Sunday, July 23, 2017

Trending Positive

2nd half construction forecasts now have been released by a few of the groups I follow and the news continues to be good.  Depending on the analyst, non-residential building is up 5-7% so far this year and the backlogs/starts continue to be strong lending quite a bit of confidence in the belief that 2018 and now 2019 should be solid.  You may see some reports showing forecasts slower than this but keep in mind these forecasts get revised and in the last 2 years pretty much every one has been revised upward.
Obviously the political landscape all over the globe has the ability to change all of this immediately but for now, the trend is certainly our friend.  Also the Dodge Momentum Index and the Architectural Billings Index both just reported strong results in their June reports and both have been on fire all year.  This is surely a great run from economic side- lets make the best of it industry wide!


--  We as an industry have a ton of providers of materials on a job.  There’s the glass, metal, hardware and components like sealants, caulk, shims etc.  We all want to promote everything we do… but context is needed when the promotion comes.  If you show a picture of an entire skyscraper but you only did a fraction of the material and it’s not really shown, should you promote that entire job as yours?  Or at least leave the impression that it is?  It’s misleading and not right.  Our industry had an example of that online last week and it was disappointing in that it happened, but also that it was never addressed or corrected.  As an industry we take a lot of heat on many things that are not our fault, so it sure would be nice to not bring on extra woe unnecessarily...especially a potential misrepresentation of product on a project.  So when you see the beautiful photo and not a rendering of the completed 609 Main project in Houston, credit for the massive amount of glass in the picture should go to Viracon (tower façade) and Novum (Podium).  Harmon was the glazier.  Congrats to those companies for a job well done!

--  Get Well SOON wishes to an old and great friend Danny Danese of Thompson IG.  Danny is an awesome man that has a heart as big as the globe.  I have absolutely no doubt that he’ll be back at it on the road and out and about in no time after this health concern. 

--  Congrats to Seth Patterson of Thermal Windows on his promotion to VP of Commercial Sales.  Seth was always very welcoming whenever I would see him at GlassBuild and he knows his stuff!  Good to see him moving up the ladder…

--  One week ago I talked “green” rating systems with WELL vs. LEED… After posting I got some excellent feedback from one of the people I consider the smartest in our world- Kerry Haglund of the Efficient Windows Collaborative.  Kerry left the following message on it.

Max, just a bit of clarification on LEED vs WELL. LEED is about energy efficiency/conservation and the built environment. WELL is all about the health and well-being of the people in the buildings and occupied spaces. WELL focuses some on efficiency strategies but only if they are for the benefit of the occupants. So, the two standards/rating systems are not comparable. Though they can be done in conjunction and there are a few strategies and preconditions/optimizations that can satisfy both WELL and LEED. If you need more information, just let me know, I'm a LEED AP as well as a WELL AP :-)

THANK YOU Kerry- I appreciate the additional information and I think with how important this subject is (overall sustainability and how we rate and track) I will be getting with you to get and share more insight with the industry!

--  Last this week, the Top 300 Architectural Firms list was released and for the 6th straight year Gensler was number 1.  Not a lot of movement amongst the top 25 showing the big players continue to dominate.


Hard to believe this is true… 27 contacts… in one eye…

You know this is coming to the US somehow. 

Get ready for more mosquitos…. Yikes.


The new baseball stadium in Atlanta is getting rave reviews (though I can’t get on of the glazing companies to ever talk to me about their role… that’s another story for another time) and I love seeing time lapse videos of how things are built.  Check it out!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

It Takes Two to Get It Done

Last week on Katy Devlin had an excellent blog post on our industry and breakthrough innovations.  If you have not had time to read it yet, please go and check it out.  My take on this is two fold.  There is absolutely no doubt that we as an industry are mired in a glacial like pace when it comes to innovation and change.  There is an absolute fear of disruption and match that with a lot of companies that prefer a more conservative route and you have the incrementalism that Katy covers in her piece.  The other issue is the many companies that ARE working on change and processes that could truly push our world forward are doing so in a bubble.  They are doing it without any true industry insights and thoughts and so they end up drifting blindly into our space and then find it to be unwelcoming and uninterested.   So in my mind the key is both sides need to give… the industry MUST be open to trying new things, pushing new approaches etc.  These developers and inventors need to engage the industry earlier in the process to get true and real insights so they can prepare for the potential objections and work over them.  So if you are one of the hundred of companies incubating change for our world- reach out!  Don’t wait.  Do it earlier in the process than later.  And from an industry standpoint if one of these folks reach out to you- take them seriously, engage with them, work to see where it can come into play.  Be willing to disrupt for the good and for the growth.   Let’s do this….


--  The GANA Fall Conference schedule is out and it is different than its predecessors.  With GANA Fall now integrated into GlassBuild America changes were made and the result was a smart, streamlined conference that allows work to be done and networking achieved while doing it in an efficient manner that truly serves the stakeholder.  Have you registered yet?  Do it today. 

