glassblog

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

“John. Wait, stop right there.”

“What?”

“Stop right there and go back to that prior statement.”

“What statement?”

“The one where you mentioned lack of experience in the supply chain; I think it may be the biggest issue of them all as to why so many projects take longer, and require more work and energy to get completed. I don’t think you can overstate it. It’s a real issue that I deal with constantly. In fact in my view, it’s the biggest issue we face in getting these projects moved forward and completed.”

It was this conversation with my client, with whom we’ve collaborated over the last 25 years, that helped trigger more public recognition of this topic for me. It’s one that I, and we in the industry, experience frequently. It’s not an isolated discussion. It is common in the industry. The discussion started like this:

“John, what’s your experience on project work these days? It seems like everything is taking longer to get done.”

“Yes, that’s our experience as well. Projects seem to take longer and require more project management, more time and more inputs.”

“What do you think are the reasons for that from your point of view and experience?”

“Well, there are multiple reasons on any given project. But, generally, there’s more complexity in buildings, less detail in architectural drawings, more reliance on modeling, inconsistency in specifications vs. drawings —that’s always been the case—lack of experience in the design community and the decision-making supply chain …”

That’s where my client said, “STOP.” He sees the lack of experience in the supply chain as the No. 1 issue he has to confront and deal with.

And frankly, I am not sure where to go with this. I am just putting it out there. I have more questions than answers. And I have no complaints either. I’m glad to be in an expanding industry, with more required due diligence, where more professionals have entered at various stages in their career, particularly young professionals. We’ve all been there before at some point. I think collaboration from a crowd, a managed and controlled crowd, or project group, is better than the isolated solution of one person or small group. But someone has to make a decision. Someone has to be the initiator of a solution or approach, or a set of solutions; a context. This takes experience. Someone has to be able to take the lead. But that’s where it then can get challenging. Experience then often meets inexperience.

To start with, on any project, we need to ask for clear information. It’s often not initially provided. We need to get clarity on vagueness or conflicts that we find in the drawings and specifications. Sometimes this is perceived as a criticism and is not received well by the design community. Then decisions have to be made. Lack of experience enters here where the approver may not be comfortable with the decision, or may not have the breadth of the full picture in order to provide a clear and timely decision. Let’s not forget that, in the meantime, schedules need to be met. Then the GC enters and the schedule can be used like a hammer, but on the wrong nail.

On the other side of the table there’s also, at times, issues with inexperience in the subcontracting and glazing team. Their inexperience shows and gets exposed to the delegated design professional, to the AEC/AOR team or to the GC. Then there are breakdowns, and more messes can happen.

There are two aspects to any supply chain. There is the material part; the physical supply and logistics of material and goods. And then there is the decision making part; those decisions that impact everything downstream. Both are required to be managed well. If the front end decision-making breaks down or is delayed, then it impacts the tangible material supply chain, the schedule, and the closure of a building exterior.

We need to do a better job as people, as collaborators, as businesses, in working together; building trust; respecting each other’s positions of responsibility, and relationships with each other. We need to be clear, succinct and truth-telling in all circumstances. Inexperience creates challenges, but it also creates opportunity. We’ve got to find ways to better deal with and approach the issue.

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, April 8, 2019

For those of you who have been following this blog since its start way back in 2005, you know that one of my favorite subjects of the early years was the National Fenestration Rating Council. I spent tons of time and thousands of words on that organization and its movement, and through my writing picked up fans and detractors along the way. It truly was a time where we had massive engagement from our industry with regards to the way our products were being received and being reviewed in the marketplace. Especially considering the Council’s lack of knowledge of commercial vs. residential.

