Monday, August 5, 2019

Curious on what everyone else thinks on this; obviously by now you all know I am all about GlassBuild America, the show has been a client of mine for years, so of course I am going to be in heavy promo mode. Anyway, I had someone tell me they are not coming to GlassBuild because, “GlassBuild is a machinery show and there’s nothing for the glazier.” That threw me, because I know better, but I think not enough people in our world do. GlassBuild is the ultimate annual show for everything in our industry. Yes, machinery has a big and impressive part, but there is so much more to it, and for the glazier there’s a massive amount of growth and opportunity waiting at every turn. 

As a glazier, coming to GlassBuild America allows you to own your supply chain. Everyone you need is either exhibiting or walking the floor. Every single item that a glazier uses on a daily basis will have multiple supply groups there to talk to … how can you pass that up? Then you look at the technology with lifting and labor? Folks like Smartlift, Ergo, Sydercrane, Quattrolifts, and more exhibit—my gosh its impressive who is there!

Everyone wants more efficiency in the field, and GlassBuild America has those answers on the floor thanks to many different excellent exhibitors. How about software for estimating or project managing? Check. And how about if you want to see how these technologies work? It’s all there either in an exhibit or at the Action Demos. Put the seminars and speeches on top and you have everything you need to grow and advance your business. So, I turn to you dear readers; doesn’t this seem to be enough to get a glazier to the show? Should I try a different path?


  • Big congrats to old friend Michael Schmidt on his new position at Glaston. Very excited to see what he’ll do with the vast product lines at his fingertips and I look forward to standing in line to see him at all the shows. I say this because there is always a crowd around Michael at the shows.
  • Also congrats out to the folks at AAMA and IGMA for their news on the combination of those organizations. A lot of very good people involved there, and I expect this be a positive for the industry.
  • And last this week before the Big 3 interview, one more set of congrats—this to the fine men and women who achieved AGMT Glazier Certification. Our industry now has 177 newly certified professionals and that is an excellent start in that process! Kudos to the folks behind AGMT for tireless work in getting this going.

Big 3 Interview: Michael Blackmore, president, Ballistic Glass and Armor Solutions

I believe this may be the first interview I have done with someone I have not met in person yet. But after I saw the video embedded below, I just had to reach out and interview. Security and protective glazing is a growth area and I truly admire men like Michael who are determined to protect lives and property. Fascinating guy, and I look forward to meeting him person someday. Until then, you got to watch this video and then check out the interview, it is a fun one! 

Your videos, in which you literally stand behind your product, are super. How did you come up with the idea to do this and did you have any fear at all in the product not holding up?

The idea to do the “shoot me” videos was simply an “old school” approach to business that is the core of our approach to everything. We only put products on the market that we know will work, every time. I couldn’t think of a better way to communicate that, so I said, “Shoot me.” As far as fear, I was petrified, but not for the reason you may think. I knew our products would reject the rounds, I didn’t flinch when the shots were fired. I was petrified that the cameras wouldn’t capture the event on first take. It had taken 12 hours to setup the stage as a shooting booth, and we didn’t have time to re-set for a second take. Thank God, the cameras worked fine.

Your company has a very strong relationship with law enforcement organizations all over the country. How has that helped you and BGAS as you develop protective products for the glass industry?

Thank you for recognizing that. We absolutely support the “Thin Blue Line.” The vast majority of law enforcement is comprised of exceptionally good and committed individuals. Unfortunately, this sometimes gets lost when the spotlight is directed at the rare “bad apples” in this community.

Having good relationships with law enforcement has definitely helped our efforts. We were honored to be chosen for all ballistic aspects of the NYPD Times Square Station and BGAS is the specified supplier for all ballistic glazing, framing, doors, and walls for NYPD in all five boroughs.

Law enforcement relationships are particularly important in rural America. Whenever a concern develops there—for banks, utility payment centers, check cashing locations, pawn shops, schools, car dealers, and of course government buildings, and the police station—the first call made is to the police chief to take him/her for a cup of coffee to see what they think. This leads to an invitation for BGAS to consult and help develop the right solution to defeat the threat they are concerned about, such as forced entry, pistols, all rifles, and even blast and explosions.

Looking back to when you were a kid or teen, what did you initially want to be when you grew up? Did you ever think you’d be protecting people and saving lives with products you invented and/or innovated?

What did I want to be? Well, I rode my first bull in a rodeo when I was 14 and turned professional at 17. That is a young man’s sport and I retired at 21.

It is a long journey from the rodeo arena to our state-of-the-art glazing plant in Addison, Texas, and fabrication plants in Oklahoma.

I will tell you, Max, it is very rewarding pursuing our primary objective of “saving lives and protecting assets,” and providing out clients with true peace of mind. 

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. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Green. Historically recognized as a color, a synonym for money, or an adjective for a person new at something; today this 21st century buzz word is synonymous with sustainability and environmental consciousness, and it’s one of the biggest drivers behind modern corporate social responsibility.

