glassblog

Monday, March 27, 2017

Happy spring! This change of seasons means it’s almost time for warm weather and open windows. It also means it’s time to brush up on some window safety tips, as open windows can be dangerous for young children who are not properly supervised. The Window Safety Task Force, of which AAMA is a member, has put together tips and resources for Window Safety Week, the first full week of April each year, and companies can easily follow along and share them via social media.

While the number of falls from windows is generally small compared with other recorded child injuries, a fall from a window can result in serious injury or even death. Window Safety Week (April 2-8 this year) serves as a reminder to recognize the importance of window safety and fall prevention year-round. Window Safety Week is designed to heighten the awareness of what parents and caregivers should do to help keep their homes and families safer from the risk of accidental falls or injuries through windows. The Window Safety Task Force has a Twitter account and a Facebook page, and social media updates are tagged with either #WindowSafety or #WindowSafetyWeek. Both accounts will be sharing window safety tips and best practices throughout Window Safety Week, so be sure to follow them and share their posts.

Though Window Safety Week is an important annual reminder, window safety education should be ongoing, occurring throughout the year. Window companies can find resources catered to them in the Window Safety Week Tool Kit, and media outlets are invited to view and download a separate media kit for publication use. A gallery of downloadable images pertaining to Window Safety Week can also be found on Flickr.

Or, quickly access all these resources in one place at aamanet.org/windowsafety. AAMA and the Window Safety Task Force appreciate all efforts to assist in getting the word out about this important, but sometimes under-covered, home safety concern. Luckily, social media makes sharing links and tips with homeowners and customers incredibly easy. Have a special request? Let us know, and we’ll work to make it happen!

Share how you’ll be recognizing Window Safety Week by posting a comment below.

Meryl Williams is the Communications Coordinator for AAMA. She produces national and regional newsletters, writes editorial content and helps lead AAMA’s social media outreach, including the Socially Speaking blog. She has seven years of professional communications experience in both journalism and public relations. 

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, March 27, 2017

One of the big issues we face with energy is old, energy-sucking buildings. Structures that were built before quality materials became available or mainstream. I am confident that every new building that goes up at least pays some mind to energy efficiency (would like more, but I will take what I can get, for now), but we need to make sure old buildings are brought up to speed. One such structure I read about recently is in Rhode Island, and major congratulations are due to everyone involved. This building was originally constructed in 1973 with the classic concrete bunker look. The building sat empty for many years until a smart developer jumped in and decided it was time to rehab the structure. By gutting the inside and outside, the work done to it was absolutely transformational—so much so that the building achieved LEED Gold status. Simply amazing. And, it offers proof it can be done. If you supplied or installed material for 1301 Atwood in Johnston, Rhode Island, drop me a line. I would love to hear more about your experience and even share it with my readers. At the end of the day, we need to do this more and more. Get old buildings renewed and energy smart. It’s good for our planet, and obviously, our industry. 

Elsewhere…

  • A big deal in the industry this week with Saand purchasing Guardian’s Webster, Massachusetts, fabrication facility. The guys at Saand are sharp folks and they continue to make very savvy moves. In the long run, this will really be a nice acquisition for them.
  • It was very busy week in terms of deals. Greco Railings, Chelsea Building Products, Atlanta Commercial Glazing and two UK-based Pilkington factories all changed hands. And, folks, there’s a few more to come. We are certainly in transaction season. 
  • The Architectural Billings Index bounced back in February, finishing above the break-even line at 50.7. Even better, the new project inquiry index was its best mark in more than two years. So some very positive reporting this month from the ABI world. I have to assume the big run on Wall Street may have had something to do with the new project trend. I guess we will see. 
  • Want to read a fantastic piece on commercialization? Check this one out. Really required reading for everyone trying to build a product line. 
  • I can’t believe this is my last blog of March. Q1 is done. 2017 is absolutely moving way too fast. I swear I think I am going to blink my eyes and I’ll already be at GlassBuild.
  • Last this week, I am absolutely humbled to announce I will be speaking at the Texas Glass Association’s “Glasscon 17” event in May. I love speaking to groups like the TGA, and I am excited that the TGA is really working hard to build a great event for their members. If you can get to Waco on May 19, I’d love to see you there. Plus, you’ll also hear from Nicole Harris, the president of the National Glass Association, Yuwadee Senamontree of Guardian, David Linhart of Vitro, and one of my all-time favorite speakers, the legend Greg Oehlers of TriStar. The theme of the overall session is “Improving the Future Together,” and I think that really is appropriate. We really need to be working together to bring the best insight and education to our industry to keep moving it forward. Learn more 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, March 20, 2017

What does the industry want to see in future codes? This was the question posed by Tom Culp, owner of Birch Point Consulting, during last week’s 2017 GANA Annual Conference, hosted by the Glass Association of North America. The conference was held March 14-17 in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

The code cycles for the various national energy and green codes have wrapped up or are about to wrap up, which means the industry needs to look ahead. “There’s a unique alignment of the planets, where all the national energy and green codes are nearly in conjunction. It’s a fresh start for all of them,” Culp said.

