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.

Innovation and technology. Those are words we throw around quite a bit in our world. In some parts of the industry, there’s actual meaning and weight behind them, but in others, it’s empty terming, something that people use to just make themselves look good. On the whole though, I think the majority of the glass and glazing industry truly “walks the walk” when it comes to these terms and making advancements in what they do and how they do it. Now our main base products- float glass and aluminum- may be as basic as they come, but it’s what we all do to them that make it special. And each time I am out and about and see what people are doing or when I am sent new info, it really makes me excited to see how things are progressing. I do believe we have some great things going. On that note, I’ll be at the GANA Fall Conference this coming week, so I am looking forward to seeing what else I can learn and I’ll share here next post.

Elsewhere…

  • Part of my thought process above came thanks to the latest issue of Glass Magazine, which was focused on “Next Generation Manufacturing for Next Generation Products.” It was a great read that featured several pieces that gave neat insight into product and plant advancements and technologies.  The deep dive into the new plant at Sage was especially riveting to me. Worth the read and nice touch by adding a section for some of the key people involved in building that plant. Good for those hard working folks to get some pub!
  • Also in this issue, another fantastic look at succession planning with a few pieces and a pretty interesting case study. Great content overall. Check it out!
  • And my for my “ad of the month” I am going with Harbison Walker International.  I never heard of them, did not know what they do, but their ad stopped me in my tracks, made me read and want to see more. Well done to whomever was the brains behind that one!
  • Some sad news this week with the passing of Joe Landsverk of Wood’s Powr-Grip. Really good man and he was very encouraging to me both when I started my business and whenever I would run into him at GlassBuild America. My condolences to his family.
  • A while back we covered the whole “transparent wood” is better than glass story and it seemingly popped up again this week with some coverage online. I do not view it as a major threat to our way of life, but should be a warning that the rest of the world is always working on what’s next. (See, more innovation and technology is needed!) Here’s the story and it includes video too. 
  • Last this week, the new iPhone is due to come out in the next few weeks, and rumor is there will be no area for a headphone jack. So wireless, Bluetooth or headphones that connect to the charge port will be it. This is a monumental change. Usually Apple changes the way people do things, but this will be one to watch to see how it works. For me, I do not like Bluetooth headsets: just can’t hear as well and hate having to remember to charge yet another device. 

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.

If you missed the excellent blog on tradeshows by Ron Crowl of Fenetech last week, I strongly suggest you check it out. I thought in the very quick and creative way he wrote it, he got the message across on the importance of tradeshows. It’s something that I have been harping on for a while and will continue to do so. If you are not attending these events, with the next big one in the U.S. being GlassBuild America, you are really doing yourself a disservice personally and professionally. 

One key part of GlassBuild that you do no want to miss is the Glazing Executives Forum. I was thrilled to see that Sapa jumped on board this past week as a sponsor. They have done so in the past, so to see them back was exciting. I truly appreciate and respect the way they support the industry with events like this and their internal educational pieces as well. Props obviously also must go to the others that are sponsoring: YKK (loyal sponsor of this for several years), Tremco, Ergo Robotics, Roto Frank, and Novagard Solutions. As an industry guy, thank you for doing your part for our world.

Elsewhere…

  • I know I have been going overboard on the econ numbers lately, but here’s a great story to share on some of the metrics not watched as closely as well as some specific looks at markets and trends. Worth the read.
  • This may be an old piece but thanks to old friend Scott Goodman of AGC for sending along. The suspended pool in London. Does anyone know, has this been built yet?
  • Congrats to Richard Wilson of AGNORA for being a finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year contest going on in Ontario. AGNORA surely has done some innovative things that are being recognized. Plus I love when our industry has people noticed in overall award categories and not just industry centric. Makes us all look good. Best of luck, Richard!
  • And while we’re on the path of congrats, a hearty one to the McClatchey family of SAF. They just celebrated their 70th year in business. Every interaction I have ever had with this company is always positive, plus they are another company that seemingly is always exhibiting and supporting every show. Congrats, gang!
  • I have to talk Olympics and just how enjoyable the first week was. Some incredible performances and stories. Katie Ledecky is off the charts. Anthony Ervin, winning a gold 16 YEARS after doing it the first time and at the "ancient" age of 35 was awesome. Maya DiRado wowed me. And the two Simones. Manuel and Biles were historical difference makers. Last but not least, Michael Phelps. Wow. And no way do I think he’s actually retiring after this Olympiad either. The second week of these games will surely have a long way to go to catch the excitement of the first!
  • Last this week, the annual “Old Farmers Almanac” Forecast is now out for this winter. Remember it has an 80 percent accuracy rate. This blurb from Country Living Magazine sums it up:

