glassblog

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hope everyone had a great holiday season and you are ready to roll into a very exciting year ahead! But before we look forward into 2017, it’s time to look back at 2016 and see how everything shook out with regards to my predictions at the front of the year. I made five predictions and I don’t believe I was far off…

1. Go big or go home. I predicted that the trend of going bigger was not ending anytime soon. With Guardian and Vitro putting in jumbo coaters (and Viracon which announced last year) and more oversize coming from all parts of the world, I’d say this was dead on. 

2. Security focused. I talked about the need for security glazing. It did not take off like I thought it would, but by no means do I think this area was a dud. I’d give myself half credit here, and quite frankly I think I may put this on the 2017 list, too. 

3. Greenfielding is back and new players emerge. The new players emerging were surely a trend in 2016, but only a few greenfields, and I was shocked that very few established fabricators did it. Plus none of the bigger folks from overseas jumped in yet with facilities in North America. They may still do it by acquisition or wait until the American dollar value changes. This is a failed call by me at this point.

4. Codes and certifications. No major issues on the code side thanks to a mellow year, but also tremendous work by those who represent us at that level. (Visit my MVP articles to see those names.) However, the certification side did get its feet down, and the work and advancement from groups like the NACC cannot be denied.

5. More focus on birds. This was on the list in 2015 as well and the focus without a doubt continued to grow. While there are still too many new buildings being built without bird protection in mind, many more are. With more products than ever available, I believe this is an area of concern that will continue to be addressed and the usage of the right design and products utilized.

Overall not that bad—surely better than my sports predictions (sorry Panther and Bengal fans!). Next week I will have my predictions for 2017.

Elsewhere…

  • The new year has begun, and somewhat shockingly to me, a few of the deals that I was told would be done by year-end still are not complete. So I guess we’ll see if the first quarter breaks anything loose on that front. 
  • The Sotawall/Apogee deal that closed right after my last blog of 2016 is a good one for both sides and surely is a great addition to the already powerful Apogee group of companies.
  • The November Architectural Billings Index hit positive levels again with 50.6. That is basically unchanged from the previous month. The interesting news was that new project inquiries were up sharply to 59.5. That’s an area to watch, as with a new presidential administration this would be the first area to see any change, positive or negative.
  • Congrats to good friend and excellent rep Margaret Brune. She continues to land excellent clients, most recently curtain wall manufacturer FreMarq Innovations. Good match of talent there and good to see!
  • Last this week, the coolest buildings of 2016 according to the folks at Construct Connect. Four of the five are on North American soil, which I am not sure has happened a lot in recent years. Take a look and if you had anything to do with these amazing structures, drop me a line! Would love to give you proper credit for being involved in something so “cool.”
  • Next week, predictions for 2017, Glass Magazine issue review, a great video and more!

 

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 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, December 13, 2016

It’s been a long time since the glass industry could look back and describe a year as “busy.” Although busy is good, there’s still been a lot to learn along the way to our industry’s new normal. For some, the challenge has been how to remain productive with limited staff and production capabilities. For others, it’s finding skilled laborers for specialized jobs. Whatever the challenge, it’s safe to say we aren’t approaching project bids, manufacturing or support services the same way we were eight years ago when the recession hit.

So, what’s proved the most successful? Here are my thoughts on three of the most important lessons learned in 2016. 

1. Prioritize partnerships. Many of us apply “the difference between success and failure is a great team” philosophy to our immediate workplace. A collaborative environment where people work together is undeniably key to bettering any company. But, it’s important to go a step further. Trustworthy, reliable partnerships with others outside your company are just as valuable to your business success as are your own employees. This rings particularly true in a busy market. 

One of the best ways to leverage your existing labor and effectiveness is to partner with trusted suppliers and manufacturers. Whether it’s prompt service, clear communication to eliminate project setbacks or quality materials made right the first time, quality partners can help your team deliver a project on-time and within budget.

2. Prioritize efficiency. If the latest research is right, then growth remains on the horizon in an industry that’s already spread thin and juggling demanding schedules. The Dodge Construction Outlook predicts U.S. commercial building construction starts will grow 6 percent in 2017. This means efficiency will become even more important in the coming year.

For some companies this will translate to automation to maximize production; for others it means additional employee training to learn about new materials or reassessing the supply chain to better deliver on project deadlines. Whatever the approach, it’s important not to lose sight of quality craftsmanship during the process. We all lose if we start shipping sub-par products or cutting corners on the jobsite to meet deadlines. 