As the years went by, things calmed, movements settled, and the need to be a watchdog went away somewhat. NFRC is still out there and can still be very disruptive, but it’s not anywhere near what it was… or is it? I had to laugh when I saw a blurb online about the latest members elected to the NFRC board. I clicked the link and cracked up when I saw so many of the same exact people from 10 years ago, still in the same positions of power there, meaning the same approaches and most likely the same lack of understanding of the commercial glazing world. Now there’s at least one person on that board I have a ton of respect for, and she knows who she is, but when I saw some of the others listed, especially those who went after our industry with such rancor and disrespect, it really hit me. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Anyway, I hope the calmness will be here to stay but you never know, and we always have to be prepared for any instance coming our way.

Elsewhere…

  • I know for many people Facebook is something not to utilize anymore, but I will say if you are in the shower door world, being a part of the Shower Door Installers and Manufacturers group (search for it) is awesome. Incredible pictures and stories there. Major props to Chris Phillips of Showcase Shower Door Co. for starting it, and to all of the folks posting on it—great job!
  • Heads up marketing friends; last year we had GPDR compliance go into effect for e-mail and communication to Europe. Now we have a new wrinkle from California with the California Consumer Privacy Act. This goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020, and from all that I am reading will have a serious effect on how you market in the golden state. Here’s a quick link with some details. 
  • Congrats to my friend Tim Finley on starting his own business, T.Fin Building Solutions. He is now a full scale, high-end manufacturers rep with an absolute powerhouse of lines under his roof. Very happy for you Tim, and you will do great with this business!
  • April 17 I will get to do another first for me: a visit to the Mid-Atlantic Glass Expo. I have never gotten to attend this legendary event and hopefully I’ll even get to see people like the great Michael Albert of S. Albert Glass—one of the best people in our world. More info on this event can be found here
  • For folks in Canada and the eastern U.S.: the next edition of TopGlass in suburban Toronto is also coming up on April 17. Very good educational event and trade show. Among presentations there will be strong presentations on contractor certification and the adventures of anisotropy.
  • Last this week: full disclosure, GlassBuild America is a client of mine, and has been for years. This year I am taking on a larger role in promoting the show, so be prepared, there will be more mentions here than normal. But, also please consider coming to the show and share that message around. What is being planned for this year is very exciting on so many levels. I truly believe we will have an event to cherish because of the education, innovation, and networking along with incredible displays by the best companies in the world who will be exhibiting. This is the heads up to get ready; there is more to come! 

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, April 1, 2019

Chris KammerThere are many elements to consider when running a successful glass fabrication business, so updating your software is probably the last thing on your mind. It shouldn’t be! While you may think that your software is working with you to help you manage your business, outdated software actually slows you down. So how do you know if your software is hurting instead of helping? Here are signs you may have outgrown your current software:

1. Your software company hasn’t had a recent update.

Don’t waste time and money on software that isn’t updated regularly, or worse, has never been updated. Outdated software prevents you from replacing your computers and machinery because it isn’t compatible with the latest technology. While you might think you’re saving money, you’re actually hurting your productivity. If you can’t replace your outdated technology because your current software won’t run on something faster and more modern, it’s time to move on.

2. You’re upgrading your production equipment.

Are you planning to add a new cutting machine to speed up production time? Make sure your old software will integrate with the new equipment. If not, it’s time to upgrade. With Industry 4.0, it’s imperative that your machines and software integrate seamlessly to help you keep up with your growing demand.

3. You’re looking to generate more demand.

Your business is growing and your software is falling short. Entering large or complicated orders seems nearly impossible because your software system was built for a small company with limited capabilities. You need more flexibility for complex or rush orders that your current software can’t accommodate. Your software is slowing you down and you need a solution that streamlines and optimizes your production—from ideation to delivery—to fill orders as quickly and efficiently as possible, so you can keep growing.

4. The competition has upgraded.

If there is one surefire sign that it's time upgrade your software, it's this one. If the competition is throwing out their old enterprise resource planning system, you could be falling behind. You need to keep up with the latest technology in order to maintain your competitive advantage. While you may not be quite ready to fully automate your factory floor, investing in the right software now will build the foundation for future growth.

