Max Perilstein's blog

We can debate the merits of programs like LEED until we’re all blue in the face. The bottom line, though, is the performance and sustainability of the building when all is said and done. And while the various green rating systems are pivoting and making efforts to evolve their programs into ensuring long-range success, there’s one process that guarantees it: the Net Zero building.

Slowly but surely Net Zero is taking off. It's important in the glass industry, because the process rewards the glass/glazing performance and basically will force those pesky HVAC guys to size their efforts correctly. Too many times we get blamed (unfairly I must add) for the oversizing of HVAC units because there’s no trust in fenestration. With Net Zero, we’re all working together and the playing field does level. There’s a ton to this process, and it's still pretty raw, but I do believe it will be in the mainstream sooner than many think.

Elsewhere…

  • Speaking of sustainability, one of the great champions of the effort in our industry is Mark Silverberg of Technoform. Last week he was named to the AAMA Sustainability Steering Committee. Can’t get a better man than that to be a force in the effort!
  • The energy of the trade show/industry conference is the hottest in years. So far 2014 is showing a major uptick in attendance and excitement. A couple more regional shows are coming up to be aware of. The 27th Annual Mid Atlantic Glass Expo hits April 30th in Greenbelt, Md.  Then in Canada, the Canadian Glass Association's Glass Connections conference in Nova Scotia (would love to go, birthplace of the great Sidney Crosby) comes through on June 4-5. Both events will provide excellent learning and networking potential. And don’t forget about the granddaddy of them all, the biggest show in all of North America: GlassBuild America, in September in Vegas. That floor is filling up nicely, and it will be an incredible event not to be missed.
  • After a hiatus in doing interviews on the blog, we welcome that segment back. One area of the business that I am always fascinated by is switchable glass, specifically  liquid crystal and suspended particle products. These products are growing in usage thanks to the boom on the decorative glass side. It’s surely moving up from the “niche” category. So it was great to catch up with Anthony Branscum, director of architectural sales at Innovative Glass Corp. in New York, and talk with him about the growth of the product, some of misconceptions out there and more.

MP: What do you think is driving this positive direction and usage?

Anthony Branscum: I think it’s mainly because the products have come a long way and are now beyond the “Proof of Concept” stage. Architects around the country, and the world for that matter, are realizing the practical benefits of using these products in their designs. Perhaps more importantly, they have gained confidence that the technology will last when it gets out there. They have become educated consumers. 

MP: Speaking specifically on the liquid crystal product, there’s been talk recently in different circles about uneven performance and products failing. Do you think such talk is legitimate or is it being overblown?
 

AB: I have heard and read some of the same things you are alluding to. There’s a lot of posturing going on within the industry right now. Some suppliers of switchable glass are spending a lot of time bashing their competitors instead of talking about their own virtues. They believe it makes their product appear as if it’s “the best”, but what they’re really doing is hurting the industry at large. They’re creating a perception out there that the product won’t last.  It is simply not true.  When fabricated properly, one can expect many years of service from liquid crystal technology. Of course, there are companies that don’t produce a great product, but they are not the majority, and time will eventually run out on them.

MP: What should buyers do or look for to make sure they are dealing with the right people?

AB: They should make sure whoever they are dealing with can provide them a functioning sample. They should ask for a copy of the warranty. They should definitely ask for references and perhaps ask to see a job local to them where the glass has successfully been installed. If the vendor can’t satisfy these requests in a timely fashion, they should think twice about going too far with them. 

MP: You and your company have been in the switchable space for more than a decade. What are some of the biggest changes you have seen with the product offerings?

AB: The biggest change has been the advancement in the clarity of the LC films when they are in their clear state. The industry has come a long way in achieving better clarity. The second notable advancement would be the film widths. The product is available in wider widths than ever before. This helps satisfy most of the common architectural sizes we come across.

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.

We’re now one week out from the biggest event in our industry. In this special GlassBuild America edition of the blog, I wanted to first touch on a few things I have not hit on previously.

The Glazing Executives Forum, backed once again this year by industry heavy hitters YKK AP, Guardian, SAPA, Pilkington, Dow Corning, and FMI, will be solid. The forum kicks off with a very strong panel featuring Mic Patterson of Enclos, Jay Phillips of Guardian, and Oliver Stepe of YKK; concludes with the industry's favorite economist Dr. Jeffrey Dietrich; and features timely, needed break-out sessions in the middle. It’s an extremely interesting agenda. Check it out.

