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.

A lot of quick hitting items for me this week, so I’m going to eschew the normal format and just get into them…

Great Tweet of a link from John Wheaton (who is a must-follow on Twitter, @JohnLWheaton1) about the decision in California to grant land to LinkedIn over Google. I don’t think Google loses many battles, so this is truly an interesting one. Google was planning an intense new global headquarters (which I wonder now if they will redesign to try and match or top Apple), and now without the land they’ll be going to plan B.

  • Tremendous feedback from my piece last week on the renovation needs by 2030. Thank you to all. It will be an issue to continue to monitor and we as an industry need to support any and all efforts to be involved in the process.
  • Hiring is always a crucial need. With the shortage of skilled employees some companies are just hiring any warm body they can. That is a dangerous approach as sometimes it’s really better to let the job go unfilled than to hire someone who could cause major harm. And in an industry where the primary product is pretty dangerous when not handled correctly, that’s even a bigger reason why it’s better to be focused on the hires you make.
  • I made the extremely quick visit to AIA. Did not get to all I wanted to, but still good to see who I did. Reaction on the floor traffic was mixed; some folks were thrilled, some not so much.
  • One thing at AIA that I caught wind of via social media was View’s announcement of their new “Intelligence” product. It’s a predictive glass that will do many things including react to the environment. It’s no secret I love the dynamic glass space, and this is yet another reason why.
  • Kudos to Jeff Razwick for a tremendous blog on GlassMagazine.com last week. I believe the blog “format” has many uses, but pieces like Jeff’s that in 500 words or so provide such great and important information is crucial to our world.
  • I ran into a computer magazine from 1977 that had a great story on how computerized statements will be a key to getting paid faster. I have to laugh since I don’t think that ever made a dent in the pay process. Even now, with electronic statements, those who want to pay quick do; and those who don’t or can’t… won’t.
  • The NFL was in hot water yet again, but this story did not get the same amount of attention as “Deflategate” did. The story is how the NFL takes millions of dollars from the armed forces for advertising, but they try and play it off with “honoring the troops” during pre-game and halftime. It’s very disingenuous. If you want to take money to promote signing up for the National Guard or Army, etc., that’s fine. But honoring of any troop should be free and done with respect, not because of a sponsorship.
  • Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day. (And a Happy Victoria Day this week for my friends in Canada.) And please, those in the U.S., take some time to pay respect to the men and women of the armed forces, both alive and passed, for their commitment and dedication to the country they served. Thank you.

Read on for links and video of the week...

From the Fabricator will be back on Tuesday, June 2.

 

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.

According to the Build America Initiative, approximately 75 percent of the infrastructure in the United States will need to be either renovated or replaced by the year 2030. At first glance I see the year 2030 and think, that’s a long way off. Then it hits me: time is flying, that is not really that far away anymore. As for the actual stat, I can truly believe it. Massive building growth in the 70s and 80s already is seeing signs of decay, and in our little world of glass and glazing, the amount of structures with old and poorly performing materials is mind blowing. So what’s the plan? Well that’s another problem; there doesn’t seem to be any cohesive or leading plan out there to address the issue.

The Build America group is surely a start and it has the backing of the Rockefeller Foundation and the White House, but that is not going to be enough. Not even close. To truly get in front of this situation and do what needs done, this needs massive buy in from trade groups across the spectrum (not just glass, but builder and development bodies), code organizations and the government. Will it happen? My guess: not any time soon. But the issue is out there and hopefully will spur some action. 

