glassblog

Monday, November 27, 2017

At Safti First, we pride ourselves on being a USA manufacturer, employing a workforce of men and women from the local community. Additionally, we make it our mission to be a good corporate neighbor by supporting our community throughout the year.

Now that the holiday season is upon us, giving back is even more in focus. Here are some of the ways that our company is giving back:

Holiday Bike Giveaway

Safti First is partnering with the local school district to give away 200 bikes and helmets to boys and girls from the four elementary schools near our manufacturing facility in Merced, California. The local school district endorsed the program and identified students who have improved their grades, and also those from families in need. The ‘Holiday Bike Giveaway’ will take place on Saturday, December 16, in our manufacturing facility. There will be games, a bounce house and music at the event. Our team will also be grilling hotdogs and hamburgers for the kids and their families to enjoy. The money to purchase the bikes and fund the party is mainly raised through employee contributions (both in our Merced factory and Corporate HQ in Brisbane), and then matched by the company.

Starlight Fun Center Mobile Entertainment Units

We are once again giving The Starlight Fun Center mobile entertainment units to the Burn Center and Trauma Center of the Community Hospital in Fresno. One will be placed in the pediatric ICU department and the other will go to Terry’s House, a hospitality home located directly across from Community Regional Medical Center where family members can stay while a loved one is being treated in critical care units in the hospital. This program is especially important to our Merced team who may have had a loved one or know of someone who has been treated in this hospital.

There is no doubt that our connection to the local community has helped fuel our success over the years. Not only that, these ‘pay it forward’ initiatives, working together for a common goal beyond work, makes us an even stronger team.

I’m sure many in this industry contribute to their communities year-round. Share your stories and inspire others!

Diana San Diego is vice president of marketing for Safti First. Contact her at dianas@safti.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.

Monday, November 27, 2017

We’re now entering the home stretch of 2017. For many people, the year is over. The amount of work that gets done between now and The New Year is usually on the low side. So, productivity is not a positive right now. Still, work needs to be done, and weather is cooperating in the traditional winter weather spots of the United States. That could change pretty quickly but nasty, job-slowing precipitation has not been a factor yet. This year, though, has absolutely flown right by.

Elsewhere…

  • The latest Architectural Billings Index came in with a return to the positive. The key with tracking the ABI is that it doesn’t touch our world for at least nine months, so these consistent upbeat reports, along with healthy backlogs really are momentum builders for 2018. There’s obviously the daily worry that some geopolitical nightmare that bursts from a twitter post could bring all of this to a halt, but so far so good metric wise.

  • A while back I wrote briefly on the “fake marketing” that is happening in our industry. Sadly, that trend is continuing with companies attaching their names to projects online and leaving the reader to incorrectly assume that said company supplied the entire noted product on the building. It’s a lazy and weak approach and quite frankly distasteful to try and take credit for something you don’t deserve. As you can see it makes me somewhat crazy, mostly because companies can and should be better than that.

  • Congrats to my friends at Walker Glass for completing the HPD/EPD process for several of their products. That is not an easy or inexpensive process, but it is meaningful in the big picture of transparency with regards to sustainable building. Well done, gang!

  • The home of the 2018 edition of GlassBuild America, the Las Vegas Convention Center, is getting some serious upgrades and additions. The $860 million renovation and addition will make the center the second largest in the United States, right behind Chicago’s McCormick. My guess is Vegas saw how GlassBuild is growing, and with the merger of GANA and NGA, they needed to add more space to take care of us glass folk!

  • Does anyone out there watch the new ABC show “The Good Doctor”? If you do you see an amazing looking hospital featuring tons of glass. I’m curious is that a real structure, or Hollywood magic? And if it is real, where is it and who did the glass and glazing? It is sharp!

  • Are you a Top Glass Fabricator? If so, submissions are now open for Glass Magazine’s Top Fabricator list.  Get your details in, and you can also nominate great glaziers along the way, too! 

  • I think “Black Friday” may be the biggest day of the year for promotional emails. I was floored by the amount that I received to start the day and how they just kept on coming in. I think every list I have ever been on from a retail outlet reached out to me as well as many others that I have no idea how they found me.

  • Last this week, before the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, I posted a handful of things I am thankful for within our industry. If you are interested, you can find that post here…

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.

Monday, November 13, 2017

I have a 10-year-old beagle who, in classic beagle fashion, is principally guided by her sense of smell and instinct for the hunt. Once in puppyhood, she slipped her leash during a walk to bound across a busy four-lane road in pursuit of a squirrel. She survived, unscathed, thanks to the swift reactions of several drivers. But, the near miss led to immediate changes, including a tighter harness, additional training and the introduction of treats during all walks.

I imagine most people have hundreds of stories of near misses big and small that served as a catalyst for change in their own lives. Perhaps a new bath mat purchased after a slip in the shower; a fragile centerpiece moved onto a shelf after a toddler grabbed for it; a blind turn taken more slowly after a near run-in with a cyclist.

