glassblog

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Last week, more than 500 attendees gathered in Las Vegas for the 2018 Building Envelope Contractors Conference, the annual event targeted at providing in-demand industry education for glazing contractors. The conference, held March 4-6, drew leaders from across the industry—from glazing firms to glass fabricators to equipment suppliers and more. Glass Magazine interviewed a range of attendees about the health of the industry, the biggest challenge facing companies, the recent combination of the National Glass Association and the Glass Association of North America, and more.

Katy Devlin is editor in chief of Glass Magazine. Contact her at kdevlin@glass.org.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Another great BEC Conference is now in the books, and once again it was a major winner. Like the many I have attended previously, I left very fired up about what I learned and who I got to meet and spend time with. This year the attendee numbers were strong, with more than 500 there who were active, either in the conference area or in the mini trade show spot. This was the first year since those crazy pre-recession days that the numbers were that impressive. 

To recap, here’s what stuck out for me. 

Presentations 

  • The opening panel that featured leaders from the design, manufacturing, installation and contracting world was off the charts. It could have easily taken up the entire morning session, especially with quite a few questions that were still waiting in the queue. Lesson learned on the planning end: something that good needs more time. 

  • Tom Jackson, president of Steel Encounters, did an absolutely fantastic job on the world of employee relations, culture, and finding and retaining the workforce. He had one stat that I discussed with a lot of attendees and so I need to share here…

    “95% of job candidates believe culture is more important than compensation.”

    That still blows me away, but also shows I am old fashioned. The keynote (thanks to Guardian Glass and an inspired choice by Chris Dolan) addressed this topic. The speaker, Jeff Havens, provided an incredibly energetic and entertaining approach to generational differences in the workplace. And, my gosh, I am now officially old. 

  • Overall, the presentations were excellent with a ton of different subjects to satisfy so much of what the modern glazing contractor or installer could need. The technical meeting, chaired by the impressive Matt Kamper of Woodbridge Glass, was interesting. I always enjoy the ins and outs of it, but the fact that NFRC was covered in detail cracked me up. I have been in the NFRC mix since 2004! And we’re still talking about the same basic things. Just incredible, really. 

Networking

  • As always, the networking makes the event. The Sunday night reception was awesome. The room was jam-packed and when the reception ended it was still busy with the hotel management trying several different moves to get people to clear out. That is always the sign of a good party. And yes, I stayed ‘til the end. (That never, ever happens if you know me.)

  • Before I run into whom I visited, I have to give props to Gus Trupiano of AGC for leading this event as the chair of the BEC division. Gus is not only an excellent and classy man, he’s also a great leader who did the industry proud once again. Kudos as well to Sara Neiswanger of GANA/NGA for her tireless work on this. She does so much behind the scenes, and does it with great care and skill.

Familiar Faces 

  • It was fun to fly on a plane loaded with industry folks. Poor Joe Erb of Quanex got stuck in the middle seat next to me for 4 1/2 hours. He deserves a medal. Plus, the team from Guardian Glass was on board and I do sincerely enjoy chatting with them any chance I get. Once in Vegas it was great to see Bill Sullivan of Brin Glass. He’s a tremendous supporter of the industry and it is appreciated. In that same boat are people like Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP and Jon Kimberlain of Dow. I love what they do and getting a few minutes with each of them is a great honor for me.  

  • The talent on display at this event is really crazy. People like Gary McQueen of J.E. Berkowitz, Rob Carlson of Tristar and Ian Patlin of Paragon are so impressive to me. And my friend Shelly Farmer of Trex Commercial never disappoints. She’s always top of her game and doing great things. It’s well-known I am a fan of the Viracon guys Garret Henson, Seth Madole and Cameron Scripture. Brilliant and good people, too. 

  • Got to chat with Chris Knitter of Oahu Metal & Glazing for the first time in a few years and same with Maure Creager and Tim Finley of Sage Glass. (Side note: Sage has the coolest business cards. Props to Derek Malmquist on that.) I only see Tracy Robbins of Walters & Wolf at this event, and I am glad I always do, good guy! Running into a former co-worker of mine Wardi Bisharat of PRL was fantastic. She rocks as always.