Elsewhere…

  • Maybe I shouldn’t be too hopeful to get government involved after all, especially after this past week and a special election in Michigan. The very off-season election, at a cost of 10 million dollars, featured a complex and confusing proposal that would increase one tax, reduce another and spread money around to several needs including roads and schools. The proposal was so poorly written and communicated that it went down to defeat 80 to 20! Think about that for a second. In this day and age of strict lines of right and left, this was something that a mass majority agreed on. Not sure you will ever see anything like that anywhere any time soon.
  • The AIA show is this week in Atlanta. I am only hopping in and out for bit, so probably no big recap from me. Looking forward to seeing the floor, though, and getting a feel for the attitude of the attendees and exhibitors I do get to run into.
  • Congrats to the gang at Guardian on the expansion of their Science and Technology Center. I have gotten the opportunity to visit and tour the original structure and it was amazing. Now this new addition sounds even more intense. I love that they went with Bagatelos Façade System and look forward to seeing it in action some day. Practicing what they preach is a great concept.
  • Last this week, our industry had a cool connection to the first round of the recent NFL Draft. The first round pick of the Cleveland Browns, Danny Shelton, is the first cousin of Jimmy Hanczor of Binswanger Glass. I’ve gotten to work with Jimmy over the years and he’s an incredibly good guy, so I’m obviously thrilled for him and his family on one of their own making the big time. Oh and our video of the week features Mr. Shelton and his reaction after he was picked. Good stuff!

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.

Education and communication: both crucial needs in our industry, and both among the major themes at the annual Garibaldi Glass Day I attended last week. It was very apparent to me from the questions I heard throughout the event that there’s a serious need to educate the masses about what we do and how we do it. Read more about the event. 

 

Elsewhere…

  • The design of the Garibaldi facility was surely something to see, as well. Exterior and interior usage of glass and glazing ran the gamut. Really a smart way to promote what our industry does in real life applications.
  • I gotta say I do love Canada. Have never had a bad experience anywhere or with anyone in that country.
  • Glass Magazine broke two pretty big stories last week--the closing of Southwall Insulating and personnel changes at HMI Cardinal. Both stories will have major repercussions in the industry, one of which is that there’s now some serious talent available for hire.
  • Last this week, a movie to recommend. On the plane ride home I caught “Now You See Me.” It came out a couple of years ago, but I never heard of it. Glad I got to watch it--pretty cool and creative movie. And evidently a sequel is coming out soon too. Hope it lives up to the first one.

Read on for more about Garibaldi Glass Day, 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.

Basically April is now in the books and 2015 is just screaming along; I can’t believe we are four months in already. Of the stories I have been monitoring, the capacity tightening of glass continues to be the most interesting. Some pockets of North America have been affected more than others, and with this cold, bizarre spring about to morph into a hot summer, we’ll see how things hold up. I know my contacts are telling me it’s going to be rough, so we will see.

The one cool thing? The fact that so many fabricators and glaziers have increased their communication game. I am seeing an unprecedented level of dialogue on leadtimes and planning. That is great at so many levels and a good business practice no matter what.

Elsewhere…

  • The Architectural Billings Index continues to provide good news for the commercial industry. The main rating was up a point and the new project index up 2. The worrisome news is that multi-family residential has had two negative months in a row. That bears watching for sure.
  • Major kudos to the folks at Giroux Glass. Their social media and website effort (with really strong blog takes) are absolutely fantastic. Overall well-thought-out and strong content. Very impressive stuff and worth checking out for sure.
  • Congrats to a few companies on the recently announced expansions. Onyx Solar is opening a location in Avila, Spain. Plus they are hiring 60 more people. That is great news for a very cool and needed technology. Great credit to Alvaro Beltran, and my pal Diego Cuevas on the positive moves!

Meanwhile, Dip-Tech is opening up a service center in Shanghai, which is a smart move to handle that side of the world for sure. No question that this is a company that just continues to press all the right buttons.

Last, the team from Alliance Glass is moving into a new facility and I loved how they promoted on Twitter with everyone in matching Ric Flair “Wooooo” T-shirts. All good news and “Wooooo” to all!

  • Also this week is my trip out west to the Garibaldi Glass Day. I am so excited to experience it and be involved on a panel while there. I’ll surely provide some thoughts next week.
  • I wish I had more time when I head to Vancouver; regrettably it’s an “in and out” for me. So getting to see the sites or visit with good friends like the awesome Chris Ketchum (who will be out doing a super job pushing RavenWindow, so he told me he wouldn’t see me anyway!) won’t happen this time.Then again with the Canucks eliminated in round 1, not sure anyone will be in the mood to visit!
  • This coming Saturday is as loaded as a sports day can be. NFL Draft (which I used to live for, not so much anymore), NBA and NHL Playoffs, Major League Baseball games all day, the Kentucky Derby (major bucket list item for me...some day I’ll visit the Louisville legend Tony Kamber and attend), and ending with the long-awaited Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. If you are a sports fanatic I am not sure it can't get much better than that. (By the way, my heart wants a Pac-man win, but the head says unfortunately Mayweather will take 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.