Meanwhile, GlassBuild America will also be home to a very important session being hosted by the Department of Energy. Yes, the DOE will be on site with a forum led by Dr. Karma Sawyer. (I am a huge fan of her personally; check my archives.) Participants in this event will be able to provide feedback directly to the DOE Building Technologies Office on their needs over the next three to five years, and to provide input about the facilities that will be critical to moving their energy efficient products to widespread application in residential and commercial markets, in new construction, replacement and retrofit. More simply said, it’s an awesome opportunity to reach people in our world who can make a difference. While there are the typical opportunities to come to the show and do business, there are also these other events that make the overall show even more monumental.

Elsewhere…

  • I’m hearing that the folks from Vetrotech Saint-Gobain will have something really memorable in their booth this year. Go download the GlassBuild America App, and make a note of their location.
  • Speaking of the App, it really makes the show experience more complete. Three ways to get it: Search for GlassBuild 2014 in the iTune App store/Google Marketplace; click here and follow the links/codes; or, if you like to wait 'til the last minute, QR codes will be on signage everywhere during the show, and you can scan and load the app from there. If you are going to the show, you have to have this on your phone.
  • I’ve previously hit on all of the other cool things with GlassBuild America this year: the Express Learning FREE 20-minute sessions on the floor; the demonstrations; the innovation (some amazing products that should not be missed); and just being with thousands of people covering every bit of our industry.
  • You may wonder about my passion for the show. While I do work for this show, I'm also an industry guy and believe that a strong industry benefits from the success of a major event like this. The education, the business possibilities and the innovation on display are crucial for this industry to evolve, grow and be healthy. Yes, I am a full-throated promoter of the show, but one with serious beliefs in the incredible value it brings.
  • As always, I will be working the floor, shooting video, interviewing people and networking. I’ll be wearing my bright yellow media vest; please stop me and say hi.
  • I won’t have a formal blog next week since we’ll be in the middle of show coverage, but the week after I’ll be back here with my traditional "Who’s Who" of the show. For those new readers, that’s where I call out people I got to meet, see and chat with. This blog will also look at the best products and exhibits at the show.

See you at the show!

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.

The casino/hotel that is housed in one of the more fascinating glass and glazing projects in recent times is closing down. And among the excuses out there is the actual design of the building. The Revel Casino in Atlantic City closes its doors September 1st, and while the building envelope looks spectacular, the layout and flow on the inside allegedly caused major issues. There’s been some interesting discussion online regarding what went wrong with this property. While I think that the overall gambling downturn in AC is a bigger reason (among many others) than the building design, I was amazed that people did jump on the layout issue. Building layout is a major factor in the success and failure of businesses every day. Yet so many times it does not get the focus it deserves.  And further more, the desire for a great exterior aesthetic has taken more priority than the interior look and functionality. I have never seen this property in person and am depending on the stories and views I see online. Any of you who have been there and seen it, feel free to e-mail me your thoughts. Do you think the layout was the biggest factor in this property's demise?

Elsewhere…

  • Speaking of design, does the open office layout cause more theft and confusion?  Here's a good story. Personally, while I like an open floor plan, the lack of continuity mentioned in this story (i.e. you don’t have your own desk) would make me crazy.
  • The Farmers Almanac is out and the prediction for this winter is for cold and misery, yet again. The Almanac is working with an 80 percent success rate, so I tend to believe what it says when the predictions call for similar in 2015 as we saw in 2014.
  • I usually am one to complain when gas prices go up, so I should note that gas prices right now where I live are shockingly low. This week, $3.36. Now hopefully that continues, but with the holiday coming I am sure it will spike. For the life of me, I have no idea how this all works and it's pretty comical that I am happy with a $3.36 pricetag, but its sure better than the $5 I thought we’d see!
  • Props and thanks to a couple of great regional trade organizations. The Colorado Glazing Contractors Association and Washington Glass Association are class acts and both worked this summer to help promote GlassBuild America to their members. A major thank you to Rebecca Graves (CGCA) and Maryanne Howell (WGA) and their members for the support. Those who know me know how I feel about industry support for major events, and these groups certainly did their part in jumping in the way they did.
  • I shouldn’t have to remind you about GlassBuild America coming in a few weeks, but may as well. Still time to get flights and get there. I for one am pumped when I see new exhibitors still signing up daily including a game changer for interior switchable glass that will garner a ton of interest. You will not want to miss this event!
  • Last this week, college football kicks off this week. Crazy prediction: if Wisconsin beats LSU this Saturday, they will win the National Championship. (That sound you hear is all my friends in SEC country moaning that I am nuts…and I am.) I do love college football and can’t wait for it to get going!