5. You’re opening a new facility.

This one is self-explanatory. You’re branching out and opening another site to accommodate higher volume and customers in more areas. However, your current software won’t support a multi-site operation. You need a glass fabrication software solution that will support multiple facilities.

These five signs are a guide to help you make the best decision for the future growth of your glass fabrication factory. If you’re having any or all of these issues with your current glass fabrication software, it’s time to start looking for a better software solution.

Chris Kammer is the marketing lead for A+W Software North America. A+W Software provides software solutions for flat glass business of any size with any production environment. Its glass software is the intelligent backbone of your business. The company also supplies a full-integrated software solution for window, door, and roller shutter manufacturing, where all commercial and technical processes are under your control. Kammer can be reached at chris.kammer@a-w.com and 1.847.220.5237.

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, April 1, 2019

The news of a major retirement in our industry has been floating out there for several weeks now. I had heard that Glenn Miner of Vitro was hanging them up back in January. It initially did not connect for me; after all Glenn is blessed with youthful looks and personality so I couldn’t even fathom retirement talk attached to him. It was true, however. He told me himself, and I had the obvious emotions. First and foremost, I was so happy for Glenn and his family. Happy that he’ll get out of the industry and now do all of those things he’s wanted to do.

Next, though, was sadness because he is such a good man and such a major part of our world. Glenn is, in my opinion, one of the most well-rounded folks in our world with regard to knowing so much about every product line that went into a building and understanding its value and place. No tunnel vision there at all. In addition to his great knowledge, Glenn’s desire to push for advanced education at all levels of our world is something that I hope gets carried on at Vitro. I am confident it will, but more than that—Glenn always made time to catch up with whomever crossed his path. For me personally, he always cleared some time to chat—though he would skillfully push off any of my video requests to the great Joann Funyak—and I will always be grateful. We as an industry will miss Glenn a ton and his impact will not be forgotten. Go enjoy the heck out of that next phase of life Mr. Miner—you have absolutely earned it! 

Elsewhere….

  • As I noted last week, this week the industry had two events happening at the same time. I was at the Glass Processing and Automation Days in San Antonio and it was an excellent event. Ron Crowl and the awesome Fenetech team did everything first class and the education there was off the charts. The technology and innovation that is out there on the fabrication side is mind blowing to me. Over the course of GPAD, I saw so many pieces of machinery and software that fundamentally would change the way we all work. Very exciting stuff.
  • In addition to the education side of it, the networking was top notch and a great chance to catch up with some of the great technical and business minds in our industry. Plus, because of the operational nature of it I met a ton of new people from across our world. That was a really cool expansion of the network! It really was like a BEC for the fabricator and it’s a conference I don’t plan on ever missing again.

Staying in Texas for three more items—I do love the great state of Texas, by the way:

  • First, it was great to spend some time in San Antonio before the GPAD Conference kicked off. Getting to visit with my old friends, the Lunas of Champion Glass, was awesome. I am such a huge fan of David, Ray, Joe, and Davey Luna—they are just awesome people and I am honored to be a friend. They are class acts, and great for our industry. In addition, I got to see some old friends I had not seen in forever—David Shaw and Rod Pistokcha of Complete Line Glass. Both guys are simply tremendous and their hospitality towards me and the team from NGA, in town for the event, was nothing short of spectacular. It was great to catch up with them both and I was very impressed with what they are doing with the Complete Line plant and brand. 
  • Second, it’s been recently finalized that I will once again be speaking in Texas at the Texas Glass Association’s TGA Glass Conference II. The conference is May 17 in Waco and I’ll be giving a piece on the state of our industry. So please, my Texas friends, I would love to see you at this event. The agenda is fabulous, and you can view it and sign up here. Oh, and the picture they used for me is no doubt old—but it’s nice to remember that once upon a time I had hair and could actually fit into clothes that weren’t marked “tent size.”
  • Third: Texas Tech! Congrats to the fans of the Red Raiders—my pal David Shaw, mentioned above, and especially Bowie Neumayer of Cardinal. He is a gigantic fan and no doubt will be floating all week until the Final Four begins Saturday!
  • Reading wise: This piece on lessons learned from past hurricanes and ideas for new hurricane builds; am I crazy or did it leave out or skip over hurricane glazing? Maybe I missed it as, thanks to Twitter, my reading comprehension is not great, but I didn’t see it. Hurricane glazing is an incredible product area—the aluminum and glass are superstars in a field that is still trying to catch up.
  • Last this week: I am so far behind in my sports, I missed the start of baseball season and I know you all need my prediction on who’s going to win it. Here goes; it’s the Yankees to win it over the Braves in the series. Congrats to every other city but New York and Atlanta—you have a chance now.

