Monday, September 16, 2019

The week is finally here… it is GlassBuild America time. I am already on site in Atlanta and I absolutely love seeing a blank floor transform into an amazing tradeshow in such a short period of time. I really admire the people that come in from all over the world and work incredibly hard to show off their products and services for three days. Most people will only see them for those show days but I get to see them out here setting up, sweating and hustling and making sure their exhibit is just perfect, and that really impresses me. The care and dedication to the cause here is really special.

In addition I was quickly in awe upon my arrival. In my first five minutes on the floor I saw jaw dropping pieces of large glass at Carvart and at HHH Tempering. That led the way followed by impressive footprints and layouts all over the floor. Pretty much every booth from the 10 by 10 all the way up to the monsters are really showing creativity. Awesome!

Overall, I am so excited for everyone to finally get here. I have been living and breathing GlassBuild for six months now. I’ve driven my family and non-glass friends crazy because every movement of the earth for me was connected to GlassBuild somehow. I love this event because it is my chance to grow and learn, but it is also it is the main industry show and it’s the place where everyone in our world can advance themselves and their businesses in such a short period of time. I just love it.

Other notes:

  • If you are not coming to GlassBuild—additional note on that below—you can follow all the action through the GlassBuild social media channels. On these channels they’ll be plenty of info including some live streams of different events.

First the searchable hashtag is #GlassBuild and here’s where to find us:

In addition, you’ll be getting a “GlassBuild Daily” e-mail each morning with recaps and previews.

  • On Wednesday this week I am getting to tour the spectacular Mercedes Benz Stadium. I am so pumped to see that beauty inside and out and also get insight from the incredible folks who supplied glass and glazing to it—Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, C.R. Laurence, and Clover Architectural Products. Tom O’Malley of Clover is a great friend of mine and I am so pumped that he can show off Clover’s fabulous work inside this stadium.
  • I also am looking forward to the education and demos. One of the fun ones will be the Live Edify Studios Podcast featuring Steven Rainville of epic architectural firm Olson Kundig and the worldwide respected building scientist Stephen Selkowitz. The Edify guys Brad Walker and Brad Glauser are brilliant interviewers and I expect this session to provide tons of news and insight. Want to know what is truly “next” in our industry? I believe you’ll find out during this session.
  • Make sure you download the app, and if you are here take part in the “Step Challenge” to win great prizes. But even if you don’t participate in the challenge, downloading the app is a must.
  • Plus, the Knowledge Bar is back this year—each day experts will be stationed in the association booth—wait ‘til you see this area!—to get your code, technical and marketing questions answered. Check the schedule for exact times.
  • For me the biggest one who will be missing this event is my brother. He had an awesome once- in-a-lifetime sort of trip scheduled that obviously took precedence over this, so I understand. But it simply will not be the same without him here. Brother Steve you will be missed big time!
  • OK let’s get it on! If you are in Atlanta and see me, please stop me to say hi. I’ll see you next week with all of the best recaps of this event including the always fun “who’s who” at the show. 

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 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. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Walk the walk.

GlassBuild America takes place next week in Atlanta, Georgia. If you’ve seen or spoken with me at any point over the last three months, this shouldn’t come as news to you. And while I’ve likely told you “why” you should go to GlassBuild, this message is personal.

I’ve been to GlassBuild for the last 10 years. I’ve been there as an exhibitor, as an attendee, and now—for the first time—as a show organizer. I’ve been on my company’s dime and my own. I’ve seen this event from more angles than most, and I come back. Every. Year.  GlassBuild has consistently proven to be that important to the glass and fenestration industries, my company’s interests, and my personal development and career.

Everyone has their own experiences, and my perspective is just that: mine. But I can tell you that I’ve formed relationships and contracts with countless new suppliers and vendors at GlassBuild. I’ve launched dozens of new products to existing and new customers at GlassBuild. I’ve cemented and saved long-term business agreements over GlassBuild dinners. I’ve hired people at GlassBuild. I’ve had multiple job offers at GlassBuild. I’ve presented and demonstrated at GlassBuild. I’ve attended educational sessions at GlassBuild. Business happens at GlassBuild.