ASHRAE 90.1-2016 and the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code are now complete, Energy Star version 6 is in full effect, and ASHRAE 189.1 and the 2018 International Green Construction Code will wrap up in the fall.

Work now begins on the next iteration of the codes and standards. “These are the codes that will go into effect in 3 to 8 years. But, we are talking about them now,” Culp said.

Because these codes and standards will have an impact on the glass and glazing industry, companies should consider what they want, and what they don’t want, to see in the next versions of the codes and standards, Culp said.

For example, calls for more stringent U-factor requirements will most likely come up in future code discussions, which could mean more triple insulating units in more areas of the country. “Are we ready for triple glazing in the north? Do we want to push that?” Culp asked.

Also on the table could be lower solar heat gain coefficient requirements in some parts of the country. “Are we ready for .22 or .20 [for SHGC]? Those are the two numbers that have been thrown out in discussions,” Culp said.

With recent product advancements and the emergence of new glazing technologies, the industry is now capable of achieving increasingly stringent energy-efficiency and thermal-performance requirements. The question is, “how far do we want to push the envelope [in terms of codes]?” Culp said.

So, what do you want to see in future codes? Leave a comment or send an email. Culp also encouraged industry representatives to reach out to him or to GANA officials to provide input regarding the next cycles. 

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

Monday, March 20, 2017

Last month I was very lucky to be involved in a panel that featured four incredible glazing contractors from four of the best companies in our industry. It was during that time that I learned even more about what the day-to-day adventures are for the glazing contractor in the fast-paced world we currently live in. That session really opened my eyes to challenges I did not even know existed. So this week when I attended a webinar that featured the 37th Annual Deltek Clarity A&E Industry Study, I was more in-tune than I would’ve been before my session back in February.

The big takeaway I wanted to share from the study was a poll that ran down the “Top Project Management Challenges,” and based on what I knew and recently learned, I don’t think anyone will be surprised. Here are some of the big ones:

Competing priorities including project management, design, business etc.

  • Inexperienced people up and down the chain
  • Communication
  • Schedule viability
  • Poorly defined scope
  • Accurate project cost and timeline forecasting

I would assume everyone who either manages projects or has a staff that does are nodding their heads right now. So it’s good we know about the issues, but what in the world can we do about them? That’s a session I’d love to attend if it ever happens!

Elsewhere…

  • Time for the monthly review of Glass Magazine. This is an issue very close to my heart because at the core of my being, I am a fabricator and this is the annual “Top Glass Fabricator” edition. Tremendous reading and resource overall, and major kudos to everyone listed. So many great organizations doing significant things in our world. Please take some time to check it out. And a tip of the cap to Bethany Stough and the team that pulled this thing together. That much info is not easy to make sense of, and they really knocked it out of the park.
  • Aside from the fabricator coverage, there was also another article I want to point out. The “Succession through Hardship” piece about family business and the transfer that follows death, illness, etc. Obviously this is another one that I get from a personal level as well. Interesting and heart-wrenching stories for me, but also very inspirational on how people dealt with it and moved positively forward into the future.
  • The ad of the month was a tough one. A lot of very good ones and many new entries thanks most likely to the fabricator-heavy coverage. Was great to see ads from people I had never seen previously like Woonsocket, GlassFab, Glass Vice and others. But my winner for this month is SC Railing. I think the pictures they chose made sense. I also thought the extra white space worked, and I am usually not a fan of that style, but in this case it was a winning look. Congrats SC Railing team…
  • There was an update this week on the joint meetings between the Glass Association of North America and the National Glass Association, and basically things continue to head down an encouraging path. That is great to see and the feedback I am getting continues to be extremely positive. The desire for a streamlined, focused approach is something that we all need in our world right now.
  • Last this week, GANA wrapped up its Annual Conference last week and announced various members of the year and the Greg Carney Member of the Year Award.
  • From GANA:

    2017 Division Award Recipients were nominated by their peers based on leadership and volunteerism with regard to their activities within the respective Division in the past year. 
    • BEC Division: Jeff Haber – W&W Glass Company
    • Decorative Division: Marc Deschamps – Walker Glass Co., Ltd.
    • Energy Division: Sarah Sinusas – Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
    • Insulating Division: Jeff Haberer – Trulite Glass & Aluminum
    • Laminating Division: Julia Schimmelpenningh – Eastman Chemical Company
    • Tempering Division: Steve Marino – Vitro Architectural Glass
    • C.G. Carney Member of the Year: Stanley Yee- Dow Corning Corporation

Everyone who was honored richly deserved the nods. Great people who truly give of themselves as volunteers to the industry. But I am so happy that Greg’s name continues to live on in the form of this award. Such a great man that was taken from his family and us way too soon.