  • Any time I get with the great Rich Porayko is a blessing for me. I got to tell the “how I met my wife” story to Bob Burkhammer of Giroux and his wonderful wife, and I spent some quality time with Bernard Lax of Pulp, which I value a ton. 

  • The event was so huge I did not see a lot of people I wanted to see. I barely saw Tim McGee of Glass Coatings and Concepts, and I missed Tom O’Malley of Clover Architectural completely. I so badly wanted to hear how great things are going for him, as I see Clover everywhere these days! I also missed visiting with the Vitro folks and missed a few opportunities to catch up with old friend Tim Moore of Standard Bent. 

New Faces, New Things

  • I like meeting new people and learning new things, too. It was great to meet Charles Alexander, the newest addition at Walker Glass (though saying goodbye to Marc Deschamps was VERY hard for me); and meeting Joffy Thompson and John Vissari of United Plate Glass was incredible. Good, sharp guys for sure. As for new things, I learned about the new, exciting unitized product from Kurt Levan and Joel Phelps of Entekk; that was very cool. Best of luck to them.

It’s now on to the next events. For me, it’s most likely GlassBuild America, as I do not think I am attending AIA. And I am very excited about GlassBuild based on the vibes just experienced at BEC. We have a lot of positivity flowing in our industry right now, so let’s keep at it!

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 MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com. 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, March 6, 2018

I recently worked through one of the most interesting business milestones of my career. It was one of those educational “baptism by fire” learning experiences that makes you wiser but can only be appreciated in retrospect. I found myself leading my company through an industry acquisition—something business leaders read and hear about often but live through relatively infrequently.

Bohle had been looking for a simple solution to many market-related requests and we were able to accomplish this by indentifying, approaching, convincing and ultimately acquiring Portals—an established company in the shower door hardware business—all done over the better part of a year or so.

I wouldn’t have expected this milestone eight years ago when I came to the U.S. glass market. I have always been involved in organic growth and hadn’t planned on this. But what I learned is that you have to be open to the future, to options you might not expect. Relationships that started years ago might turn into something unexpected.

Back when we first came into contact with Portals, it was clear for both companies that we shared similarities and had a common thread that we could relate to. We were competitors in the shower door hardware industry. We competed for similar customers and shared adversaries. The setting could not be more dynamic.

As competitors, there was always an arm’s-length distance between us, but we managed to keep each other as close as possible. This ultimately helped to know each other on an operational basis and learn from each other’s best business practices.

There was always a non-exclusive relationship we kept with each other. This meant using each other for information and leverage when it came to customer angles, products and potential industry maneuvers to get ahead. We had respect for each other, but I didn’t expect it to translate to anything else.

Over time, we started to bump into each other more, and in some instances helped each other out. I started to think there might be another aspect to the relationship I hadn’t contemplated before: the ability to use our existing resources to complement each other’s customer base and build something stronger and better.

Consolidation is the natural occurrence where companies look into the industry for growth and understand the logic that one plus one equals three. I didn’t start out with that as my objective, but by keeping myself open to changes in the market, I was able to come up with an unexpected option and move forward. Done correctly, the end result is an efficient way of gaining market share and delivering more value to the customer.

Gareth Francey is the president of Bohle America, a supplier of glazing & handling tools, hardware, consumables, and machinery, for all levels of the glass industry. Francey has been with the Bohle organization since 2001 and led the American division since 2010. Contact him at gareth.francey@bohle-america.com.

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, March 6, 2018

This week, I am in Las Vegas at BEC, and I will have my review and wrap-up on the event on my post next week. With more than 500 people in attendance I truly expect some very interesting conversations and great insight into our world. And as always, I look forward to sharing some of my experiences here with you.

One person who is usually at BEC and won’t be here will be George Sultage of Vitro. As I wrote a few weeks back, George is battling a health issue and can still surely use all positive thoughts and prayers. We will miss you at the conference, George. Hang in there!

