glassblog

Monday, March 31, 2014

Last summer we invited a group of architects to Technical Glass Products to discuss strategies for improving building envelope performance. One of the questions on the table was how to optimize curtain walls and façades to address peak loads and total energy usage. While solutions ranged from hyper-insulated glazing that could be operated by users, to improved energy modeling, the success of these strategies kept coming back to how the building is used. 

Too often, high-performance glazing applications miss the mark because performance and use don’t align. This directly impacts people’s perception of glass. If a building has an expansive, double-glazed curtain wall with exceptional solar control and insulating capabilities, but all people remember is the heat and glare that enters through a different window near their desk, then glass loses credibility. 

So, how can the industry develop better glazing solutions that don’t favor performance outcomes over people? An important starting point is to engage the building owner and design team on how the building will be used.  

The more complete your understanding of how a building owner or architect envisions occupants using a building, the better your ability to tailor glass and framing products to meet multiple needs like occupant comfort, task and performance goals such as energy efficiency and life safety. Providing key decision makers with glazing solutions that provide widespread, functional value can also help products from being value-engineered out of the project later. Ultimately, this helps ensure the right product is used for the job.

Honest talk in the planning stage can also help the building owner and architect set realistic expectations. How often will people be near the perimeter of the building? How will user control for operable windows or shades get communicated to building occupants? Is reducing the glazing area necessary to improve energy efficiency? Glaziers and suppliers that identify and work through these questions are better equipped to make product or design adjustments that get the system closer to design and performance goals. 

As Whitney Austin Gray, research and innovation director for international architecture firm, Cannon Design, said in a recent Glass Magazine article, “energy versus health should not be a tradeoff.”

By getting involved early, the glass industry can work to ensure future buildings will have large windows and curtain walls, be filled with warm, natural light and support energy efficiency goals and occupant wellbeing.  

Jeff Razwick is the president of Technical Glass Products (TGP), 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 (past) chairs the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Fire-Rated Glazing Council (FRGC). Contact him 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, March 25, 2014

When I boarded my plane to New Orleans last week to attend Glass Processing Automation Days, I expected to attend an informative, well-organized event where I would make connections with a wider net of companies and learn more about fabrication equipment. And I did. 

But, when I found myself walking with GPAD sponsors and attendees down the middle of Canal Street in a police-escorted jazz band parade headed to the Creole Queen riverboat, I quickly―and happily―adjusted my expectations. While GPAD is designed to educate attendees on the latest glass processing equipment and software technology, it also presents an opportunity for attendees to foster the family-like relationships of the glass industry. Competitors walking side by side, sharing stories of the past, present and future of the glass industry they all love. 

“The world isn’t standing still; if your business isn’t moving forward, then it’s going nowhere,” said Ron Crowl, president of GPAD organizer FeneTech, during his opening remarks at the 2014 GPAD, held March 20-21 in New Orleans. By the end, one presenter summarized the event, saying, "you can assess if you want to be on the cutting edge, sit back and watch others take the lead or end up on the bleeding edge." 

This year’s 101 speakers and attendees—from as far as Australia and Italy to as near as New Orleans—were a testament to improving business. From the thorough presentations complete with videos and live demonstrations, to the shared memories, jokes and stories from a whole group of what we at Glass Magazine like to affectionately call “glass geeks,” the tone of the event was positive and refreshing, focused on diversification to make business better. 

New-to-the-industry Chip Rogers, president of Woonsocket Glass & Mirror Co. in Rhode Island, perhaps said it best: “It feels great to be with a company that’s actually doing well and growing.” For him, GPAD was precisely what event organizers strive for: a great learning experience. “We made many friends and future business partners. We plan on attending more industry events in the future where we can share our 60+ years of experience with others while learning which directions others are heading.” And isn’t that just what we need?

Stough is assistant editor of Glass Magazine, write her at bstough@glass.org.

Monday, March 24, 2014

How can you really tell when talk is cheap or genuine? To me, when it comes to talking about the economy or the success and quality of business, there are usually telling signs. When people use words like “hopeful” or “looking like it’s going to be…” when asked how business is, those are signs of cheap talk, in my opinion. When times are truly good, the answers are emphatic and the energy is real. At BEC, I am happy to say, the positive nature of attendees' body language and comments was clearly real. While not everyone in our industry is rolling along yet, and we know we have some sore spots, I think we are finally, really, headed in the right direction.