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, March 13, 2017

One thing that many in this industry absolutely covet beyond anything else is interaction with architects. Obviously, it makes sense on many levels because the architect can surely make a difference in the advancement of your product and services. But even with all of the working of this group, do we know what they want?

Well, this week I finally got an idea after seeing AIA’s excellent study on the “Journey to Specification.” One of the main keys was education, and I think we all knew that, but it was the specific breakdown of the learning needs that was interesting. Evidently a majority of the respondents want their education in shorter and more creative and coherent bursts, and they want it without a sales spin. So basically, quick hits from a technical guy or engineer is the preferred method. And they also want the ability to take advantage of apps/technology that supply the education in micro-style sessions like CEStrong (that several industry companies use) that still offer the necessary CEUs they want/need, while getting their education in small bites. I think the traditional “Lunch n Learn” will always be there and needed, but I think we all know it's not the most effective vehicle.

Another point made: architects want better website layouts from the manufacturers. This is an area I fight and lose daily with manufacturers. So maybe seeing a survey like this will open some eyes. Architects want a site that breaks down the supply process in areas such as design stage, specification stage, and review and approval stage. I believe the issue for many companies is that they get caught up in the minutia of the site look and they completely miss the layout (optimized best for user) and content.

There were many other items from the study, but these to me were the highlights. At the end of the day, we can do all of what the architect wants, but getting them to spend the time, even however minimal, will always be a challenge. But at least we know some of the keys they are currently after.

Elsewhere…

  • Alex Carrick, chief economist for Construct Connect, is one of the best follows on Twitter. There are always a few pieces to keep you informed on the economy and forecasts. One example was a link to his blog on one of my favorite indicators to follow, the “put in place” spending study. The details are a bit concerning as it's showing some weakness out there on the nonresidential side. When I see words like “softening” and “backsliding,” it makes my stomach turn. This is surely one to monitor.
  • A few weeks ago I mentioned that “Measure S” in Southern California was up for vote and there was quite a bit of debate on it. The voters now have spoken, defeating the measure significantly, at an almost 2-to-1 margin (though voter turnout may have been amongst the lowest ever there). Developers seemingly are the big winner on this one, but from everything I read and heard on it, there’s still great need to get the area up to speed with planning, zoning and codes.
  • The designs and plans are coming out for the new Los Angeles Rams stadium, and this is one for my façade geeks out there. They are promoting a breathable façade that will respond to the climate so the need for HVAC won’t be there. Hmmm. I am not smart enough to compute that. Here’s the article. Interesting stuff. 
  • From the "how far we have come" files, the Apple II computer came out this month in 1987, and sold for $7000. That would be like $15,000 in today’s dollars. There is no question that part of the world has made incredible advancements.
  • Last this week, I failed to mention last week that the amazing show “The Americans” is back. If you have not seen it, start at season 1 and go from there. The show will end in 2018, so conclusions are coming…

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, March 13, 2017

It's time to submit your company for consideration in Glass Magazine’s annual Top 50 Glaziers program. The June 2017 issue of Glass Magazine will feature the highest-earning contract glaziers of 2016. The comprehensive market report recognizes leading North American glazing firms, based on annual sales, features notable projects from the past year, and presents an extensive look at the market and trends.

As the special 25th Anniversary edition, the section will also include a look back at the changing landscape of the glazing industry.

We want to feature the glass industry's achievements. In order for us to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, we rely on direct submissions from the industry. If your company should be included in the Top 50 Glaziers report, please complete the nomination form. The submission deadline is March 27, 2017.

Please contact me with any questions or comments.

Norah Dick is the assistant editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at ndick@glass.org.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The spandrel cavity, or area, of a commercial building gets no love. But, it is one of the beauty-adding parts of a project, aesthetically hiding the space between floors. Even so, it can be full of errors and misconceptions. My goal is to dispel a few of those.

Misconception #1: All silicones are the same and should not cause staining.

