From the fabricator: Keep fighting

I have commented many times on my lack of satisfaction with the USGBC and its LEED program. When USGBC was confronted in the past, I jumped on board, and was even mocked by some for doing so. Once again this week, a challenge was issued  to USGBC, when a major developer decided it would build a structure, make it green and NOT go through the USGBC for certification. All I can say is AMEN. Why we always end up in these mostly monopolistic situations in our world is mind blowing. We have 1,000 places to buy glass from but only one to certify it as "green" or in compliance with energy ratings. It is insane. Hopefully, the developer sticks to its guns and a better system evolves, and the world benefits.


  • Want to know another issue I have with USGBC? Their annual Greenbuild show has become a portrait of disgusting excess: major concerts to kick it off and tons of celebrities and politicos on hand for no real reason other than “star power.” Basically, the event has become a gluttonous ego fest.  It's sad, since the goal of “going green” or living sustainably is the opposite of what the USGBC does every year at Greenbuild. As for the show, there’s a lot of pressure on event organizers, as last year in Toronto was not good. We’ll see what happens this time around.
  • Speaking of shows, we’re a month away from a pretty cool show in the West at Fenestration West 2012. Held October 23, it is a one-day powerhouse of education, networking and information. This year it’s in Burnaby, British Columbia. So if you are in the West, it’s a must-attend event. More info is here.
  • Did you happen to see the story this week on a possible water shortage in North America? The drought and weather is really taking its toll, and I believe this is a very serious issue. I think others agree, and that’s why so many companies are jumping on board with better performing machinery that uses re-circulated water and other more efficient measures. (Many at GlassBuild were looking for stuff like this.) Even if there’s not a shortage, I think running a smarter plant makes more sense.
  • Congrats to my friends at Glassopolis for their incredible contest win last week. They won a cool 100K in a contest sponsored by the Toronto Globe and Mail and Telus in a competition for small businesses. Evidently, we have some very smart cookies at Glassopolis as they beat out 1,200 other companies for the award. Awesome for them and our industry!
  • A bizarre new survey from McGraw-Hill Construction says we’ll have an architect shortage by 2014. I guess these guys have gone from having trouble predicting a correct economic forecast to somehow coming up with this doozy. Not a chance there will be a shortage of architects. Now, if they are saying they’ll be a shortage of capable architects, they might be right, but there’s been a shortage there for years…
  • Last this week, Serious Energy sold its Colorado plant back to Alpen, the company it bought it from a few years ago. There was also an auction, evidently, at the famous Chicago sit-in plant, so I guess that plant is gone too (though I don’t know what happened to the employee co-op that was poised to take it over). Anyway, it's amazing the transformation Serious has undergone. Two years ago, it was everywhere and everything, crowing about the Empire State Building and the “revolutionary” way it did business while being mentioned by the president. Now, it is pretty much a shell of its former self. I guess its version of heat mirror wasn’t ready for a comeback after all.

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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