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.

I had a few discussions this past week about advanced technology in our industry, and how it is or isn’t being adopted or grown in the architectural market. This is a massive frustration for me. I have always been an enthusiastic early adopter of new technology and see the value. Unfortunately, the people that really can control the end results of these new products are completely opposite of me.

What is the answer here? How do we get more push? Interestingly, if you ask people from outside the industry, they’ll blame us, saying we don’t innovate. But we do. We have amazing glass products that can hit numbers never seen before and are an active part of the structure. There’s now framing that allows the glass to actually perform as expected, not decreasing its values thanks to make up. And there are plenty of other components that help the assembly as a whole soar.

So, the products are there, but the mass adoption continues to be slow. What are we missing?

Elsewhere…

  • Saw a tidbit online that made me feel good. Residential building starts in 2016 posted its best year since 2005-2006. With the commercial industry running a year behind the residential side, this surely shows that the positivity should continue. Residential starts have grown now for seven straight years.
  • One area I failed to mention in depth during last week's BEC recap was the always extremely helpful presentation by Dr. Tom Culp. I seriously think his presentation should be streamed to the entire industry (hey, there’s an idea!), because it absolutely affects all of us. One word that really stuck for me throughout Tom’s presentation was “daylighting.” That surely seems to be an area of serious focus going forward and obviously our industry has great options for that. Though you still have to focus on the energy side, so a happy medium between great daylighting and high performance is a must.
  • The rocky run for the AIA ontinues. They are still dealing with the fallout of their post-election press release and then they ran into another issue when they laid out their keynote speeches for their upcoming show. They did not initially include any women in the program. After heavy backlash, they did add a panel on day three, but the damage was done. If you want to get a feel for how some of the membership is feeling, check out the article on the situation and spend some time in the comment section. Very interesting. 
  • For my marketing friends, just a heads up, Twitter is making more changes including hiding some “low quality tweets” during conversations. One thing that is not clear is how Twitter will determine quality, but if we have learned anything from Google and their programs, the rules will be changing constantly. Never a dull moment when you are trying to be active in the social and online realm.
  • Last this week, now that I am addicted to Netflix (the ability to download so I can watch while I fly is awesome), I found a work reason to use it. There’s a new series on there called "Abstract: The Art of Design," and it’s a documentary series that follows different designers, many of which are major players in the commercial architectural world. So, in between me binging on “House of Cards,” I will have some work to watch….

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 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 latest Building Envelope Contractors Conference is now in the books, and the biggest news coming out of it was the announcement of a joint task force between the National Glass Association and the Glass Association of North America. The charge for that task force is to explore the options to work more collaboratively and possibly combining the two organizations. This is HUGE. I have been firmly in the camp of pushing a combined entity for a long time. Both organizations are favorites of mine, and I have been involved with both for many years. I know the pros and cons of both. And I can tell you this is a perfect match. From an industry standpoint, we need a more efficient and effective approach to events. We also need to have a clearly defined voice. And that’s just the start. This collaboration also has the ability to supercharge our training and education needs, something that is a massive issue for our world. We as an industry need this, and full credit goes to the leadership of both groups for starting this important process. Obviously, this is just a jumping off point, but I am hopeful this will grow into something great.

So, back to the actual BEC Conference recap…

 

