Saturday, January 25, 2020

Get Ready for the Year of Glass!

How cool would it be if our industry, our little world, had the honor of having a year named for it?  Well if we all can come together and push, maybe 2022 will be known as the International Year of Glass by the UN.  I mean to me that would awesome as you know I love our core product and to have that distinction applied to our industry would really be something.  So how does this happen?  Well the National Glass Association (NGA) along with many other glass related organizations are applying to the UN in the coming week with a push noting that the glass world is truly a positive force when it comes to technology, science and the world economy.  It will be interesting to see how this progresses and I am excited to see people getting behind it and supporting it.  I would definitely love the opportunity to stand out from all of those other trades with this recognition.  2022- The Year of Glass.  I like the sound of that!


--  The latest Architectural Billings Index was released and it was a blockbuster.  The total came in at a winning 52.5 (remember over 50 is positive) with a crazy good 58.7 number on project inquiries and an even more exciting 53.4 on design contracts.  Inquiries are great and all but contracts are surely a very positive approach.  So the good momentum continues….

--  On the flip side I know many folks have had some January blues to start the year so they probably get mad at me when I am professing all sunshine and butterflies.  There are some soft pockets out there and we knew going into this year it was going to have some odd bumps in the road.  I am still confident on the whole, but surely there are parts that are frustrated out there.

--  The International Builder Show was this week- I was not there but heard from a few that were- seems like some interesting products and services were in play.  Once again a big one were residential windows with extremely high performance.  I do think between New York’s local ordinances and some other municipalities pushing there will be some disruption on residential- So I will be watching to see when that comes more of our way on commercial.

--  I know I write it every week- but BEC is coming and the guest list is growing- will you be there?  I have been honored to be involved with this event for probably 20 of its 24 years and the subject matter this year may be the best yet.  I was pumped that we added Jake Gaddis of United Architectural Metals this week to a panel on Delegated Design.  Jake is an expert actually in Design Assist- and the insight he is going to share in that realm will be amazing.  If you have not signed up yet- go HERE and do it today.

--  Last this week… Love this job that is profiled here but I must say I am bummed as my sister Marcie is a bigwig at the company that is housed in this amazing structure and she never turned me on to it early at all.  Just kept this great design to herself.  Once again proving the smartest Perilstein on the glass side of things is the one not currently in the business!  Really awesome work here by all….


--  Feeding the alligators and other wildlife and more.  Crazy story from where else… Florida!

--  These stories of tracking people down seemingly never get old- another good one here based on a VHS tape and first steps of a baby

--  Very bad and immature prank here… just an ouch all the way around.


For the Project of the Week... We go back to Canada again and the fine folks from Garibaldi Glass (who usually don’t read this blog, so see I even give love to those who don’t follow) with an incredible job I saw from them on LinkedIn.  This is the UBC Aquatic Centre in Vancouver and it is very cool.  It is “at one” with the usage of the building being aquatics!  Great design and tremendous execution from Garibaldi and with float from Guardian Glass.  Decorative glass for the win here.... Well done!!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The 2020 Predictions

We’ve reviewed past predictions and now it’s time to break out the trusty crystal ball and look at what I see ahead in the next 11-1/2 months of 2020.  I am pretty confident about this grouping and ready to go five for five when I review at the start of next year.  

1.    Earthquake deal-Yes every year I say “deals are coming” but this year I am calling my shot- there will be a massive deal that hits our industry and one that will really catch people by surprise.  Some of the rumors out there are pretty intense and I do think the climate is very ripe for maybe even more than one landscape altering transaction.  
2.    The D 10 Revolution is here-The interior office space is perfect for glass.  There is no good reason that glass installers shouldn’t be the main player here using systems from traditional glass fabricators. Look out for players like Virginia Glass and dormakaba to make waves along with several others about to get into this world on a major basis. 
3.    The words “delegated design” get clarified but also go main stream-More and more glaziers are seeing this term and its vexing to them.  It is an issue one that will be addressed clearly at BEC by the way.  It is here to stay and will be growing in usage.  If you are not in the know with “delegated design” and what it means to you, then get educated because it is something that could have a significant impact on your business (specifically glaziers)
4.    Big leap on virtual reality and software helping the glazier manage projects and jobsites- Everyone needs project managers.  Everyone.  But now more and more software is being developed to be able to do more with less. I am seeing companies even developing their own apps and software to help streamline processes.  That is something a few years ago that would be unheard of.  In 2020 there’s a lot more of that and I can see more collaboration with glaziers, fabricators, and manufacturers in the virtual realm.  Efficiency is so crucial; this is path that is absolutely on the fast track.
5.    Glazier training and certification makes the leap.  MyGlassClass, NACC, AGMT, etc.  If you are not in or on it you are behind.  I see people at all levels of our business digging into these opportunities more than ever before and I think 2020 sees this area really grow dramatically.  The issue that seemingly always delayed major growth here is people just didn’t have the time, desire, or impetus to do this. Now while time is still very limited, the desire and impetus have evolved into must haves. 