Links 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, April 1, 2019

“Once you’re in you can’t get out.”

That was the most common theme I heard at the networking event the evening before Glass Processing Automation Days began last week in San Antonio. As a relative newcomer to the industry, this was my first major foray into the glass world. And what an entrance to this industry GPAD was.

The 20 presentations throughout the two-day-long event all focused on automation and Industry 4.0, which encompasses digitalization, automation, connectivity and analytics. Although I’ve spent plenty of time writing about automation in construction in a previous job, the automation on the manufacturing floor was among the most advanced I’ve seen in the construction world. Most presentations included videos and renderings of shop floor robots, which I found to be most useful to gain a basic understanding of the processes and machines involved in making glass.

Many presenters touted automation’s benefits, including the need for fewer people (some robots could eliminate up to six positions per shift), increased safety (robots can perform dangerous tasks), and the elimination of human error and increased job satisfaction among human workers (robots don’t mind doing boring and repetitive tasks). Robots also don’t require benefits, paid time off, breaks, vacations, insurance premiums or other costs associated with hiring individuals.

Quality control is another important aspect where automation can help, according to Nate Huffman with Softsolution North America Inc. Objective quality control in today’s environment is especially important, he says, because of the pressure to produce high quality product, pressure to keep prices down, a lack of experienced people and demand for flexibility. 

But automation doesn’t just happen, says Kimmo Kuusela with Glaston. Rather, it’s a result of systematic development steps. He outlined the five steps he sees to achieve total automation, with the first step being the operator continually exercising longitudinal and latitudinal control all the way through the fifth and final step of the system being able to cope with all situations without requiring an operator. Kuusela said we’re in the fourth phase of full automation now, in which automation is a huge player, but can’t quite yet do it all. “The result of full automation can create and change the entire business logic of your company,” he said. “Real-time data already changes the business logic.” Kuusela aims to have a fully automated tempering line by 2020, but acquiesced it is an “ambitious” goal and may not happen until 2021.

Beneficial as robots are, they aren’t a panacea to the productivity and labor problems plaguing the industry. Several people I spoke with mentioned these machines are sometimes cost prohibitive. Others told me how they can introduce a whole new labor issue. “Automation will help but then you need really good operators,” one attendee told me during lunch. “One bad operator can take you down.”

Nicola Lattuada of Adelio Lattuada also reminded us that only humans can improve processes, which is why they should always remain the focus. Lattuada also quoted Tesla that “automation is good as long as you know where to put the machine.” Even though fewer human workers may be required as automation gains more ground, the skills and analytical abilities of humans will be even more important.

I’d be remiss, of course, to not mention all the fun the glass industry has, with even competitor companies, sharing a beverage and a laugh. The Wednesday evening social event was true Texas fashion and complete with a wealth of Tex-Mex cuisine, armadillo racing and a couple longhorn cattle to sit atop.

 
 The FeneTech and National Glass Association teams. 
  

Ron Crowl, president and CEO of FeneTech, and his team did a great job organizing this event. The conference ended with Nicole Harris, National Glass Association president and CEO, and Crowl discussing GPAD’s future. NGA, of which Glass Magazine is the official publication, will assume responsibility for the conference in subsequent years.

My first GPAD is in the books and, with it, my inaugural event in the glass industry. I’m in it now, and from what I was repeatedly told, I’m in it for good. It’s a fascinating place to be.