Every region of the U.S. will be hit with a different type of terrible. The Northeast and Midwest can expect "colder than normal" temperatures and precipitation is supposed to be "above normal." If you're in the Pacific Northwest, you can expect a lot of rain and chilly weather. And in the Intermountain and Appalachian regions, where ski enthusiasts would actually like cold temperatures and lots of snow, it's set to largely be warmer and less snowy than usual.

The story did note the South would have a very mild winter. So good for all of you who live there. As for the rest of us, here’s rooting for this forecast to be wrong!

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.

I know it seems I am constantly talking about forecasts and economic conditions, and it’s probably because I am. Basically I get asked a few times a week about the economy, about the different projections online, and about the different data points, so I like sharing it here. This week had more of the same because several stories came out with reviews of both the first six months of 2016 and more recent month-to-month reporting. The story tones were mixed, mostly because the data was. 

On the positive side, the AIA released a mid-year update, and while noting several roadblocks current and possible, the report was very confident in a positive finish to 2016 and an entire 2017. 

On the flip side, Dodge had their midyear piece and was not as confident, focusing more on the fact that we had fantastic growth and it’s slowing down a bit from that.  Add to that the release that construction spending went down for a third straight month, and you could start sensing concern. The analysts I follow and trust are still very much in the positive camp and actually expect some of these reports to be revised up after further review. A good, quick piece from Bloomberg spells some of it out. Plus we are actually still ahead of 2015 by 6 percent. Basically we are quibbling over how much growth and not just staying positive. In addition, the mid-year consensus has growth predicted to finish at almost 6 percent this year AND next.

Still, the memories of 2009 and 2010 are amazingly fresh in many of our minds and the time it took to really get cranking again seemed to be forever. So whenever we have these blips on the radar, it does cause some angst. Bottom line for me right now is we’re in a good place. Let’s keep rolling but continue to monitor the trends.

One item that can and will have an effect, but is still unknown, is the U.S. Presidential election. In normal cycles a Presidential election has an effect of some type. For those of us living in the U.S., this cycle is as far from normal as you can get. So that is surely an item to always have in the back of your head.

Elsewhere…

  • I am surely one who tries to support anything sustainable, but I have a question for those of you experts out there. I am online ordering tickets for a few upcoming ballgames. The site notes in order to “stay green” that paper tickets are unavailable. OK that makes sense.  ut then they note, mobile and electronic entry are not available so you need to “print your tickets at home.” So my question is, how are we being more sustainable if I print the tickets vs. the venue printing?  
  • Fun picture-laden piece that came via the great Twitter feed of Viracon’s Garret Henson (@Viracon_Garret) on fritted glass. I love looking at the buildings and usage of glass, but I will say the article is a bit shortsighted. There are many more options than they listed or focused on to meet these aesthetic goals, and I would’ve liked to have seen them mentioned. Despite that glaring omission, I love when glass is shown off like this. I just may have to do my own splashy photo piece showing the options!
  • On that note of great looking glass, I really enjoyed the blog post from Moon Shadow's Kris Iverson last week on the Glassblog. Clear, concise and helpful piece, and yet another reminder that communication rules.
  • Last this week, The Olympics are underway. If you can remember, this was the one that the U.S. badly wanted for Chicago. The effort fell short back in 2009 when the games were awarded, but can you imagine IF Chicago would’ve won? With the security shown at four-day events like political conventions, I could only imagine the mess Chicago would’ve been during this. Oh, and with an Olympiad that close, I would’ve done everything to go, too… I know my pal Tom O’Malley of Clover Architectural with his Chicago connections would’ve taken great care of me!