We all talk about supporting this industry; we talk about glass being the building material of choice; and we talk about investing in our respective businesses and people. Now it’s time to walk the walk: If you’re committed to growing yourself, your company, and the glass and fenestration industries, you’ll go to GlassBuild America. I booked my flight today for cheaper than it would have been a month ago; there are flights to Atlanta all day and night, every day and night. And if you’re still on the fence, I’ll have you as my guest with a free pass. You’re all out of reasons to say no. It’s time to walk the walk. Safe travels.

Andrew Haring is vice president of business development for the National Glass Association. Contact him at 

Monday, September 9, 2019

This month’s blog comes from the gut; in random order, issues, topics, ideas, observations.

Contract language. We need to be paying attention to definitions and how they relate, or not, to contract language. “Design-assist” is not the same as contractual “design build.” Being mis-aligned on this between architect, CM or GC, glazing sub, and delegated designer/engineer makes for a lot of tension at a minimum, and a fail at worst. 

Shop drawings. The shop drawing submittal process is not to be an extended part of the architect of record’s architectural design process and is not meant to help them complete their drawings, unless of course this is known up front. Too often we’ve seen “design assist” be someone’s version of using the glazing sub and their engineering partner’s production shop drawings as a means to keep designing until it’s time to ship material. This has to be controlled and boundaries set, or it is costly.

Change orders. “Value engineering” typically means coming up with cost effective alternatives within an existing scope of work and design basis, not changing one or both. There’s a difference between value engineering and a scope change producing a change order. Listen for nuance in the conversations and decisions particularly in pre-construction design, and keep a clear benchmark or boundary. Someone from the glazing team has to be willing, able, or appointed to speak up during this process.

Soft skills. Communication, good or bad along the continuum, is still the number one predictor for project success or failure. Similarly, communication problems or struggles are the number one cause for risk management issues on projects where a claim is made against one or more parties. Communication is still considered a soft skill in our whacky world because we can’t put some definitive metric to it. It’s only measured by the success of the outcome. Isn’t it time we put project communication at the top of the list? Of course, the good side of this issue then, is that communication is a differentiator in organizations and in people. Communication matters.

Inexperience. I finally saw the statistic that we have all felt or experienced; one that resonated with many of you and that I wrote about in my prior blog “Inexperience.” Forty percent of people polled around AEC industry issues sight “inexperience” as the number one problem in completing projects. Thanks to PSMJ Resources—see page 9 of the June issue for more information.

Social networks. Yes, social media is a thing and while we should know the pitfalls—if it’s free we are the product—it’s also here to stay, at least in this current culture. If we aren’t visible on one or more of “the big 4” —Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter—then we aren’t perceived as completely relevant, or we are easy to forget about. At a minimum we reduce our inbound marketing opportunities. Stay engaged, be real, be organic. It’s not that difficult. Just keep posting and trying new approaches. You’ll see what sticks.

Unemployment. Attracting and keeping talent is the differentiator in our day; while we could say that it always has been, it’s truer now than ever. Unemployment allegedly is around 2 to 3 percent across all fields, but that is the rate of job transfer at any one time. I’ll bet with the number of open positions in our companies the unemployment amongst technical professionals on all sides of the AEC fence is negative. People are the difference and there are more vocational choices and contexts now than ever before. Get used to it. There’s much competition from other tech fields and it’s not going to get better. We’ve got to get better at differentiating, and creating, positive lasting experiences if we want people to choose to stay in the glass and glazing field, whether on the design side or the construction side.

Fall 2019. Guess what? It’s September. That’s right, 33 percent of the year remains. Let’s make the most of it and all the coming days before us. I hope you’ve made GlassBuild part of that equation. I’ll be there on Sept. 17 and 18 and hope to engage with you. Stay strong!

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 and on Twitter, Instagram and Word Press @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, September 9, 2019

Quick hits this post, leading into the biggest week of the year in Atlanta next week…