More from BEC…

  • As for the event itself, it was a major success. I have said all along that events like BEC and GlassBuild America have to be supported and successful for the good of the industry. So if you came to BEC, we’ll see you in the fall at GlassBuild, and if you missed BEC, you simply can’t afford to miss GlassBuild now. 
  • I learned a lot from all of the strong speakers. Before the conference, I had never heard of VUCA, but Dick Beuke of PPG explained the process in his BEC presentation. VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity, and all of those items have a serious effect on the business climate. Understanding them, working through them, and overcoming them are crucial for success. The other main highlight for me was Mic Patterson of Enclos, who provided very insightful and meaningful information that had every attendee talking afterwards. I got to meet Mic in person for the first time after and that was very cool. While we sometimes end up on opposite sides of issues, I have immense respect for him. 
  • The day two keynote speaker, Ron Jaworski, sponsored by Guardian Industries, did not disappoint. The energy and enthusiasm he shows on ESPN is not an act. The guy just brings it. And his piece, mixing football stories and business lessons, was excellent. It was a speech that those of us who are not Ivy League grads could really grasp and understand. He imparted lessons that could be utilized in everyday business.  
  • At the end of the day, all of the speakers brought value, and that's huge. Congrats to the brilliant Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning, who as head of the BEC division did a great job in pulling it all together and making it work. I wish Henry Taylor of Kawneer (past BEC chair) could’ve been there to see it, as Henry skillfully steered the ship through the roughest waters possible, and he would’ve been excited to see this year's event.
  • Others I saw and spoke with: I flew in on same plane as the Guardian team, all good folks with a company that continues to support our industry. One of my new favorites for most intelligent and biggest credit to our world is John Wheaton of Wheaton Sprague. That guy is tremendous and a true plus for our industry. He was on a consultant panel that also included Stephane Hoffman and Tony Childress. That panel could’ve gone on for hours. Also, always nice to see the classy Tracy Robbins of Walters and Wolf, as well as old friend and sports savant Joe Carlos of TriView. Seeing Dave Helterbran out and about was especially awesome since he’s battled some health issues. He looked great and had that classic smile going as always. Mark Spencer of SAPA was in the mix and I know at least one person did confuse him for football star Howie Long. Running into Garret Henson for the first time in a long time was a pleasure, as well as getting to see his Viracon cohort Seth Madole. The Pacific Northwest is always well represented, especially with the new Washington Glass Association leader Bill Coady of Guardian working the room with style. Seeing and working on the fabrication panel with my old co-worker Kirk Johnson was a joy, as was seeing and talking briefly with his Hartung Glass company-mate Nick Sciola.
  • The day-and-a-half event went too fast, and I wasn't able to talk with everyone I wanted to. Hopefully, I will catch up with them at GlassBuild America in September if not sooner. Once again though, the bottom line is these events matter. Being able to learn and network matter, and if you want to grow your business and yourself, you simply can’t miss these.

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 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.

Monday, March 17, 2014

“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” —Peter Drucker

Who is the 'indispensable man" within your organization? Are you that key person? Can you become the leader who makes the difference in your business day in and day out for years?

This afternoon, I will attend the visitation for Bill ‘Chillie’ Childress, who was Bacon & Van Buskirk’s general manager, production manager and glazier for more than 50 years and three generations of family ownership. Chillie was a wild, ornery, outgoing, Arkansas-born kid who was raised in small-town Midwestern corn country, found discipline in the Marine Reserves and construction industry, and rose up through our ranks as shopman, glazier and into the office to become that Indispensable Man.

Known to enjoy his time off as much as he did his work, Chillie was a tall, gregarious, salty, larger-than-life S.O.B. who barely made it out of high school, and knew everyone in Central Illinois he ever met. Chillie loved the routine of rising early and jobbing out the glaziers, pushing the shopmen to get the trucks loaded towards the end of the day, and annoying and harassing the office staff. He loved being organized, telling hilarious stories, enjoying the attention to detail we must have in this business, and doing what he could to keep the general contractors happy.