In this sense, the concept of “green” has resulted in major changes for consumers, from higher fuel efficiency ratings of the new cars we buy, to the higher energy efficiency ratings of the homes and buildings we live and work in. The latter is due in part to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification and “green building” practices. But what exactly is LEED, how are LEED points and certification achieved, and how can your business use LEED and green building practices to provide increased value to your customers?

LEED, one of the most recognized green building certification programs in the world, was originally developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED includes a rating system which focuses on environmentally responsible aspects related to the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings. LEED certified buildings are better for the environment, are energy efficient, have higher lease-up rates than conventional buildings in their markets, are healthier and safer for occupants, and can act as a physical demonstration of the values of the organizations that own and occupy them. 

No single product can achieve LEED points. Rather, LEED points are accrued through the sum whole of various products used in several categories—such as building materials, fenestration and glazing—which contribute toward LEED credits in several categories, including, but not limited to:

  • Energy and Atmosphere

Intent: Achieve increasing levels of energy performance above the prerequisite standard to reduce environmental impacts associated with excessive energy use.

Example: Types of glass used in windows, doors and skylights can be designed to meet the U-value and solar heat gain coefficient requirement standards for increased energy efficiencies.

  • Materials and Resources

Intent: Increase demand for building materials and products that are extracted and manufactured within the region, which reduces environmental impacts resulting from transportation.

Example: The distance from a glass fabrication facility to the job site can be calculated to determine whether it is within the 500-mile radius necessary to receive the Regional Materials Credit. 

  • Indoor Environmental Quality

Intent: Provide a high level of thermal, ventilation and lighting systems which can be user controlled to promote the productivity, comfort and well-being of building occupants.

Example: Dynamic switchable glasses installed in the building envelope so that a minimum Daylight Factor of 2 percent is achieved in 75 percent of all space occupied for critical visual tasks.

In today’s modern age of mass production, where a focus on reduced costs often takes precedent over quality standards, the fundamental principles behind LEED should be embraced, as the benefits and return on investment behind them are both measurable and real, as is the increased value it bestows upon our industry.

To learn more about LEED, visit

Pete deGorter is vice president of DeGorter Inc. Contact 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, July 29, 2019

Tons of educational and technical topics lead off the blog this week. First off, if you missed the webinar from the National Glass Association and Architectural Record Magazine, you missed an incredible event. “Professional Roundtable: Perspectives on Glass and Glazing in Design” featured five brilliant minds all bringing up great point after great point with regards to energy codes, standards, performances and the glass and glazing products that can be utilized to satisfy all and advance our world. It truly was something to take in and I especially enjoyed seeing the pictures of the projects that the panelists pointed to showing great glass and glazing in action.

The biggest takeaway for me was that we as an industry could do amazing things and reach incredible performances—all we have to do is actually do it. Welcome the change, welcome the new and push forward. There are many people and companies who take this tack, but there are still many that don’t and that includes architects unwilling to try the new as well. In any case, I think panels like this are only scratching the surface, which brings me to…

The final schedule for Express Learning at GlassBuild America is now published and there’s a ton of incredible content but one of the big keys is the “live podcast” that the guys from Edify Studios will be doing which will be focused on disruptive change in the glass industry. Basically, what is going to be our “Uber” or other breakthrough? It’s a huge and important subject and one that will be a “must attend” at the show. The rest of the schedule is fantastic too—lots of very interesting subjects and engaging speakers. 


  • On GlassBuild America: seriously, if you haven’t registered yet, please make a note and do it soon. And even bigger, get your hotel room taken care of: just go to and it’ll take you five minutes. Thank you.
  • The latest NGA Technical and Advocacy bulletin was released this week and it’s astonishing how much work is being done by Urmilla Sowell and the folks at the National Glass Association. Here’s a quick smattering of what was covered, and you’ll see there is a ton going on:
    • Laminated Glazing Reference Manual
    • products for energy applications 
    • coastal glazing and the turtle codes
    • assessing the durability of decorative glass
    • glass properties pertaining to photovoltaic applications 
    • Glossary of Terms for Color and Appearance 
    • proper procedures for cleaning flat glass mirrors
    • proper procedures for receiving, storage and transportation of flat glass mirrors 
    • 70 Glass Information Bulletins available
    • AIA-approved presentations
    • Glass Floors and Stairs Task Group
    • measuring color of decorative material in the field
    • point-supported glazing
    • design considerations for use of sealants/adhesives with coated glass and adhesives compatibility
    • understanding reflected solar energy of glazing systems in buildings
    • Updated Coated Glass AIA presentation
    • Engineering Standards Manual, 2019 edition

This work matters as it advances our industry. If you are interested, join NGA and get involved in the process!