  • It was a very strong event, and first congratulations have to go to Gus Trupiano of AGC Glass Co. North America, who is the chair of the division and driving force of the conference. Gus is not only an incredibly nice person, but a great leader as well. This was his first BEC in charge and he delivered a tremendous event.
  • The content this year was very strong, there was something for everyone. Julie Schimmelpenningh of Eastman delivered a fabulous keynote speech despite crazy technical interruptions. The keynote is a tough spot, but Julie nailed it. I thought that Matt Johnson and Paul Gary were super on the legal piece, and world famous architect James Carpenter really was a fascinating guy to listen to. The celebrity keynote was from former NBA player Mark Eaton, and that too landed nicely, with a memorable approach, and one that had many attendees debating some of his core messaging long after he was done.
  • I had the amazing honor again of moderating a panel. This year it was a glazier challenges theme, and my panelists were simply awesome. While I think the theme was meant for other glaziers in the crowd to learn from their peers on stage, I learned a ton during their session, and my respect for everything the modern contract glazier has to deal with grew immensely. Thank you, Bill Sullivan, of Brin, Stephanie Lamb of Giroux, Ted Derby of LCG and Joe Clabbers of National Glass. You all are incredible credits to our world, and I am grateful for what you all do.
  • To finish this post off, I will cover some of the folks I ran into at BEC. Remember, the big key of BEC is the networking. If you go to this and you are not making friends, you are doing it wrong … (and if you are not going, be there next year!)

 

Bill Coady of Guardian Glass let me know this will be his last BEC, as he’s retiring soon. That is a loss for Guardian and for all of us. Bill is the epitome of a class human being. He has great knowledge and care, and he will be missed. Enjoy retirement, my friend! While still on the Guardian track, I met Samer Abughazaleh for the first time, and that was enjoyable. He is a very interesting guy who probably was wondering what I do in life. (Don’t worry Samer, most people are still trying to figure that out, too).

Jon Kimberlain of Dow is always a favorite visit for me. He’s incredibly smart and put together, I just want some of that to rub off on me. Another example of smart? Dr. Tom Culp and Urmila Sowell meet that description every time. I thank them again for all they do for our world.

It was great to see a smiling and healthy Greg Oehlers of TriStar, along with his cohort Rob Carlson. Thanks for noting you read the blog Rob; I appreciate it! Speaking of reading, Cameron Scripture of Viracon always gives me great books to read, and he did it again this time. And yes, he still has those movie star good looks! I was also able to congratulate Ron Hull of Kuraray in person on his new position.

It was nice to talk for a few minutes with Joseph Holmes of EFCO, as well as my old friend, the incredible Shelly Farmer of SC Railing. Catching up with past co-worker Bob Cummings of Hartung will never get old for me, and same with talking sports with Joe Carlos of Triview. And speaking of guys named Joe, Mr. Erb of Quanex was there, and he always has a smile on his face and positive approach. I always am in awe of the talent of people like Heather West and Rich Porayko. They do things every day that make our industry (and the groups they work with) look great and that is appreciated.

I had the pleasure to meet GlassFab’s Barbara Russell for the first time, and was able to visit with Mike Goldfarb, too. That company just recently passed the 10-year milestone in business, and the sky is the limit for them. Clover Architectural Products Tom O’Malley is always a constant at events like this, and I think he knows more people in the crowd than anyone, so getting 5 minutes with him was a great deal for me.

There were many more folks that I just can’t get to here…maybe next post! In any case, this was a good event that served its purpose once again. I look forward to the next opportunity to network and learn amongst the best and brightest in our industry!

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 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 GANA BEC Conference, one of the major events in our industry, is this week in Las Vegas. I have been fortunate enough to be involved with this event for many years, and while so much has changed in our industry and world, the key advantage of this conference remains: the incredible ability to network. Yes, the education is great and the speakers are usually very engaging, but the chance to see people from companies up and down the supply chain--all in one place--is huge. Basically, it’s one of the two times in our industry (GlassBuild America being the other) where you can attend an event that allows you stay on top of everything happening in our world. I’ll have my annual breakdown of all the takeaways of BEC next week…

Elsewhere…

  • One group of people and company I like visiting with at BEC is Viracon. And I have to pass major props to Kelly Schuller and every employee there for their incredible charitable contributions. Viracon employees donated an incredible $108,692.60 to the United Way in 2016. This is simply awesome and everyone involved there should be commended for the effort.