Was Chillie perfect? No, and he’d be the first to say so. As a kid, he loved basketball but had to go to two different high schools to finish up. In his teen years, Chillie and his buddies would go out at night and get drunk. The next morning, my grandfather would have to go to his house to drag him into work. Chillie would sneak out his back window and beat my grandpa back to the shop, as if he had been there for awhile. In time, his humor, big personality, and the Marines helped bring out Chillie’s natural leadership qualities. When it was obvious he had a passion for the business, had found personal discipline, and had that unique trait that others looked up to, Chillie was given opportunities to learn the business…and he made the most of them.

Chillie’s consistent competitive drive, attention to detail, outgoing personality, desire to learn and day-to-day leadership made him that key person from the late 1960’s through the early 1990’s who helped take Bacon & Van Buskirk from a small paint and glass shop to a strong regional, commercial storefront, curtain-wall and window business.

If my grandfather and father had the vision and business acumen to buy the bus, and others sold the tickets, Chillie was the bus driver. He’d make the personal phone calls or meet after work in the bar to sell the work; he got the submittals together, ordered the material, got the glaziers together, ran the jobs and billed the jobs out with a single invoice. He did it all, got it done, and put a sense of urgency to it. They were HIS jobs, and you knew it. Get with the program, or get out of the way…NOW.

Effective leadership in business changes. Today, the contract glazing business seems like it’s more about risk, complicated construction techniques, effective teambuilding, division of responsibility, sophisticated decision-making, pay requests and pursuit of accounts receivable.

The urgent, personal "handshake is your bond" sales methods, dictatorial ‘Mad Men’ authority style of management, and singular do-it-all aspects of the business have given way to market analysis, constant price-shopping, CAD, BIM, endless transmittals and resubmittals, emails, and multiple responsibilities by team members.

Could Chillie adapt in today’s contract glazing world? Yes. He helped bring on computer estimating and finally understood the advantages of shop fabrication versus field fabrication. Chillie probably would have always had problems with email, though. The older folks in our business recognize the larger-than-life ‘Chillies’ who led the transition from the plate glass business of the 20th Century into the modern, technical 21st Century. Let’s appreciate those who paved the way for us in the industry today and let’s learn from them.

Leadership is a gift that few have naturally, or can develop. Decide now that you’ll become the leader, and make the difference for your organization. Chillie made the difference for Bacon & Van Buskirk, and did it for decades.

“Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” — General George Patton

Rod Van Buskirk is the third-generation owner of Bacon & Van Buskirk Glass Co., with locations in Champaign and Springfield, Ill. A past NGA Chairman, Rod looks quarterly at the industry from the middle of nowhere, steals ideas from anyone he can and pretends to know what he’s talking about. Rod invites your comments as you are certainly smarter than he is.

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, March 17, 2014

I think it’s pretty obvious that I am a very big “support the industry” sort of guy. I believe that the stronger our industry is as a whole, the better it is for all. I believe the industry support—especially in the past year or so—has been great, but it needs to be better. We need more participation at all levels, big and small. So if you are not coming to events like BEC or GlassBuild America, you are not only hurting yourself, but hurting the industry, too. So thank you to all who are involved. To those who are not, I’d love to engage in a conversation with you on why not, and get you on board.

Elsewhere…

  • This week, it’s the first of two parts from the BEC event in Las Vegas. The kickoff to the event is the technical meeting, and in a change from the past, the meeting brought in a few speakers to mix up the normal committee-style agenda. All three speakers were excellent, and the presentation from Jim Benney of NFRC had potential to explode into a major debate, which I found refreshing since I honestly thought most people had given up questioning why things are the way they are. Kudos to Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP for making the session really special.
  • Seen at the conference: Attitudes were VERY positive about the current market at the Sunday night reception. It was great to see Joe Erb from Quanex, no one more welcoming than him. I also saw for the first time in many years Greg DiVona of Prelco. That was cool to catch up. Chatted with Steve Cohen of Schott and hung for a few minutes with the Argentinian heart throb Hernan Gil of Global Security Glazing. Plus, for one split-second I did see one of my favorites, Cameron Scripture, from Viracon. He’s so popular now I think I have to make an appointment for the next reception. Last but certainly not least, it was great to see the awesome pairing of Jan Rogan and Joanne Funyak of PPG. They, as always, are awesome. 
  • Next week, I’ll recap the rest of the event including the two panel sessions that I am honored to be moderating. To be on stage with the folks on these panels is mind blowing to me. These are really sharp, talented folks who are all huge assets to their companies and the industry. 
  • I just finished the second best “inside story” business book ever, “Hatching Twitter” by Nick Bilton. This was a fantastic read and one that gives great insights into how a startup works, how boards can be seriously dysfunctional and how some ideas just connect when others don’t. The inside stories told were amazing, and how this author got access to the stories has to be a massive coup. In any case, want a great business nonfiction read? This is it. The best of all time remains “The Disney War” by James Stewart. That book will be almost impossible to top; this one came close.
  • Last this week, March Madness is here. Once upon a time I would not miss a second of the action. But as I’ve grown older and busier, it does not have the same draw for me. I won’t even fill out a bracket this year, which is pretty unbelievable to those who know me. In reality, I am getting more and more like that with all sports. Between the priorities of real life taking precedence, and being soured on the expense/salary/cost model of major sports, it’s just not important to me like it used to be. 

