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.

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Do you have any people around you that like the negative? You know, the folks that always look for the dark cloud looming instead of soaking in bright shiny day? Today for this post, it’s going to be me. This past week, both the USA Today and the New York Times ran stories predicting a crash in the markets. The USA Today piece put a date on it, predicting that in mid-May the market will reach 1,311 trading days since the bull market began, meaning, based on past history, the market will crater. The entire story, with details and statistics is actually pretty interesting. Add in last Friday’s drop, and this theory may have some legs. So will this happen? Let’s hope not….but surely a worry given the coverage popping up in the media.

Elsewhere…

  • More good news on people, with new gigs this week. I was thrilled to see the story on Chris Cotton at Dlubak Specialty Glass. Chris is a class man, and I think he'll do well in his new role. I feel a connection with Chris on another area as well, as he has to deal with what I do every day. That is the adventure of having a more popular brother in the industry. 
  • One news item that deserves more focus is the “Product Category Rule,” as it plays a big role in the latest version of LEED and is a big component people are looking for when it comes to sustainable building practices. The Glass Association of North America just finished a PCR for flat and float glass, and it’s a tremendous first step for our industry. Props to Urmilla Jokhu-Sowell and her team at GANA for a job well done. Believe me you will see the acronyms PCR and LCA a ton more in the coming months and years.
  • I noticed Glass Magazine added a new blogger last week with the addition of Jeff Razwick of TGP. I am a big fan of Jeff (and his company overall), and he’ll do a super job in that space. It’s a real thrill/honor for me to share spaces with guys like Jeff, Bill Evans, Rod Van Buskirk, Chris Mammen and the great writers of Glass Magazine. 
  • A great follow on Twitter is @TedBleecker, as he always has good and interesting links. This one on the look differences in NYC storefronts in just the last 10 years may be one of the coolest stories I have ever seen. Great piece! 
  • Kind of ironic that in the week I write my BIPV Boom or Bust column, a new report says that market will grow to 2.7 billion in 2019. I guess that would be boom, eh? I did get several e-mails on this subject, and most people are still very leery of the possible success of BIPV, specifically on the curtain wall and storefront sections of the building envelope. 
  • Next week, if all goes well, I plan on having an interview in the space with a player in a market that is growing quite a bit. So, stay tuned. 
  • Last this week… Don’t forget the Glass Magazine Award nominations are due April 17th. This is the most prestigious award program in our world, so do not miss your chance to recognize the people and projects that deserve it!

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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Who out there still believes in building integrated photovoltaics? I follow a few people on Twitter who are still loyal to the cause and I know several companies that are confident their product will be the one that hits it big. The reason I bring this up is that this past week I saw a news report that Heliatek reached a new world record in efficiency with its transparent solar cells. I chuckled, because back in my past life I was involved with a product, not too different than the Heliatek one, that I believed and still believe could have been the gamechanger. The effort is still ongoing, but here we are five or six years later, and BIPV is not near the mainstream yet. Will it get there? I still believe that there are too many parts of the building not active and that with the push for net zero and net positive, BIPV is a must. The question is: When will the right product, with the right efficiency and at the right price come to fruition?

Elsewhere…

  • Meanwhile, the numbers for traditional solar installations are interesting. In 2013, solar-generating capacity beat wind-generating capacity for the first time. By 2023, solar is expected to dwarf wind, almost doubling its output. What’s the reason? Major utilities are jumping on board and pushing it. Clean energy is undoubtedly something that has not reached anywhere near its potential yet.
  • Congrats to my good friend Mike Dishmon of Virginia Glass Products on his recent appointment as VP of Sales and Marketing. Mike’s a great and talented person who will do tremendous things there.
  • Last week I wrote on VUCA, and all week I heard various thoughts and opinions on it.  The main theme was no one had heard of VUCA before, and now that they’ve heard of it, they are fascinated by it. I have to admit, I am too. Really interesting mindset to have.
  • The Architecture Billings Index was a little flat last month, but given how insanely bad the weather has been, with across-the-board complaints on the effect the weather has had on construction, it's not a surprise. I believe good things are still to come.
  • Spring, however, will not be coming. I’m convinced of that. I just think we’ll go right from winter into next 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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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I found it funny when Katy Devlin looked back to 2004 in her blog last week, because I have been having the same discussions—looking back 10 years and realizing how so much has changed in the glass industry. If you told me then what our world would look like now I would have never, EVER believed you. I’d be more apt to believe in flying cars and a Jetsons-like community than the different industry landscape we have now. It's only 10 years, but so much has changed. Think back 10 years and remember how different things were—what the products were, who the suppliers were, who the voices of the industry were. What a different world.  

Now, think where will we be in 2024. I’m actually trying to avoid that thought; I’m still thrown by thinking about the past to now! 

