From the Fabricator: Almost Right

The latest Architectural Billings Index came out and I was almost correct with my prediction of it being underwater this month. The ABI came in at 50.4, which is barely beating the break-even 50 mark. I knew softening was coming, just not as much as I thought. The analysts pointed to the tariff issue, the U.S. government shutdown, and a feel for an unstable business landscape as reasons why. Now the watch continues into next month. The overall attitude in the field has been on the positive end, but there is a bit of malaise to start the year. There was solid news in that the project inquiry number stayed robust at 55, so that is good. In any case, I am not at all surprised about the main number, but I am pleased to be wrong in this case. No matter how small the margin is on the plus side, I am glad to take it!

By the way, with regards all the forecasts coming in; AIA’s “consensus” forecast for 2019 nonresidential construction is a 4.4 percent gain. For many that is not impressive or meaty enough, but for me I can’t see how you could complain about positive growth.


  • Annual Conference looked to be a major hit—I heard from many that said the keynote was incredibly interesting. I hated missing it. Lisa Rammig, of Eckersley O'Callaghan & Partners, gave the talk about glass and trends and according to this tweet from my friend Andrew Haring, it was pretty awesome but still scratching the surface:

    "Despite dropping jaws with transparent IGU’s, flexible thin glass vent windows, 3D printed shading integrated directly into an IG unit, and a freaking all-glass slide (!!!)... she claims 'we’re not where we want to be.' Fantastic presentation!"
    I surely hated missing it. 
  • Have you noticed there’s a lot of airport remodeling/rebuilding going on? The nice thing is the amount of glass being used is awesome. Last week the drawings for the update to O’Hare in Chicago came out and they all look to really want to take full advantage of the greatness of the glazing!
  • Scary story about construction cranes being hacked. That will be one of the worries with how connected our world is these days, and will be even more connected in the future.
  • I ran across some interesting numbers last week with regards to website effectiveness. Eighty-four percent of industry/architectural buyers will check out a company’s website before doing business with them. So, when I am on here complimenting folks on their new sites, that is a big reason why. It matters. That said, kudos to Heather Monroe at Machines and Wheels on the re-launch of their site. Tremendous work—site is smartly done and easy to navigate. Great work to Heather and her team!
  • Last this week: back to the Annual Conference and the news that Julie Schimmelpenningh was named as the 2018 winner of the C. Gregory Carney Member of the Year Award. Julie is flat out awesome. She deserves the recognition and I am thrilled she was honored with this amazing award. Also knowing that our friend, the late Mr. Carney, would be so pleased that Julie was selected makes the day for me. Congrats Julie!

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.


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