Read on for links 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 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.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Researchers working in the windows unit of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Building Technologies Department are perhaps the luckiest people in the window and glass industry. Not only is the view stellar—the various lab buildings are nestled high in the Berkeley Hills, overlooking San Francisco, the Bay, and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge—the work coming out of LBNL’s Building Technologies Department is paving the way for the future of energy-efficient buildings and windows.

LBNL’s Windows and Envelope Materials Group, led by Steve Selkowitz, hosted attendees of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance 2014 Winter Conference at the beautiful lab site last week, for a guided tour of the various window activities. LBNL has done work in the window industry for more than 30 years, collaborating with industry to “make windows smarter at the level of the window; make windows smarter at the level of the home [or building],” Selkowitz said during the tour.

LBNL conducts a wide range of research, development and performance testing with the goal of converting “windows from net energy losers to net zero, and then becoming energy suppliers to buildings,” according to the group’s resource guide.

At the lab campus, the LBNL windows group operates a number of test facilities, including: the Advanced Facades Testbed; Mobile Window Thermal Test Facility; and the Quantitative Infrared Thermography Facility. However, the main attraction of the LBNL window facilities tour was FlexLab, or Facility for Low Energy eXperiments in Buildings.

According to LBNL officials, the FlexLab will allow users to:

  • Conduct focused research or product development on single components or whole-building systems integration
  • Replace any building system such as exterior building envelopes, windows and shading systems, lights, HVAC, energy control systems, roofs and skylights, or interior components such as furniture, partitions and raised floors.

The lab, which will be operational later this year, contains four 600-square-foot test beds, including one that rotates. Because nearly every building component of the test bed can be replaced, a designer or building owner could essentially create a project mock-up to test every aspect of building energy performance, from HVAC to daylighting. Individual product manufacturers, or industry groups, could use the facilities to test performance of a range of products in varying situations.

“FlexLab embodies everything we’ve learned over the last 30 years,” Selkowitz said.

Visiting the lab was fascinating. However, the real excitement will be watching how activities at LBNL, particularly in FlexLab, pave the way for better and better energy efficiency in windows and whole buildings.

Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at kdevlin@glass.org.

Monday, March 10, 2014

It’s a milestone post for me this week. But before I get to that, it’s funny that a subject I have written a ton about over the years hit the news again this past week. Once again we talk about the adventures of LEED. It’s been known for a while that Ohio was looking to ban the LEED green building rating system. This past week the Ohio State Senate passed a resolution asserting that LEED should not be used on state buildings. And lately, there’s been a mobilization of groups striking back against LEED's structure and its biases against certain industries. I hate the overall thought of banning, but if it can force some change somewhere down the line, I am all for it. In the end, I will be stunned if the state follows all the way through. If they do, it could truly open the landscape for better systems.