Individuals can react quickly to near misses and make a change that will help avoid accident and potential injury. However, the same can’t always be said for near misses in the workplace.

Companies meticulously track workplace accidents and injuries, noting when and how they occur, and instituting policy changes to help avoid future incidents. Few companies, however, bring that careful tracking and policy modification to the accidents and injuries that nearly happened, but didn’t. Consider the number of fully loaded glass racks that have almost tipped, the forklifts that barely escaped collision, or the workers who nearly fell after a slip or trip. Each incident could have easily been an accident, an injury or, worse, a fatality.

Tracking near misses can be a powerful tool in identifying how an accident or injury could happen at the workplace. It guides employers in making necessary changes in policies or procedures, helps managers identify risks and hazards around the jobsite or factory floor, and educates employees on dangerous situations and how to avoid them, all before an accident occurs and anyone is hurt.

The upcoming December issue of Glass Magazine is focused on improving worker safety, offering information on everything from tracking near misses to managing personal protective equipment and machine safety requirements.   

Katy Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at kdevlin@glass.org.

Monday, November 13, 2017

As I mentioned on my last post, it is Glass Industry MVP Season. The first step is looking back at the past before noting who will be recognized this year. I have been acknowledging people as leaders in one form or another since 2007, but the formal declaration of MVP started in 2013. The past winners are:

  • 2013: Tracy Rogers

  • 2014: C.R. Laurence

  • 2015: Jon Kimberlain

  • 2016: Chuck Knickerbocker

Each year there are usually five to seven runners-up and, as you can tell from above, an individual or a company can be the winner. The race so far in 2017 has been incredibly difficult. There are so many remarkable people who work hard for their companies and also give back to the industry. And there are some companies as a whole that collectively care a ton about making our space a better place. Choosing gets more and more challenging every year. Overall, I have recognized a total of 35 people since 2007, and five are no longer in the industry, including, sadly, the late great Greg Carney. So, who’s on tap for this year? It’s coming soon.

Elsewhere…

I’m light on glass industry-related stuff this week, so in some other areas that interest me…

  • In this world of ugly news and despicable human behavior there are some truly first class people. One of them is Marine Veteran Rob Jones. Rob lost both of his legs in Afghanistan in 2010, but that has not stopped him from doing what I would consider superhuman tasks to raise awareness and money for veterans’ causes. The most recent was running (with prosthetics) 31 marathons in 31 cities in 31 days. A lot of us travel a ton in this industry and just doing several cities a week can wear you down. Now can you imagine running a marathon at each? The guy is amazing. This article is one of many that gives some insight to Rob, who I have been so fortunate to meet thanks to his work with veteran charity the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, which actually has a glass industry connection as it’s run by former NGA VP David Walker. Check it out and be thankful we still have great people in our universe.

  • Back to another list, this time the Top 10 Most “Sprawling” Cities according to the website Smart Growth America. Quite frankly I was stunned by some of these cities that made the list, as according to the study too much growth is not good. Honestly, I am not sure if I understand or agree but here goes…

  1. Hickory, North Carolina
  2. Atlanta
  3. Clarksville, Tennessee-Kentucky
  4. Prescott, Arizona
  5. Nashville, Tennessee
  6. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  7. Inland Empire, California
  8. Greenville, South Carolina
  9. Augusta, Georgia-South Carolina
  10. Kingsport, Tennessee-Virginia

The complete study is here for those of you’re interested in this sort of thing. 

  • Las Vegas launched a self-driving shuttle and on its first day it got into an accident. Evidently it was the human driver in another car that was at fault, but still I just can’t feel any trust or faith in this sort of arrangement. Too many things can go wrong and I am really amazed at the time, money and effort that are going into this technology. 

  • Last this week, is it me or is the amount of spam email going up dramatically? I go into my spam folders every other day or so to just make sure I am not missing something, and I am flat out amazed at the volume in there. Most of it is really obvious spam, but where I really feel bad is for those less sophisticated on email who probably get this junk in their main folder and fall for a scam or two. 

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.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Design-assist procurement is the best possible approach to developing and completing design, engineering and construction of custom curtain wall and cladding projects. All curtain wall projects should be executed with some form of design-assist or design-engineering. Design-assist, or DA, is a collaborative process with a defined schedule and set of deliverables, whereby the architect, contractor, curtain wall consultant, owner (as applicable), exterior wall subcontractor, and their design and engineering agent, participate in a collaborative, iterative, real-time exercise to define, design, collaborate, review and deliver a coordinated curtain wall system that meets the project performance specification and aesthetic goals.

There are different forms this process can take, but I believe it is best expressed when the contractual procurement method includes the DA process first, with a guaranteed max pricing around a specific scope or design context.

Here are a few benefits of this method:

  1. Facilitates early collaboration of the major stakeholders. This creates more alignment and typically improves the delegated design and review process. Collaboration creates a better working product, reduces risk and builds good will amongst the project team.

