Monday, February 17, 2014

I found it funny when Katy Devlin looked back to 2004 in her blog last week, because I have been having the same discussions—looking back 10 years and realizing how so much has changed in the glass industry. If you told me then what our world would look like now I would have never, EVER believed you. I’d be more apt to believe in flying cars and a Jetsons-like community than the different industry landscape we have now. It's only 10 years, but so much has changed. Think back 10 years and remember how different things were—what the products were, who the suppliers were, who the voices of the industry were. What a different world.  

Now, think where will we be in 2024. I’m actually trying to avoid that thought; I’m still thrown by thinking about the past to now! 


  • Guardian released a new app recently with a focus on glass performance for windows. It is a very sharp and impressive tool. It's a great reference and training piece too, so if you have some new people, you need to download this and have those folks devour it. It also paints our industry in a very positive light, which we always need.  Kudos to the team at Guardian who led the charge on this one. To download, search your app store for Guardian Window InSight.
  • One comment I receive at least once a week is, “I didn’t know about that.” Well in our industry, there are two events that can help solve that dilemma: GlassBuild America in the fall and BEC next month. And speaking of BEC, you really should attend the technical meeting the night before the event opens. Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP will lead it, and he’s a tour de force. Thanks to him and his team’s effort, his session next month is loaded with tons of info and three strong presentations: one from Jon McFarland of Wheaton-Sprague, "Benefits of BIM & Curtain Wall"; one that brought the house down at GANA’s Annual Conference by Julie Schimmelpenningh, "School Security & Safety"; and one from Jim Benney of NFRC, "Codes and the NFRC," which will be helpful to attend to know and understand what will affect you and your business going forward. Plain and simple, if you are a contract glazier, you need to be there. Plus, the rest of the event has excellent presentations planned as well, which I’ll get to next week. It is worth the time and budget.
  • Olympic hockey is so enjoyable, but now there’s even more on the line for me. Thanks to a bet with my friends at RavenBrick—proud Canadians—if Canada beats the U.S. and wins gold, I will have to stand up in a restaurant and sing “O Canada.” But if the U.S. wins, they will have to do the same with the “Star Spangled Banner.” I don’t think I can lose on this bet: If the U.S. wins I am thrilled; if Canada wins, I will have a blast belting out “O Canada” and may even mix some of the French version in, too.
  • The largest solar power plant in the world opened up in the California-Nevada desert last week. This project is an important milestone for anyone who cares about the future of solar energy. It has been an adventure getting here as it has been slowed by lawsuits and worries about the effect on the environment. That conundrum has been interesting to watch since the same people who are against fossil fuels and are pro sola, have lined up against this plant because of its effect on the wildlife, etc. Regardless, this project could continue to renew and improve efforts to get more solar energy going.

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.

Monday, February 10, 2014

My first major assignment when I joined Glass Magazine as an intern in 2004 was to provide research assistance for The World of Glass—a detailed database of float glass plants operating worldwide, which was eventually published as a map and chart in the August 2005 issue. For me, this proved to be a challenging, fascinating, and at times inspiring introduction to the complex and multifaceted glass industry.

That 2005 World of Glass feature, began, “The furnaces burn day and night to form fiery pools of melted sand that transform into flat ribbons of glass as they float down long beds of molten tin.” It’s from this fiery origin that we get every window, mirror, windshield, glass shower door. And as such, any shift at the primary glass level reverberates throughout the entire industry.

During my 10 years at Glass Magazine, our industry has been rocked by a global recession, transformed by an accelerating green building movement, and altered by a growth explosion in emerging markets. So, it was with great interest that I returned to the state of the global primary glass market in the January/February issue.

I was struck, first and foremost, by the extent of the damage the float glass industry has suffered due to the extended market downturn. It is no surprise that plants were shuttered, and lines put on hold. However, the extent of the capacity reductions—estimated at 25 percent in North America alone—was startling.

Also impressive was the extensive investment in emerging markets throughout the course of the downturn. While North American and European plants were closing, lines in Brazil, Russia, India and China were coming online.

In the in-depth feature, “Brave New World of Glass,” we present these major changes at the primary level, along with profiles of the leading global players. The market shifts will trickle down to every player in the industry, and businesses need to be ready and aware. But as Scott Thomsen, the former president of Guardian’s Glass Group, says in the article, “after experiencing prolonged economic downturns in North America and Europe, there are no challenges, only opportunities.”