  • Time to look at the latest Glass Magazine. First what got me was the cover shot: a beautiful classic looking project in Montreal; it looks old school but performs like a 2017 champ. That led to a fantastic story from Katy Devlin that not only broke that building down, but others as well, as the battle for advanced energy performance in buildings continues. There are several other stories that are worth checking out as well, and I plan on calling them out more in the next few weeks, including the look at the I-Codes and how we as an industry should be approaching them. Whether you get the magazine or grab it online, make sure you are checking it out; too much important content to miss!

  • Ad of the month is actually a tie. Loved the effect of the TGP ad as soon as I cracked open the magazine. Slick, 2-page spread with a catchy picture and tagline. Nice! But I also really liked what Schuco did with the use of old computer discs. Basically pushing the idea of don’t get left behind. While many do that sort of ad, this particular visual worked for me and caught my eye.

  • Check out this video from Guardian. It is undoubtedly a promotion video on their work in the Middle East, but it’s a great quick watch with stunning views of the buildings and facades in that region. Being the glass and glazing geek that I am, just seeing some of these projects is really breathtaking. Plus, I love looks at other plants and layouts. Good watch for sure and a VERY well done video. Wish I had those skills!

  • For my fellow road warriors, did you happen to see the airplane row of the future? Check out this link and let me know what you think. This looks to be too advanced for the stodgy airline industry…

  • Super article here on the “death” of Facebook. I know many who feel the same way.

  • Last this week, Super Bowl. WOW. I mean, that was beyond words. I feel for my friends that are Falcon fans; tough loss. Happy for folks like Steven Brenner and Brian Shaw: big time Pats fans who are on cloud nine right now. Commercial wise, they were pretty awful all night. 5 million for 30 seconds, and the lack of creativity was stunning. The folks doing creative for ads in Glass Magazine are loads better. If I had to choose a few "winners," I would say the Tide, Kings Hawaiian, Spud McKenzie, and Ford "Stuck" commercials were best with decent efforts by Buick (Cam Newton) and the live Adam Driver spot. Still I gotta think these agencies have to go back to the drawing board for the future.

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 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.

After starting the new year with lists, trends and reviews, I had a bunch of other items piling up. It's time to do some catching up with a handful of different industry-related takes.

  • The National AIA show is changing its name. It will now be known as the AIA Conference on Architecture, and it’s a part of a bigger rebrand. The questions are: will it actually make the show better for the exhibitors? And, will it help the AIA recover from the continuing membership angst over the infamous press release after the U.S. Presidential election? (Read more about the backlash.

    My initial answers are "no" and "no". This show will always be about architects getting their educational credit. Between a lack of time and desire, a legitimate visit to the floor is often just not in their plans. Plus, as long as the AIA has a floor with companies desperate to get a visit from a real live breathing architect, there will never be meaningful change in the schedules to even give folks a better chance.

    As for the “revolt,” it surely seems to be real, as there’s still a massive dialogue featuring people that are talking about not renewing their membership and using this issue to point to other deficiencies inside the organization. We’ll see in April in Orlando (a traditionally awful tradeshow town anyway) if anything really has changed other than the name.
  • Thanks to the folks at Azon who tweeted out a link to the Top 10 countries (not including the United States) for LEED usage.

    It was a stunner for me to see that the No. 1 on the list wasn’t my awesome friends in Canada, but China. Yes, China is now at the top thanks to obviously some massive projects. They had 1,600 fewer buildings, but still produced more square meters of LEED than Canada. Don’t worry, my friends in the North, you are always No. 1 on my lists.

  • GlassBuild America formally announced dates for the 2017 event in Atlanta. Be there Sept. 12-14! As always, I believe it will be a fantastic show. (I’m obviously biased. I work it; I love it). But, I was very pumped to see that the GANA Fall Conference will be held during/at the show as well. That is huge. As an industry guy, the tough thing is the expense of travel to all of the events I want/need to attend. I know I am not alone. By simple collaboration, this sort of move helps so many be more efficient and more active in our industry. Great move, and it adds another angle to an already exciting process!