  • Congrats to everyone who picked up the most prestigious honor in our industry with the announcements of the winners of the Glass Magazine Awards. Some incredible projects and products noted, and I am sure the judges had their hands full in the voting process. 
  • Is there a big move happening on the shower door side of our world? I keep hearing about one but not seeing anything official. I guess maybe at GlassBuild America we’ll get some clarity?
  • Next week I’ll be posting from the site of GlassBuild with a preview of the big show. I am so excited for it, as positive vibes are everywhere headed into the event and I am pumped to see old friends and network with new ones!
  • The drawings for the new Kansas City Airport are out. I have written about this project a few times because of all of the controversy around it and now it’s getting closer and closer to fruition. They have a goal of being done by 2023…we’ll see about that. Until then these drawings look good.
  • I saw that Greenbuild is having President Obama speak at their convention. Exhibiting there is absolutely awful, and while the former president may draw some additional people it won’t help the floor or exhibitors there. Greenbuild now has had Vice President Gore, President Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, and Colin Powell as some of its past keynote speakers, which is great for the egos of the people putting on the event but still astounds me on how it helps the environment or the event.
  • Last before my latest interview: the NFL season has started so it’s time for predictions. I think every year I pick Carolina and I am going to do so again this year, especially since I heard my brother has Cam Newton as his QB on his fantasy team. Cam and Stevie P can’t go wrong. Carolina beats the Ravens in the big game.

Big 3 Interview: John Vissari, director of sales and marketing, United Plate Glass 

This was a cool one for me. I am big fan of United Plate—Mike and Joyce Cully are simply two of the best people alive—and of John Vissari. John is one of those talented people who hustled and hustled and hustled some more to really become and major force in our world. Hard working and an absolute class act; it was fun to get background and perspective from him.

I noticed on LinkedIn you’ve been at United Plate for 21 years (Did you start there when you were 5? You don’t look old enough to be anywhere for 21 years.) How did you end up there and what’s it been like as UPG has grown so much during that time?

I originally walked into UPG just looking for a temporary summer position. I didn’t know anything about glass at all. Right from the start, I was immediately impressed with the Cully family—Bill, Mike, Bart and Joyce. And I met all of them, because they were all there working side by side with everyone else. They were some of the hardest working, nicest, down to earth people I ever met. And that made me want to be a part of their team and help them be successful. I tried to show them I was a go-getter from the start. And I sure did … in my very first week I managed to unintentionally steal a customer’s Jeep and illegally endorse a company check! But those are stories for another day.

Through it all, they stuck with me. And it’s been a whirlwind of a ride. Mike’s commitment and drive has been a wonder to see. The glass business truly is his passion, and that becomes contagious. But through all the growth and success, that family feel at UPG, which was immediately apparent from the start, has remained the same.

Any new product trend that have caught your eye out there or is it still the tried and true high-performance glazing still owning the marketplace?

You hit the nail on the head with the high-performance glazing. And I don’t see an end in sight on that front. But, speaking from a fabricator’s point view, another trend we’re seeing is bigger and bigger glass sizes. One of the most common questions I get is, “What’s the biggest _____ you can make?” Typically followed up with, “OK, how fast can you get it to me? I needed it yesterday.”

Fun one, since I know you are sports fan: what is favorite all-time sports memory and why? Could be you personally playing or a favorite team. I’m curious on what made the cut for you!

Nov. 13, 1993. South Bend, Indiana. No.1 ranked Florida State coming in undefeated to face my Fighting Irish, who were also undefeated and ranked No.2 in the country. Game of the century ensued. Final score: Notre Dame 31—National Champions 24. That’s what I thought my answer would be. But it has since been surpassed by the joy of watching my two daughters be involved in sports. Too many great memories to list, but the ones I always go back to in my mind: my oldest daughter was seven and feeling under the weather on the day of her team’s championship game. When my wife asked her if she was too sick to go, she said fighting back tears, “No, I just want to be there to contribute to my team.” And my youngest daughter, when trying out for a new 12U travel team, was asked what position she plays. She answered, “I normally play shortstop, but I’ll play whatever position you need me to play.” That’s when I knew they got it, and they’ll be fine no matter what they choose to do in life. I’m so proud of them.

Thanks Johnlove it all especially the sports thoughts!

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 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. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Last month there was an incredible webinar that talked about design and glass and glazing. I talked about it here and now I get to attempt to recreate that magic at the Glazing Executives Forum at GlassBuild. I am moderating an all-star panel that’s going to cover the following issues and more:Green New Deal; NYC/DeBlasio issue; codes and regulatory push; trends in glass design and the challenges with those trends; daylighting/natural light needs; best projects; and a lot more.

My panel is incredible with these folks

  • Nick Bagatelos, Bagatelos Architectural Glass Inc.
  • Roberto Bicchiarelli, Permasteelisa North America
  • Paul Bush, Vitro Architectural Glass
  • Tom Culp, Birch Point Consulting
  • Steven Rainville, Olson Kundig—incredible architecture firm

We have all bases covered—leading glazing contractors, a primary glass manufacturer, code and regulatory consultants, and design. While we are missing a traditional fabricator, I think my past can play a role. This is going to be strong, so if you are coming to GlassBuild but have not signed up for the Glazing Executives Forum, do it now. Worth it for this and the rest of the fabulous content all day long. Any questions please feel free to reach out to me.