Welcome to the new World of Glass.

Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at

Monday, February 10, 2014

Last week the Glass Association of North America held its Annual Conference in Florida and quite a few interesting tidbits came out during the event. The highlight was the celebratory lap for the group of people that worked so hard on the ASHRAE Window to Wall Ratio issue. It was nice to rehash such a significant moment in our industry. However, along with the cheers was the major caution that “it’s never over” when it comes to attacks on our world; we can’t sit back on our laurels. We have to keep innovating, then pushing AND implementing said innovation. I believe we have great momentum, and we do have excellent products both available now and in the pipeline. Let’s keep going!

Also in the news from the conference:

  • A presentation on the new LEED, known as LEEDv4, opened eyes. I think it has potential to be very difficult on our industry, especially on regional manufacturer categories. It’s not mandatory until mid 2015, but you better start understanding and learning it now. It does feature many “good” things for energy efficiency, but also has a comical and bizarre “Quality View” category that is just weak. Just when you think these guys get it, you see that they don’t.
  • The Energy Day was very strong. Kudos to Mark Silverberg, Dr. Helen Sanders, Stanley Yee and the rest of the team that set it up. The speech by Dr. Mikkel Kragh of Dow Corning was mesmerizing. The ideas and information he presented were among the best I have seen.
  • Lots of people were honored throughout the event. A memorial for Greg Carney was done with perfect tone; a great way to remember a great man. Jim Benney of NFRC made a heartfelt speech about Greg. Carol Land is retiring from the organization and was honored in front of the crowd. I, for one, will miss her. She has always been tremendous to me, and these events will never be the same without her influence. Other very well-deserving folks won awards as well, and I want to give public props to Valerie Block of DuPont for all she does for that organization and for our industry. She’s had, and I would assume will continue to have, an important role in how certain standards are set and explained.


  • Got news that Tim McQuade of Northwestern Industries is hanging it up. This is another big departure to our industry. Tim helped build NWI into an absolute force in his 20 years as president there, and 39 years in the industry overall. I personally will miss Tim, as he was always willing to hear me out on whatever lame-brained adventure I was onto. Thank you Tim, and enjoy your retirement! Rick Nelson will take over there, and I am sure he already has my e-mail and phone numbers blocked!
  • Also last week, the International Builders Show took place in Las Vegas. Every single report I got back said it was awesome and the best in years. That is very exciting. It means we surely have some positive approaches going. It also says that trade shows ARE a good and important way of doing business. Nice to see.
  • Last this week, the Olympics. I always enjoy many aspects of the Winter Games, but I am really looking forward to the hockey. It usually never fails to bring great action and drama. I’m going with the Fins in a major upset.

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.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Last month, the glass industry once again united to quash a proposal that would have reduced glass on buildings by 25 percent in the ASHRAE 189.1 standard. This was the second such attack on glazing area that the industry has defeated at ASHRAE. Each bout in this “Battle for the Wall” shines light on the heart of the issue: a view by many in the building community that glass is simply a poor energy performer. The industry has been fighting a battle for the wall, when perhaps it should be fighting the war of perception.

The primary driver of these proposals to reduce window to wall ratio at ASHRAE is “the misguided opinion that ‘windows are just poor performing walls,’” says Tom Culp, owner of Birch Point Consulting LLC, and code consultant for the Glass Association of North America and the Aluminum Extruders Council. Culp represented the glass and glazing industry during the recent ASHRAE hearings.

“It is a challenge to change these perceptions, many of which were formed years or even decades ago when, in all honesty, glass was a fairly poor performer in terms of energy efficiency compared to other wall materials,” said Glenn Miner, director, construction, PPG Flat Glass in “The New Era,” from October 2013 Glass Magazine.

Proponents of less glass on buildings often promote a narrow view of energy performance. They only look “at something like R-value, without considering how high performance windows can actually outperform walls when considering daylighting, passive solar gains, etc.,” Culp says. “There is a tendency to just look at the output of a computer model and see a small difference in BTUs without thinking about real world design, and why people put windows in buildings. Instead of minimizing windows, they should leave the window area decisions to the building and daylight designers, then focus on putting in the best window possible.”

