From the Fabricator: Troubling Trends

I happened upon a pretty interesting column on brand standards for construction in the hotel industry that also made me think about another trend that is troubling. First, the article on the hotel brand standards brought into play the fact that construction is not one-size-fits-all. A hotel in Phoenix vs. a hotel in Pittsburgh may have the same name and use the same interior looks, but its construction overall has to be different. Unfortunately more and more the hotel industry is dictating everything on the project- from the things that can be duplicated at every site, to the ones that can’t. It is scary because as we all know, the glass industry usually finds itself in the cross hairs of the blame game. But even beyond that, it’s an illogical business model that needs to be changed. 

Meanwhile, it made me think of the other trend that is a worry: selling glass/aluminum direct to the owner of a building. Cutting the knees of the architect and cutting out basically the professionals down the pipeline that will be installing the glazing. In the past it was a foreign entity doing this, but it’s now becoming a domestic play within the traditional industry. The angle here is to get your products locked in by the owner and avoid any questions from anyone else in the chain. I get it, cutting out levels makes the playing field a little easier to traverse, but the value of the insight from those levels are crucial to the success and efficiency of the job. There are other factors in the selling direct angle that I won’t get into here, but those in the industry surely know. Needless to say, I’m not a fan. The structure of the North American industry makes sense on many levels, seeing it circumvented is not something positive to me. Whether or not it’s a short trend or long-term one, that’s up for debate, but it will surely be interesting to see how this goes forward. 


  • While catching up on reading this week, I also saw the study done by St. Gobain and Sage on workplace design and productivity. No question that the growth of glass on the interior and upgrades to what products are used on the exterior are coming on the heels of occupant comfort needs. Natural light does matter. Workplace efficiency does grow when it’s a better atmosphere. Bottom line for me is if a trend means more glass, sign me up.
  • I was out and about this week and saw PPG sample boxes at one office. Not sure if these are new or old, but I loved the look and design. As someone who from time to time has to lug sample about, this design really makes it nicer. Props to the team at PPG on it.
  • Congrats to old friend Dan Plotnick on his new job at PGT Industries. Dan is a very talented guy and after a couple of past stints on the other side of the world he returns to America in a sales director role for PGT. Glad to have him back in the USA!
  • Last this week, thank you to the throngs of folks who signed up for the Glazing Executives Forum already. The event is going to be excellent and very important for educational and networking growth. I am also jealous of all that can attend because of my functions working at GlassBuild America I can only pop my head in and out of the GEF sessions. To learn more and sign up, please click 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

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.


I'm not a fan of the practice of selling directly to owners but I also believe the GC's setting an unrealistic initial budget for a wall have contributed to this practice. The GC's budgets make it tough to promote value-added products. Ron McCann - Viracon