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.

Does being very busy almost everywhere mean the industry is back and healthy? Was the industry ever really that healthy to begin with? Regardless of how you may feel about the second question, it’s the first question that needs to be examined. While many people report to me that their sales levels and backlogs are excellent, and the booming registration of GlassBuild America lead me to the conclusion that people are busier/happier than in the past, there’s still a nagging fear. That worry is couched in two areas: cash flow and the overall international economic conditions. Cash flow, as I have written here a few times, is still a challenge for many. There does not seem to be an easy fix, given that banks are still not providing that safety net that many companies were used to.

The overall economy still has issues and holes that are worrisome. This recent run is not built on a very solid foundation, and world (and in some cases domestic) volatility makes one very skittish. Regardless, this is the time to make it go. But keep an eye on all that is going on, so if the foundation cracks open, the fall may not hurt as much.

Elsewhere…

  • Some great reading in the most recent Glass Magazine. First off, major kudos to the three great industry pros in the G3 section who answered this month's question about expectations for GlassBuild. All three folks, Mike Wallace of Quality Metalcrafts, Lloyd Talbert of C.R. Laurence, and Alysa Hoffmeister of Dip-Tech gave thoughtful answers to the question and they all made a point to note that this show--the biggest and most important in our industry in North America--is a must to support. Companies like these and the hundreds others displaying in the show really GET IT.
  • Also my monthly award for best ad of the month was a tough one. Some excellent and creative work in the issue, but we can have only one winner and that goes to Kawneer for their smart “hole in the wall” piece. Very eye catching and well done! Love the picture and idea.
  • This very interesting and disturbing story on why some states are keeping the spread of solar panels down. This is surely not the direction our country needs to head!
  • An architectural message board I monitor had a wild thread this week. Actually, the thread started in 2009 and somehow was resurrected. The discussion was on annealed vs. tempered glass and the differences. Something we take for granted as a no brainer in our industry did garner some dialogue on this site. Even the great Bill Coady of Guardian jumped in and tried to educate, but discussion continued. In any case, the point here is what we take as simple may not be as such in other areas of the building product universe.
  • The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been one of the most amazing grassroots charitable efforts I have ever seen. Basically people of all walks of life are challenged to donate or dump buckets of ice water over their heads. Most now are doing both to spread the word. To date, reportedly more than 15 million people have taken part. It is everywhere. The Atlantic wrote about why this process just exploded and provided more background if you are interested. This is a charity close to my family’s heart since our dad passed from this disease in 2001. My brother did the challenge (figures the smarter, more successful one of us led the way) and passed it on to my kids and me. We did it. And man it was cold. The evidence is my video of the week; please feel free to check it out. Also a thank you to the always-classy Mike Cully of United Plate Glass who did the challenge in honor of our dad.
  • Please, in the end, whether you donate to ALS or you have another charity or charities that you support, continue to do so. It is ALWAYS appreciated!

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.

Recently the ranking of the top revenue producing architectural firms was released. The good news is that in 2013, total revenue grew at these firms from $10 billion to $11 billion. Obviously the uptick that our industry is seeing right now started on the boards of these groups last year. The #1 firm in the country, by revenue, in 2013 was not even close to the #2 firm. Bringing in more than $800 million in sales last year was Gensler. They doubled 2nd place CH2M Hill and 3rd place AECOM. Well-known names like HOK (8th) and Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (9th) also showed well. Nine of the top 10 were the same in 2013 as they were in 2012, which shows that those big players do have their ways of getting the work and holding their spots. Overall the growth is the best news of this story for sure.