--  Kudos to Rob Struble and the team at Vitro on the launch of their Inspirescapes Blog. This is really a nice resource to have and constantly visit.  It’s a good mix of promotional and informational.  I especially liked the piece on full sized mock ups.  Good work folks!

--  What is everyone’s take on the WELL Building Standard™?  As most readers of this blog know I am not a fan of LEED.  Is WELL a better option?  Does it do more for the environment?  Is it a better program that has potential for more acceptance?  Or does this end up with many other “green” rating systems that tried and ended up being footnotes thanks to massive shadow of LEED?

--  Last this week…  It looks like our friends in Kansas City are going to get a new airport terminal.  As anyone who has flown through KCI can attest, it really was not a terminal set up for the rigors of post 9/11 security and when flight delays happened, you were really in trouble.  So its good to see this happening for that- plus we all know tons of glass and aluminum get used on these projects, so that’s cool too.  The thing to watch is what Architecture firm wins the bid- some serious powerhouses involved in the process… I’m excited to see it all play out!


Wild story on a man trapped in an ATM machine.

Tennis is a fascinating sport; you don’t have to be a certain height to be successful.  Thisstory and picture shows it….


My guy Dustin Anderson was at it again breaking glass… this time with recently retired NFL star Justin Forsett.  Great stuff as always!!

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Ready for GBA and look back at GPD

We are now just 9 weeks from GlassBuild America 2017 and the show is really shaping up very nicely.   The amount of people I am hearing from with regards to attending is really exciting.  There is no question that more and more in our industry are realizing that they HAVE TO COME to events like this to be able to gain knowledge and networking.  If you have not registered or booked your hotel yet, do it now. Atlanta, September 12-14.  And if you have any questions on what you may find when attending the show, feel free to drop me a line.


Last week Glass Processing Days in Finland wrapped up (Katy Devlin provided fantastic coverage on Glass Magazine twitter feed) and I wanted to catch up with Chris Fronsoe of ICD High Performance Coatings who had the extreme honor of presenting during the conference.  Below is my quick Q&A with him.

What did you speak about at GPD?
    A current challenge happening to spandrel glass is occurrences of thermal stress breakage that can be costly and potentially dangerous. Silicone opacifiers were examined as a solution to prevent strength reduction in HT glass, therefore reducing the risk of instances of thermal stress breakage.

How do you think it was received?  Any reaction from the audience?
     Our group’s topic was well received by world-class glass fabricators and industry experts. Scientific data, in addition to a demonstration video showing silicone opacifiers having no weakening effect on the glass – in some instances greatly improving glass breakage resistance – was powerful and thought provoking. Many conversations post-presentation revealed genuine surprise and awe.

What was it like to speak at an event like this?
    Speaking at an event like Glass Performance Days is truly a privilege. Gathered in one place are the top industry experts, architects, designers, suppliers, etc. Each has come to see the latest and greatest innovations, and address and solve the top concerns in the industry. Presenting a solution to a global problem in front of an audience of brilliant, open-minded, forward-thinkers is a remarkable experience I will never forget.

Any other insights you picked up while there?
    I picked up so many ideas that the applications where I can apply my company’s technologies to are hard to number. In one presentation, given by Daniel Vos of Heintges, NYC, the need for precise harmonizing colors for spandrel glass was highly evident. Daniel showed photos of large architectural mock-ups where the spandrel glass color was just slightly off, resulting in a clear visual difference between the reflections of vision and spandrel glass. To Daniel, and many others, color always matters.

Thank you Chris- I look forward to hearing this presentation when you give it in the US sometime in the future.

A couple of quick tidbits to end this post…

--  If you do e-mail blasts to folks in Canada- you need to read this and prepare accordingly!

--  Congrats to Bill Daubmann and family on a very cool recent honor.  D3 Glass was selected to be on GrowFL’s 2017 “50 Companies To Watch” list.  It is believed that the Daubmann’s are the first family to have two businesses selected for this honor with their MY Shower Door operation being highlighted in 2013 join this latest recognition.


Those alerts that come blaring on your phone can be loud but they sure are needed… still some don’t see it…

Interesting story…I do love when nasty customers are put in their place but there is also karma too- be careful dancing on someone too much. 


The next season of “Last Chance U” gets released on Netflix July 21.  Pretty interesting mini series on junior college football at a Mississippi powerhouse. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Communication is Key

For the majority of the industry things are really rolling but with that comes bumps in the road and that latest challenge is trucking availability.  The transportation issue has not been very smooth for years but in the last month it has gotten worse thanks to float plant issues and a seasonal shortage in available drivers and equipment. The best way how to deal with this and basically most adventures we have these days is with increased proactive communication and planning.  Be active is communicating with your supplier, make smart and realistic plans and communicate with the rest of the customers in your supply chain.  And make sure that everyone is also communicating with his or her stakeholders too.  The more you can do this the better off you and your company will be.  Really at the end of the day in this current setting communication is so crucial.  And the fine folks at the end of the line- the glaziers & glass shops- get crushed with crazy requests and moving timelines…. So do all you can to make their lives easier… communicate to the fullest!