  • Last this week, a fun one: I was way behind the times TV-wise. I just recently finished “Breaking Bad”—awesome TV—and now I’m catching up on “Better Call Saul” which is also fabulous. This week, as I watched an episode in season three, I was excited to see a familiar glass industry product: I am pretty sure that Wood’s Powr-Grip vacuum cups were utilized. It wasn’t for glazing, unfortunately, but still, I still enjoyed seeing a product that we in our industry use quite a bit. You know me, I watch everything for a connection back to the industry. Not sure anyone from Wood’s still reads this blog—I miss Joe Landsverk of Wood’s, who used to read, before he passed on a few years ago; I’m guessing he would’ve loved this story—but if you do, let me know if that was yours.

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. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

There was a pretty significant deal in our world this week from the machinery side of things. Salem Distributing acquiring HHH Tempering marries up two well-run companies with very respected leaders and strong products. Both companies also are huge industry supporters—something I always rail about and appreciate when people step up. I am happy for Mike Synon, Mike Willard, and everyone at these organizations. This will be a great combo for many years. We’ve had a ton of moves on the fabrication side in the past few years so it only makes sense that some deals on the machinery side would start growing and now we’ve had two big ones with this and the previous Glaston/Bystronic one.


  • While I am handing out congrats on good news, how about a happy anniversary to Paul Conners of Conners Sales Group—he is celebrating his 25th year in business! That is awesome. I have always been a big fan of Paul and the team he built—especially the great Lauren Anderson. The work they do is top notch and they are always stepping up to support the industry. Happy Anniversary, Paul!
  • The Glass Magazine review is easy this month because it’s the annual Source Book. Everything you need is in there—so don’t leave this one too far from your fingertips. Ad of the month goes to Pulp Studios. Love the elephant, the cute logo that went with it and especially the gorilla caught in a jar. Perfect ad. Kudos to Bernard and Lynda Lax, my buddy Kirk Johnson and everyone there involved for that one. 

Big 3 Interview: Josh Wignall, Director of Marketing, EFCO Corp.

I have a soft spot in my heart for marketing professionals and Josh is one of the best around. Josh has been a guy that I followed for a long time before ever meeting in person and I always came away impressed at his approach and his support of industry people and tactics. He gets it. Then I met him in person and he was extremely cool, so that made it better and made me want to learn more about him and what he thinks… so here goes.

 What do you see as the hottest trend in architectural aluminum these days?

In architectural aluminum, we have been seeing a lot of trends over the past few years that continue to push our industry to improve. There has been a greater demand for sustainability in all facets of our industry. With programs like Environmental Product Declarations, Health Product Declarations, LEED and countless other sustainability measures being pushed, we will continue to strive for ways to be transparent in our sustainability goals and ensure we aren’t having a negative impact on our environment in the process. We have also seen accessibility requirements stay at the forefront of architect’s minds. That all being said, with codes getting stricter, thermal efficiency will continue to dominate the spotlight for aluminum manufacturers. Some might argue that a trend must be new to be “hot”, but I’ll argue that thermal performance in our products still takes the cake. While the U.S. has been slower to adopt as stringent of codes as Europe, we continue to see a steady push towards a net-zero energy consumption. For this to be achievable, architectural aluminum technology must adapt. We have seen a push to escalate efficiency plans in cities like New York recently and I’m guessing it won’t go away any time soon. 

I know when you are in marketing you are always on the lookout for that great story or message in a project your company has done. What’s the best story or message that you’ve worked on in your career?

I do love a great story and we are in story-rich industry with all of the amazing projects we get to be part of! While there have been some incredible projects throughout the years, I think the best story I have been directly involved in is one about our local school district here in Monett, Missouri. At EFCO, we do a lot of education buildings all across the nation and, as a parent, nothing makes me prouder than seeing how our products can impact the learning environment for the better! Over the past 10 years, EFCO has worked with our local school system on replacing and adding daylighting to every building in our school district. We worked with the superintendent to tell the story about why our local schools decided to update all of their facilities with new fenestration products. The video segment was so much fun because we got to see firsthand how our products have helped the school meet their efficiency and student comfort goals. Check it out. 

Being able to see that in my hometown, where my kids are going to school, really warmed my heart! It’s easy in this industry to forget that we aren’t just building windows and doors, we are building communities. Places for our families to learn, to grow, to eat, to work and to heal. This story really brought all of that home for me and made me proud to work in an industry that shapes our nation for the better! 

What’s the job you had that was the most fun in your life and why (aside from your current one which I know is a blast)?

I have to admit, I’ve been pretty fortunate throughout my life to have some really fun jobs! I worked at an old Tastee Freez—I’m not sure these are around anymore—in high school where I served ice cream and pizza burgers. I landscaped, worked in fast food—okay, so this one wasn’t as much fun— gave campus tours in college and even worked at a local vineyard in Iowa where I labeled, sealed and served wine!

That all being said, I would have to say the job I had the most fun in my life at was when I was a bartender in a Cuban dance club in Bristol England. I’ll let that one sink in a bit. When I was in college, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Wales for a semester and just absolutely loved the culture! I loved it so much that I decided to go back the next summer and get a work visa. One of my best friends talked me in to coming and working in his hometown for the summer which just happened to be Bristol. When I first moved over there, I didn’t know what I was going to do or where I was going to live! I went door to door to every restaurant, office and bar that was hiring. After many interviews and rejections, I ended up getting a job at this Cuban dance club called Fiesta Havana.