The industry has an opportunity to harness the momentum from the recent victory at ASHRAE to work as a unified group to shift this perception by many that glass is a poor energy performer. The recent fight at ASHRAE brought together 126 individual companies and 13 associations to support the interests of the glass industry. Those voices working together could make a difference changing minds about glass performance.

First and foremost, the industry needs to promote the energy and health benefits of glass and glazing (see “The New Era” for more on this front). Obviously, a reduction in glazing would harm the glass industry. But, it would also harm building occupants, while limiting potential energy savings.

The industry should educate about best design practices when it comes to glass and glazing. There is such thing as too much glass. Or, perhaps more accurately, the wrong glass type used too extensively in the wrong place on a building. Misuse or overuse of glass can create inefficient and uncomfortable buildings, while potentially providing fodder for the proponents of less glass (see “Power of Perception,” from December 2010 Glass Magazine for more on this).

And, the industry needs to keep improving the energy performance of its products. As Scott Thomsen, former president of the Global Flat Glass Group, Guardian Industries, said during his keynote talk at last year’s BEC Conference, “we need to improve energy efficiency or lose surface area.”

These are not groundbreaking ideas. Proposals to change perceptions and promote performance are often discussed at industry meetings and in industry publications. But, it’s time to bring them to the building community at large to prevent future battles. “We cannot assume [WWR won’t come up again], and proposals to tie requirements to window area could pop up again in the future,” Culp says. “We can’t just go back to ignoring the issue again. … The discussion is not over, and people need to stay engaged.”

Get involved with industry trade organizations. Keep informed. And promote performance through smart design. The industry has won the most recent battle; now it’s time to win the war.

Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Just when you thought that weather could not get any crazier, a storm this past week happened in the south and turned that part of the world on its ear. People stranded in cars, schools, and stores—stories I never expect to hear in the year 2014, with all of the technology and abilities we have at our disposal. One of my former co-workers was stranded, then spent 9 hours in a cab to go 5 miles and waited another 2 hours to get through airport security. I guess it shows that we still have a ways to go with regards to disaster or storm preparedness. As for the business effect, I am afraid that, considering how awful the weather was in most of the country in January, not many owners are going to be very excited to look at their P&L’s as they get completed this week. Hopefully the worst of this winter is over, but I have a feeling it’s not.


  • Speaking of weather, while snow and ice is dominating so much of the country, California is in a severe drought. Unreal. I feel like I have enough snow in my backyard to solve those problems! 
  • I’m escaping this winter for a few days by attending the GANA Annual Conference in Orlando this week. I am very excited for this event. A ton of prime time players will be in attendance, and some great subject matter to be covered. Next week I’ll give the complete review. 
  • One conference I unfortunately can’t attend, but believe will be awesome, is the upcoming IGMA event March 3-7 in San Francisco. IGMA always does things first class, and I expect this one will follow suit. If you are in the IG business and not attending, you are missing out. Plus the legend Julie Schimmelpennigh is giving a presentation! That alone is worth it… 
  • Word of the ruling from the Court of International Trade standing behind its decision on Chinese curtain wall imports was big news, and another positive move for the North American glass and glazing industry. Between the AEC-led push of the Department of Justice False Claims Act a few weeks ago, the Window and Wall Ratio appeal victory and now this, the start of 2014 has been refreshing from the rulemaking standpoint. And opponents of the curtainwall issue should look at the ruling from the DOJ before they think they have it all figured out. 
  • The Architectural Billings Index was down for a second straight month. This plays into some of the fears that are out there that 2015 will be rough. I’m not sure I’m ready to buy into that theory. And, I’m using this year to measure how the ABI does anyway… 
  • ESPN recently produced a mini documentary on Richard Jewell, the security guard who was wrongly accused of setting the bombs in Centennial Park at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. At 21 minutes long, it’s absolutely riveting and surely gets you thinking about how the media worked (and still works today), and how it can shape public perception. Also how the life of a guy who should’ve been celebrated as a great hero, was ruined. 
  • Last this week. Congrats to all of the Seattle Seahawk fans... great win. I was a big Seahawk fan growing up, loving Jim Zorn, Sherman Smith, Steve Largent and the gang. Very cool to see that franchise win! Commercials for the night were weak. I thought the M&M's and Tebow were best, along with Radio Shack (the admitted they were stuck in the 80's!!! Brash!). But after that, the crop was weak. And how about Maserati doing an ad? Why? Makes no sense at all. Oh, I will say I loved halftime. Bruno Mars is an entertainer in every way, and I enjoyed the Red Hot Chili Peppers joining him.