  • Big news from Canada this week with Ross Christie retiring from his day to day position at Walker Glass and Charles Alexander moving up and taking over that role. Both guys are fabulous people. I have known Ross for years and he’s an all-time favorite of mine—great guy and I am happy for him that he can escape the daily grind. Charles has been a tremendous addition to the glass industry after joining Walker a few years ago—I love the insight and energy he brings and I expect that only to continue. Walker is a constant supporter of the glass industry and I am thankful to them for always stepping up. I wish them only the best with this transition.
  • The crazy story of the sinking San Francisco Millennium Building continues. Now it looks like there is a fix … and it’ll only cost 100 million.
  • Once again we are back at it with hurricane season. After a very quiet start we are now heavy into it. Thoughts and prayers out to everyone in the seemingly always changing paths of these storms.
  • I often get asked, “How can we get more involved in the industry?” Well, here’s a way: call for presentations are out for Annual Conference in 2020. Click here for more.
  • There was a typo in the “Project News” piece in e-Glass Weekly last week so I wanted to bring extra positive attention to it.  The piece featured an incredible job in Australia using dynamic glass from Suntuitive. The dynamic space is just bursting at the seams with breakthrough projects all over. This building is absolutely gorgeous. Will be interesting to watch this process continue.
  • Last this week—please check out my video of the week. It’s a little different than you expect from me. It is about the whale shark and how we can help to save this magnificent fish. The video is only five minutes but it’s stunning and beautiful to watch—props to Justin Dalaba for an amazing job—so please check it out.

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 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. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Images from the IG forensic investigation session at the IGMA IG Fabricator WorkshopImages from the previous IG forensic investigation session at the 2018 IGMA IG Fabricator Workshop in Plano, Texas. Participate in the hands-on session at GlassBuild America 2019 in Atlanta. 

Katy Devlin

What do you do when an insulating glass unit fails on a building? What about when IGUs fail at the factory? In the test lab? Does your team know the steps to take to diagnose the source of failure, identify the cause and make necessary changes in production to reduce failures in future?

Insulating glass units are complex systems. IG failures happen and are a goldmine of information. The key to a fabricator’s long-term success is determining the cause of those failures to improve daily practices, increase production quality and reduce liability.

WHAT: Hands-On Workshop: Forensic Investigation of Insulating Glass Units
Presented by IGMA

WHERE: GlassBuild America
Booth: 3909

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 17, and Wednesday, Sept., 18 (continuous presentations both days)

REGISTER NOW (Space is limited)

This year at GlassBuild America, attendees can learn how to determine the causes of IG failures during the Hands-On Workshop: Forensic Investigation of Insulating Glass Units, from the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance. Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to inspect the IGUs and are provided with the tools to determine the failure mode with guidance from industry experts. Participants will learn techniques to provide a detailed IG analysis to include performing a visual inspection, dissecting the unit, writing the failure report and analyzing the failure.

The session is traditionally part of IGMA’s two-day IG Fabricator Workshop, which I had the pleasure of attending last year in Plano, Texas. During the forensic analysis section of the workshop, we worked in small groups to identify the type of unit and its various component parts. We performed detailed visual inspections, looking for everything from gaps in the sealant application to appearance of fog. We submerged the units in water to watch for air bubbles that might help diagnose the site of a failure. And eventually, we worked as a team to disassemble the entire unit. 

This type of hands-on, collaborative learning is critical to effective training of new employees and to furthering the industry knowledge of veteran workers. It offers a rare opportunity to learn from the foremost experts in the field of insulating glass—those with decades of experience identifying failures or potential fabrication issues. It provides every employee who attends—whether they work on the factory floor, in the office or the field—with the understanding and tools to understand the potential causes IG failures. This in turn can improve quality control from a single factory all the way to the company and industry.

I can’t recommend the session highly enough. 

Because of the hands-on nature of the GlassBuild America workshop, space is limited. Get registered today.

Katy Devlin is editor in chief of Glass Magazine. Contact her at Follow Glass Magazine on Twitter.