I had never bartended before, so the learning curve was large, not to mention, I never thought about how difficult it would be to understand drunk English people with loud Salsa music in the background. I was able to find a bed available at the youth hostel down the road from the club, so I rented a bed to share a room with 10 strangers for the next three months. We shared a room, bunk beds and all, bathrooms, living room and kitchen.

While my job and living arrangements were a bit stressful, there were things about this experience that I have tried to bring with me in whatever I do. Here are the three things I loved most about this job:

1. The job was high energy. I found that I loved being surrounded by chaos and that I loved being able to bring organization to that chaos. As a bartender, I quickly found that I needed to prioritize and efficiently use my time because there were always three to four other people waiting. I also found that staying calm with a smile on your faces goes a long way when things get tough! These skills have helped me grow throughout my career and keep me composed when things get crazy.

2. Helping people have fun. This job was so much fun because it was my job to make sure others were having fun. I loved going to work each day and I found that a smile goes a long way. To this day, making work fun is a huge priority to me! What’s the point in working if I can’t have fun in the process? 

3. I loved the challenge! The final thing I loved most about this job was that it provided me a daily challenge. Not only the job of pouring drinks, taking orders and understanding drunken English accents, but the challenge of taking on a new adventure without knowing the results. This job allowed me to test my abilities, stretch my comfort levels and grow as a result. I may not be able to make a killer mojito anymore, but the lessons I learned about hard work and fun still carry on with me today!

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. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

I enjoy a whole range of podcasts, and our industry has a brand new one from the guys from Edify Studios. Brad Walker and Brad Glauser of Edify do a great job with it and to date have had some very interesting guests and topics. This week’s edition is close to my heart as it’s a special edition about Mercedes Benz Stadium and features Tom O’Malley of Clover Architectural and Court Reece of Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope. They give a great inside story to the glass and glazing products on this amazing structure. Well worth the watch/listen. You can download in podcast form via Apple or Android or for an easy watch and listen: here it is on YouTube. 


  • Remember only a few more days to go to get entered in the VIP Tour of Mercedes Benz Stadium. If you have not registered for GlassBuild yet, do it now to be eligible. Aside from the awesome glass and glazing you’ll also see all the great pieces of the stadium including locker rooms and field! This is a tremendous opportunity and experience!
  • The Dodge Momentum Index was up nicely for June and that surely calmed some nerves with the way things had been trending both with this index and the ABI. We are still slower pace and performance wise than last year and there are still signs of soft times coming in the second half of the year but we’ll take a positive report like this any time. 

10. Honolulu: Higher on list if you see my main man Lyle Shimazu or the great Earnest Thompson.

9. Austin, TX: For the weird in you.

8. Asheville, NC: I have never been. Guess I need to!

7. Nashville, TN: Incredibly hot now—BEC there in 2020 proves it right?

6. Chicago: To me this is overrated. Sorry my pals from the Windy City.

5. New York City: I can see it, so much to do, etc. So much energy.

4. Savannah, GA: I like it but is it really fourth best??

3. New Orleans: Nope. Not for me.

2. Santa Fe, NM: Wow. help me out anyone who’s gone—is this really that good?

1. Charleston, SC: Love it, great place… is it No.1 though?

But for me, how is San Diego not in the top 10?? I’d make it No.1 probably.  

Big 3 Interview

Eric Fortin, general manager, Northwestern Glass Fab

I only recently got to meet Eric Fortin and immediately I said to myself “this would be a great interview,” and sure enough it was. As you can see below Eric has got it together! I love that this is someone that was from outside the industry and has now come in and made a serious difference. Talent like what Eric possesses is crucial for our wellbeing and growth as an industry and I look forward to getting to know him better and also seeing him at the various industry events!

I have to start with your time in the United States Army. You were a troop commander with some serious responsibilities. What was that time like for you and how often do you use the lessons and experiences gained there in your daily work at Northwestern Glass Fab?

I have to first give kudos to mentors. I met a very influential gentlemen during college who helped me understand what leadership is all about. He was the first real leader I had ever met. This gentlemen’s name is Mr. Wilbur Wolf III. Mr. Wolf helped me to determine that joining the Army as an active duty officer was the right thing for me to learn about myself, leadership and how to lead people. Once I was in the Army, it was a dream of mine to one day lead a cavalry troop. Over the years I worked my tail off and positioned myself to make that dream come true. I was fortunate to be a troop commander for a unit that was resetting from a previous deployment to again deploy. I say fortunate because the timing was such that I took command of the unit in Colorado and immediately prepared to deploy. As the commander the other leaders and I trained, deployed and then returned the unit to Colorado. In my opinion, if you are going to lead soldiers, this is the perfect scenario and challenge. The responsibilities as a commander are significant. As a commander of a deployed unit, you are truly responsible for people’s lives.