3. Prioritize scheduling. The labor shortage is complicating the demands of a busy marketplace. For example, a general contractor that waits to hire a glazier might find out there isn’t one available to meet his schedule. This results in project delays, frustrated customers and strained relationships. 

Early and frequent collaboration with the trades is essential to avoiding these setbacks. This is particularly true in high-end jobs. The increase in construction spending has led to buildings with more complex glass installations. Not only is it a real challenge to find laborers with the skillset for these specialized jobs, but complex installations often require technical support and onsite custom work. Building time into the project schedule to account for labor needs and custom work is critical to ensuring the glass assembly is installed correctly and in line with the project schedule. If a project delivery team hasn’t worked with a particular glazier or subcontractor before, it’s also critical to factor in time for hands-on training and collaboration. 

 

Jeff Razwick is the president of Technical Glass Products, a supplier of fire-rated glass and framing systems, and other specialty architectural glazing. He writes frequently about the design and specification of glazing for institutional and commercial buildings, and is a past chair of the Glass Association of North America’s Fire-Rated Glazing Council. He can be reached 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, December 12, 2016

Last week I announced the group of candidates that came close but ultimately did not win the 2016 Industry MVP. As I noted then, so many great people and companies are worthy, and picking one is truly a challenge. For the winner this year, I went with a person that I have seen first hand making a difference in our world. This person is active at the trade group level, taking a leadership role and bringing a passionate approach to it.  his person also uses his voice online to educate the industry on issues and situations that we all really need to pay attention to. In fact he took one of my pet causes and has brought tons of attention to the holes there and did it in a classy but forceful way. Plus our winner is just flat out a good person and I have been a fan of his for years.

So without any further build up, the winner of the 2016 Industry MVP is Chuck Knickerbocker of Technical Glass Products. Chuck will probably want to kill me for heaping all this praise, but it is deserved! Also props must go to Chuck’s employer, TGP. They obviously see the great value in having Chuck out and active in the industry. Ao a thank you and a nod to the management and team there. Congratulations, Chuck- keep up the good work at GANA, your blog, and hammering on NFRC and the other issues that concern our world daily.

Elsewhere…

  • While I am in the handing out good news mode, major kudos to Bendheim on the release of its updated website. The new site is fantastic. Loaded with info and details. Building websites is not easy. Populating them with great resources is a massive challenge. Congrats to the folks at Bendheim for the excellent work!
  • Following up on the AIA story and their membership “uprising” over the post-election press release. The Media Relations Director of AIA resigned last week, and according to sources in published reports, it was because the AIA ignored his direction in the whole process. Like I noted when this happened, this was a massive PR failure on many levels and continues to be one as negative press is still active. As one commenter online noted, “Sometimes it's worthwhile to listen to your PR expert.” 
  • I recently saw the new movie “Dr. Strange,” and one glass-related item stood out for me. In many of the stunts, it looked to me like it was good old annealed glass being broken out instead of the usual tempered. This movie had a ton of computer-generated graphics, so maybe that was it, but it was jarring to see large annealed shards breaking in scenes with human interaction.
  • In my first post of 2017, I will review what we experienced in 2016 and hit on the trends expected in the New Year. One trend will be advanced social media, like Periscope. The great John Wheaton is making a major effort with that platform and the episodes I have been lucky enough to catch have been interesting and thought provoking. More on this and others in a future post, but follow John at @johnlwheaton1 on Twitter and you’ll get the notifications of his next Periscope. 
  • This will be the last scheduled post for 2016. Obviously that may change, as there are at least two major industry transactions that may take place before year end, so if and when they do break, I’ll make some comments on Twitter and here. I truly enjoy the communication with all of you and I thank you for your support. I believe 2017 will be an excellent year and I am excited to experience it. (Well all but the part of my daughter going to college in 2017. I am NOT excited about that…) In any case I would like to take this time to wish all of my readers a HAPPY and HEALTHY holiday season and year ahead. Take care and enjoy!

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 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, December 5, 2016

We are right in the middle of holiday season. Two weeks ago we were thankful for our blessings. Have we already forgotten them? Have we been swept into the hustle of the season only to forget how fortunate we are? 

At the end of every year, we naturally reflect on where we are. We tend to compare ourselves to other people. Sometimes decisions are made that are based upon the emotions of the season without considering the future. Let’s do something different this year. Let’s dream big dreams.

Let’s imagine an amazing future for ourselves, our families and our businesses. Here’s a question that gets me thinking about possibilities:

If time and money were no object, what would you do, where would you go, who would you help, and what type of business would you build? 