The “green” building process is a favorite subject of mine. That effort still has tons of growing still to do, especially in North America. But when I saw a recent report on the world’s twelve “greenest” buildings, it was exciting to see our continent well represented. Five of the twelve were in North America, including:

 

  •     Arizona State Health Services
  •     Manitoba Hydro
  •     Bud Clark Commons
  •     SUNY-ESF Gateway Center
  •     Packard Foundation Headquarters

If you supplied the glass and metal on any of these I’d love to know and learn more of what you provided and any challenges you faced. And congrats for being involved in something both incredibly cool and important.

Elsewhere…

  • Another aspect of the “green” side of things is solar, and I have said that product line is still in line to make an impact. And now thanks to a link from the always excellent Twitter feed of Ted Bleecker, there’s some evidence of growth on the residential side. While the business is not in the greatest shape yet, and this story surely leaves a lot to wonder about, the positive undertone is there.
  • Got tremendous news this week that the extremely talented Dan Plotnick of Guardian Industries was promoted to Architectural Sales and Marketing director for the Asia Pacific region. I am thrilled for him. Plus he’s at least one person on that side of the world that doesn’t hate me. It’s a great thing to see when good things happen to good people. Congrats Dan.
  • I started my research into the AIA show and the immediate thing that jumped out at me? Birds. Or more specifically bird protection. There will be several non-industry companies there with different options to protect the birds from the building envelope, as well as industry folks like Walker Glass showing their option for the architectural community to consider. This trend may actually grow faster than I expected.
  • I’ve written a few times on how I love the glass usage at Dulles Airport, so when I was there this week, I snapped a picture. Doesn’t do it justice, but believe me it's amazing. Glass everywhere and on everything. And I noticed several different logos this time, so the supply was surely spread around too. Overall just fantastic for a glass geek.

  • The great news from Apogee Enterprises on their strong year is also a good indicator for the industry at large. It’s surely a positive that one of the big signature players is experiencing significant success. And as for the Viracon segment and their great run, it’s no surprise given how dialed in Garret Henson and the sales team is there.
  • Last this week, a personal note. My teenage son has had his own blog focused on the world of professional wresting for a year or so. This week, he started to write for a big publication in that industry and got his first piece published. So incredibly cool, and I am beyond proud.

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.

Events are crucial for networking and education, and if you are in the business, you need to make sure you are keeping up. We are about to enter the late spring show/conference season and there are three that I have marked on my calendar for importance and impact.

Coming up on April 29th is the 28th Annual Mid-Atlantic Glass Expo in Maryland. This event is always packed with many regional glass and glazing companies, and rarely disappoints. Then two days later is an event that I simply cannot wait to experience. I am getting to attend the iconic Garibaldi Glass Day on May 1st. Being a glass geek, I love to see and learn new things. What Garibaldi Glass does every year is simply brilliant, educating the industry and bringing so many stakeholders under one roof. Being there in person has me excited beyond belief. The final event on the schedule is the annual AIA Expo, this year in Atlanta. While I pick on our industry's over-the-top obsession for architects and their approval (we are like that needy child, desperate to catch the attention of the distracted parent when it comes to our need for love from architects), there is value to this show, because of the networking and new products usually on display.

In the end, making shows or conferences a part of your yearly marketing budget is a must. That budget absolutely must include GlassBuild America, because if you are not attending/participating in that show you are truly doing yourself and your business a disservice. Obviously I’ll have a lot more to say on that event as we get closer, but it does boggle my mind when people skip it and then wonder why their competitors are gaining or passing them.