My apologies, but before I respond to your question, I have to again be appreciative to mentors who helped me take what I learned from the Army as a leader and to apply it to the business and manufacturing environment. I was extremely fortunate to be invited to be a part of an absolute world class company in the glass business. This company has a history of taking ex-military leaders and helping them make the transition to manufacturing. The experiences they provided helped me to establish a foundation of what “right looks like” in successful business organizations. Without two mentors who offered me this opportunity, I more than likely would not be in the glass industry. That company is Cardinal Glass and those two gentlemen are Dave Pinder and Mike Arntson. Like the military, I tap into my experiences with Dave and Mike at Cardinal every single day.

The largest lesson that I learned from my time in the military and that I apply daily is perspective. As stressful as some days can be, a tough day at work today isn’t really that bad. It could be always be worse. In general, everyone will go home to their friends and families at the end of each day. I also apply the lessons of patience, but decisiveness, to maintain flexibility because most things change and do not go the way you want or planned. Also, to let leaders lead. As often as I can I try to give my leaders my intent and then let them lead their teams. This allows them to be creative in accomplishing the goal. Everyone learns a ton when leaders are given the freedom to own and accomplish an objective with their teams. Lastly, I learned about taking care of people. We are all in the people business. If you take care of people, they will take care of you.

Your company (Northwestern Glass Fab) could be considered a “startup” still with only being three years old. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being so “new” to the marketplace? I also ask this, as I know you have “startup” experience in your past, so this was not your first adventure.

I want to start with how lucky I am to be a part of the Brin Glass companies. This is such a fantastic bunch of people. I truly have the very best boss in Bill Sullivan. Anyone who knows Bill understands what I mean when I say this. Northwestern Glass Fab as a part of Brin Glass has been around since 1912. Three years ago, NWGF separated from the Brin Glass Company to once again be known simply as Northwestern Glass Fab, instead of Brin Northwestern. This meant moving to a new standalone location and to establish itself as a standalone profit and loss division. A lot of the changes made since I’ve joined the company were very much in order to start over. What used to work very well no longer works. We hit reset and I believe we are now postured for growth and another 100 years of success. I’m so very proud of my team during the past 16 months. Change and culture change is not easy. Our success is truly due to the team for having an open mind, patience and the will to fight through adversity.

Fun one… what is your all-time favorite movie, or movies if you can’t just choose one and why? 

I was a business and history major in college and I am kind of a space geek. With that, my favorite movies are Apollo 13 and the recent Apollo 11. I am always impressed with what it took to put humans in space and on the moon. It took fantastic teamwork, dedication and a constant fight against adversity. The people who accomplished these wonderful feats were so smart and committed. It always impresses me when I watch those movies. Before I die, I hope to one day truly understand what a black hole truly is.

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. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The NBA is in the middle of free agency, when players’ contracts expire, and they can move to a new team. It also seems to be the same way in our industry, with a ton of folks moving from one company to another in the last several weeks.

Change can be good and refreshing but I have to say this is the most movement I have seen in a short time in my years in this industry. It will be interesting to see if our movement continues or if this was just a blip on the radar. And meanwhile, yes, I am thrilled that Kawhi Leonard went to the Clippers versus the Lakers.


  • The Architectural Billings Index barely stayed in positive zone last month, but it did. The Northeast is the drag right now, which will be something to watch next year to see if they get softer in those areas. The big news? Firms that specialize in commercial and architectural were up nicely, so that bodes well for the majority of our industry.
  • If you are coming to GlassBuild America, now is the perfect time to register, because of the awesome contest currently running. Register before July 18, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a custom VIP Tour of the fascinating Mercedes Benz Stadium right next to where GlassBuild is held. This stadium is incredible and well worth seeing. Major props to the great folks from Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope and Clover Architectural Products. They supplied their products on and inside the building, and are sponsoring the contest and helping with the tours. This is a great way to round out your Atlanta trip, so register, and get in the contest!
  • Also on GlassBuild, the initial schedule for Express Learning is out. There’s a ton there, but the one right now that I think will draw a massive crowd is Chris Phillips laying out “Best and Most Interesting Shower Enclosures” of 2019. I have been seeing some of the candidates he may show, and if you’re in the shower game, it’s worth seeing what made the list. Plus, Chris is all over the trends. Don’t miss it.

Big 3 Interview

Wardi Bisharat, architectural glass sales at PRL Glass Systems and Aluminum

I was really lucky to get to work with Wardi when I was at Vitro America years ago. Wardi is not only one of the most talented people in our business, but she’s also a really cool person. To me she was always upbeat and positive, and she has an energy about her that just exudes greatness. When I asked her to do this interview, she noted she’s different in person than on paper, but I disagree. She’s right on track with the insights. (The rise of laminated—so on target). And she’s solves the debate that some people may have on who’s got the best French fries out there.

What are some of the biggest differences in architectural glass space now versus when you started?