Let me caution you. Be careful with whom you share these thoughts. Most people do not think this way. Don’t be surprised that as soon as you start sharing your dreams with others, they respond with:

  1. You can’t do that.
  2. No one has ever done that before.
  3. You’re not smart enough.
  4. You don’t have the money. 

Most people make future decisions based on “analysis”:

  1. What have I done in the past?
  2. What have others done in the past?
  3. What are my current circumstances?

Based on the answers to these 3 questions, a decision is made. I’m suggesting a different approach.

  1. Decide what you want.
  2. Develop 10 possible ways to get it.
  3. Prioritize the 10 possible ways.
  4. Start working #1. If it doesn’t work, go to #2. Repeat until you hit your goal. 

You see, plans change but decisions don’t. Let’s make some decisions and find a way to make them come true. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

Bill Evans is president of Evans Glass Co. Write him at bevans@evansglasscompany.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, December 5, 2016

It’s time to talk Industry MVP, but a few items before I start with the 2016 process. In my last post on this, I screwed up. I forgot a past winner, which was C.R. Laurence in 2014. I’m getting old and after 11 years of weekly posts, I’m not as sharp as I used to be! 

Before I unveil the runners up for this year, I want to recall all of the previous winners and runners up. The reason being is pretty much all of these people and companies are still very active and important in our world. And I am also trying not to repeat anyone, though it’s getting tough as some of the past runners up could be MVP most years. So for the future I may have to rethink. Anyway, let’s look back before we go forward.

2013

Winner: Tracy Rogers

Runners up:

  • Tom Culp
  • Mark Silverberg
  • Ed Zaucha
  • Mic Patterson
  • Oliver Stepe
  • Dr. Helen Sanders
  • Scott Thomsen

2014

Winner: C.R. Laurence

Runners up:

  • John Wheaton
  • Rick Wright
  • Tom O’Malley
  • Bernard Lax

2015

Winner: Jon Kimberlain

Runners up:

  • Garret Henson
  • Walker Glass
  • Dip Tech
  • Kris Vockler

On to 2016. This group of people and companies stepped up, represented their organizations and the industry with class and passion. My judging parameters as always:

  • Overall influence on the industry in 2016 
  • Technology/Innovation
  • Industry Support/Education
  • My opinion and knowledge of them and what they do. In the end, it’s my call and I own it. 

Mike Albert, S Albert Glass

Not only has Mike’s company been a long-time fixture in the glass and glazing world, but also he’s been a leading force at the National Glass Association as a board member and most recently Chairman. The NGA is surging now, and Mike absolutely had a hand in that and his overall care and passion for the industry are always on display.

The team of Thom Zaremba and Urmilla Jokhu-Sowell

I’m going with this duo, though it’s normally a trio with Dr. Tom Culp as the third. But Tom was a runner up in 2013, so he’s on the list already. Simply said, what Thom and Urmilla do for this industry is so crucial and so important I am not sure I can give it enough emphasis. They represent our industry at code levels all over the world and navigate some choppy waters. It’s hard to do the “right” thing when there may be competing levels of “right,’ yet these two do it and do it well and with respect. Without question, they have helped raise the level of respect our industry gets from other industries thanks to their professional and classy manner.

Sapa

The only company to make the list this year. I love that they take an aggressive approach to education with their Architectural Profile Academy and Shapes. Al website. Smart to teach and grow the audience the right way and these things take time and resources, so kudos to them for that. Plus a nod to Mark Spencer of Sapa who is a positive fixture at every event and one that carries the company mission out perfectly.

All listed above are worthy to win this year, but there was one person who rose above to win it and next week on my final post of the year, I’ll reveal who that is.

That’s it for this week. Next week, not only will I have the winner but also a look at a great new website from a classic industry company, annealed glass in the movies, more AIA/Trump press release fall out and much more!

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 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, November 28, 2016

Every year, hundreds of projects come across my desk and into our firm. We win some and we lose some, but we get to at least assess or review all of them. As I wrap up the year with this blog, here are the trends I am seeing, based on the projects we are working on.

 

1. More Glass

  • Custom unitized projects with an emphasis on glass, daylighting, views, visibility and connection to the outdoors.
  • Lites from 75 to 120 square feet in size in unit walls; often floor-to-ceiling (almost) with very small, heavily insulated spandrel areas.
  • More robust glass that’s insulated and thicker to meet structural and flatness requirements for large sizes, different spacer options, coatings, laminates, patterns.
  • Structural glass walls with and without vertical glass fins.
  • Custom shaped glass such as folded, bent, leaning, not square or rectangular.
  • Structural Silicone Glazed– two and four sided.