Elsewhere…

  • At the IGMA meeting this week, Julie Schimmelpenningh gave an updated presentation on safety glass that continues to strike a chord. We have the technology and innovation to do more with protective glazing; it’s time we really push that envelope to its furthest point. There are factions in our industry that make too many excuses for why we can’t do things, and it just hurts us more than you realize. 
  • If you missed this presentation, I believe Julie is giving it, or some resemblance of it, at BEC next week during the technical committee meetings. If you were in any way, shape or form interested in advancing our world, this would be a session to attend. BEC kicks off next Sunday. So my blog for next week will have some of that flavor to it. I'm looking forward to a really strong event.
  • Congrats to C.R. Laurence on their latest news of opening up a super center in Denver. No question that company continues to press all of the right buttons as it pertains to some of their hires over the last year, new product development and now expansions. 
  • Once again it's time for the most significant honor in our industry to be bestowed. The Glass Magazine Awards are now accepting nominations. This is the time where you can throw some recognition towards the people, the projects and the products that truly make our industry great. The fact that I got to work with a few past winners, notably the great John McGee of Binswanger Glass, is something I am really proud of. 
  • With this post, I hit a pretty mind blowing landmark. This marks the 500th entry on the blog since it started in 2005. I simply can’t believe it. Looking back, so much has changed since I started this adventure. The industry is so different. Some players have changed pretty dramatically since then, and my approach to this blog has evolved as well. The one constant is that it's still great therapy for me, and it’s still an honor to communicate with the industry the way I do. Thank you for continuing to read and comment both publicly and through e-mail. I am sincerely grateful.

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 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.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Last week, I experienced firsthand the incredible abilities of glass at the extreme—specifically, a glass floor 1,353 feet in the air, and a fire-rated glass assembly quite literally maintaining its cool in the face of 2,000-degree temperatures.

Vetrotech Saint-Gobain hosted a group of building industry professionals and press for a two-day product launch and educational program, which I’m going to refer to simply as an “extreme glass” event. The event began at the top of the Willis Tower (formerly, the Sears Tower) in Chicago, with a Vetrotech product launch reception and a visit to “The Ledge,” all-glass boxes cantilevered about 4 feet from the building.

Willis Tower

The glass is comprised of three layers of ½-inch, low-iron, tempered and laminated glass. The floor also features a sacrificial tempered glass layer on the walking surface. The glass boxes of “The Ledge” are designed to retract into the building for cleaning and maintenance.

The original Sears Tower architect, SOM, designed the ledge, with structural glass designer Halcrow Yolles. MTH Industries completed the installation of the 1,500-pound glass panels.

On the second day of this “extreme glass” event, the group visited the Underwriters Laboratory fire testing location just outside of Chicago. We were given a tour of UL’s building materials lab that concluded with a viewing of the fire test for Vetrotech’s Contraflam 120 in a corner arrangement.

The fire test chamber starts at room temperature and reaches 1000 degrees within five minutes. At the conclusion of the 2-hour test, the temperature will be closer to 2100 degrees. The Contraflam product consists of two or more sheets of toughened safety glass with a transparent intumescent gel interlayer that reacts when exposed to fire.

As the interior of the test furnace rises, the interior tempered glass lite breaks. The interlayer begins to cloud and bubble as it is exposed to the fiery temperatures. But the exterior lite of glass remains safe to the touch—about 100 degrees in this case. Pictured above is the interior of the furnace and Vetrotech's Kevin Frisone, sales and marketing manager, North America, touching the exterior of the glass during the test.

Thanks to Vetrotech for the extreme glass tour. I continue to be amazed at the possibilities of glass products, particularly in these extreme situations.

Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at kdevlin@glass.org.

Monday, March 3, 2014

We have a severe labor shortage in our industry when it comes to glaziers. I don’t think I am telling anyone anything new here. It feels like every company, big and small, is looking for folks to install. But we also have a severe shortage in another part of our world: project managers. It is mind-blowing to me how many companies are looking for PMs right now. In fact, I would say the need for project managers might be surpassing the need for glaziers, based on the fact that companies are adapting to their field labor shortages by buying installation equipment (everything on the floor at GlassBuild America last year sold out) or pushing more unitized systems or some other approach. People are making things work. On the project management side, it's not that easy and the solutions are not at the forefront.  Eventually, this industry has to address these issues, because it’s only getting worse.