Elsewhere…

  • Guardian released a new app recently with a focus on glass performance for windows. It is a very sharp and impressive tool. It's a great reference and training piece too, so if you have some new people, you need to download this and have those folks devour it. It also paints our industry in a very positive light, which we always need.  Kudos to the team at Guardian who led the charge on this one. To download, search your app store for Guardian Window InSight.
  • One comment I receive at least once a week is, “I didn’t know about that.” Well in our industry, there are two events that can help solve that dilemma: GlassBuild America in the fall and BEC next month. And speaking of BEC, you really should attend the technical meeting the night before the event opens. Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP will lead it, and he’s a tour de force. Thanks to him and his team’s effort, his session next month is loaded with tons of info and three strong presentations: one from Jon McFarland of Wheaton-Sprague, "Benefits of BIM & Curtain Wall"; one that brought the house down at GANA’s Annual Conference by Julie Schimmelpenningh, "School Security & Safety"; and one from Jim Benney of NFRC, "Codes and the NFRC," which will be helpful to attend to know and understand what will affect you and your business going forward. Plain and simple, if you are a contract glazier, you need to be there. Plus, the rest of the event has excellent presentations planned as well, which I’ll get to next week. It is worth the time and budget.
  • Olympic hockey is so enjoyable, but now there’s even more on the line for me. Thanks to a bet with my friends at RavenBrick—proud Canadians—if Canada beats the U.S. and wins gold, I will have to stand up in a restaurant and sing “O Canada.” But if the U.S. wins, they will have to do the same with the “Star Spangled Banner.” I don’t think I can lose on this bet: If the U.S. wins I am thrilled; if Canada wins, I will have a blast belting out “O Canada” and may even mix some of the French version in, too.
  • The largest solar power plant in the world opened up in the California-Nevada desert last week. This project is an important milestone for anyone who cares about the future of solar energy. It has been an adventure getting here as it has been slowed by lawsuits and worries about the effect on the environment. That conundrum has been interesting to watch since the same people who are against fossil fuels and are pro sola, have lined up against this plant because of its effect on the wildlife, etc. Regardless, this project could continue to renew and improve efforts to get more solar energy 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.

Last week the Glass Association of North America held its Annual Conference in Florida and quite a few interesting tidbits came out during the event. The highlight was the celebratory lap for the group of people that worked so hard on the ASHRAE Window to Wall Ratio issue. It was nice to rehash such a significant moment in our industry. However, along with the cheers was the major caution that “it’s never over” when it comes to attacks on our world; we can’t sit back on our laurels. We have to keep innovating, then pushing AND implementing said innovation. I believe we have great momentum, and we do have excellent products both available now and in the pipeline. Let’s keep going!

Also in the news from the conference:

  • A presentation on the new LEED, known as LEEDv4, opened eyes. I think it has potential to be very difficult on our industry, especially on regional manufacturer categories. It’s not mandatory until mid 2015, but you better start understanding and learning it now. It does feature many “good” things for energy efficiency, but also has a comical and bizarre “Quality View” category that is just weak. Just when you think these guys get it, you see that they don’t.
  • The Energy Day was very strong. Kudos to Mark Silverberg, Dr. Helen Sanders, Stanley Yee and the rest of the team that set it up. The speech by Dr. Mikkel Kragh of Dow Corning was mesmerizing. The ideas and information he presented were among the best I have seen.
  • Lots of people were honored throughout the event. A memorial for Greg Carney was done with perfect tone; a great way to remember a great man. Jim Benney of NFRC made a heartfelt speech about Greg. Carol Land is retiring from the organization and was honored in front of the crowd. I, for one, will miss her. She has always been tremendous to me, and these events will never be the same without her influence. Other very well-deserving folks won awards as well, and I want to give public props to Valerie Block of DuPont for all she does for that organization and for our industry. She’s had, and I would assume will continue to have, an important role in how certain standards are set and explained.

Elsewhere…

  • Got news that Tim McQuade of Northwestern Industries is hanging it up. This is another big departure to our industry. Tim helped build NWI into an absolute force in his 20 years as president there, and 39 years in the industry overall. I personally will miss Tim, as he was always willing to hear me out on whatever lame-brained adventure I was onto. Thank you Tim, and enjoy your retirement! Rick Nelson will take over there, and I am sure he already has my e-mail and phone numbers blocked!
  • Also last week, the International Builders Show took place in Las Vegas. Every single report I got back said it was awesome and the best in years. That is very exciting. It means we surely have some positive approaches going. It also says that trade shows ARE a good and important way of doing business. Nice to see.
  • Last this week, the Olympics. I always enjoy many aspects of the Winter Games, but I am really looking forward to the hockey. It usually never fails to bring great action and drama. I’m going with the Fins in a major upset.

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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