2. Stack (expansion) Joints at or directly above the floor line

  • Stack joints aligned with the floor or within 6 inches from top of floor to top of horizontal.
  • “Drop Down” anchors with recessed inserts.

3. Panels, panels, panels

  • Many architects and designers seem to love panels; plate, sheet, ACM, corrugated, perforated, ACM and solid aluminum. Framed, hook and pin, face screwed, glazed and more.
  • Formed, profile-cut fins arranged in undulating patterns to form a more complicated looking geometry.

4. Stone, again?

  • I'm starting to see dimensional stone again in small doses, applied either on a rain screen or in a unit wall. 
  • Dimensional stone is lovely, and provides a great look combined with glass and metal.

5. “Fly-Bys”

  • Cantilevered elements with glass and aluminum framing that protrude outside the weather line anywhere from 3 feet to 10 feet; sometimes self-supportive and sometimes supported back to a clad structure that also protrudes from the building. These aren’t original architecturally. I see them on job after job.
  • There are many design issues to work through with these features. Watch out for the soffit and parapet conditions. They are “hanging out” vertically and horizontally and have to be stabilized in both directions.

6. Design- Assist

Most custom, unitized and even some stick curtain wall systems on highly visible 
facilities or projects of note with unique facades have some form or design-assist or design-
participation. This is GOOD for the industry as it integrates the design professional with the 
glazing subcontractor client and the AEC team. Integration and collaboration create 
understanding, shorten the design time cycle, and get everyone sharing each other’s reality. 
It’s the only way to go.

7. Modeling

The use of 3-D AutoCAD, Revit, Rhino and Inventor is becoming more commonplace. Some of the more complex geometries are most easily solved in a 3-D platform and then rationalized to make it “build-able.”

8. Revit Coordination

The use of Revit in curtain wall and clash detection has increased again. Some owners are requiring jobs to be modeled, plus requiring production drawings to be developed from 
models. Regular BIM coordination meetings are held to coordinate between multiple trades.

9. Façade/Enclosure/Curtain Wall Consultants

Some good, some not so good, but more of them (us). 

The exterior wall defines the look of the building. It’s often complex. It’s dynamic. It protects occupants from the outside environment. I find it a privilege to work in this field and it’s as fresh and interesting now as it was when I started over 30 years ago. As I say to many colleagues, “Thanks for your partnership in the work. Let’s build some great stuff together.”

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, November 28, 2016

I'm back at it for the final stretch of the year and the hits keep coming,leading off with a lot coming from Guardian. The main news that hit right before the holiday: a subsidiary of Koch Industries purchased the remaining 55.5 percent of the company to now own it in full. This is a positive piece of news given that Koch stuck their feet in the water a few years ago with the initial purchase and liked it enough to go all in. This bodes well for how our industry is viewed and the potential going forward. And speaking of the future, Guardian announced the addition of a new jumbo coater. That also is big news in that the commitment to continue to grow and support our industry is there. And without a doubt, the trend of jumbo sizes is one that is growing. (I would love to get that stat on average IG size that I mentioned a few weeks ago; it has to be growing!) So congrats to all involved at Guardian; very exciting and positive times there right now for sure.

Elsewhere…

 

  • And staying on the trail of positivity, the latest ABI did bounce back into positive territory. So the two-month down trend has stopped. The results continue to look like 2017 and into 2018 will be solid, but not spectacular. And as far as I am concerned, solid works. 
  • If you want some additional economic insight for the United States and Canada, check this out from Alex Carrick, chief economist of Construct Connection. Good and interesting stuff as always. 
  • This has been out there some, but I finally ran into it. Drones and construction. I’m blown away that it’s the construction world that is the main user of drone technology. This article stated that drones would change the way construction is done. Wow. 
  • Zero Net Energy consumption or the Net Zero Building continues to gain steam. This past week Santa Monica, California adopted an ordinance pushing it. The glass and glazing industry does have wonderful and effective products to support these efforts, so this is something I hope we see growing more and more. Not to mention, it is good for the world in the long run, too!
  • Last this week, a Japanese scientist has carried out clinical trials that show if you eat ice cream for breakfast you are smarter and more effective with your day and work. He had subjects eat ice cream right after they woke up and then tested from there. Sadly I had to give up ice cream a few years ago so I can’t try this, but really amazing to think that this could work. Could it be mix of cold and sugar snapping the brain to action? 