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.

This week we’ll start with something other than glass, but something many people in the glass and glazing industry really got behind and supported--the Ice Bucket Challenge. News broke that the money raised from the Ice Bucket Challenge two years ago led to a major breakthrough in the research of the ALS disease. You all deserve a pat on the back.  

The money raised during that time--a staggering 220 million--funded the biggest study ever. And during that study, researchers identified a gene that has given them a jump start on a possible cure and therapy. Obviously, a long way to go on this one, but it is positive news and something so many of us can say we had a part in. The Ice Bucket Challenge really was like no other event I can remember in bringing people together and allowing them to have their moment of fun for all to see--all while raising money and now succeeding in helping fight this disease. To all of you out there who read this and did it, congrats and thank you!

Elsewhere…

  • The latest edition of Glass Magazine is out and as always some “must see” items are in there. First and foremost, it’s the 2016 Glass Magazine Awards issue,so surely worth checking out the best of the best and those who were talented enough to win the most prestigious recognition our industry has.  The main takeaway from this award issue is that we have great companies who innovate at so many levels. This is one surely to be proud of.
  • Also catch the continuation of the “succession” series and a nice piece on the class-act Mammen family as they take a new step with their company. 
  • The ad of the month? Security Lock Distributors wins it with the “Technical Assistance” play. The ad was smart and bold and made me stop and read. I don’t know this company well at all, so it shows the ad was effective in catching my eye. So whoever there worked on this one, congrats on a job well done!
  • One of the award winners in the magazine was the new Minnesota Vikings stadium that opens this month. This week I ran across an article that I thought did a good job running down the timeline of the building of this structure and the various issues. Take a look, and especially see the comment section as a local architect surely did not agree with the article--at all. 
  • For my Denver readers, I came across this piece breaking down the redevelopment of the old Stapleton airport area. Sounds like things are progressing. So does Denver have the roadmap for other municipalities to follow in the future? I guess only time will tell, but nice to see the moves to redevelop the area are in motion. Especially since I currently live in an area (Metro Detroit) that has struggled mightily to do the same. 
  • Last this week, normally this sort of story would go in my “Links” section, but I had to put here because it’s just too hard to believe. Used cooking oil is a hot resource in Chicago. I’m floored by this one

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.

Now that we have had a few days to let the PPG-Vitro deal sink in, I think the underrated item in this deal is that Vitro is not exactly a newbie when it comes to glass. They have been producing glass since 1909. So there’s history there for sure. I say this because the focus was on PPG getting out of glass after more than a century, and it may have been different if a young upstart company bought them. 

Another item that had people buzzing is what happens to the current PPG workforce. I can tell you that in a deal like this people are a crucial part of it. Vitro now inherits some serious talent and they surely will want to take advantage of that. Believe me, if they don’t, competitors will. On the branding side, I mentioned on a previous post that the tried and true names will be staying. That is a big move as we’ve seen acquisitions in the past where familiar names were blown out, and so were the specs that were attached to them for years. 

At this point, there will be a few months while the particulars get settled and the deal becomes official. We’ll keep an eye on it all, but I think for the most part we won’t see any dramatic change to the way business is done in our industry based on this. I do, however, see the logjam starting to loosen on other deals. While we are in a serious rumor overload right now, I do think more action is coming in the second half of this year. And there are a few with potential to be bigger than this and also have an affect on the industry, too. Stay tuned.