  • The quantity of furnaces and glass fabricators.
  • The vast variety of low-emissivity coatings and the availability of coating on various substrates; exotics (I love that word).
  • The rise in demand for laminated options.

I have had the privilege of exceptional training over the years to keep up with the changing products.

You’ve been at PRL for almost two years now, after several years at companies owned by large ownership groups. What’s it like to be back in family business style of ownership? Was there any adjusting needed to settle in at PRL?

We have four owners and over 500 employees at one location. It is a very impressive operation with an amazing amount of talent. The owners are hands-on and work as hard, if not harder than the rest of us here.

I did not bring a backlog with me and started from zero. As you know in our commercial world, it can take two plus years from time of bid to start of a project. That was really hard for me.

Fun one to end: Top three “must have” food choices and why?

#1 Salads—they are not always healthy or low calorie.

#2 Avocados—love them on everything

#3 McDonald’s French fries. What can I say, I have a weakness for them.

Thank you Wardi. You continue to be one of the best around!

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. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

The future of the glass industry is smart—smarter glass for smarter buildings in smarter cities, according to presenters and organizers at the 2019 Glass Performance Days, June 25-28 in Tampere, Finland. “Smart cities, smart buildings and smart glazing are our future,” said Jorma Vitkala, chair of the GPD organizing committee, during the GPD Opening Ceremony. “Changes are happening faster than ever before. But we need to continue being the catalysts for ideas and innovation. … We must embrace new ideas, new technologies, new relationships. We must be ready to meet the needs of our customers and our customers’ customer.”

Many of GPD 2019’s seven simultaneous, all-day sessions—covering a variety of topics including smart technology, glass and sustainability, R&D, façade and market trends, and more—looked at the next-generation glass products that could be essential to bringing the industry to the next level.

Some takeaways:

  1. Performance. The market will continue to demand better performing products, and codes and standards will continue to require the same. “The global need for environmental energy and sustainability is reshaping the nature of glass,” said Arto Metsänen, CEO and president of Glaston. “Energy efficiency has always been a challenge. As a material, though, glass is very competitive in terms of CO2 reduction. It provides a unique opportunity for the sustainable development of the world.”
  2. Collaboration. Innovative industries require collaboration, said Teppo Rantanen, executive director of the City of Tampere. “Companies talk about new ideas because they know what they get back will be better,” he said. “How do you work together with other companies? How do you share?” 

    Developing next-generation products and processes, and achieving next-level performance goals, also requires this collaboration, added Metsänen. “We can only succeed if we work together,” he said. “No company or individual can do this alone.”
  3. Complexity. The adoption of digital design has changed what’s possible with the building façade, allowing complex shapes and curves that were never before possible. “We’re not building rectangles and squares,” said Stanley Yee, façade design and construction specialist for Dow. “We are seeing complex architecture, complex units, oversized glass, curves.” 
  4. Digital factory. Glass industry manufacturing has also seen advancements. Most new machines are networked. Companies can track products, and progress and performance of individual machines, the full factory floor, or even global factory locations. “We’re looking beyond Industry 4.0,” said AJ Piscitelli, application engineer and project manager, FeneTech Inc. “It’s the digital factory. It’s Industry 4.0, IoT, supply chain management.”
  5. New methods and materials. The GPD exhibit floor offered a sneak peek at product and production solutions to come (or in some cases, what’s already here). Innovations included transparent insulating glass spacers; next-generation coatings for performance, bird-friendly design, switchable capabilities and more; and advancements in the way products are made, including laser technology and additive manufacturing, or 3D printing.  

Katy Devlin is editor in chief of Glass Magazine. Contact her at Follow Glass Magazine on Twitter.

Monday, June 24, 2019

It’s time once again for a social media news roundup! Here is a summary of the biggest moves being made in the social media world this summer, and how they could impact your business.


The image-sharing platform has long tried to make it easy for users to toggle back and forth between accounts. But now, Instagram is simplifying things even more for those with multiple accounts by allowing them to connect them all and use one login for all those accounts with the same password. This means, no more setting up new email addresses for additional Instagram accounts! This is great news for social media managers at companies that manage accounts for different divisions or regions.


If you have noticed more-spammy-than-usual ads on Twitter, you can blame a test the company has been running in some users’ timelines. Twitter is showing more ads to users to boost ad revenue, but its targeting seems to be off. Plus, users have reported a spike in offensive or junky ads, including ones promoting gambling—which is against the user agreement for ad sales. If your company is running a Twitter ad campaign, consider holding off further ones until this gets worked out.


LinkedIn has been acquiring companies lately, including one called Drawbridge. Drawbridge, according to Crunchbase, “helps companies better understand their customers using machine learning. It addresses user-focused issues like customer experience, digital security, and risk detection.” LinkedIn seeks to use these to their advantage by better targeting professionals on LinkedIn with opportunities. If you manage your company’s LinkedIn page, maybe this development will work to improve LinkedIn’s targeting to drive traffic to your online presence.