Elsewhere…

  • Good news! The Construction Backlog Index from the Associated Builders & Contractors has hit a post-recession high, and it's also tracking almost 4 percent better than this time a year ago. I also believe that the weather-related slow start to 2014 (starts in January were dreadful) will eventually result in a mini-boom thanks to delays and pent-up demand.  Staying positive here…
  • Speaking of positive, a few weeks ago dynamic glass manufacturer View was featured in a Fox Business Channel report. This was a really nice piece that put not only View and the dynamic glass world in a great light, but our industry as a whole as well.  Getting solid traditional media coverage is crucial to our messaging of innovation.  Congrats to the team at View on getting this one.
  • The celebrity keynote speaker at BEC next month is Ron Jaworski. This week, Jaworski made news when he said heralded quarterback Johnny Manziel would not get picked in the first three rounds of the NFL draft if he was making the choice. The reason this is news is most experts think Manziel may be one of the first few players picked overall.  Jaworski is known for making news-making statements, so I am wondering if at BEC he will do the same. I could see him saying, “Low-E Glass is the past; I’m going with something else.” Or, “no aluminum for me; only vinyl for my curtain walls.” And our world would go crazy.
  • This week, there was an auction for 168 licenses to run a cab in New York City.  The low bid was $650,000, and the high was $965,000. For ONE cab. That just blows my mind.  Not being from New York or knowing the city that well, I had no idea that a million-dollar investment in a cab was such a good one. That is craziness!
  • Last this week, can someone tell Mother Nature we’ve had enough? What a winter this has been. And supposedly forecasts are calling for a cooler than normal spring and summer. I joked on Twitter that this winter is like what the folks in Minnesota experience every year, and my pal Garret Henson from Viracon noted it’s even a bad one for them, being the fourth coldest on record there. Now when it's even stupid cold in Minnesota, you KNOW it’s a bad winter!

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 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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

To me there’s one trend that is dominating our industry, and it's probably not what you think. It’s a product line that fabricators are seeing as a great path to bottom-line success. It isn't anything to do with energy efficiency. That trend is major and constantly growing, with the utter importance of energy improving products on our industry receiving coverage here and throughout the media. But right now, that’s not the product segment that is seemingly growing at an insane clip. The hot mover is actually decorative glazing.

One look into the current issue of Glass Magazine tells the story. In the Top Glass Fabricators Products section, 13 of the 22 profiles are decorative related, with only three related to energy. Decorative glass allows fabricators to easily diversify business and help the bottom line. Add in smart suppliers—both from the paints and machinery side—and the entry into that world is not daunting at all.

With that said, do I wish that the pages of Glass Magazine were filled with new energy-related and innovative products? Sure. And I believe they exist, but they’re not as sexy from a promotional side as decorative, and the supply chain from the energy side is not as streamlined into the fabricator like the decorative suppliers are. Overall for me, I have been involved in decorative before it became hip, so it’s pretty amazing to see how it's absolutely taken off.

Elsewhere…

  • As I am known to do, I studied the ads in the current GM issue as well. Props to DFI for their very creative bridge ad. It’s memorable and different. And for many, makes us feel like we’re all in this adventure together.
  • Last week I talked about the BEC Technical meeting. This week, here is just a quick note on the overall conference scheduled for next month. A very strong agenda is in place; kudos to the excellent Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning and his committee that put it together. From a glazier perspective, you just need to look at the afternoon session of day one and see the value in pieces on sealing, installation equipment, OSHA, codes and more. Day two features the celebrity talk with former Philly Eagles quarterback and current ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski. “Jaws” should be fun since he brings a boatload of energy to everything he does.
  • One of the former celeb keynotes at BEC was Mike Eurizone, the captain of the U.S. Olympic hockey team in 1980. He mentioned in his presentation that, if his game winning shot went just one inch to the left, he’d be painting bridges in Boston now and not speaking to a bunch of glass people. I thought of him when the U.S. Women’s hockey team missed out on a gold medal by an inch when their empty net attempt hit the post. Heartbreaking for them. And yes, since both the U.S. Men and U.S. Women both lost to Canada, I will be singing “O Canada” in public, and on video in the coming months. Congrats to all of my friends up north on the wins!
  • One of those friends is Rich Porayko, who picked up a fantastic interim gig this past week as head of the Canadian Glass Association. Rich is a class act and excellent man, and the CGA tapped him to guide them through the process of finding a permanent executive director. I am confident Rich will do a great job for that organization and be a major asset to the new management that comes in. Plus I am jealous. I mean he’s running an organization for the entire country! That’s just awesome. Remember us little folk, eh Rich?

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 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.

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