Laurie Cowin is senior editor of Window & Door, Glass Magazine's sister publication. Contact her at lcowin@glass.org.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Kai Knuutila headshotPutting digitalization into practice in the glass processing industry has taken some time. But now the momentum has picked up and the number of users is accelerating rapidly. Why is this?

Glaston has helped fuel the demand for greater digitalization by educating customers about the benefits, demonstrating real progress along their digital strategy roadmap – and adding more customers and their data to the cloud to accelerate the entire movement.

We spent the majority of 2018 building our confidence by implementing ideas and collecting data to bring the benefits of digitalization that other industries are starting to enjoy to the glass processing industry. Now, we can look back and see our progress. We’re actually even further than we initially aimed. Our online reports have improved, and we’re really proud now to present them to customers and to the entire industry. Our work has led to a lot of information that now offers value.

Reaching the first milestones

By the end of 2018 and according to plan, Glaston successfully reached several of its big milestones: over 100 tempering and laminating lines are now cloud-connected, and data from 1 million loads has now been recorded.

But what do all these figures mean in practice?

These processors understand that by connecting their information, they can learn and improve their operating processes. They know they can fully trust the data so that everyone connected benefits. For them, the more they’re tapped into the cloud, the more they can learn about running their equipment smarter, finding ways to raise productivity and discovering ways to improve their quality. In short, making better business decisions that lead to greater profitability.

For machinery suppliers, like Glaston, the information gathered helps us offer new services based on data analytics.

We can see, for example, how our machinery is used, how various glass thicknesses are tempered and laminated – and learn more about the types of glass being run and their parameters. This helps us improve our own service offering to support our customers in reaching higher capacities and better quality.

Real progress with AI

Another development along our digitalization roadmap is to take artificial intelligence to the next level, which means enabling tempering and laminating machinery to become fully autonomous. Glaston is currently working intensively on adding machine learning and vision to its technology.

As part of this, we’ve implemented augmented reality and virtual reality to help our own people and our customers with training and maintenance tasks. Our new support room concept using AR was showcased for the first time at Glasstec last fall – and by the coming GPD Finland this summer, we’re pleased to be able to show everyone more.

For operators, too, digitalization will make their jobs much easier and less stressful. Still, even with fully autonomous machines, we will always need humans to take care of the machines, develop the processes and explore new types of glass for their markets. We won’t be operating without humans for many years to come, if ever. We need people to ask the questions – and partner with AI to create the world we’d like to envision.

Originally published on Glastory

Kai Knuutila is Digitalization Manager at Glaston Corp.

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, March 25, 2019

It was an interesting week with regards to forecasts, indexes and predictions. As I expected, the monthly Architectural Billings Index (ABI) came back to earth. That big positive total in January made no sense. The ABI total was still in the positive range, but just by a hair. Now we wait to see if this settles into a trend or if it seesaws high again next month. Based on the forecasts from the start of the year, growth was supposed to be positive, but not by much, so seeing a big gain again soon would be odd. The key of this process is that this is a picture of where our economic standing will be in a year from now, and that year, 2020, has many of us in a fog. Trying to get a feel for it has been tougher than any forward-looking forecast since the middle of the recession. 

Also, rough news from the Associated Builders and Contractors with their backlog indicator down to 8.1 months. Those are 2014-like numbers. Ouch. But it has to be noted the report had serious bright spots, including the Midwest. In any case, I am going to keep digging and working the angles to see what we have upcoming but it sure is murkier than expected.