  • I saw that the NFRC released their new board member list. I laughed a bit, thinking back to the days when my life was consumed with trying to affect change by getting fresh blood in those spots. (My candidate Cliff Monroe would’ve been the best board member ever, that’s for sure). This “new” board looks exactly like the boards and power players from 2006. My only hope is with board members like Paul Bush and Kerry Haglund, excellent people who I know will at least listen to other views. 

  • There’s been a lot of chatter in the construction world on usage of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in the building and design process, and in the sales funnel. I did a lot of research into AR, and I really like the potential from a sales and marketing standpoint. Pricing is still high, and you have to have a solid sales staff. But my goodness it could be a game changer if used effectively.

  • Last this week, the Super Bowl is now lined up. My condolences to my pal Mike Synon of HHH, who is also an owner of the Green Bay Packers. Tough one. This should be a very good game. As always, I am really looking forward to the commercials to see what 5 million dollars for a 30 second ad gets you these days in the way of creativity and memorable moments. I’ll give you my favorites on next week's post. Also next week, preview of BEC, a great video from Guardian, potential good news for fellow road warriors and more!

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 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.

Last week I covered some of the trends I see really taking off in the new year, so I was pretty pumped to see a report come out that backed one of my predictions. Navigant Research released a study that shows the Net Zero Building movement growing tremendously over the next 20 years, eventually becoming a trillion dollar market segment. That’s trillion, with a T. The good news continued with the expectation that the main areas of growth will be from the glass and glazing segment. As I noted last week, this sort of building is growing because it’s a smart process that produces real results and it’s exciting that as an industry we have great options to be heavily invested in it.

Elsewhere…

  • Twitter can sometimes drive people crazy, especially with some of the insane negativity that can appear there, but I continue to try and find the good in it. Example was Friday during the riots in Washington, D.C., someone posted that there was tons of broken glass and windows all over the area. I replied to that tweet with “Oh to be a glass shop in Washington DC right now…,” and lo and behold a few hours later I see a tweet from Mike Albert showing his company (S. Albert Glass) out on the job, in DC, in the damaged area. Cool stuff and nice to see our industry in action. This is the second riot that I have watched a company I am familiar with jump into action. My pals at Binswanger in Charlotte responded to the riots in that area last summer.
  • Review of the December edition of Glass Magazine. Bethany Stough’s excellent cover story on installation was strong, especially given the severe labor pressure our industry faces. I am sure I am not the only one who walked away from this with an advanced understanding of the options available to the glazing community. And that story really made me understand even better why the installation equipment folks at GlassBuild were swamped. 
  • Also in this issue, Joe Schiavone of CRL had a great Glazier Bulletin like always. Love his work. I am also a huge fan of Mike Burk of GED via IGMA, who had a story on safety and smarts on the fab floor. Plus the recap of the incredible 2016 GlassBuild America just got me pumped for the future. All in all, from front to back, a great issue and must read.
  • The ad of the month goes to Wood’s Powr-Grip for the family approach, featuring Dustin Anderson of Anderson Glass of Waco, Texas and his beautiful family. The message of “bringing you home safe” is something that may be simple, but needs to be reminded daily. Good work there!


A couple non-industry reviews:

  • I recently read “Losing Isn’t Everything” by Curt Menefee. This was an excellent and easy read about the people on the other side of some of sports' most famous plays, and how they dealt with the disappointments of being in the spotlight and known for losing. Some handled it better than others, but all of the stories were very interesting and some actually inspirational. 
  • I watched “The Founder,” which was the story of Ray Kroc, the man best known as the builder of the McDonalds behemoth. It’s an intriguing story in that Kroc is not your typical business hero. And that’s probably why it’s taken so many years to get a movie about him. He was not the brains behind really any of the advancements of the company, but was smart enough to listen and learn from those who had the ideas. From a business standpoint, it’s a great watch, and from an entertainment side good as well since he’s not what you would expect as the guy behind such a happy brand.

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 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.

