From the Fabricator: Beating Up on Glass Again

Well here we go again. Every few years, a big media outlet writes a story hammering the use of glass in buildings. Now we have the latest one via CNN. The headline is “Are architects turning their backs on glass skyscrapers?” but the interesting thing for me was the URL used to locate the page had the title of “Why glass architecture is bad for our cities.” Hmmm. It’s one thing to lead with architects choosing different styles or approaches, it’s totally another to flat out make the argument a negative one. In any case, to me no new ground was broken. The same tired and unproven arguments were made, and we are once again in the crosshairs with people who do not care for the product we base our livelihood on.

The “thermal performance” card was played, and while we all know there are quite a few products and systems that exceed any model, obviously the people quoted in this article aren’t seeing them. It was nice that those noted in the article said glass wasn’t going away anytime soon, but the fact we still see these pieces should be of concern.

Our product is awesome and there are so many great options for it. We need to get our message out. This is YET ANOTHER REASON why the combined NGA\GANA group is so crucial. A unified voice to promote where needed and push back where necessary. In the end, we all know we have great products, and we need to do our part to let the world know that as well.


  • Another big industry deal went down this past week with Morse Industries being sold to MD Building Products. Morse is a classic family business that has done very well over the years, and it looks like it reached that time to sell to a bigger player to move it to the next level. Congrats to the Morse family on what looks like a great deal!

  • Modular building is growing. I spoke about this at a meeting last year, and I think the audience thought I was nuts. Those of you who know me know I am nuts, but in this case, I am on top of it. An article this week came out trumpeting the growth of this segment, and it makes sense. Labor is a challenge; jobsites can be tricky. This helps both. It’s similar to why unitized is growing like crazy on the glazier side: efficiency is king. 

  • The Amazon Top 20 locations have been announced, and while I was bummed Detroit did not make the cut, I was not surprised. And the betting odds of which city will end up the new Amazon HQ2 are not surprising either. Atlanta is the betting favorite followed by Washington, D.C., Nashville, Boston and Austin, Texas. Philadelphia, Chicago and Pittsburgh follow close after that. When I wrote about this last October, I said Atlanta and Dallas would be the favorites, so Atlanta in the lead obviously does not surprise me, while Dallas not being in the top 10 is stunning. This will be fun to keep watching. It will be interesting to see what the overall effects on the winning city will be as the plus of adding new jobs and infrastructure will also come with some unintended negatives as well.

  • Good news from the Architectural Billings Index in December. It was in the positive range yet again at 52.9, which, while very good, was a bit of a drop from the amazing 55 the month previous. The work is still coming, which is good to hear as January for many has been a bit soft. Whether it’s the weather or just lulls in the backlog process, I did sense some worry creeping in.

  • Last this week, my heart goes out to all my pals in Minnesota. It sure would’ve been nice for you to not only have your team in the Super Bowl but at home no less. That’s a tough one. Now it’s down to New England and Philly. I am good with whomever wins as long as the crowd boos Roger Goodell with a white-hot passion when he comes to present the trophy. I know the New England fan base will do that; hopefully the Eagle fans will do so as well!

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

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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