Some big changes could be coming to the social media giant—a redesign is coming over the next few years, making Facebook more family and friend-focused, and less business-centric. This could mean the audience your company enjoys reaching may become less accessible down the road. According to Social Media Today, to stay in front of Facebook users’ faces, you might consider starting a company “group” rather than maintaining just a company page.

Meryl Williams is the Communications Coordinator for AAMA. She produces national and regional newsletters, writes editorial content and helps lead AAMA’s social media outreach, including the Socially Speaking blog. She has seven years of professional communications experience in both journalism and public relations. 

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, June 24, 2019

We kick off this week with the latest Glass Magazine review and it’s a favorite of mine because it combines the “Top Glazier” issue with an awesome custom GlassBuild cover. Good stuff right off the bat! Because the focus is the Top 50 Glaziers this is a jam-packed edition with everything you could possibly want data and detail wise. Also inside this issue- a tremendous article from Greg Oehlers along with a great piece on workforce development. Great insights and should not be missed.

Meanwhile ad of the month was tough because this is a popular issue, there’s a lot more ads, but the winner is my friends from Bohle America. Gareth Francey designed a piece that got me to stop and look. That is always a big key for me ad wise. Really easy on the eyes and interests me for more info. Well done and congrats!

Before I get to this week’s interview, just a couple of quick notes:

1)    Long time industry leader Ron Parker is leading a charge to defeat ALS. Here is more info on how you can help!

Ride to Defeat ALS will be held on Saturday, July 20, at Mt. Angel, Oregon. If you would like to donate to support those living with ALS and their families, please click here.

Each and every donation will:

  • fund a treatment of ALS, as well as research for finding a cure
  • provide hands-on support to local families during their journey with ALS
  • raise awareness for a disease that is not rare and occurs every 90 minutes in the U.S.

Your gift to this worthy cause is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law

2)    No blog post next week since it’s leading into the Fourth of July holiday in the U.S. Hope everyone celebrating and has a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Big 3 Interview

Monique Salas, National Healthcare Business Development Manager, SageGlass

This was a fun one for me as Monique brought totally different skill sets to our industry—she was in pharmaceuticals—and she is a must follow/connect on LinkedIn. In addition as those of you who read this blog consistently know I am huge cheerleader on dynamic glass, so the fact that Monique has an incredible understanding and approach with it, was driving force to do these three questions.

You have extensive experience in the dynamic glass space. There is great confidence that this space will continue to have significant growth. Aside from the fact you sell it, why are you so bullish on these products?

I have a sincere desire to make spaces cleaner and more beautiful. Our living and healing spaces are very important for our mental and physical health. Natural light is a significant component that aids overall wellness. Starting in the late 70s, researchers started to study the impact of natural light on patients. Overwhelmingly, patients exposed to natural light began to heal faster, require less medication and report increased comfort in the presence of natural light. Smart glass now offers the missing element and I find that incredibly exciting. A façade that changes without disruption of color or uniformity on the exterior, yet provides thermal comfort and greater satisfaction for occupants inside. It is a winning combo that meets the needs of the design community, building owners and most importantly, patients. 

Imagine if you will, you walk into a hospital and in the lobby, there are no blinds or curtains. Yet, the welcome staff is not interrupted by glare or heat. It sounds silly, but these are real solutions to increase productivity and thermal comfort. Now, take it a step further and imagine you are a patient in a hospital room with little or no mobility. You want to see outside, but that would depend on your nurse coming in to adjust your blinds of curtains. This could be several minutes or even hours away, depending on how many patients they oversee.

In my opinion, this can be solved in designing spaces with smart glass intelligence. I have had the unique ability to sell in both spaces, thermochromic and electrochromic. Thermochromic being a passive technology that operates on radiant heat; electrochromic an active technology that allows occupants to override with a control, such as an app or wall device. I have come to respect each type or now believe that they should be used in collaboration.

Thermochromic in common spaces, where control is not necessary—lobbies, hallways, and prescription pick up. An electrochromic in-patient room, giving the patients the ability to use an app to control their own thermal comfort. I hope leaders in both subcategories will start to work together on projects to meet the needs of the client. To me, it is not a one size fits all, but a true deep dive into the building delivering evidenced based designs fusing thermochromic and electrochromic.

I’m a big fan of yours for a bunch of reasons but maybe the biggest is you have a sincere desire to constantly be giving back. Where did this value come from and why should we as a society be doing more of this?

First off, that is very kind; thank you, that means the world to me. I would say that there are many contributors ranging from experiencing the adversity of a mixed raced background to the lessons of gratitude and kindness instilled in me by my grandfather who passed away when I was 10. I started off my career in a non-profit and quite frankly wanted to “change the world.” I don’t think it is uncommon for young college graduates to have these ideals. The reality is the burden of education debt often command paths. Living in the Bay Area on a non-profit income is very difficult, if not impossible. In such, I made a conscious choice to exit and enter into a profit generating space. However, the agreement I made with myself is to not abandon my desire to impact the world positively.