Elsewhere…

  • Last week’s bird glass story surely hit home for many. I received some incredible and helpful feedback from great minds like Kerry Haglund and Frank D’Aprile among others. One of Kerry’s points was about the new law in place in Minnesota is that the stadium is basically skirting due to the time it was designed. (Also as Kerry pointed out, it was noted in Katy Devlin’s piece). Meanwhile Frank provided some excellent insight on the codes in various cities and things that we are all not paying attention to in this process.  Plus he left me with this excellent quote:

    “City folk love to encourage Mother Nature and her kin to visit their urban neighborhoods, while the very buildings in which they live may harm her."

    And while my issue was with the press aspect of the story, there’s no question we’re only touching the surface here. And with great minds out there on the case, this will be a problem that will be addressed well and hopefully solved in the long run.
  • Have to give props to Kevin Roth, Arbel Martin and the team from Vistamatic on their excellent new website. Believe me building or refreshing a website is not easy and these guys did a tremendous job with their new approach. Congrats!
  • Speaking of new sites, PPG also did an upgrade of their GlassNET site that was very strong and well done. It incorporates positive changes, including the fact that there’s more information, and it’s simpler to use than before, making this upgrade a winner. 
  • My weekly GlassBuild note… Have you registered yet? Made those plane reservations? Hotel? You are a month away. And a reminder, I will be on the floor in my bright yellow media vest (or looking like an airport worker as my brother Steve pegged it last year), so please stop me and say hi.
  • Last this week… if you have not seen Guardians of the Galaxy- give it a shot. I saw it and loved it. Funny, different and creative. Really worth the movie ticket that is for sure.

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.

A pretty significant story hit last week but  seemingly did not get much traction outside of its home market. A bankrupt solar manufacturer based in Pennsylvania won a $27 million judgment against a Chinese company that reneged on a pretty crucial deal. The story is pretty fascinating in that the bankrupt company had a chance to properly reorganize if the Chinese company did not run from their deal. Read the story here. The insight from this is being careful with who you are dealing with, especially when there’s so much at stake. And because of the foreign entities in this deal, who knows if the judgment will ever be paid. In the end, the bad thing is the solar manufacturer was actually being extremely responsible and trying to do the right thing, only to be thwarted by a company who, according to the court of law, did not come through on its commitment.

Elsewhere…

  • Can you believe it's August? My goodness this year is just flying by. Wow.
  • I was alerted to an article via the excellent Twitter feed of Conners Sales Group (@ConnersSales) that the Pittsburgh Convention Center has been upgraded from a Gold LEED Building to a Platinum LEED Building. The structure was certified Gold in 2003, and the story did not explain how or why this structure made the jump. For me that’s a new one. And I’d love to see how some of these buildings that were certified Gold and Platinum years ago look now with true energy targets—vs. results—to see if they really are that great. I guess anyone who reads this knows I am not a fan of LEED, and it's things like this that continue to make me question the way they do things. If someone has the insight on why and how this happens, and why it’s not a mainstream thing, please e mail me. I’d love to know and share.
  • The “Bird Glass” issue at the new Viking Stadium has gotten pretty newsworthy. When you have heavy hitters like the New York Times and Katy Devlin both weighing in on it, you know it’s big. My thoughts? It’s a PR job by the Audubon group to get their name in the paper and get more donations/support. Why else go public? The stadium is still a while away from being built, and I am sure with more discussion and dialogue a compromise could be worked out. But by coming out the way it did, it smacked of a powerplay to try and get the public to shame the builder into it. If this was closer to “go” time, I could see it, but it’s my guess that discussions were probably not that far along and this was used as a chance to hit the news. Maybe I’m wrong, but just a feeling. Oh, and in the end, I do believe that a compromise will happen. (And note, I do know we have great bird glass technology in this industry and want to see it used, just not thrilled with the way this one came down.)
  • So last this week, more GlassBuild America talk. I have to admit, being associated with the show gives me a unique perspective on it and also makes me biased. But I am what I am, so here goes. Right now, I am as excited as I have ever been about the event. I am hearing that pre-registration numbers are awesome and I know from talking to various folks around the industry that more are attending than have in the past. And people are coming with significant plans, either to find products, services, people or information that will help them in what is now becoming a healthy market. At the end of the day this show is OUR show. It’s an event that is a difference maker when it comes to your business and your career (it’s how most reps find new lines as an example). It’s the biggest and most impressive show you can attend in North America and it’s the one event where you can network, learn, find new products and services and do business at all levels all in one place. I think if you are not going this year you will not only be missing something epic, you will be in the minority for sure. 

