From the fabricator: Will the trend be our friend?

OK, so the Architecture Billings Index now has had two good months in a row. What exactly does that mean? As those of you who follow this blog know, I follow and comment on it monthly, and quite frankly, I find it vexing. When I finally see it stabilizing, it drops. When I think we’re in the midst of a free-fall, it pulls itself up. Seasonal logic makes no sense either. Architects were busy in December? A short month, at the tail end of budget planning? Obviously, I am missing something, but regardless, I am pleased with the progress. Now we wait 30 days to see how January plays out. If the ABI is up, it can be called officially a “trend” (three months of something puts it into “trend” category). And as the great philosopher Roger “28” Collette once opined, “the trend is your friend,” especially when it's positive. If that does happen, the projections of a solid 2012 will be looking much more possible.


  • Another positive trend: the housing report from December showed a third straight month of sales increases, and we now have the lowest amount of housing inventory since 2005. As you can see by this article, we’re not out of the woods yet, but the hopeful signs are coming into play. Gotta stay positive.
  • Once again, I got a tremendous nugget of info from the twitter feed of Heather West (@HeatherWestPR). This time it was a critical rating of the effectiveness of building codes on the East and Gulf Coasts. It was a very, very interesting and surprising read. Check it out here. One comment: I am blown away that the great state of Texas scored so low and that South Carolina scored so high. Those ratings were shockers. In my limited experience, I would have thought those ratings would be flip flopped. Anyway, thank you Heather for the feed.
  • Great news Internet-wise this past week: the highly controversial SOPA and PIPA bills were yanked from the floor of Congress. These bills were to put in tough federal laws against online piracy and copying of online intellectual property. Normally, I would be 1000 percent behind something like these efforts. But the bills, as with most of what DC does, were loaded down with seriously intrusive measures and were just out of control in the desire to control free speech. The electronic community led by groups like Google and Wikipedia came together to flex muscle that overwrought measures like this won’t be accepted. No matter what, I believe that eventually these bills will come back, but Congress will have to take a more even-keeled and fair approach. Otherwise, it will never work.
  • It was a combination of two sets of some of my favorite people when the gang from RavenBrick spoke at the Colorado Glazing Contractor Association meeting last week. I heard it was lively and informative, and everyone had a great time. It’s always good when the good word about advanced technology is getting out into the marketplace. The CGCA, led by Rebecca Kaspari, and with awesome members like Marty Richardson of Metropolitan Glass and the model-like Cameron Scripture of Viracon really has the template down pat for well-run regional associations.
  • Thanks to GH for the quality proofread of this blog, by the way. Brain sometimes freezes!
  • Last this week… great creative marketing play by Terry Newcomb and the folks at Thermal Windows. They gave away 1,300 pounds of grapefruit last week as a “thank you” to their Tulsa customers for three decades of support. Just a well-done effort and gesture. Now, if they were giving away 1,300 pounds of M&M’s, I would’ve made the trip to Tulsa for that. ... I guess M&M’s don’t grow on trees though. In any case, very nice work folks.

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.


Always a nice read Max!GO POKES!!!

Thanks for the comments guys... I guess the commenting feature is working again!  And yes Grapefruits... good stuff!!

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