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.

Monday, January 27, 2014

John Swanson, editor and associate publisher of Window & Door, Glass Magazine’s sister publication, passed away on Sunday, January 19, 2014, in Manhattan. As we mourn John's passing, please feel welcome to use the memorial page at to share thoughts, memories and condolences. 

At the end of 2013, I visited the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. After wandering the grounds awhile, I walked inside and the first thing I saw was an exhibit called, At the Window: The Photographer's View. My first thought was, “I have to tell John about this.”

The photographs were evocative, funny, pensive, thoughtful and a little startling. Art is supposed to make you pause and reflect. These made me think about John.

Among the things I would have told him was, there were no door photos! As all who knew him know, John was a fenestration industry editor-advocate. Doors, he would repeat, are an integral part of the market we cover. He pushed us to remember that and so much more.

John's vision for the fenestration industry originates in a now-defunct magazine of that title. I first met John in 1993 at the interGLASSmetal/Fenestration World show when its official magazines, Glass Digest and Fenestration, were owned by Ashlee Publishing in New York. As the new publisher of Glass Magazine, owned by the National Glass Association, my sales team and I were there early to set up our new booth in the "enemy camp."

Of course, I already knew of John Swanson, having studied fenestration’s well-established leadership; it was the only game in town. I soon spotted him in the middle of a show aisle, surrounded by several other people. What I didn’t know as I walked up to introduce myself was that these were among his many industry groupies, the work friends he would stop to talk to at every meeting and every trade show during his 26 years covering the industry.

I was struck instantly by his gentle, almost reserved response to my intrusion into this congenial gathering. John was never one to use his deep knowledge, his intelligence or even his physical height to intimidate, much less make anyone—even an erstwhile competitor—feel unwelcome.

This was two years before the National Glass Association bought what was to become Window & Door magazine and another two before John agreed to come work for us. His one condition: That he run the magazine working and living out of New York City. No problem, we said.

Eventually I came to know John's more unreserved, ‘Wild Turkey’ side and fully appreciate his often cryptic, dry sense of humor.

I visited John in the hospital in mid-December. It was no surprise to find his room a little crowded; this time, the “groupies” surrounding John were three of his University of Rochester friends. They had all worked together, including John’s wife, Lee, at the college newspaper. As he had done 20 years earlier, John made me feel welcome. His friends and I commiserated about the seismic changes in publishing. They shared stories and told me about when they found out that two among them—John and Lee—had secretly been dating awhile. They told me how surprised they were, and then how surprised they weren’t, and how happy they were for this couple “who belonged together.”

When I told Lee that the entire Window & Door team was in the Virginia office and planned to celebrate John by toasting him with his favorite drink, Lee wrote back to me with this:

Yes, let the Wild Turkey flow! Please tell everyone that he treasured being a part of this industry and working diligently in it for so many years. It was his great pleasure to meet so many people across the country who touched him with their hard work, perseverance and their realness. He was like them in those ways, and I think that's part of the reason people held him in such high regard. He also knew how to keep his mouth shut and listen - how great is that?

Great indeed. We’ll miss you, John.

Harris is vice president at the National Glass Association, and publisher of Glass Magazine and Window & Door. Write her at

Editor's note: In lieu of flowers, the Swanson family is asking that those who wish to make a donation in John's honor give to The Barnstable Land Trust. The Barnstable Land Trust is the conservancy organization that is responsible for acquiring and preserving land on Cape Cod, including the Swansons' beloved Lowell Park (home of the Cotuit Kettleers) and Eagle Pond, site of hundreds of family walks. "We believe that a gift to the Trust represents the convergence of the things that John most treasured in life: the Cape, open spaces, baseball and family," says his wife, Lee.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

The industry once again came together to do the right thing, and won a victory in the battle for the wall. This is something that everyone in our part of the world could easily agree on: less glass in a building is a BAD thing. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the “Battle” to protect our industry. With Glass Magazine taking the lead media-wise to push it, and great work from trade groups like GANA and AEC (among many others), this issue got the attention it needed. Add in the amazing Dr. Tom Culp to present and fight for our way of life, and the winning formula was set. This week, the results came down positive for our industry, and with it a validation that glass can be a great part of high performance building options.