2017 is off and running, and aside from a rocky weather start in many parts of North America, it’s been pretty quiet overall. With that in mind it’s time to take a look at my fearless predictions for the coming year with regards to trends in our industry. Here goes…

More Unitized. The growth of the unitized curtain wall process will be significant. This has been a growing segment over the last few years and in 2017 it will take another step forward. And this is a trend that is not going to burn out thanks to significant labor shortages in the field. In addition, more and more unitized systems are performing at incredible levels energy wise, making them extra attractive to building owners and designers.

Net Zero. Even with the political winds shifting in the United States, the desire and charge to still build with energy efficiency and sustainability is very strong. Building to a Net Zero performance is actually accomplishing more than if you went through some “green” rating system, and more and more people are realizing that. 

Security. Again. As I noted last week, this was on my list for 2016 and I am putting it back on for 2017. It’s unfortunate that as a world we have to think this way, but it’s reality. I am seeing more security product options available hitting different application needs, and that too makes this an area to follow.

Deals and Acquisitions. Considering that at least two major deals that I expected to hit at the end of 2016 haven’t happened yet, this could be an easy prediction for me when they hit this year. But even aside from that, there are still a lot of people looking to buy and sell right now as well as companies looking to diversify through acquisition. All of that makes it ripe for a big deal year.

New Social Push.  A fun one to end it. At this point mostly everyone is familiar with the basic social outlets like Facebook and Twitter. Some people love them and some not. (Example: I loved following Matt Hale of Global Glass on Facebook as he flew to and worked around China this week.) However, the freshest outlets going right now are podcasts, Periscope and Facebook live. These take communication to the next level. As I noted a few weeks ago, John Wheaton has done a great job pushing his Periscope approach, and kudos to the folks at GCI Consultants who launched a podcast program. I have always harped on communication, and these new outlets are just another way to educate, inform and promote.

So there you go… It’s shaping up to be a great year overall and I am looking forward to everything that happens in our industry and covering it here!

Elsewhere…

We had three big industry personnel moves to start the year, featuring three of the most talented people in our world. 

  • First, Dr. Helen Sanders joined Technoform. I have written about Helen a lot over the years. She’s been a brilliant representative of our industry at the code and trade level, and a massive credit to the dynamic glass segment. She’ll continue to do great things at Technoform. I need to note that even with Helen leaving Sage, they are still in fantastic shape talent wise and I am confident they will continue to be an industry leader and supporter. 
  • Next was my pal Scott Goodman joining Aldora. Scott is a relentless sales professional and my respect for him is deep. He’s a great hire and he will be a force to be reckoned with in his territory. 
  • Last, a major coup for the folks at Guardian with the tremendous addition of Darijo Babic. Anyone who knows Darijo likes him and absolutely respects his skill and passion for his work. He represents our industry very well at the architectural level and will do fantastic things for Guardian in that regard. 

Congratulations to all three of you and to your new companies for bringing you on.

  • Obviously, later this week in the United States, we will start a new adventure. I will be most curious on what happens with the healthcare system. Right now that may be the most frustrating thing going. But we’ll see how that and all else goes as we begin with a new administration.
  • Last this week, I am pushing off the Glass Magazine review to next post. I know my audience, and if I start flying past 700+ words, I’ll lose you…. So we’ll hit that and much more next time!

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 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.

Hope everyone had a great holiday season and you are ready to roll into a very exciting year ahead! But before we look forward into 2017, it’s time to look back at 2016 and see how everything shook out with regards to my predictions at the front of the year. I made five predictions and I don’t believe I was far off…

1. Go big or go home. I predicted that the trend of going bigger was not ending anytime soon. With Guardian and Vitro putting in jumbo coaters (and Viracon which announced last year) and more oversize coming from all parts of the world, I’d say this was dead on. 

2. Security focused. I talked about the need for security glazing. It did not take off like I thought it would, but by no means do I think this area was a dud. I’d give myself half credit here, and quite frankly I think I may put this on the 2017 list, too. 

