Sunday, February 19, 2017

Getting It Going

I had a few discussions this past week about advanced technology in our industry and how it is or isn’t being adopted or grown in the architectural market.  This is a massive frustration for me. I have always been an enthusiastic early adopter of new technology and see the value.  Unfortunately the people that really can control the end results of these new products are completely opposite of me.  What is the answer here?  How do we get more push?   Interestingly if you ask people from outside the industry they’ll blame us- saying we don’t innovate.  But we do.  We have amazing glass products that can hit numbers never seen before and are an active part of the structure.  There’s now framing that allows the glass to actually perform as expected, not decreasing its values thanks to make up.  And there are plenty of other components that help the assembly as a whole soar.  So the products are there- the mass adoption continues to be slow.  What are we missing?


--  Saw a tidbit online that made me feel good… residential building starts in 2016 posted its best year since 2005-2006.  With the commercial industry running a year behind the residential side, this surely shows that the positivity should continue.  Residential starts have grown now for 7 straight years.

--  One area I failed to mention in depth during last weeks BEC recap was the always extremely helpful presentation by Dr. Tom Culp.  I seriously think his presentation should be streamed to the entire industry (hey there’s an idea!) because it absolutely affects all of us.  One word that really stuck for me throughout Tom’s presentation was “daylighting” – that surely seems to be an area of serious focus going forward and obviously our industry has great options for that.  Though you still have to not give in on the energy side, so a happy medium between great daylighting and high performance is a must. 

--  The rocky run for the AIA ontinues.  They are still dealing with the fall out of their post election press release and then they ran into another issue when they laid out their keynote speeches for their upcoming show.  They did not initially include any women in the program.  After a heavy backlash they did add a panel on day 3, but the damage was done.  If you want to get a feel for how some of the membership is feeling, check out the article on the situation and spend some time in the comment section.  Very interesting.

--  For my marketing friends- just a heads up, Twitter is making more changes including hiding some “low quality tweets” during conversations.  One thing that is not clear is how Twitter will determine quality, but if we have learned anything from Google and their programs, the rules will be changing constantly.  Never a dull moment when you are trying to be active in the social and online realm.

--  Last this week… now that I am addicted to Netflix (the ability to download so I can watch while I fly is awesome.) I found actually a work reason to use it.  There’s a new series on there called Abstract: The Art of Design and it’s a documentary series that follows different designers- many of which are major players in the commercial architectural world.  So in between me binging on “House of Cards” I will have some work to watch….


--  I am NOT a believer in Valentines Day at all… but this couple did it right for each other!

--  VERY lucky to survive this gator attack on the golf course

--  The pet squirrel is a hero!


I don’t understand the “Challenge” here but I love Bruno Mars- easily the most talented entertainer out there right now.  So I know there’s no way I could watch his video or listen to his music without singing and dancing….


Saturday, February 11, 2017

BEC Recap

The latest BEC Conference is now in the books and the biggest news coming out of it was the announcement of a joint task force between the National Glass Association (NGA) and the Glass Association of North America (GANA).  The charge for that task force is to explore the options to work more collaboratively and possibly combining the two organizations.  This is HUGE.  And I have been firmly in the camp of pushing a combined entity for a long time.  Both organizations are favorites of mine and I have been involved with both for many years.  I know the pros and cons of both.  And I can tell you this is a perfect match.  From an industry standpoint we need a more efficient and effective approach to events.  We also need to have a clearly defined voice.  And that’s just the start- this also has the ability to supercharge our training and education needs- something that is a massive issue for our world.  We as an industry need this and full credit goes to the leadership of both groups for starting this important process.  Obviously this is just a jumping off point but I am hopeful this will grow into something great. 

So back to the actual BEC Conference recap…

--  It was a very strong event and first congratulations have to go to Gus Trupiano of AGC who is the chair of the division and driving force of the conference.  Gus is not only an incredibly nice person, but a great leader as well.  This was his first BEC in charge and he delivered a tremendous event. 

--  The content this year was very strong, there was something for everyone really.  Julie Schimmelpenningh of Eastman delivered a fabulous keynote speech despite crazy technical interruptions.  The keynote is a tough spot but Julie nailed it.  I thought that Matt Johnson and Paul Gary were super on the legal piece and world famous Architect James Carpenter really was a fascinating guy to listen to.  The celebrity keynote was from former NBA player Mark Eaton and that too landed nicely- with a memorable approach and one that had many attendees debating some of his core messaging long after he was done. 

--  I had the amazing honor again of moderating a panel. This year it was a glazier challenges theme and my panelists were simply awesome.  While I think the theme was meant for other glaziers in the crowd to learn from their peers on stage, I learned a ton during their session and my respect for everything the modern contract glazier has to deal with grew immensely.  So thank you Bill Sullivan of Brin, Stephanie Lamb of Giroux, Ted Derby of LCG, and Joe Clabbers of National Glass.  You all are incredible credits to our world and I am grateful for what you all do!

--  Ok to finish this post off, time to cover some of the folks I ran into at BEC.  Remember the big key of BEC is the networking.  If you go to this and you are not making friends, you are doing it wrong….(and if you are not going- be there next year!)