Elsewhere…

  • The economy has been pretty volatile since my last post. The stock market had some terrible days and some less-than-cheery forecasts came out. The possibilities of tariffs were openly discussed by the United States, and that was not accepted well by many. In the meantime, I point to a post from ITR Economics (you may remember them from having a yearly speaker at the Glazing Executives Forum), noting that five leading economic indicators are now trending lower and this came out before the stock market saw its declines. Add in some fears with regards to the homebuilders and the residential forecasts, and quite frankly, it was a skittish week. Hopefully this week will be better, but it’s surely now more important to keep an eye on all of the metrics out there.

  • My good friend Marc Deschamps of Walker Glass announced his retirement, and that is going to be a huge knowledge and personality loss to our industry. Marc is a wonderful man who was extremely dedicated to his company and industry. A tremendous volunteer; the amount of time he gave up to help push industry topics forward was amazing. His departure will leave a hole in a lot of efforts, that is for sure. Personally, I am really going to miss seeing him and his awesome suits and style at the various glass industry events. Best of luck and fortune to you Marc and ENJOY retirement, my friend. You earned it!

  • Recently I wrote on licensing and certification and I got a few questions on the process and the organization. A very good overview handout is here.

  • Also, this week a pal of mine called to ask me about the Silica Rule via OSHA. It is real, folks, and as frustrating as can be. Glass Magazine has written some excellent pieces about it. In case you missed them, you can click here and here.

  • Last this week, I have one kid in college and one about to go in the fall. So, I had to laugh when I was told about a major being offered at Northern Michigan University. It is in Marijuana. Yup. But it’s not as easy as it sounds: interesting story here. It will be fascinating to see how this takes off.

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 MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com. 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, February 27, 2018

It’s no secret in our industry that codes are ever-changing, particularly in Florida, where codes are revised every three years to clarify existing requirements and introduce new ones. The most recent changes went into effect Dec. 31, in accordance with the 6th Edition Florida Building Code.

Based on the 2015 International Building Code, the 2017 Florida Building Code includes an onslaught of change, including clarification of Missile Level E requirements for Essential Facilities, and a switch from ASTM E 1886 and ASTM E 1996 as the baseline standards for impact and cyclic pressure testing. Additionally, criteria for shelters, or Enhanced Hurricane Protection Areas (EHPAs) for K-12 schools have become more stringent and are now tied to ICC 400 - 2014, the Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters.

What does this mean for the glazing industry? How can we properly adapt? The most critical code changes for contractors are those that have impacted test protocols and hurricane-impact protections. For example:

  • continuous air barriers are now required

  • dynamic glazing is outlined in more detail.

As a result of these changes, Florida Product Approvals or FPAs, have also become a more critical piece of the puzzle. Florida Product Approvals are a set of guidelines or conditions that manufacturers’ products must meet to be used in the state of Florida—essentially a stamp of approval marking them certified and tested for use. FPAs can be a huge asset to our industry; however, the specificity of FPAs and the lack of ability to substitute various components can also present a challenge. This makes pre-engineered and pre-tested product options with FPAs critical to quickly and easily meet Florida’s specific requirements.

Additionally, it is important that contractors not take products with FPAs at face value. Manufacturers may have a system that meets Florida codes, but in reality, it may or may not be ideal for a specific project. As codes evolve and FPAs become more critical, ensure that a product with an FPA works for your specific scenario before you bid it.

The takeaway? As industry codes continue to evolve and project timelines seem to speed up, it’s critical to be prepared and aware of code changes, like this most recent one. Ensure a close working relationship with your manufacturer partners and keep an open line of communication to ensure they, too, are staying ahead of new regulations. By doing so, contractors will more likely get the customization and performance needed while staying on track with tight timelines.

Heather Evans serves as Certification Program Engineer at YKK AP America Inc. She joined YKK AP in 1999. Heather spent several years managing and implementing collateral and estimating software before joining the Product Development team in 2016. 

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, February 27, 2018

I study a ton of forecasting data. Some of it I can easily understand, and some has me in an utter state of confusion. Right now, we are in one of those times where the forecasting details may not be matching reality, both good and bad. Some regions in North America are exceeding what was predicted and some are falling short. It’s been a tough one to get straight.