Elsewhere…

  • Heads up with your e-mail folks. A very nasty and tricky virus is out there. Basically you will get an e-mail from a recognizable friend of yours. It will start off as “Hi, how are you and then ask, “have you seen this” and leave a link. And that’s it. That link is a virus to add to your computer. And this virus is so tricky that you truly think it’s from a friend. In addition, another version has a link telling you to review “an invoice” and that too is bad. Needless to say, you have to be on guard with every e-mail nowadays. If it looks wrong or different, it probably is…
  • Tremendous issue of Glass Magazine is out now, and once again the great team led by Katy Devlin knocked it out of the park. Like each month, it's time to give props to the best ad of the issue and this one was a no brainer. The new ad from GGI was spectacular. Just stopped me in my tracks. That is what you want from a magazine ad for sure. Congrats to all involved on that one.
  • Also congratulations to Rick Hamlin of Cupples on his new post as president. Rick is a fantastic person and a true gentleman. Rick for the last few years has moderated the Glazing Executive Forum’s popular “State of the Industry” panel with great care and style. So happy that he’s continuing to be recognized for his talents.
  • Last this week: book review. I just finished “Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!” by Nicolas Carlson. It was solid--not quite as good as the last few books I have read--but if you want to get a feel for the way billion dollar companies make decisions, most of them bad, then you’ll want to read this. There’s also great inside insight on the configuration of Boards and volatile shareholders that's pretty enlightening. 

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.

Since my last post, two major energy efficiency efforts received big boosts. And despite our current comfort with lower energy prices, energy efficiency is crucial to our society and our industry. First, the Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings Bill was re-introduced and the odds of it being pushed forward are positive. If a bi-partisan bill like this can’t make it, then there’s no hope. Meanwhile, the Senate passed the Better Buildings Act of 2015, which will push commercial buildings to be even more energy efficient. More details can be found here, but suffice it to say, we have the products to get this done. And these are examples of why I have been so bullish on the dynamic space. That product line surely should be in the discussion with regards to these pieces of legislation.

Elsewhere…

  • Your monthly update on the Architectural Billings Index: the latest results had the index in the positive but the new project score did dip. Overall attitudes are still very positive when it comes to building and the economy. From my own view, I am seeing more cranes and shells of buildings in process than I have seen in years.
  • Folks, don’t forget to get your nominations in for the premier award program in our industry—The Glass Magazine Awards. Deadline for nominations is this week—April 10.
  • Birthday wishes to two cool folks in our industry: Lewis McCallister of Coral Industries and Jan Rogan of PPG.
  • A heads up to anyone who’s into SEO and websites: Google is making some big changes to their algorithms, specifically location coding. Back in the day, you could list your company and connect with every city you could think of, then just have it link back to your main site. In this new update, Google is devaluing websites that do that, potentially moving them down the rankings quite a bit. If you need more info, drop me a note.
  • The final agenda for Glass Performance Days is out, and those of you going to Finland for it will surely experience a serious overload of glass and glazing education. A few pieces to check out include the awesome Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning going deep on hyperelastic materials, tech legend Chris Barry on spandrel defects (Chris will make serious news I believe with his findings), and the extremely talented Jim Gulnick of McGrory Glass with a solar power case study.
  • And speaking of Mr. Kimberlain, hopefully by that June trip he'll be over the Kentucky loss in the Final Four. The great 1976 Indiana team still holds the mantle of being the last college team to go unbeaten all year.
  • Last this week, one big item I have missed is the growth of Health Product Declarations in our industry. Slowly but surely there’s been a significant demand for these and many in our industry have jumped on board and are able to supply them. In addition having the document helps in the whole LEED v4 effort as well. I can honestly say I don’t know the process very well at this point, but I’ve decided to dig in and figure it out, especially with HPD 2.0 now in process. In any case it looks like this is a need that is here to stay for sure, so be aware.

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.

There was a mix of economic-related news that populated my Twitter feed last week. First the good news, where on a link from Conners Sales (@ConnersSales) any initial fears about the awful housing starts number from last month were calmed. Basically the analyst called it “winter” and said to wait another month. That’s good enough for me. Then the bad news came up via Ted Bleecker (@TedBleecker) with a story on the scary debt situation in China. Surely one to continue to monitor especially since it will have a massive effect on the world economy. Both items will be big drivers and warrant following along.