--  From the various news reports, it sounds like NGA’s Annual Conference went very well.  The highlight for me was news that the NGA Advocacy Committee is developing a “Strike Team” to advocate for glass and glazing at the legislative and regulatory levels, supported by NGA’s Code Consultants.  Folks this is huge because we have some great minds and talents representing our interest and believe me there’s tons of other industries who want to see us at the bottom constantly.  More on the conference can be found in this recap.

--  Congrats to Rob Struble and the folks at Vitro Architectural Glass on their new website launch. Really smart, clean and user-friendly website that just knocks it out of the park at every turn.  I love industry websites (you know I review the new ones here all the time) and love to learn new things along the way and the Vitro site delivers completely.  Well done folks!

--  My friend Lyle Shimazu recently shared with me an article on the Top Airports in 2019. He and I talked about this when I had my thoughts on a previous article and he came to the defense of the Portland Airport when I commented that I just didn’t see the greatness others do.  Well once again, and as always Lyle is right… The Wall Street Journal named Portland as the 2ndbest mid-size airport in the US.  I guess it may be just me… Rest of the rankings were pretty interesting… and in a future blog I think I may break it down more.  

--  Last this week…  I saw the initial registration list for BEC and was just blown away at the names and companies registered already.  This is going to be one big time event.  Between the list and an incredible, meaty agenda you really don’t want to miss it.  


--  Wild story on a guy trying to own every pop song out there.  

--  I love Wawa.  And it looks like I am not alone as convenience stores keep gaining in popularity food wise.  And Wawa is easily the best of them all.

--  What happens when 24 hour fitness is not 24 hours and you get locked in? 


This week we look up… up at an incredible Skylight job at Chicago’s Union Station.  Super Sky Enterprises manufactured a completely custom system.  Intense and Impressive!

Union Station features a two-tier skylight system: the original restored, 177-foot-long, barrel-vault system and a new, 187-foot long, high-performance system installed approximately five feet above it. High performance glass via Viracon and also great work on the aluminum finish with a superior coating job by Linetec.  My little description just does not do this project justice… Well done everyone!! 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

2019 Prediction Review

So before we can look forward into 2020, time for one more look back at 2019 and specifically at my predictions for the industry posted one year ago.  So let’s see how I did!

1-    Security Glass will continue to grow in 2019.  – I think I nailed this one.  We saw more companies getting into this space and also expansions into new products.  School security as expected led the way but overall there was a healthy push into the protective glazing world.
2-    Look at Lifting.  I wrote this even before I knew who Steven Brooks of Smart Lift was.  But between him and several other companies the lifting world took on a major upward trend.  Steven is one of those super high energy guys who not only brought his company a ton of exposure but also the industry as a whole- which I truly appreciate and love.  So 2 for 2. 
3-    The Robot Revolution is here.   Well winning streak ends here.  I expected significantly more robotics to be ordered and implemented.  While there is growth, this is still an area that has not taken off like it should.  Maybe 2020 pushes it forward.
4-    Company deals are not done.  Maybe a ½ point here?  I expected more movement than we got.  We did have several acquisitions though especially with the late flurry at the end of the year (more on those below) but still I thought there would be more and also of bigger scale.  I was thinking of two monsters that were for sale and no dice deal wise in 2019.
5-    Talent on the move.  No doubt some very big names found new homes in 2019.  This is similar to #4 though in that I expected more movement.  But I am actually glad it was somewhat limited because I do think for the good of the industry having some consistency in certain places make sense. 

So final record on predictions?  2 wins, 1 loss, 2 ties.  I’ll take it.  Disagree?  Hit me up by e-mail, I’d love to know your takes.  Next week it’s my 2020 predictions and I have some fun ones in mind!


--  So as mentioned above some deals wrapped up 2019 into early 2020.  Two major high-quality operators were involved in the most recent news.  Out west Glasswerks purchased NWI which is a major happening in that part of the world.   This move does throw some focus on the pacific northwest market which is loaded with absolutely incredible fabricators.  In the east the great John Dwyer and Syracuse Glass partnered up with Lineage Capital.  This deal will allow Syracuse Glass to keep on that positive growth path and better yet keeps John Dwyer and his insights in our day to day world.  End of the day these two deals on opposite sides of the US will surely have some aftershocks for several months going and we’ll see what is coming up next on the deal front.

--  More company news- congrats to Billy Britt and the team at Britt and Tilson Glass for their 60th anniversary!  Those folks have survived a ton in their years in the business including a couple of major floods.  I am a huge fan of Billy’s- he’s a young, sharp, and talented guy that this industry craves.  Here’s to another 60+ years folks!

--  Another guy I am a fan of is Chris Phillips of Showcase Shower Door and his debut blog on Glass Magazine dropped last week.  If you missed it- check it out here.  Great work Chris!

--  I have not done a Glass Magazine review in the last several weeks since we had so much going on… so here goes with the latest review and that is of the December issue that featured the stunning staircase cover.  Some key articles?  Katy Devlin’s column on the industry’s next steps is a must read as are the insights on hiring piece and of course the results of the prestigious Glass Magazine Photo Contest.  The ad of the month goes to F. Barkow with their “old world craftsmanship” piece as I loved the welder image at the top that caught my eye and made me read about things named “Barkleats” and “Barpads”  - great work and kudos to the folks there on that ad!