This week, I found an interesting release from Dodge Data and Analytics that looked at commercial starts in 2017 versus what happened in 2016. The immediate surprise for me was the New York region—so amazingly hot for many in our world—was down again in 2017 versus 2016, and way off of the 2015 results. Also down in year-over-year were Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Miami. All of those markets have been booming. Up in 2017 were San Francisco, Philadelphia, Orlando, Austin, and San Diego. What does this mean? Starts usually do not affect our work until a year later or longer. Could this possibly be a signal of things to come in those markets, or a reason why it’s been a very inconsistent business phase for some? The whole piece is worth the read.

Elsewhere…

  • And while we are looking at the forecasts, the Architectural Billings Index continues to be incredible. The January performance was the best January showing since 2007. Three of the four regions looked at were very strong, with the Northeast lagging behind. I will admit when I see comparisons to 2007, I do start to sweat some, as it wasn’t too long after those amazing days in 2007 that the bottom fell out. I am not saying it is happening here, but it surely gives me pause.

  • BEC is kicking off this coming weekend, and it looks like more than 500 people will be there. I am looking forward to catching up with friends, networking and learning about what’s new, exciting and hot these days. Obviously, I’ll be reporting back here and posting on Twitter. If you are attending, I look forward to seeing you.

  • The GANA-NGA merger is done, and I was very impressed by the video message that NGA President and CEO Nicole Harris released recently. It is a quick piece where she outlines her thoughts on the deal, and I love the use of the video medium. It is a great way to continue to reach additional audiences. 

  • Two Amazon-related items to end the week. First, I went into a Whole Foods for the first time in many, many years. When you have my body and eating habits, that is not a place to frequent. In any case, I was blown away at the amount of specialty foods available and the costs of them. Now I know why a buddy of mine calls that place Whole Paycheck.

  • Also, the news surrounding the new Amazon HQ 2 continues with word that the new betting favorite is Dallas. From the start I have been on Dallas and Atlanta as the choices, so we’ll see if that happens. But supposedly there was a major spike in housing searches in Dallas from people in Seattle, so that set the rumors on fire.

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 MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com. 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 19, 2018

The building industry is shifting in its demands for thermal performance and thermal analysis on wall systems. More projects require thermal analysis, factors such as dew point and edge-of-glass U-values have become more important, and collaboration across the project team is on the rise.

In this blog, I’m addressing thermal analysis, energy efficiency and the warming of glazed curtain wall systems. My context is purely from a high level, and from my and our team’s overall experiences on projects from the pre-sale and pre-construction stage, through final performance evaluation and final installation. Here are some of those experiences, observations, stories and opinions on the issue of thermal performance and related topics.

1. Demand for thermal analysis.

Thermal performance related to U-values of wall systems has been in specifications for a long time, but for years was less-frequently substantiated in many areas of the country (yes, even cold areas). This is no longer the case. We have seen that most projects, particularly custom curtain wall projects, are requiring thermal analysis, and validation of U-values.

2. Inclusion of dew points.

Although it’s not always specified, thermal analysis should include dew point temperatures to inform design, and to mitigate, eliminate or better manage condensation. Don’t miss the importance of this. Specifications that request U-values per NFRC100 may not address the need to calculate and verify that surface temperatures on interior surfaces or surfaces behind the seal line are to be above the dew point temperature (unless there’s a way to manage condensation in non-visible areas.) This is important for the main body of the system, and very important for non-typical frames, perimeter conditions and transitions within or between systems. Much moisture can accumulate because of dew point issues, and this can be destructive to systems and interior environments.

3. Connected design.

Specifications are more clearly defined and tied into the mechanical engineer’s analysis and requirements for total building envelope performance. This has a lot to do with commissioning of buildings and actually validating all the values for the exterior enclosure. It’s good to see more “connected design” and less “throw it over the wall” compartmentalization.

4. Collaboration challenges.

As a result of all this, I still see levels of disconnectedness, differences of opinion, questionable application of standards, and a bit of “disruption.” I see this particularly between some on the A/E side of the project team versus those in the industry side working as delegated designers. The mixing of provisions from ASHRAE and THERM is one of the problems we’ve encountered, as have been issues regarding opaque areas at stone or panel spandrels, and the correct way to assess or analyze these.