3. Greenfielding is back and new players emerge. The new players emerging were surely a trend in 2016, but only a few greenfields, and I was shocked that very few established fabricators did it. Plus none of the bigger folks from overseas jumped in yet with facilities in North America. They may still do it by acquisition or wait until the American dollar value changes. This is a failed call by me at this point.

4. Codes and certifications. No major issues on the code side thanks to a mellow year, but also tremendous work by those who represent us at that level. (Visit my MVP articles to see those names.) However, the certification side did get its feet down, and the work and advancement from groups like the NACC cannot be denied.

5. More focus on birds. This was on the list in 2015 as well and the focus without a doubt continued to grow. While there are still too many new buildings being built without bird protection in mind, many more are. With more products than ever available, I believe this is an area of concern that will continue to be addressed and the usage of the right design and products utilized.

Overall not that bad—surely better than my sports predictions (sorry Panther and Bengal fans!). Next week I will have my predictions for 2017.

Elsewhere…

  • The new year has begun, and somewhat shockingly to me, a few of the deals that I was told would be done by year-end still are not complete. So I guess we’ll see if the first quarter breaks anything loose on that front. 
  • The Sotawall/Apogee deal that closed right after my last blog of 2016 is a good one for both sides and surely is a great addition to the already powerful Apogee group of companies.
  • The November Architectural Billings Index hit positive levels again with 50.6. That is basically unchanged from the previous month. The interesting news was that new project inquiries were up sharply to 59.5. That’s an area to watch, as with a new presidential administration this would be the first area to see any change, positive or negative.
  • Congrats to good friend and excellent rep Margaret Brune. She continues to land excellent clients, most recently curtain wall manufacturer FreMarq Innovations. Good match of talent there and good to see!
  • Last this week, the coolest buildings of 2016 according to the folks at Construct Connect. Four of the five are on North American soil, which I am not sure has happened a lot in recent years. Take a look and if you had anything to do with these amazing structures, drop me a line! Would love to give you proper credit for being involved in something so “cool.”
  • Next week, predictions for 2017, Glass Magazine issue review, a great video and more!

 

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 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.

Last week I announced the group of candidates that came close but ultimately did not win the 2016 Industry MVP. As I noted then, so many great people and companies are worthy, and picking one is truly a challenge. For the winner this year, I went with a person that I have seen first hand making a difference in our world. This person is active at the trade group level, taking a leadership role and bringing a passionate approach to it.  his person also uses his voice online to educate the industry on issues and situations that we all really need to pay attention to. In fact he took one of my pet causes and has brought tons of attention to the holes there and did it in a classy but forceful way. Plus our winner is just flat out a good person and I have been a fan of his for years.

So without any further build up, the winner of the 2016 Industry MVP is Chuck Knickerbocker of Technical Glass Products. Chuck will probably want to kill me for heaping all this praise, but it is deserved! Also props must go to Chuck’s employer, TGP. They obviously see the great value in having Chuck out and active in the industry. Ao a thank you and a nod to the management and team there. Congratulations, Chuck- keep up the good work at GANA, your blog, and hammering on NFRC and the other issues that concern our world daily.