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.

Our industry lost a unique and special person this month, a gentleman who did things his own way and did them extremely well. The passing of Al Shapiro, also known to many as “Active Al,” was a surprise and bummer to me. Al was a character through and through, but one who took legitimate interest in the lives of the people he was dealing with.

While he owned a few extremely successful operations, it was Active Glass that I dealt with. And despite being a nice guy, Al was unforgiving. He paid you fast (best around), so he expected to be first in line for everything. He rode me hard but also made sure that he took care of me and my company. He also had a huge heart. When my children were born, Al sent thoughtful gifts that we still have to this day. He always asked about everyone in my life as well. And while I didn’t communicate with Al much in the last several years because my life changed, when I ran into him, he was always as warm as ever- offering to give me as much business as I could handle (even if I wasn’t a fabricator anymore) and note that no one would pay me faster. Anyway, it was a shocking piece of news, and I am so sorry to see him go. My condolences to his family. Our industry and world lost a great one.

Elsewhere…

 

  • Are we as an industry in line for another battle? This past week the Urban Green Council took some shots at glass and its usage. Now what they said was not all wrong, in fact they made some good points about choosing materials wisely.  However, the title alone of “Urban Green Council Warns Against Glass Envelopes” does not portray us well. Especially in this short-attention-span society where most folks only read headlines. In any case it needs to be said that we’re still vulnerable and still not a product of choice. Oh, and my metal friends, there was a blast on you guys in there, too. So just a heads up, we once again have people taking shots…
  • Each month I read Glass Magazine and pick out the best ad of the issue. This month the kudos go to the gang at Quanex. Their ad for TriSeal was clean, sharp and bold. Good work with a really smart use of callout bubbles. It caught my eye for sure. Well done!
  • Also in Glass Magazine was a very powerful letter and picture to the editor by Joe Bruce of Guardian. I have known Joe for many years and he’s a tremendous guy. His letter on returnable racks and the cost of people discarding them was excellent and spot on. We can be our own worst enemy in this industry sometimes. Hopefully people will read Joe’s letter and be smarter and more respectful with other people’s property.
  • As you surely know, GlassBuild America is coming and I am starting to see more and more press releases on products that will be on the floor. One product that will catch people’s eye will be AGC’s Dragontrail. It is an ultra-thin glass that is mostly used in mobile devices and tablets but will also have expanded use in architectural applications. AGC will be doing a ball drop test in their booth showing this off, and it will be something to see. I believe it’s just a matter of time before “thin” glass starts to hit in many different applications… Good call by AGC to show it off at a show with the power and size of GlassBuild.
  • Last this week, the Architectural Billings Index continues to soar. I think from a sales standpoint things are solid out there. Not getting any complaints on that. Cash flow is a different story. It continues to be the bugaboo for many. Hopefully things will normalize on that end soon.

 

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.

The World Cup of Glass final is coming up, but before that, let’s talk about some other winners: the folks who have made it to the finals of the Glass Magazine People Awards. These awards are truly the industry gold standard. Nominations come from the industry and voting is done by the industry. Winning here is a huge honor. Once again this year, amazing candidates from all over the country have been nominated.

I am familiar with all three finalists in the “Best Sales Representative” category, and picking a winner will be pretty impossible for me. I have known Dan Pompeo for a very long time and he is amazing—tons of energy and he always comes through. I have worked with Stacey Quesada of Glass Apps on a few occasions and her attention to detail and follow up is one of the best in my experience. I have always heard great things about Zach Passman, so seeing him on this list was no surprise at all. It's a tough one, but I will eventually pick someone, and everyone out there should do the same—for this category and the others as well. These folks are all winners in the fact they made it this far, and it will be fun to see who gets the nod for being the best in 2014! Voting ends July 31st.

Elsewhere....