Elsewhere…

  • Last note for now on the Vitro-PPG deal and it’s an angle I bring up with all major deals: will the new entity still support the industry the way the old did? PPG is at every show and always willing to help. In addition, their education pieces are fantastic. Hope that continues!
  • Another note from the acquisition side, I’m surprised that the Dow and Dupont deal has not had more coverage. A lot of speculation there on what comes next specifically regarding Dow Corning. Will bear watching as well.
  • The monthly release of the Architectural Billings Index hit right as all of this came up. So it flew under the radar some. June marked the fifth straight positive month though the score trended down a bit to 52.6 from May’s 53.1. New projects also fell some to 58.6 after a scorching 60.1 in May. Basically this along with some other forecasting metrics keeps the industry on pace for a positive start to 2017.
  • Via the Twitter feed of Ted Bleecker, a great column on the economy and the metrics with it. So while I trumpet the above success of the ABI, I guess I too may be falling into that trap. Good food for thought here. And the author of this piece, Alex Carrick, is also a good Twitter follow.
  • Last this week, one convention done, one to go. Stepping away from the actual event and looking at the costs, these two events will tally more than 140 million to put on. That number just blows my mind. Yes, it’s helpful for the economy: that 140 million goes to tons of trades and companies involved with it. But it also just seems like an insane waste of resources. And my misery will just grow worse with a BILLION dollars expected to be spent on the election in November. 

 

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.

A rumor had been floating out there for a while about two major glass companies. In fact rumors surrounding both companies are almost like a cottage industry. Now the “rumor” has hit the main stream news. I am talking about PPG and Vitro—more specifically, about PPG selling its flat glass division to Vitro. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette acquired an independent auditors report and then released a story late last Friday night. Obviously this does not mean a sale is imminent. We don’t know exactly what sort of report it was, as the story doesn’t dig into specifics. But the fact the Post-Gazette ran with this story is very interesting. It now brings this backroom discussion to the public. We’ll see if this marriage happens or if something else swerves in its way. In any case this will be one to watch.

Elsewhere…

  • We are halfway through the year, so let’s do some looking back and some peering ahead. 2016 got underway with some early weather issues and dropping oil prices. Both of those items were especially unkind to the great state of Texas. Bird friendly glazing continued to be in the news and growing in the minds of designers, building owners and consumers. Hopefully it will find more usage as well. Also in the first half of the year, another successful industry gathering at BEC, ending an incredible run of success by Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning in the lead of that event. From an overall economic side, both residential and nonresidential starts and put-in-place are running ahead of forecasts and the analysts are bullish. The ABI and DMI also looked solid during Q1 and 2.

    Now looking ahead, will oil prices stay low or start to grow? The bi-annual glasstec in Germany hits in September, and I’ll be curious on where the vibe is there, especially given the whole “Brexit” adventure in play. GlassBuild America goes a month later than usual this year and is bigger than ever, with bigger floor space, more exhibitors, and tremendous innovation and networking to be had. That’s in October. I still expect other acquisition news to hit (aside from mentioned above), though being a major sellers’ market, there may be some delay in any of that happening with valuations a lot higher than folks would like to pay. Of course, no looking ahead can happen without the one thing that most likely will be life changing. The 2016 Presidential election. No words can probably describe that one accurately. Anyway it should be an interesting run to 2016. Buckle up! 
  • Speaking of GlassBuild, just a reminder about the Glazing Executives Forum. Two great keynotes (George Hedley and Ken Simonson) and “Solution Sessions” are lined up that will be well worth your time. Learn more and join the growing registration list. 
  • The winners of the Glass Magazine photo contest are out, and I loved the winner—a picture of glass after going through a two hour fire test. It's just an awesome shot overall. This contest was a fun one, and I expect it grow and be even better in the future. Our industry has a ton of great looking and innovative pieces. Let’s keep pounding our chests and show it off!  
  • I’m a bit late on this, but congrats to Bobby Hartong and his family, his partner and my brother Steve, and everyone at WA Wilson in West Virginia on their 175th Anniversary! Yes, 175 years. It's an amazing accomplishment and could not have happened to nicer folks too. That party in 25 years for the 200th will be a wild one. 
  • If you have the slightest interest in the growing 3D printing world, this link is for you. A ton of great insight and resources in one place thanks to Benesch Law and my good pal and industry supporter Rick Kalson. 
  • Last this week, here is an interesting article on the Las Vegas building market and how the tall residential towers are not in the future plans. I wonder if this same fate awaits Toronto? Eventually there’s just too much.