We can take a victory lap and savor it for the moment, but I can tell you there will be more challenges to come. We still have to push our innovation and technology and we still have naysayers working against our efforts, hoping they can find cracks in our approach. If you just got involved, please stay involved, and let’s keep moving our industry forward!


  • Last week’s post on the DOJ sparked a ton of conversation for me. The common theme was that this result surely gets the attention of the other folks involved currently in battles with foreign concerns. And that opening a plant somewhere else in North America as a “depot” of sorts as a way to get around duties may not fly. This will surely be one to watch, and with issues underway (especially regarding curtain wall) it will be fascinating to see what happens next.
  • Cleantech took an absolute beating from 60 Minutes a few weeks ago. The piece was extremely negative, and even poorly done in parts. Believe me, I could do hours of documentaries on the past ineptitude of the DOE, and even I felt that this feature was too off the wall. Note, I do think the current group at DOE is solid and has potential, but the past group deserves a ton of heat. In any case, as an industry, we do have significant technology connected to cleantech, and bad and outdated attitudes on innovation in that category will hamper us. It’s frustrating that the answer is always immediately “No,” and the questions are “Why” instead of “Why not.” And while I get the taxpayer and government support angle, and don’t like all of it myself (and there’s some amazing arguments on all sides out there), I believe if done right, cleantech is a must for our world as whole. 
  • Two major players from Pilkington are hanging it up. Rex Tracht and Paul Baskwell are retiring after more than 40 years at Pilkington. I know both men, and respect and like them a ton. While I am sure the folks replacing them will be solid, it surely will not be the same not seeing Paul and Rex at industry events or at various fabricators I get to visit. Enjoy your retirement, men! You will be missed!
  • Make sure to check out the Video of the week again… A fun one for those of us who have to do conference calls. Really comical stuff.
  • Last this week, in the commercial glass industry John Swanson was not real well known. However on the residential side, as editor and associate publisher of Window and Door, he was a titan and a force. Sadly, John passed away last week, leaving this world way too young at 52. John was incredibly respected and for many was the conscience of that industry. No question his passing leaves a massive void. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

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.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A big story that probably did not get as much traction as I would expect dropped last week when the Department of Justice announced that Basco Manufacturing will pay a $1.1 million fine to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act in conjunction with the duties that were levied on Chinese aluminum being imported into the United States. The fact that the Aluminum Extruders Council was able to get the DOJ involved and active in this case is pretty impressive. I think many folks did not expect any blowback or penalties because in the past our government either would not focus on it or they would take a light approach. There was little fear of the consequences of circumvention. Obviously, this is not the case here. The main issue in this case was something called “transshipping”--shipping the material from China to somewhere else and then off to the United States. Ironically, when these duties came out, I asked that exact question: Is this a practice that people could try? I was told point blank that it would be “impossible to pull off” and it turns out in the end it was…


  • You know I hate to keep bringing it up but I have to. The NFRC was back in the news again pushing their services and abilities when it comes to commercial windows and energy codes and ratings. This time it was during a webinar to promote its rating systems. In simple terms, they are trying to get commercial acceptance, and it's just not happening.  But gotta give them credit for trying. (My guess, it's because of class guys like Tom Herron, who do care and try to make it work.)
  • I am really stunned that the great blog post from Jenni Chase on last week’s glassblog only garnered the one comment. There’s no question that Obamacare is a massive political football and opinions can be strong. I guess possibly so strong that people do not want to even step into that debate…
  • View picked up another huge investment last week with $100 million coming their way.  More and more people are seeing that there’s going to be a major appetite for all sorts of smarter or dynamic glass (electrochomic and thermochromic, among others) and they are speaking with their checkbooks.
  • Make sure you check out my Video of the Week as it features one of our own on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Kawneer Regional Sales Representative Brian Burch was on vacation in Los Angeles when he ran into the cameras from Jimmy Kimmel and had to show off his moves… Go Brian Go!  And thank you  to Rod Van Buskirk, who brought this to our attention and now probably has Brian pretty fired up at him!
  • I saw that the Sacramento Kings basketball team will now accept Bitcoin as currency.  I still can’t get my head around how the whole Bitcoin will work. Can’t wait until some general contractor tries to pay in Bitcoin in our industry….
  • On the entertainment side, Emma Thompson was robbed by not getting even a nomination for an Oscar for Best Actress in Saving Mr. Banks. So wrong.  Also the movie Lone Survivor is getting a lot of buzz. I have an Army buddy who has seen it and said if you want a true and realistic view of what goes down in our current conflicts, this movie was right on. I have not seen it yet, but going to have to…