Elsewhere…

  • Quick family note: I'm absolutely thrilled about my nephew Josh joining the fine folks at Pleotint. As any reader of this blog knows, I am a huge proponent of dynamic glazing and its usage and potential. Great to see Josh signing on to that world, and I'm very excited to see what great things they do together.
  • Last week I posed two questions at the end of my blog: one on ultra thin glass and one on the upcoming Apple Watch. I really was blown away by some of the insights I received, and learned a lot as well. The great Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP educated me on a few things including ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene), which is being used in glazing areas on some really intense projects. Overall on the thin glass question, the issue of finding the sweet spot for usage was the theme. As for the watch, universally negative responses toward its success. Apple has not failed with a product launch in a very long time, so we’ll see if their winning streak is up or we’re all missing the boat here. Thanks again to all who responded!
  • Congrats and good luck to Margaret Brune who recently joined the tremendous team at Saand as a manufacturer's rep in the Michigan market. Once again a good match of company and salesperson. I’m glad I’m not involved in sales anymore, because back in the day I had to compete with Margaret and she crushed me on a daily basis…
  • Over in England there’s a very strong daily blog called Double Glazing Blogger, and the author had a post last week that was very interesting. The use of quadruple glazing in China, combined with a video of a 57-story building in China going up in just 19 days using the quad glazing system. Just crazy how things get done over there… I wonder, will the quadruple glazing run come this way? Given that triple glazing has not gained as much market share in North America as the experts predicted, I’d guess this one going mainstream is still far off.
  • And while on the subject of China (my gosh, three items related to China this week and none featuring me ranting…odd): a good look here at two all-glass skyscrapers designed by SOM. The key? Huge IGUs but oriented a little differently than we are all used to.
  • Programming note, no post coming from me next week, unless of course big news happens, which right now seems doubtful as it's pretty quiet out there. Next post coming first full week of April.

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.

After spending several days out of the office, I’m scrambling to keep up. So for this week’s blog, no lead story, just a bunch of quick hits…

--The positive economic trends in our industry are still moving along, but then again so are the continued tightening of supply and lack of consistent transportation. Last week I spoke to several industry insiders who told me they are rolling with things the best they can, but it's getting tougher every day. The key? Planning and communication. The more you do of both, the better off you will be.

--You never know what and whom you will see in Las Vegas. And while I have been there at least 40 times (in my best estimation), I have never run into anyone as epic as Steve Cohen of PPG did last week: the “baddest man on the planet,” former heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson. Nice! I wonder if Iron Mike will now be calling on architects with Steve; could make a convincing case to get products in the spec! Plus, props to Steve for taking a selfie with him. Way to go, my friend.

--The Glass Magazine Awards are back with the 2015 edition. Nominations are being accepted now for the products and projects portion of the annual awards program. For more info, including the specific categories, please click here!

--Caught a very interesting documentary this past week: Pink Ribbons Inc. The focus was the massive “pinkwashing” surrounding fundraising for breast cancer awareness and more importantly the lack of progress in identifying what causes breast cancer and finding better treatments or a cure. Really intriguing to watch as I have never been a fan of certain organizations jumping on board to help their own image (the NFL every October is a big one). It's frustrating to see billions of dollars raised, yet no major advancements in place. Worth the watch if you are interested.

--Now that BEC is in the books, next up are a couple of excellent regional shows, including the always-popular Mid-Atlantic Glass Expo April 29th, and then AIA May 14-16 in Atlanta. Before you know it, GlassBuild America will be here, and from all indications this year’s event will be very strong. I’m excited to see how things progress there.

--Last this week, two questions I am curious to get your opinions on: one pop culture/social and one industry.

  1. Do you think the Apple Watch will make it? I am torn. I love Apple products but have not worn or needed a watch in years. I can’t see the need when my iPhone does everything. But I’m also old and staid. Curious for other insights.
  2. At BEC, guest speaker James O’Callaghan made mention of the use of ultra thin glass. There are a few manufacturers who make it (AGC had their Dragontrail on display at GlassBuild last year), but finding a home for use is still a question. So do you think that this product will find its way into prominent places in the exterior glass world?

As always feel free to e-mail me, as I don’t monitor the comment section very closely.

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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