We can all do something for someone. This includes the Earth we live on and all of the inhabitants that exist together. Recently, I have made attempts to help save the monarch butterfly population with the simple act of dedicating space in my yard for the plants they enjoy. These are the types of activities, if done by several of us, can reinvigorate an entire population of butterflies. It is birthed in the philosophy of acting locally but think globally. I believe that many people have a sincere desire to do something but feel overwhelmed on the various choices of “volunteerism” and the commitment therein. The truth is, we can all do small acts that can help us feel like we are making a difference. Because at the end of our lives, we are not going to be happy with how much money we made. We are going to remember the lives we impacted and the differences we made. 

You have been associated with the health care world for a great portion of your professional career, so I have to ask which professional is more challenging to work with, the doctor or the architect?

Ha! This is a great question and hilarious! architects for sure. In my time in the pharmaceutical industry I had to work closely with physicians to help meet the needs of their patient populations. Therein, there was a clear connection to medication and outcomes. By that I mean, if your patient has an elevated A1C [indicating high blood sugar level] and I have the leading diabetes medication on the market, there are clear evidenced- based connections for our dialogue and collaboration. However, we are not quite there with the design community and smart glass. Even though, the data exists on natural light and we have shifted into evidenced-based design as a standard, resistance remains widespread largely due to color. I have heard from many architects that they believe smart glass is just too dark. 

The reality is that the rendering never includes blinds or curtains. Architects demo a beautiful picture that is not realistic. In reality, blinds and/or curtains are typically down when the occupants have inhabited the space, which equals little or no access to natural light, resulting a dark or artificially lit space. I hope that more architects will start to apply a larger lens when thinking of designing with smart glass in SD or DD. Money can actually be saved with using smart glass earlier; results being smaller HVAC systems, blind reduction/elimination and spaces can be reimagined to produced better outcomes. I am hopeful that architects with start to see smart glass in the same way physicians see medication; as a tool toward provide wellness.

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. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

David VermeulenIf you haven’t been to Seattle in the summer, you should. It’ll kick your visions of hippies drinking coffee in the rain to the curb. Eighty-degree weather, sun until well past 8 p.m., mountains, trees, water, ferries – the list goes on. It’s so stunning, you might not even notice our grunge scene, plaid shirts and famed movie single sites. Not convinced? Just look at these pictures. As a transplant from Michigan, perhaps I appreciate the views more than most Washingtonians. But locals say the summers are what allow them to survive the rest of the year.

In all seriousness, if pioneering glass artist Dale Chihuly’s “Glass House” exhibit isn’t enough to convince you to visit Seattle, the city should definitely be on your list as a glass pro after Olson Kundig’s recent Space Needle renovation. Yes, the iconic Needle is a tourist attraction that’s plastered on half the logos in the city. But it’s also a remarkable example of glass’ ability to reinvent buildings.

We talk a lot about what glass does for us—how it lets in light, can improve our views and even protect us from fires. It meets such basic occupant wellbeing needs that it’s easy to overlook its wow factor. With the Space Needle right in our own backyard, its potential has been hard to miss. In a classic example of “it’s hard to make time to sightsee in your own city,” I haven’t been to the Needle since before the renovation—I’ll be making a trip out soon, and TGP customers are frequently making trips out. But living just 30 miles away, it’s been fun to follow along with the progress and now the success.

Glass wasn’t just used to restore the building. It’s now one of the reasons visitors come to see the icon. This industry win is a super-hot topic in the glass space, and the press, in my opinion, is well deserved. Let’s give some major props to the building and design team, including Herzog Glass. Here’s a recap of what they accomplished, sometimes by doing near insane feats like this.

Up on the 500-foot level observation deck, visitors can now look out across the city through floor-to-ceiling glass wall panels that tilt out towards the city. They can even lean back against the clear walls on glass benches. The uninterrupted 360-degree view of the city is certainly impressive without the building’s old wire caging barricade, but so is the fact that 1.3 million people visit the Needle each year and put their trust in the glass. I did a little research and found that the glass panels and transparent benches were designed “like reinforced concrete.” I don’t have all the details at my fingertips, but I think we can all say the engineering feat is as impressive as the views.  

And then, of course, there’s the world’s first—and for the moment, only—revolving glass floor, the “Loupe.” It also sits at the 500-foot level, giving visitors a chance to look down at the city below. Glass floors have really come into their own over the last decade, and this one does not disappoint. I encourage you to dig into the details at some point, but to recap, the result is a mix of structural glass, high-strength interlayers, sacrificial lites, low-iron glass, custom frits and a design tested for more than 100 pounds/square foot and 600-pount point loads.

Views and an awesome installation aside, what’s the coolest thing about the Space Needle? For the moment, when you research the icon, it’s the glass that people are talking about. It’s a trend that seems to be growing. Chicago has the TILT. CN Tower has the glass floor. Now Seattle has the Needle and its Loupe.

What’s your favorite example of how glass technology was used to reinvent or create an icon?

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.

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