 

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 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, November 14, 2016

Ron Crowl of FeneTech Inc. and Angela Dickson of AAMA share their post-show thoughts and perspectives on GlassBuild 2016 for this week's glassblog. Read on to see what each appreciated about the event.

From Ron Crowl's blog:

Tradeshows are a large part of FeneTech's marketing efforts, and consume much of our marketing budget. Therefore, during each show where we exhibit, we have high expectations for the return on our investment. GlassBuild America exceeded those expectations.

Read more...

From Angela Dickson's blog:

When asked what I love most about my job (and there's a lot), I always respond, "our members!" These amazing industry representatives strive to make a positive impact on our industry, and that was never more evident than at GlassBuild America last month. 

Read more...

Bethany Stough is managing editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at bstough@glass.org. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

When asked what I love most about my job (and there's a lot), I always say "our members!" These amazing industry representatives strive to make a positive impact on our industry, and that was never more evident than at GlassBuild America last month. With a wide spectrum of beautiful receptions, incredible displays and continuing education, I'd like to extend a few shout-outs to just a few of the amazing members, who really made the most of this popular annual event.

Member Celebrations

One of the perks of working for an association is that members invite you to their receptions...and I'm talking beautiful receptions with amazing food, great fun and even better company.

Quanex hosted its reception this year directly on the trade show floor, and it was packed! Our very own Rich Walker said he could hardly move around there were so many people. Now, that's a successful reception!

For those of you who were at the show, you know that Clinton and Trump were there, too. Well, they weren't at the show, but there were in Vegas for their final presidential debate. YKK AP took advantage of the opportunity and hosted its own debate with the candidates. The answers to questions from the audience were hilarious, and the look-alikes were dead on.

During its evening event at the Rooftop Garden in Paris, Deceuninck celebrated the opening of its new facility in Fernley, Nevada, and I got a chance to congratulate Todd Willman on this exciting new chapter.

The award for the coolest table displays at a reception goes to VEKA. They looked like small statues scattered throughout the Omnia at Caesars Palace, but they were actually made of vinyl profiles. Genius!

Safety Education

AAMA had the chance to represent its members via an Express Learning session on window safety, and I was floored by the interest from those who attended. It's certainly not a sexy topic, but it is an important one.

I specifically addressed the use of ASTM F2090-compliant Window Opening Control Devices. Special thanks to both Roto Frank for providing samples and AmesburyTruth for putting together a full-scale mock-up that allowed participants to really understand how WOCDs can be added to a new product design or retrofitted even after a window is installed.

To learn more about the work of the Window Safety Task Force, visit aamanet.org/windowsafety.

Additional Shout-outs

  • NGA did a great job putting together this year's event. Everyone I talked to reported strong booth traffic, and there were also a lot of international companies looking to enter the U.S. market.
  • The DJ at the Peach Party on the last day of the show really needs to spin tunes for every event I attend. He kept the energy up, and I had to refrain myself from a full-on dance routine.
  • It was great to meet some familiar email addresses face-to-face, especially Bethany Stough of Glass Magazine. We've corresponded for years, and after meeting her in person, I'm officially obsessed!

If you shared any great moments with AAMA members at GlassBuild, post them in the comments below. Looking forward to another great show in Atlanta next year!

To see Angela's photos from GlassBuild, visit AAMA's blog.

Angela Dickson is marketing manager for the American Architectural Manufacturers Association. Contact her at adickson@aamanet.org.

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, November 14, 2016

The saying goes, "there is no silver bullet in marketing." As few marketing efforts yield measurable returns, I believe this is true. Even so, every marketing effort FeneTech executes has expectations associated with it. 

Tradeshows are a large part of FeneTech's marketing efforts, and consume much of our marketing budget. Therefore, during each show where we exhibit, we have high expectations for the return on our investment. 

Over the past 20 years FeneTech has exhibited at many tradeshows around the world and always with lofty expectations. We expect to see old friends, make new friends and make sales.

Some shows have fallen way short of our expectations, some have met expectations, and a select few have exceeded our expectations. 

You can put the recent GlassBuild 2016 into the exceeded column. I found this particular show to be larger in attendance, exhibitors and booth traffic than in the near ten years since the recession. Not only was attendance robust, those in attendance walked the floor and opened up their checkbooks. I saw old friends, met new ones and best of all, we made sales. 

While I’m still a believer that there is no silver bullet in marketing, I must admit that GlassBuild 2016 came pretty close.

Ron Crowl is president of FeneTech Inc. Contact him at ron.crowl@fenetech.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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