5.  Use of edge values. 

Frame edge and glass edge have a big impact on reduction of U-value, and it is not uncommon for us to hear, “That can’t be right. The center of glass U-value is so much lower; how can the total U-value be so much higher?” Aluminum mullions and aluminum spacers in glass units are conductive. They have a higher U-value than the center of glass. Consequently, thermal improvements such as thermal separation and warm edge spacers have a significant impact in reducing total glazed wall U-value.

6. Non-conductive or less-conductive attachments.

FRP, polyamide, co-extrusions, and other non-conductive or less conductive attachment devices continue to grow in popularity and for use on rain screen panel, stone, UHPC, and other opaque cladding systems. There is a reduction in thermal performance when metal girts or components penetrate insulation seams and are screwed to the substrate behind. Do not forget to account for these penetrations through insulation areas in rain screen cladding if they are being utilized.

That is my story for now, for today. What is most exciting about blogging is creating conversation, trying to communicate experiences, to generate conversation and to somehow be of service to our industry. Please communicate back to me and let’s advance our work in glass and glazing.

John Wheaton is the founder & co-owner of Wheaton & Sprague Engineering, Inc., also known as Wheaton Sprague Building Envelope. The firm provides full service design, engineering and consulting services for the curtain wall/building envelope/building enclosure industry, and works at “Creating Structure” for clients. He can be reached at jwheaton@wheatonsprague.com and on Twitter, @JohnLWheaton1.

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 19, 2018

A big story that has been working its way through our world is the Architectural Glass and Metal Technician Certification Program, and I bring this up again because another movement got me thinking about the importance of training and education.  

But first, to recap, the AGMT program is designed to provide an independent assessment (written and practical) of the knowledge, skills and abilities of the experienced glazing technician. I am a believer in efforts like this because we need to always be evolving, and growing our training and knowledge base and our performance as a whole in the marketplace matters. The AGMT program continues to be built and hopefully soon will be launched. Until then, we’ll continue to learn more about the way it works and the positive end results that can come from it.

That brings to me to the action that got me going. Many states, at least 25 so far, are weakening the licensing requirements for architects. The AIA is fighting back and, obviously, they should. Believe me, I am not one who loves tons of regulations, but the licensing of architects is one I truly believe is needed. In the same way that advanced training (certification) of glaziers and glazing companies is needed. I still chuckle that in some states you have to be licensed to cut hair, but not design a massive building or install some of the most important parts? The end winners of these efforts are the occupants and owners and the industry as a whole. 

Elsewhere…

  • There was a really good, quick and easy piece from Window and Door Magazine on the housing outlook. As many of you know, the fate of the residential side usually runs into the forecast on the commercial side. When residential starts to falter, we get the warning that commercial will soon follow. According to this article, the foundations are still strong over on the housing side of things, which is positive news for them and for us.

  • We are coming down the stretch in preparation for BEC. More than 430 people have already signed up, have you? It’s going to be an excellent event.

  • The new Apple headquarters is having an issue with people walking into glass. I really am stunned as I thought the glass was going to have digitally printed marks on it to offer enough distraction to avoid this. I know many of you who read this have been in that structure, any insights?

  • Am I the only one out there who hates doing Gantt charts? Maybe because I have no idea on how to do or struggle with understanding the end usage, but just curious.

  • Do you want your email to be advanced? I am not sure I want to go down this rabbit hole. Basically, your email could eventually act as a specific browser. From a marketing standpoint this is a game changer: send someone info that has them directly on your site. On the flip side, I see myself falling deep into it and killing my own personal productivity.

  • Last this week, I started with a word on architects and so I end with one. The architectural profession was a winner, seemingly at this point, in the new U.S. governmental tax plan. The new plan gives many architectural firms a deduction they did not get before, so maybe the next time all of you suppliers out there do a lunch ‘n learn you should have the firm pay for it with their tax savings!

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 MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com. 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, February 13, 2018

As the calendar rolled over to 2018 last month, I came across a quote online from author Melody Beattie that really resonates with me: “The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”

As a sales manager, to actively “write the chapter” for the coming business year, I start each year analyzing territories, identifying competitive challenges, outlining territory coverage, and other related tasks. Many of you likely do the same, while others feel they are too busy putting out daily fires to make time for setting goals and developing strategies.