--  When I mention about being busy I can also point to the latest Architectural Billings Index… up yet again in May and also reaching highs for the year on both the index and new product inquiry number.  This all continues to match up with the forecasts going forward… let’s keep it going and get after it while its all good….

--  I went to see Wonder Woman (solid movie) and I was probably the only one in the theater who absolutely geeked out when Wonder Woman held up a piece of digitally printed glass featuring an old picture!  That was so cool… I wonder if the producers got the idea from GGI’s Harlem Hospital job… that was the first thing I thought of.

--  Did you know that the word “Spandrel” has a biological meaning?  I was stunned when someone sent me this link… for you fellow glass nerds check it out.

--  This Fall aside from GlassBuild here there are two other events to mark on your schedule to get to or support.  The Glass + Metal Symposium in September and then Glass Interiors Symposium in November offer excellent learning and networking opportunities.  I will be for sure at the Glass + Metal one and I’m looking forward to it.  To learn more click their names above.

--  At these shows you probably won’t find any fake architects… yes a fake architect who actually did quite a bit work before it was uncovered was recently in the news.  Amazing story… and a twist as the code name for the investigation into this came from a legendary “Seinfeld” plot….

--  Last this week a heads up… no blog for me next week…. With Canada Day and Independence Day coming I’ll be skipping that week and will return to this space the week of July 9th… unless of course major news breaks and if it does I’ll post here and for sure I’ll post on twitter at @maxpsolesource.  So for my friends in Canada and the US I hope you and yours have a great holiday!


--  I hate Robocalls (not as much as I hate fireworks but a close) and so it’s good to see someone going down for this…

--  I’m not sure I understand the need for t his “record” as no normal person would ever do it.

--  I think I can speak for many road warriors… this was a nasty practical joke! 


Short quick video of a guy who has great soccer skills… put to good use in the market….

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Streamlined and Smart

The newly integrated format with GlassBuild America and the GANA Fall Conference was released this week and simply said- it’s awesome.  Yes for folks that aren’t big fans of change, it is different, BUT, it is a good different in being a smart and streamlined event that makes the most of everyone’s very valuable time.  The incredible volunteers and their committees will still have the time they need to do the work for the industry and also be involved in the show- but more importantly this is YOUR chance to get involved and have your voice heard.  If you are coming to GlassBuild and you are involved in the fabrication side of the business you owe it to yourself and business to attend the technical sessions so you can stay abreast of what is happening our world and have an impact.
It’s exciting times… I talked with a fabricator from the Northwest that normally would not attend the Fall Conference but since its combined and integrated into GlassBuild that company will attend and finally see and hear what is happening all around them and their business.  Good things are happening in our industry and the GlassBuild-Fall Conference combo is certainly one of them.


Three updates from past stories and trends…

--  The Glass Connections event in Canada I spoke of previously was a big success.  My good friend, the extremely talented Rich Porayko had an in-depth recap HERE.  Check it out.

--  The trend of jumbo sizes continues… we’ve seen the news via Viracon, and Vitro and now a jumbo coater is coming to my home state courtesy of Guardian.  The folks there announced that their Carleton, Michigan location would be the home for the oversized machinery.  I have been lucky enough to tour that facility and its adjacent Science & Technology Building and I hopefully will get an invite once the new coater is up- will be fun to see!

--  Last of the three angles previously hit on… Railings.  I have talked about some of the great companies in that world, their folks, and also noting the code pieces as well.  This week news of a formidable combo was released with Q-railing and Bohle America partnering up on distribution in the US.  This will surely push that segment even more with the reach and product offerings both companies possess.

--  Wrapping up this week…  the monthly Glass Magazine review… the Top 50 Glazier edition.  First and foremost major kudos to Beth Moorman and team for a jaw dropping design.  Very sharp and classy.   

--  The issue itself is jam packed with detail and info on the glazing side. So much intelligence to take in… including interesting looks at some of the companies on the list, the markets, and solutions for the community.  I also loved Katy Devlin’s look back to 1992.  Neat! Overall this issue was really well done and a must read.

--  The ad of the month plays into a theme I mentioned above… railings… CR Laurence gets the nod this month with their railing focused ad.  Normally I don’t like a ton of text, but this ad made it work and the images on the page stood out so much that made it a winner for me.  Kudos to Andrew Haring his team on a job well done!


As an Ohio Bobcat myself, I’ve never seen one of my brothers do this…lol

Incredible story of a criminal doppelgänger


With one child going to college this fall and another next year this movie appeals to me… may have to try this…