  • So it’s the finals of the World Cup of Glass. Our three finalists are USA, Germany and Italy. Each won in their respective “group” over the last few weeks. Now they face each other. Four categories; points are: 3 for first, 2 for second, and 1 for third. Most points wins. Here goes:

Innovation:

USA 3
Germany 2
Italy 1

The United States actually gets lucky that it faces these two in this category. While the U.S. is strong in innovation, it's not dominant. But compared to the competition, it still takes this category.

Quality:

Germany 3
USA 2
Italy 1

Maybe it’s a myth, but I do subscribe to the theory that Germany is the home of the best quality products around.

Products:

USA  3
Italy 2
Germany 1

The United States dominates here, based on sheer product range and usage. Picking second was harder, but I went with Italy based on their decorative product lines.

Industry Support:

USA 3
Italy 2
Germany 1

I almost went with Italy for No. 1 because of how they really step up to support GlassBuild, but the Italian contingent is not that active at the trade or code level so there’s no way they could be first. 

Final Total:

USA 11
Germany 7
Italy 6

Final conclusion: This was a fun exercise to do. The one downer is that we’re not unified from a world standpoint when it comes to code and design. That is something that needs to be improved upon. I will say that it gets me excited that events like GlassBuild America bring ALL of these countries together on one floor, so you can see the greatness in action from all over!

  • Speaking of GlassBuild America, I am really excited about a few things, but the one callout I’d like to make this week is to the folks who are taking major sponsorship roles. These companies realize that they are supporting the industry and the industry's largest North American show, while also getting amazing brand recognition. So major props to Quanex, Bohle, Dip Tech, GGI, Hartung Glass, Kuraray America, Diamon-Fusion, YKK AP America, Guardian, SAPA, Dow Corning, FMI and Pilkington North America for stepping up. 
  • Last this week: A quick personal note. My nephew Josh, who has been in the industry now for several years including his current run at W.A. Wilson, got engaged over the weekend. Congrats to Josh and we’re thrilled that our family is getting a great new addition with Nicole!

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.

As the soccer World Cup ends, our glass world cup competition still has two more steps to go. This week was the debut of the good ol' USA and they did not disappoint, but I have a feeling they will find the finals much tougher! For this round the foursome was the United States, Spain, Japan and Russia. Since it's been a few weeks a quick reminder on the categories for scoring: Innovation, Products, Quality and Industry Support.

For this round, the glaring omission of France really played out. When the tallies were added, Russia really was not ready for this tourney. While they have what is considered to be an awesome trade show, they’re still quite a bit behind in every other category at this point. Japan and Spain both had solid showings and may have done better in a different group. Spain, with its dominance on the decorative side and strong support of the industry showed well, and Japan, with major float players and some solid innovations, helped mask its limited industry support.

Meanwhile, the United States won the group because innovation is still strong, and industry support is significant, despite what many may think. The final totals: USA, 15; Spain, 10; Japan, 10; Russia, 5. So next week is the final. It will feature the United States, Germany and Italy. There is no question this will be a very difficult one to score with each country bringing so much into the process. 

Elsewhere…

  • A hearty congratulations to Steve O’Hollaren of ICD for passing his LEED Green Associates exam; that is NOT an easy test. Great work sir. Can’t wait to call you with lots of LEED-related questions!
  • While we’re patting people on the back, kudos also to Dip-Tech on the launch of their new blog/newsletter. The folks there obviously put a ton of time, thought and planning into it because it was a really sharp and organized effort. Something I look forward to receiving on a regular basis!
  • The Dodge Momentum index is up again for 3rd straight month. Overall, the indicators have been solid and momentum for sales has shown to be positive. The worry, I believe, continues to be cash flow. All in all though, summer is off to a solid start.
  • I think I was the last person in the U.S. to see the movie “Frozen,” and I enjoyed it, as it was typical Disney. But the reason I write this is that I read people have been waiting up to 6 hours to meet the “princesses” at the theme parks. SIX HOURS. It got me thinking: Is there anyone that I would wait 6 hours for, to just get to say hi. I mean if it was a 6-hour wait and you get some time with the person, then sure I could name a few, but just to shake a hand or get a picture? Not sure I can come up with a living person. 
  • Pretty cool case study I read recently on the social effect of “green” products. Two sets of hand sanitizer were laid out at a trade show. One was marked with one basic title. The other with a similar title, but noted it was “green.” So during the event the table was watched onsite and discreetly. When someone was standing at the table, the large majority went for the “green” product. When no one was working the table, the totals flipped the other way; many more went for the regular product. Goes to show you we still have a society that has people who say the right things and may publicly try to do, but in private still do what they are more comfortable with.