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.

Any time I give analysis on the economy, I always leave a healthy “but” in there with regards to the political climate. So when #Brexit, the vote of Britain to leave the European Union, happened last week, that surely became an example of something that “could” be an issue. We live in such a reactionary world that sometimes you really can’t get a true feel for any sort of impact because of the immediate bluster in the aftermath of the event in question. “Uncertainty” is the keyword.  Obviously there’s a lot at play here, and a long way still to go, so it surely bears our attention going forward. Could this be something that derails the positive trend that many of us are on? I ask because the emotional reactions right now are outnumbering any rational ones. Curious of the thoughts of the amazing minds out there in the industry on this one, so feel free to share.

Elsewhere…

  • Speaking of positive trends, the Architectural Billings Index had an excellent May. With a score of 53.1, the index posted its best score of the year and the analysis is pointing to a fresh surge on the institutional side of the business. Personally I always liked institutional work because they were less likely to “value engineer” products out. In any case, this currently stands as a good sign. Now whether or not the geo-political strife is going to hamper this, we’ll see.
  • Fantastic book out that industry geeks would love. “One World Trade Center-Biography of the Building” by Judith Depré takes an extremely deep look at the building of the new World Trade Center buildings and the amount of mention on glass and aluminum has been surprisingly heavy. There’s also insight in there on suppliers for the building I was unaware of, so that was interesting to me. The best part is it shows our industry as more than just folks who throw some random glass into any old hole. There’s precision, planning and care. That was cool. I will note the first ½ of the book is where the action is; 2nd half starts in on the other landmarks of NYC and some other items, so it makes for a quicker read.
  • Saw the news this week on the Asahi and Solaria partnership. That is excellent stuff and major kudos to my old friend Scott Hoover who’s obviously doing great things in his role at Solaria.
  • I was able to finally see the movie “13 Hours” and I have to say I am impressed that they kept pretty close to the book. That’s rare in Hollywood. But then again this story was so deep and intense it was almost impossible for Hollywood to screw up. (Then again so was the movie based on “Munich” and that was ruined, so who knows.)
  • I had one of the moments recently where I know I am getting old. I had to change the settings on my iPhone to the largest print. My kids can read my phone from across the room now, as well as some astronauts in space…. 
  • Last this week, a programming note. No posts coming from me until the week of July 18th. Unless of course news happens. On that note, the rumor mill is churning at record speed, but yet no news. So maybe over these next two weeks things break? If they do, I’ll tweet about them more than potentially blog. Anyway, I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Canada Day later this week and Independence Day in the U.S. the week after. Please try and celebrate the good in the world, honor those who served, and stay positive for the future. See you back in this space in mid-July!

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.

One item I have hit on here in the past is improved/innovative design in schools. It is something I believe in greatly, not only that we can provide necessary security but with the right usage of glass and glazing we also improve the learning atmosphere. This week I got some company on my soapbox thanks to an excellent article that not only talked about what schools need to advance, but also the demographic and economic market around building them. It’s a worthwhile read. Let’s be real here, a lot of our industry thrives thanks to school and institutional building, so a solid sector there is very good for all of us. I personally would like to see our products grow in emphasis there. We can supply the security, energy, decorative and functional products that the educational facilities in North America deserve. 