Elsewhere…

  • Speaking of forecasts, good read here: what happens if the auto business starts a downward trend?
  • This week is a big one for events: in New York it’s Glass Expo Northeast and in San Antonio it is the Glass Processing Automation Days (GPAD) event. I will be in Texas for that one; it’s my first time attending that event and I’m looking forward to learning and networking there. Whatever insights I can gather that are good for the blog I will share here next week. Those of you in Long Island, please let me know the same!
  • Exciting news for a very popular industry figure and long-time friend of mine, Jon Johnson. Jon was named national sales manager at Architectural Grills & Sunshades. Congrats, my friend! Super company, and you will do great there.  I am sure I am not alone in looking forward to seeing you at all of the industry events again!
  • Speaking of new positions, a trio of people at Tristar Glass picked up promotions recently. Tim Rome, Derrick Williams and Erica Couch all moved up the ladder there and it was good to see. While I don’t know Tim very well, I have always been a huge fan of Derrick’s—I can’t tell you how many people would rave about how great Derrick is when I traveled through Oklahoma over the years. Erica is a true talent, a very positive force at shows/conferences and in our industry. Her approaches and insights will be very appreciated for sure. Congrats to all of you there and to Tim Kelley for making the call.
  • Glass Magazine review time: the new look really took another strong step this month with the focus of the magazine being “green.” The cover shot was a stunner!  The best article and section for me was the “The Green Building Maze”—a very well done walk through what can be a very confusing area. I have to give major kudos to Katy Devlin and Wendy Vardaman on the entire section. There was a ton of intel to be had there and it’s something that is worth keeping bookmarked for future reference. Also of note, this issue had a couple of my favorite recurring writers, Joe Schiavone and Matt Johnson with must-read pieces and I enjoyed once again the Trendhunter segment—this time with Ryan Park at Sage. Those who know me know I love the dynamic glass space and Ryan did a fine job of laying out the innovation.
  • Ad of the month was a challenge, especially after last month raised the bar very high. Still some wonderful pieces, but only one winner this time: the nod goes to Tremco. Great use of a building image that immediately catches the eye and then a big call to action statement in the middle. Both were great hooks to get me to stop and read. Well done to the folks at Tremco that made this one happen!
  • Last this week: March Madness is underway and I missed making my picks before the tourney started. So, I’ll make it now, and it was the pick that most expect: Duke. The Blue Devils are loaded, but I will admit I’d be quite happy to be wrong here as I am not a fan.

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, March 18, 2019

David WardenWith the time change having just taken place and spring temperatures looming, I thought this would be a good time to explore the topic of sustainability and transparency within our industry. Earth Day is just around the corner, and while I am a firm believer that we should treat every day like Earth Day, I enjoy celebrating it as a milestone each year, nonetheless.

Sustainability in the glazing industry, and within the broader construction industry, has been a prominent consideration for many years. That said, in 2019 we are still learning a lot about climate change. In late 2018, a report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that the changes required to hold 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, as called for in the Paris agreement, would require changes on a scale with “no documented historic precedent,” according to The New York Times. And the latest numbers being cited—more than $265 billion in damage from hurricanes in 2018, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—are unprecedented.

Rapid changes in our environment are critical to the industry. Together, we must question our role in creating buildings designed not only to withstand the elements, but to be manufactured sustainably and perform with higher efficiency long into the future.

Choosing the right products that are going to provide maximum performance is as critical for meeting the challenges of a changing environment as it is in building for ever-changing building codes. Yet identifying the components necessary to deliver on high performance can be a challenge. As I like to say, “construction products shouldn’t be as confusing as your medical bill.” As glazing contractors and manufacturers, we play a pivotal role in helping architects and specifiers understand what to look for in a product to help improve the thermal performance and sustainability of a building.

Many product manufacturers may state the lowest U-value possible alongside their products, however there may be many steps and additional upgrades, like argon gas fill in glass, needed to achieve that performance. Additionally, once those upgrades are realized, it is not uncommon for the initial performance to be value-engineered out of the product to meet the right price point.