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.

Before I get to the AIA review, I have to lead off with the gigantic story that broke late Thursday and was posted first on GlassMagazine.com: Cardinal Glass Industries is buying Catalina Tempering Inc. From a commercial side this is not big news. From the residential side this is earth shaking. Just a huge acquisition for Cardinal and now the second one in the last few months that has really made waves (first being the acquisition of Northeast Laminated in late April). Cardinal now has jumped in with two sharp, strategic moves and is signaling their intention to continue to be a force especially on the residential glass world. Catalina was a homegrown company that saw major success built by strategically placing plants near window manufacturers to supply them custom tempered. I don’t believe many people could have seen this sale coming; surely there were no major indications of such. The bottom line here is that Cardinal is making moves, and companies once thought to be “off the market” may actually not be…

Elsewhere…

Because of the size of the AIA recap, I am pushing Round 3 of the World Cup of Glass back a week…

  • AIA was a mixed bag. It is always great to see people and learn new things about the industry, products, and services. However the show itself was just not that good. Traffic was inconsistent and very light in some areas of the floor, and it’s apparent that the architects that were there have too many things to see and do during this show. I know some companies were pleased and others not so much. And no matter, it does not dampen my enthusiasm for the next big event in our world: GlassBuild America. That show is coming along nicely with huge new exhibitors, innovation, and probably the coolest education set up you can imagine.
  • As for the seen and visited part of the show… here goes:

It was good to visit Joe Erb while walking the floor; he’s always got a great insight or 100.

Walker Textures is really an impressive company. I know I always comment on their sartorial splendidness (Danik in a bow tie at this show—wow), but the fact of the matter is that this operation should be used as a case study for a group that really “gets it.” They are always evolving and innovating. Plus, it was super to get to chat with Ross Christie of Walker.

Speaking of innovation, I was very impressed with the Viracon App. It is a really a strong tool and will be used in the way that medium was designed.

It was a pleasure to run into Jerry Schwabauer of Azon—I had not seen him a while.

A cool product that was not really in our industry was the home elevators from Savaria. They do feature beautiful glass doors, though. Now I don’t think I’ll ever need or have a home elevator, but if I get one, this is what I’ll buy!

Guardian was at AIA in force, and as always, so hospitable to me. Amy Hennes is a class act, and getting to see the legend Brian Craft is always a pleasure. Brian’s healthy and looking great, and led a sold out seminar during the show.

I knew very little about Vetrotech Saint Gobain, but came away from their booth impressed. Getting hurricane-resistant approvals is no easy task, and they did it with their product.

Also impressive is the new unit glaze system from CRL/US Aluminum. I really appreciate Paul Daniels giving me a quick demo.

And I made a quick visit to see Sage. I was impressed by their new booth showing shapes, sizes, and new product advancements.

PPG was there as always. I got to chat with my favorite Jan Rogan, and visited with Glenn Miner as always. Rob Struble happened to be there, but I never got to talk with him as he was engaged with someone every single time I swung by. That to me may be my biggest regret of the show!

You can always count on YKK to have a buzz around their booth, and this year was no different.

I was also very very impressed with the team from tesa tape. They will be showing at GlassBuild for the first time this fall, and I think they will be a very popular destination for attendees to visit.

A lot of foreign companies were on the floor trying to get a foot in the market. Hopefully they realize that doing AIA is only one part of the mission to reach North America’s buyers.

  • Random other thoughts…

I blew it by not bringing my running gear. The temps were perfect and there were so many places to run. I downloaded the app and took “Uber” everywhere. The semi controversial car sharing service was a godsend for me. I know that those in the cab and transport industry hate them, but as a pure consumer, in an event like this where getting around is such a pain, it was the MVP of my time there.

  • Last this week, the World Cup of Soccer surely had our country enthused. I am wondering what happens in four years when the games are in Russia and the times of games aren’t as convenient to watch live. Still it’s been a fun tourney with still some great games to go.

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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