Elsewhere…

  • While I am in the handing out good news mode, major kudos to Bendheim on the release of its updated website. The new site is fantastic. Loaded with info and details. Building websites is not easy. Populating them with great resources is a massive challenge. Congrats to the folks at Bendheim for the excellent work!
  • Following up on the AIA story and their membership “uprising” over the post-election press release. The Media Relations Director of AIA resigned last week, and according to sources in published reports, it was because the AIA ignored his direction in the whole process. Like I noted when this happened, this was a massive PR failure on many levels and continues to be one as negative press is still active. As one commenter online noted, “Sometimes it's worthwhile to listen to your PR expert.” 
  • I recently saw the new movie “Dr. Strange,” and one glass-related item stood out for me. In many of the stunts, it looked to me like it was good old annealed glass being broken out instead of the usual tempered. This movie had a ton of computer-generated graphics, so maybe that was it, but it was jarring to see large annealed shards breaking in scenes with human interaction.
  • In my first post of 2017, I will review what we experienced in 2016 and hit on the trends expected in the New Year. One trend will be advanced social media, like Periscope. The great John Wheaton is making a major effort with that platform and the episodes I have been lucky enough to catch have been interesting and thought provoking. More on this and others in a future post, but follow John at @johnlwheaton1 on Twitter and you’ll get the notifications of his next Periscope. 
  • This will be the last scheduled post for 2016. Obviously that may change, as there are at least two major industry transactions that may take place before year end, so if and when they do break, I’ll make some comments on Twitter and here. I truly enjoy the communication with all of you and I thank you for your support. I believe 2017 will be an excellent year and I am excited to experience it. (Well all but the part of my daughter going to college in 2017. I am NOT excited about that…) In any case I would like to take this time to wish all of my readers a HAPPY and HEALTHY holiday season and year ahead. Take care and enjoy!

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 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.

It’s time to talk Industry MVP, but a few items before I start with the 2016 process. In my last post on this, I screwed up. I forgot a past winner, which was C.R. Laurence in 2014. I’m getting old and after 11 years of weekly posts, I’m not as sharp as I used to be! 

Before I unveil the runners up for this year, I want to recall all of the previous winners and runners up. The reason being is pretty much all of these people and companies are still very active and important in our world. And I am also trying not to repeat anyone, though it’s getting tough as some of the past runners up could be MVP most years. So for the future I may have to rethink. Anyway, let’s look back before we go forward.

2013

Winner: Tracy Rogers

Runners up:

  • Tom Culp
  • Mark Silverberg
  • Ed Zaucha
  • Mic Patterson
  • Oliver Stepe
  • Dr. Helen Sanders
  • Scott Thomsen

2014

Winner: C.R. Laurence

Runners up:

  • John Wheaton
  • Rick Wright
  • Tom O’Malley
  • Bernard Lax

2015

Winner: Jon Kimberlain

Runners up:

  • Garret Henson
  • Walker Glass
  • Dip Tech
  • Kris Vockler

On to 2016. This group of people and companies stepped up, represented their organizations and the industry with class and passion. My judging parameters as always:

  • Overall influence on the industry in 2016 
  • Technology/Innovation
  • Industry Support/Education
  • My opinion and knowledge of them and what they do. In the end, it’s my call and I own it. 

Mike Albert, S Albert Glass

Not only has Mike’s company been a long-time fixture in the glass and glazing world, but also he’s been a leading force at the National Glass Association as a board member and most recently Chairman. The NGA is surging now, and Mike absolutely had a hand in that and his overall care and passion for the industry are always on display.

The team of Thom Zaremba and Urmilla Jokhu-Sowell

I’m going with this duo, though it’s normally a trio with Dr. Tom Culp as the third. But Tom was a runner up in 2013, so he’s on the list already. Simply said, what Thom and Urmilla do for this industry is so crucial and so important I am not sure I can give it enough emphasis. They represent our industry at code levels all over the world and navigate some choppy waters. It’s hard to do the “right” thing when there may be competing levels of “right,’ yet these two do it and do it well and with respect. Without question, they have helped raise the level of respect our industry gets from other industries thanks to their professional and classy manner.

Sapa

The only company to make the list this year. I love that they take an aggressive approach to education with their Architectural Profile Academy and Shapes. Al website. Smart to teach and grow the audience the right way and these things take time and resources, so kudos to them for that. Plus a nod to Mark Spencer of Sapa who is a positive fixture at every event and one that carries the company mission out perfectly.

All listed above are worthy to win this year, but there was one person who rose above to win it and next week on my final post of the year, I’ll reveal who that is.

That’s it for this week. Next week, not only will I have the winner but also a look at a great new website from a classic industry company, annealed glass in the movies, more AIA/Trump press release fall out and much more!

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 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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