As glazing contractors and product manufacturers, we can help avoid this mistake and provide ease to the process with a simple tool—communication. We should aim to work more closely with architects and specifiers to provide a strong understanding of how to achieve the desired performance at the most economical price. For example, an architect may specify a specific high-performance framing system designed to achieve a strong level of energy efficiency. However, when looking at bids for framing/glass combinations, he or she may not realize the cost required to meet the desired energy performance. Rather than the architect favoring a lower price point and sub-optimizing the overall building performance, proper communication early in the process with the glazing contractor and/or product manufacturer could help the architect better understand the benefit of energy efficiency.

The lesson learned? The more communication, the better. The stronger the understanding an architect or specifier has of the solution, be it framing or another product, the better positioned he or she is to make a well-informed decision—one that is good for their customer, the occupant and the environment.

This is just one example of how we as an industry can better enable our projects to be more sustainable, more resilient and more economical over the long-term. There is much more that we can do, but this type of communication is certainly a strong step in the right direction. 

David Warden is the enerGfacade® brand manager for YKK AP America’s family of energy efficient fenestration products and is responsible for spearheading marketing efforts both externally and internally for the product line. He has been with the company for more than 17 years and is beginning his eighth year as the enerGfacade brand manager.

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, March 18, 2019

The last few weeks have been a real whirlwind, so time to get caught up and clear off my desk. Here goes:

  • The annual Top 50 Glazier issue is coming soon from Glass Magazine and to make the 27th annual list as best as it can be, please take a few minutes to do the survey—if you are a glazing company of course. Click here for survey. I love that issue—it’s always great to see the who’s who on that list!
  • The Dodge Momentum Index went down again in its latest report. That index has been pretty volatile of late, but I think the one takeaway here for sure is that things are a bit murky in the construction world. I am staying positive, but I would like to see this index find some consistent trends.
  • I am enthralled with the whole college entrance scandal that broke this week and ended up in the arrests of high-powered business people and entertainers. It really is amazing that when you have the sort of money and power that these people have you would go to illegal lengths to get your kids in to college. In many cases the kids did not want to go to college, but the parents wanted them to go. It’s an incredible story that I have feeling still has a few more chapters to it.

My pal Ted Bleecker had a tremendous quote on this whole scandal:

“Considering what people are doling out just to get their kid's into college, I feel content paying six figures the old fashioned way... No entrance fee required” 

  • Off topic, one movie to see and one to get excited to see. First up “Free Solo” the Oscar Award winning documentary about a guy who free climbed “El Cap” was incredible. The last 20 minutes will have you on the edge of your seat. Insane. The other is coming in the next month or two and is called “Yesterday.” It’s a creative look at a world without the “Beatles”—check my video of the week for a preview!
  • Speaking of videos—go to this link and see a glass door in “action.” Thank you to my good friend Jon Johnson for sharing. The glass “worked” the hinges and install? Not so much!
  • Thirsty Thursday alert: on March 21, the legend Bill Lingnell and the great Urmilla Sowell will have a presentation on edge grinding of laminated glass. I was honored to work on a session with this topic at the 2018 GlassBuild with Bill. It’s a deep, interesting and important topic if you are dealing with laminated glass. Register here.
  • Last this week: we as an industry and the world itself lost another great person recently with the passing of Ruben Huerta of Glasswerks. Ruben was a part of the management and ownership at Glasswerks and was absolutely loved. Great guy and a huge loss. My thoughts and condolences go out to Ruben’s friends and family and the entire team at Glasswerks. I know Ruben will be sorely missed.

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, March 12, 2019

Norah DickIt's time to submit your survey for the Top 50 Glaziers program, the longest-running glass industry ranking of top glazing contractors. The June 2019 issue of Glass Magazine will feature the highest-earning contract glaziers of 2018.

While the 27th annual report will feature leading North American glazing firms, ranked based on annual gross sales, it will also showcase standout glaziers who might not otherwise make the minimum cutoff. 

We want to feature the glass industry's achievements. In order for us to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, we rely on direct submissions from the industry. If your company should be included in the Top 50 Glaziers report, please complete the survey. The submission deadline is March 29, 2019.

Please contact me with any questions or comments.

Norah Dick is the assistant editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at ndick@glass.org.

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