Not all silicone sealants are the same, which means, we all need to realize that not all silicones are the same. Just because they are all rubbery and have the word “silicone” in them, does not make sameness. Every sealant or adhesive on the market serves a different purpose. All of them will have a different chemistry that makes up their composition. Some of them will not play well together. Follow manufacturer recommendations on application amounts, cure rates and compatibility. This alone will put you on a solid path to spandrel cavity success.

Misconception #2: Any coating can be applied to glass used in the spandrel area.

I have seen the works, from house paint to auto paint used on glass and in the spandrel area. You know what they have in common? They all failed and cost the contractor, glass fabricator and architect a lot of money to fix. Coatings stick to a surface in one of two ways, mechanical or chemical. Not every type of paint is created to stick to glass. Not a chemist? You may find it difficult to know what will work or not. An expert is key in this instance. Stick to what is industry accepted and tested.

Misconception #3: Spandrel colors are boring, muted and limited.

I hear this one all the time, which confuses me. Some glass fabricators will pick a standard set of colors they wish to keep in stock. It helps limit the lead time when someone orders spandrel glass. I get it, but the opportunity for adding value is lost. Most standard spandrel colors of today were picked many years ago when glass had low light transmission. Ask the spandrel supplier if they have harmonizing colors for today’s glass. Get a custom color. Why pick what is standard? Costs on a custom spandrel color are pennies in comparison to the whole glazed piece. Get the perfect color; ask for it.

Kris Vockler is CEO of ICD High Performance Coatings. Contact her at kris.vockler@icdcoatings.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, March 6, 2017

Do you ever wonder if some of the tried and true ways of doing things will ever get disrupted? A few years ago a speaker at GlassBuild America brought up the possibility of “leasing” the building products installed into buildings, presumably allowing the payments to be spread differently, and if necessary opening that area up for upgrades. Obviously that’s MUCH easier said than done and that was the last I have heard of that. Recently, another approach started to gain steam: breaking the traditional funding of buildings from the bank model to a crowd-funded one. Crowd funding or crowd sourcing is a popular way to get things going in different parts of our world, especially on the entrepreneurial side. But a building investment? That’s surely a different game. Yet it is happening, and you start to wonder, could this be a true way of getting structures built? And if so, how will it change our approach on the building product side, if at all? I’m curious if anyone has had to work on a project like this, and if there were any noticeable differences.

Elsewhere…

  • Something happened to me for the first time in all my years of travel, through tons and tons of nights away: I was part of a hotel evacuation. Not a fire drill and return to the room, but an actual evacuation. Oh, and all of it with no power, too. The hotel I was at lost electricity around 10 p.m. It did not phase me. I don’t watch TV usually and had enough juice in my phone to use that as flashlight and for reading. I fall asleep and all is well until 3 a.m. when I hear loud banging on the door. I’m thinking it has to be for another room down the hall, someone drunk needing back in their room. But the banging continues and then I hear “hotel management, open up” as well. So I drag myself to the door and find the hotel manager and three firefighters. They tell me the hotel is being evacuated; everyone must go now. And take everything with you. While the power is still out. You can only imagine the adventure from there. Trying to gather everything while still trying to get my bearings, etc. I get it all together and go down to the lobby where I am told a room at a hotel a mile away is available for me. So off I went, still amazed this was happening. Made it to new hotel, checked in and got another hour of sleep before having to start my very tired day. Evidently at the evacuated hotel, there was concern of a gas leak, thus the urgency, but I am not sure if anything ever was found. But this was surely a first (and hopefully a last) for me.
  • Interesting issue in Ohio where a bill going to the General Assembly there would give cities the right to decide if they want to pay prevailing wages on taxpayer funded projects. So obviously, if you are a glazier there this gets you one way or another.
  • Use of wood in tall curtain walls had a few hits in the media this week. Wood has always been a player on the residential window side and there’s been some folks pushing hard for timber curtain walls for commercial projects (large and small), but it’s been a true niche play, really. This blog post really dives deep and paints a picture for growth. So I’m curious, industry folks, what do you think? Are timber curtain walls big players in our future?
  • If you have not seen the latest from the new Apple headquarters building, please check out my video of the week. Good one for the glass and metal geeks out there.

  • Last this week, great tweet heads up from Thomas Lee of Lee & Cates Glass pointing out a story from Norway. NRK, a broadcaster there, instituted a new commenting policy on its stories. You now have to answer three questions about the story before you can comment on an article. It’s meant to deter “trolls” from taking over the comment section. Obviously trolling still will happen, but hopefully with less frequency.

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.