Elsewhere…

  • Speaking of great reads, once again the latest issue of Glass Magazine did not disappoint. And props to the creative team there: just a wonderful and slick layout. I love how pictures of great glass jobs can fill a page and there’s several in this issue. The big story was the annual Top 50 Glazier list (mentioned last week), but the series on exit planning continues to be a must-read. Kudos to the class act that is the DeGorter family as they were profiled in the issue: good people, nice to see them covered!
  • PPG gets a thumbs up here, too, as they were my ad of the month in the aforementioned Glass Magazine. They nailed the text bringing out the image piece with their spot. Creative and well done!
  • I talk about where social media can be a good tool for learning/resources and this week was no different with the coverage of the AAMA conference on their twitter feed at @AAMAInfo. Even if you can’t follow in real time (I couldn’t), the beauty is going back to their feed after the fact and just going through it all. Tons of info there. Well done, folks, and great use of the medium!
  • The news of LinkedIn being bought by Microsoft was big this past week. But the bizarre part for me came in an article from the New York Times that said one of the key drivers for Microsoft was the ability to be able to incorporate LinkedIn into the Microsoft Office products. Now I can see Skype and Outlook being integrated somehow, but the article specifically mentioned Word. Now that would be flat out bizarre. I can see it now, writing a piece in word and a pop up comes up that says “Your LinkedIn Connection Joe Blow Is Also Working In Word” or something like that. That has potential to not be fun at all.
  • Last, many people noted that I did not mention the Penguins winning the Stanley Cup in last week's post. Normally I post on Sunday mornings, but many do not see this until Tuesday. So the clinching game was not done when I posted. I have to say I am amazed they won, and special kudos to my pal Joe Carlos of TriView who noted that I somehow planned it out by picking San Jose at the start of the playoffs, where my jinx would be timed perfectly when the two teams met in the finals. Believe me, if I planned it, San Jose would’ve been out in round 1! Anyway, I’m pretty thrilled still about the Pens. Thanks everyone for the notes! 

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.

More mixed results on various monthly indexes I follow. On the good side, the Dodge Momentum Index moved higher and the analysts are predicting that this trend will be stable, which is good news to some markets that had inconsistent and mostly soft first quarters. Also good? Construction spending for nonresidential buildings is now up 9.8 percent year-to-date, and its 3-month average best since early 2009. On the worrisome side is the labor issue. Construction employment dropped from April to May and even though the year over year numbers are good, the overall metrics here are miserable. There are 200,000 job openings and there’s no good remedy in sight. I think everyone in the industry shares this pain of needing qualified labor and I believe it is going to get tougher. This surely bears watching. If work keeps coming in, how do you get it processed, delivered and installed if you are constantly fighting the need for qualified folks?

Elsewhere…

  • Congrats to everyone on the Glass Magazine Top 50 Glazier list. The annual rundown is in the latest edition of the Magazine. Some excellent companies populating that list and I am proud to say I know many and even do work for one! I’ll have my monthly review of the magazine on next week’s blog.
  • Also, kudos to the Mobius family at Garibaldi Glass. This past Friday Garibaldi celebrated its 50th anniversary, which from what I was told was a great gathering. I was honored to be invited and wish I could’ve attended, but not meant to be. But more importantly, to Carey, Chris and Craig, a hearty congratulations for this awesome milestone!
  • Hey don’t look now, but gas prices are creeping up. Almost to $3 a gallon in Michigan now and I think just a matter of time before pricing is back to the very high marks from two years ago. And while that’s probably good for the overall economy, it’s back to sucking as a consumer.
  • For my fellow Road Warriors, interesting gallery on the top 14 Airport Hotels that have a cool design scenario. Unfortunately I have stayed at none of them because I’m usually at a Holiday Inn Express and design is like 19th on their list after making sure the pillow cases are mismarked “firm” and “soft” (I say mismarked because they are never right). Anyway, check out the article and if you stayed at any let me know! 
  • And last this week, as I have noted here many times, I am a big fan of the show “The Americans” and I know several of you watch it as well. While this season was good, it surely to me wasn’t great or as good as past seasons. So a bit of a letdown for me, but maybe it was just me… who knows. Hopefully the writers there can get back on track for their final 23 episodes before the show ends its run in 2018.

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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