  2. Allows for a more fully informed approval process and systematic review of the system design, proposal drawings, profile drawings (dies and details), and engineering calculations on how closely the building aesthetic and performance can be matched by the system.

  3. Transparently vets system performance, incorporating review of sightlines, transitions between systems, engineering, thermal analysis, adjacencies, STC, and other coordinated issues visibly and directly.  

  4. Assesses and assimilates architecture, construction, fabrication, procurement, logistics, installation, and other holistic project needs and concerns as part of the design process and boundary conditions, enabling better downstream project management.

  5. Allows concurrent pricing exercises by the exterior wall subcontractor, which can inform the owner, GC, suppliers, consultant and other stakeholders. This allows the entire team to work in an informed manner with clearer cause-and-effect understanding.

  6. Brings a “shared reality” to the process and project. A shared reality brings everyone into the “same boat,” typically reduces project risk, and breaks down barriers of communication. This can aid in a positive experience, and a better work product.

  7. Facilitates a quicker turnaround of shop drawing and engineering submittals, since everyone knows what to expect in the context of the system design.

Words of caution:

  1. DA is NOT an open-ended design process where the shop drawing reviews are used throughout the project as a means for the architect to figure out what they really want on their building. If this is the project procurement method and definition of design-assist, then the exterior wall subcontractor will have to draw some boundary lines and provide pricing and scope to match.

  2. DA is NOT a “value-engineering” process to look at any form of a cladding type or aesthetic. It’s only a value-engineering process within the context of finding cost savings for the specified system design and orientation. Any new permutations or design changes should be defined as a change order. Base design alternatives are bid alternates and should take place outside the DA process.

 I’ve been involved personally and as a corporation in so many successful design-assist projects, that I’d love for all projects to be done in this form. There have been a few failed experiences along the way, but far less than other traditionally executed projects where everyone works in silos and uses email as a primary collaboration tool (it’s not a collaboration tool.)

I’d like to suggest that those of us who make our living doing this meaningful work make design-assist procurement a rally cry for improving the process and experience we all share on our typically complex and critical path driven projects. I believe we can create better experiences for ourselves and our clients, and make the world a better place.

I’d like to hear more from the readers. Please comment and let’s keep the conversation going.

John Wheaton is the founder & co-owner of Wheaton & Sprague Engineering, Inc., also known as Wheaton Sprague Building Envelope. The firm provides full service design, engineering and consulting services for the curtain wall/building envelope/building enclosure industry, and works at “Creating Structure” for clients. He can be reached at jwheaton@wheatonsprague.com and on Twitter, @JohnLWheaton1.

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.

Monday, November 6, 2017

This past week, the first of the 2018 construction economic forecasts was released and there was tepid optimism with regards to the nonresidential side of the business. Basically, some of the analysts are pushing a small increase on the commercial side, not exceeding 5 percent overall. The residential side though has some more bullish predictions with a potential for double-digit growth in 2018. Now keep in mind this is just one of many forecasts that will be coming out in the next 8 to 12 weeks, so a lot can and will change. I like to take it all in and then see what I can come up with in terms of consensus. Plus, my favorite forecasts are not out yet. Sit tight, as numbers are going to be coming out constantly with results probably all over the board. In any case, with regards to this release and its small growth, I will take a positive forecast any way it is delivered!

Elsewhere…

  • Continued from last week and my review of the most recent Glass Magazine, the ad of the month. I do try and spread the kudos around, but if a company that has previously received  my recognition comes out with a new ad and it’s worthy, I have to give it props. The winner for this issue is Guardian Glass with its “Fall in Love” ad that carries on the video campaign they debuted at GlassBuild America. Loved the ad, and, because I was a big fan of the video, I thought it was sharp they continued the campaign in print. Well done!

  • The newest Apple iPhone is out and this review was a blistering putdown of the product. I must say the author brought up a ton of good points. Worth the read if you are looking to purchase. 

  • Construction geeks, what are five major changes coming to the jobsite? Good article here. Personally, I am really into what the next generation tools would be. With the ongoing struggle for a solid (or in some cases any) workforce, advancing the tools to potentially do more and more efficiently is huge.

  • Greenbuild is this week. I am not a fan, and I’ve made that known several times over the years. The show this year may be decent because it’s in Boston (great city) and combined with the ABX event. But in the end, I don’t expect exhibitors to find any great success, unfortunately.

  • Normally if I see a quote like this one I worry: 

 “…Midtown doesn’t need any more glass”
But in this case, there’s a lot more to a very interesting happening going on in New York.

  • Last this week, it is Glass Industry MVP season. Yes, my yearly award is now here, so soon you’ll have your nominees and then the winner (who’s life will dramatically change for the better) will be announced in my last scheduled post of 2017 in December. Once again, there are a ton of great candidates and like I do with the ad reviews I try not to repeat with people nominated, but this year I may have to.

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.