2030. At first glance I see the year 2030 and think, that’s a long way off. Then it hits me: time is flying, that is not really that far away anymore. As for the actual stat, I can truly believe it. Massive building growth in the 70s and 80s already is seeing signs of decay, and in our little world of glass and glazing, the amount of structures with old and poorly performing materials is mind blowing. So what’s the plan? Well that’s another problem; there doesn’t seem to be any cohesive or leading plan out there to address the issue.
The Build America group is surely a start and it has the backing of the Rockefeller Foundation and the White House, but that is not going to be enough. Not even close. To truly get in front of this situation and do what needs done, this needs massive buy in from trade groups across the spectrum (not just glass, but builder and development bodies), code organizations and the government. Will it happen? My guess: not any time soon. But the issue is out there and hopefully will spur some action.
- Maybe I shouldn’t be too hopeful to get government involved after all, especially after this past week and a special election in Michigan. The very off-season election, at a cost of 10 million dollars, featured a complex and confusing proposal that would increase one tax, reduce another and spread money around to several needs including roads and schools. The proposal was so poorly written and communicated that it went down to defeat 80 to 20! Think about that for a second. In this day and age of strict lines of right and left, this was something that a mass majority agreed on. Not sure you will ever see anything like that anywhere any time soon.
- The AIA show is this week in Atlanta. I am only hopping in and out for bit, so probably no big recap from me. Looking forward to seeing the floor, though, and getting a feel for the attitude of the attendees and exhibitors I do get to run into.
- Congrats to the gang at Guardian on the expansion of their Science and Technology Center. I have gotten the opportunity to visit and tour the original structure and it was amazing. Now this new addition sounds even more intense. I love that they went with Bagatelos Façade System and look forward to seeing it in action some day. Practicing what they preach is a great concept.
- Last this week, our industry had a cool connection to the first round of the recent NFL Draft. The first round pick of the Cleveland Browns, Danny Shelton, is the first cousin of Jimmy Hanczor of Binswanger Glass. I’ve gotten to work with Jimmy over the years and he’s an incredibly good guy, so I’m obviously thrilled for him and his family on one of their own making the big time. Oh and our video of the week features Mr. Shelton and his reaction after he was picked. Good stuff!
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.