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.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is it possible to talk about Obamacare without bringing one’s personal politics into the discussion? Judging by the conversations around my dinner table, I’d say probably not, but I’d like to try. In past issues of Glass Magazine, we addressed how the new healthcare policies under the Affordable Care Act would affect business owners and their employees. Now that many of these policies are finally being put into place, it’s time to ask: what changes have they brought to your company so far?

Personally, I know of several people who have benefited directly from Obamacare. That said, I also know of a business owner who closed his doors due to the additional costs the new healthcare system presented his company.

I admit that I don’t know all the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act, but I’d venture a guess that my exposure to both the positives and the negatives is indicative of Obamacare overall: it has its upsides and its downsides.

It’s an issue that evokes strong emotions in all of us. My question is: politics aside, what has your experience yielded so far?

Chase is editorial director of Glass Magazine,, e-glass weekly and e-glass products. Write her at
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The battle to protect our industry from reduced usage of glass is on the front burner again, with a proposal at ASHRAE 189.1 to reduce window to wall ratio by 25 percent. The task group from ASHRAE 189.1 recently contacted our industry with some proposed exceptions that they feel could resolve our “issues.” It is mind blowing that this dance continues. But it does, and the simple answer to their reply here is…NO. The exceptions they laid out won’t solve our areas of very legitimate concern. And once again, despite the best showing we have had as industry consensus, we are still battling.

If you are a member of GANA, GICC, or AEC, you were alerted about this already. If you are not, you still need to get involved. We don’t need a ton of your time; we just need your support. Obviously having a large segment of the industry involved the last time was not enough. We need to show more. And we need to CONTINUE to stand up for ourselves and say that reducing the window area by 25 percent is wrong, and actually works against high performance building design.

Thankfully we have Dr. Tom Culp leading us, and he’s been brilliant. But we have to stand behind him, or otherwise we’ll all be looking at structures with tiny little windows in the future. There’s no way anyone reading this blog could want that, right?

Learn how you can get involved. (The deadline to lend support is today.) 


  • Guardian announced last week it is making a change at the top of their flat glass division. Obviously, my first thought is best wishes and health recovery to Scott Thomsen, who stepped down due to undisclosed health reasons. Scott made a major impact in his time at Guardian in many areas (products, innovations, people, etc.), and was a passionate supporter of the industry. He will be sorely missed from that standpoint. But with what he created, his legacy will live on. As for Guardian’s strong support of the industry, I am confident that it will continue no matter who is in charge.
  • Interestingly, one of Scott’s main pushes over the last few years was the “The Battle for the Wall,” fighting against efforts like the one listed above to hurt our industry. On the day he steps down, that issue comes back. 
  • The weather this past week did not help my prediction of a great year. Thankfully the worst of it is gone, but there’s no question last week was not exactly the busiest business week we will all have! As for the actual weather itself, that was a memorable event, and I hope I never see or hear the phrase “Arctic Vortex” again! 
  • Also making news over the past few days… Glass Apps acquired the smart film manufacturing assets of Citala. Glass Apps makes some excellent advanced interior switchable glass, and I was very impressed with their product and team when I met them at AIA last year. Looks like now they are continuing to grow and move. 
  • SAPA is back with another excellent educational opportunity in the return of their Profile Academy. Scheduled for Feb. 6-7 in Atlanta, and with a focus on building and construction, this Academy is a great way for folks to learn more about aluminum, its design, treatment, usages, and so on. This is something on my bucket list for sure, and I have been unable to attend in the past. But I will eventually get to one! 
  • Government waste is a major frustration for me. I have railed here before, and it amazes me that we as a world allow it. At the end of last year Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma put out his annual manual on it. While some items are political footballs, there are many legitimate and infuriating things happening with public money. It’s shameful. Here’s a quick look. 

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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