It’s not easy to step back from the crush of urgent daily tasks and make time for planning. But, it’s essential for success, whether you’re a sales manager, inside sales rep or CEO. There will always be urgent demands on your time, but without setting a proper course, you’ll end up just being busy, rather than being effective.

In his bestselling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey called this “sharpening the saw.” Think of a lumberjack using a dull saw to try to fell a large tree, sawing faster and harder to make progress, even though the saw is getting duller with each stroke. The wise lumberjack realizes he’ll be much more effective if he stops sawing for a few minutes and makes time to sharpen the saw.

As a leader, no matter the demands on your time, job one is goal setting.

The American historian Bill Copeland described the importance of this work in a clever way: “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” As leaders in the glass industry, it falls to us to make the time to set goals, to clearly communicate those goals to our teams, then empower and trust them to deliver results, so that we all “score.”

What does goal setting entail? TheBalance.com defines goal setting as, “the process of deciding what you want to accomplish and devising a plan to achieve the result you desire.” Note that this definition emphasizes that goal setting is a three-part process. For effective goal setting, you need to do more than just decide what you want to do; you also have to work at accomplishing whatever goal you have set for yourself, which means you have to create a plan so your work gets you where you want to go.

Here’s to your success throughout 2018!

David Vermeulen is the national sales manager for Technical Glass Products (TGP), a supplier of fire-rated glass and framing systems, and other specialty architectural glazing. TGP works closely with architects, designers and other building professionals, providing them with the state-of-the-art products, service and support to maximize design aesthetics and safety in commercial and institutional buildings around the world. Contact him at 800/426-0279.

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 12, 2018

After several weeks of big news stories and crazy articles to lead my blog, this week I was left with no lead story but a bunch of industry-related items to hit on. Without further delay, here are a handful of items that I find newsworthy and interesting….

  • Congrats to the fine people at Viracon for two reasons. First, they once again made an amazing charitable donation to the United Way. They’ve done this for a few years now and this year Viracon employees donated an awesome $111, 990. That is simply incredible and impressive and deserves major attention. Kudos to Carla Kern who led the charge once again, as well as Kelly Schuller and the entire management group there. 

  • On the product side of things, Viracon made news this week with word on their new warm edge spacer. I am always big into technology and when energy performance can be improved with smart moves like this, it’s a big win for our world. Kudos to all involved in that process and well done!

  • What city in the United States features the most cranes? I was really surprised that for the second year in a row it was Seattle. I was also surprised that Portland was in the top five. Obviously, the Pacific Northwest is a hot place, eh? Other cities in the top five were Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles.

  • The stock market had a very bumpy run of late and so has the Dodge Momentum Index. Commercial buildings were down almost 8 percent in January versus December. And similar to what is being said about the Dow Jones, the experts feel this drop is a basic correction versus a very strong fourth quarter. Obviously, both bear monitoring to see if there are deeper issues than a correction, so no major worry…yet.

  • Many of you out there are doing some sort of digital marketing and you know it can be an adventure. Just imagine if you had the same amount of money for digital marketing that people used on a 30-second Super Bowl ad. Digiday did a great look at how much you could do online with 5.2 million dollars. It really is amazing how much more long-term value there is versus one TV ad.

  • Speaking of those TV ads, each year I do follow the Super Bowl commercials very closely. This year was no different and I was happy that most ads tried to steer clear of social issues. I personally prefer my social issue discussions to be separate from my chips, beer and car commercials. Winner overall for me was Tide. Smart use of their time making fun of stereotypical Super Bowl commercials from the past. I really enjoyed it and had no idea the lead actor was from “Stanger Things” (I’ve never seen), but that surely had my son appreciating that approach. I also liked Rocket Mortgage’s translating millennial speak. Given the way our world is these days, that was cool. Last, I am a loyal M&M guy (unless I get the real chocolate from a good friend in Hawaii), so I thought the Danny DeVito coming alive as the red M&M was awesome.

  • Last this week, congrats to all of those Eagles fans out there. Friends of mine like Chuck Knickerbocker and Ted Bleecker should still be on cloud nine a week later. It was a nice win in an exciting game. I don’t watch much NFL these days, but I did enjoy this one and happy for those folks who can finally celebrate a championship!

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 MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com. 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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