--  Last this week… the industry has gathered in one of my all time favorite places- San Diego, for the Annual Conference.  Great technical insights and important future guidelines will come out of that effort (like the just released Heavy Glass Door Design Guide) and I look forward to hearing all about it from those smart and lucky enough to attend!  (Sadly I was neither smart enough of lucky enough to get this one this time!)


Great read on the college admission scandal and prison consultants.  Wait, there is such a thing as “prison consultants?” 

Just when you think people can be super sick- you read astory like this and realize we got issues in our world.  Dang.

I mean... how does this happen?  Dentists and fire? No way.


For this week I am recognizing the Oregon Zoo project with the glass manufactured by Walker Glass.  

This material is Bird Friendly glass and that product segment is absolutely gaining importance daily.  Just look at the new codes in New York as proof of that.  And more codes and ordinances are coming.  In fact BEC will have a significant presentation on this product segment- so another reason to attend that conference.    

Anyway back to this project- great work on the glass and the project itself is a stunner.  Smart use of bird friendly and high performance glass- a combo that means safety for the birds and energy efficiency/comfort for the humans.  Congrats to all involved!

Sunday, January 05, 2020

2020- First Look

Happy New Year!  We are off and running in 2020 and I am excited about all to come this year.  Each year on this blog I start off with reviewing my predictions from the previous year and then I go to my predictions for the year ahead.  So next week is when I’ll look back and the week after is when I’ll make my “money back guaranteed” predictions for 2020.  For this opening post we’ll talk economic forecasts yet again now that pretty much all of the analysts have weighed in.  The majority of data points to a similar year economy wise to 2019.  Solid but not spectacular but also not dreadful- so I take that as positive.  There is expected to be a lull along the way and many of you experienced that lull in 2019- so nothing new there.  In talking with many glazing companies over the last few weeks, their backlogs are solid and sold through 2020 so work is lined up.  Machinery folks seemingly are doing well too, many of which had huge performances at and post GlassBuild that will pay off in 2020.  So the overall feeling is on the plus side.  Negatives can be the potential slowing on the residential side, softness on some of the indicators for spending and starts, and concerns in the RV and high end auto markets. Every item of data bears watching and I’ll continue to monitor and report.  The wild card is the presidential election in the US.  At this point it’s anyone’s guess on how the campaigns and rhetoric that comes with it with have any impact- all I know is its going to be an adventure with regards to media and coverage.  So far none of that dialogue has touched the day-to-day economy negatively but you never know.  So buckle in and let’s get 2020 off and running!


--  One change to my posts this year and I need your help!  Instead of doing the video of the week, I am doing a “Project of the Week” so I can recognize more greatness from all parts of our industry.  Send me a couple of photos and basic details and I’ll line up and feature them here each week.  It can be a finished project or one in process- I just want to push that we as an industry do great work!  First “Project of the Week” is below!

--  Holidays are over- have you registered for BEC yet?  It is in NASHVILLE this year.  I’ve been stunned on how many people I tell that and they didn’t realize it.  Awesome location, incredible agenda, and off the charts networking.  BE THERE. 

--  Big news from New York City with the passing of Local Law 97.  This law will push for higher performance glass in the right ways vs. a “ban” or something silly like that.  This also could be a great boost to many of the sophisticated glass products like VIG that have been looking for that perfect home.

--  People news… saw that Linetec is transitioning to a new leader with Jon Close taking over for the retiring Rick Marshall.  Linetec is one very impressive company and this smart shift looks like the successes will keep coming. 

--  I am a little late on this one but congrats to Mary Avery on her new position as Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Tubelite.  If you’ve read this blog before you know I am huge fan of Mary’s and its great to see her constantly excelling out there.

--  Also I was pumped to see that my friend Tim Finley and T.FIN Building Solutions making news again with representing the CGH companies.  Love when good things happen good people!

--  I understand a new version of LEED is out there- 4.1.  So to those of you who follow it better than I do, is there any improvement in the areas of glass and glazing getting more opportunities to be a part of the process?

--  Last this week… new book that I devoured during the holidays called “The Only Plane in the Sky- An Oral History of 9/11” was an incredible read.  There have been some excerpts out there that got me going but my goodness this is most in-depth and gripping read about the horrific 9/11 tragedy.  The oral history style format really works here because that event had so many moving parts and this style was best to capture it all. 


Cute and funny here.  Duck needs a partner!

Incredibly frustrating.  Adults in the education world should know better!

This has a deeper play here- if you get any USB drive from someone you don’t know- don’t put it in a computer you care about- especially a networked work computer.  Shame on the people who send this stuff out- terrible marketing effort.

BONUS LINK:  Massive Tumbleweed in Washington State!


This one is from the fine folks at Champion Glass in San Antonio.  They did not send this to me as a part of this series- but its so cool I thought this would be a great one to share with the world.  This is the Cavender Project, when done it will possibly be the largest “mass-timber” building in Texas.  But I am loving the look of the glass so far!  Clean and sharp and nice work by the team at Champion!  Hopefully when this is done I’ll get the updated pics to share again.