--  In visiting with Bill Coady of Guardian he let me know this will be his last BEC- he’s retiring soon.  That is a loss for Guardian and for all of us.  Bill is the epitome of a class human being.  Great knowledge and care and will be missed!  Enjoy retirement my friend!  While still on the Guardian track, I met for the first time Samer Abughazaleh and that was enjoyable- very interesting guy who probably was wondering what I do in life.  (Don’t worry Samer, most people are still trying to figure that out too) 

--  Jon Kimberlain of Dow is always a favorite visit for me.  So incredibly smart and put together, I just want some of that to rub off on me.  Another example of smart? Dr. Tom Culp and Urmila Sowell meet that description every time.  I thank them again for all they do for our world!  It was great to see a smiling and healthy Greg Oehlers of TriStar along with his cohort Rob Carlson.  Thanks for noting you read the blog Rob- I appreciate it!  Speaking of reading, Cameron Scripture of Viracon always gives me great books to read and he did it again this time. And yes he still has those movie star good looks!   Was able to congratulate Ron Hull of Kuraray in person on his new position.  He’ll do great. 

--  It was nice to talk for a few minutes with Joseph Holmes of EFCO as well as my old friend, the incredible Shelly Farmer of SC Railing. Catching up with past co worker Bob Cummings of Hartung will never get old for me and same with talking sports with Joe Carlos of Triview.  And speaking of guys named Joe- Mr. Erb of Quanex was there and he always has a smile on his face and positive approach.  I always am in awe of the talent of people like Heather West and Rich Porayko.  They do things every day that make our industry (and the groups they work with) look great and that is appreciated!

--  I had the pleasure to meet GlassFab’s Barbara Russell for the first time as well as getting to visit with Mike Goldfarb too.  That company just recently passed the 10-year milestone in business and the sky is the limit for them.  Clover Architectural Products Tom O’Malley is always a constant at events like this and I think he knows more people in the crowd than anyone, so getting 5 minutes with him was a great deal for me.

--  And there were many more folks that I just can’t get to here… maybe next post!  In any case this was a good event that served its purpose once again.  I look forward to the next opportunity to network and learn amongst the best and brightest in our industry!


People getting fired and why… comical article

Red Robin CEO gets a tattoo after service improves.  Hey if that’s what motivates… go for it.  I am a fan of Red Robin- they treat food allergies seriously.

This is a rough one- we are in a world of “if you see something, say something” but sometimes things are truly innocent…


Did you see the UCLA Cheerleader adventure from this week?  Take a few seconds… poor kid had a tough night.  She is ok and fine now by the way….

Sunday, February 05, 2017

It's BEC Week

This week is one the major events in our industry with the GANA BEC Conference in Las Vegas.  I have been fortunate enough to be involved with this event for many years and while so much has changed in our industry and world, the key advantage of this conference remains… the incredible ability to network.  Yes the education is great and the speakers are usually very engaging but the chance to see people from companies up and down the supply chain- all in one place- is huge.  Basically it’s one of the two times in our industry (GlassBuild America being the other) where you can attend an event that allows you stay on top of everything happening in our world.  I’ll have my annual breakdown of all of the takeaways of BEC next week…


--  One group of people and company I like visiting with at BEC is Viracon.  And I have to pass major props to Kelly Schuller and every employee there for their incredible charitable contributions.  Viracon employees donated an incredible $108,692.60  to the United Way in 2016.  This is simply awesome and everyone involved there should be commended for his or her effort.

--  Time to look at the latest Glass Magazine… first what got me was the cover shot- a beautiful classic looking project in Montreal; it looks old school but performs like a 2017 champ.  That led to a fantastic story from Katy Devlin that not only broke that building down but some others as the battle for advanced energy performance in buildings continues.  There are several other stories that are worth checking out as well- and I plan on calling them out more in the next few weeks- including the look at the I-Codes and how we as an industry should be approaching them.   Whether you get the magazine or grab online- make sure you are checking it out, too much important content to miss!

--  Ad of the month… is actually a tie.  Loved the effect of the TGP ad as soon as I cracked open the magazine.  Slick 2 page spread with a catchy picture and tag line.  Nice!  But I also really liked what Schuco did with the use of old computer discs- basically pushing the idea of don’t get left behind.  While many do that sort of ad, this particular visual worked for me and caught my eye.

--  Check out the video of the week below from Guardian.  It is undoubtedly a promotion video on their work in the middle east but it’s a great quick watch with stunning views of the buildings and facades in that region.  Being the glass and glazing geek that I am, just seeing some of these projects is really breathtaking.  Plus I love looks at other plants and layouts.  Good watch for sure and a VERY well done video.  Wish I had those skills!

--  For my fellow road warriors… did you happen to see the airplane row of the future?  Check out this link and let me know what you think.  This looks to be too advanced for the stodgy airline industry….

--  Super article here on the “death” of Facebook- I know many who feel same way.

Last this week… Super Bowl... WOW.  I mean that was beyond words.  I feel for my friends that are Falcon fans- tough loss.  Happy for folks like Steven Brenner and Brian Shaw- big time Pats fans who are on cloud nine right now.  Commercial wise they were pretty awful all night.  5 million for 30 seconds and the lack of creativity was stunning.  The folks doing creative for ads in Glass Magazine are loads better.  If I had to choose a few "winners" I would say the Tide, Kings Hawaiian, Spud McKenzie, and Ford "Stuck" commercials were best with decent efforts by Buick (Cam Newton) and the live Adam Driver spot.  Still I gotta think these agencies have to go back to the drawing board for the future.


Uh oh… Bacon is actually bad?  Nooooooooooooooooo! 

If you are a watcher of “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver you will get a chuckle out of this story about TRONC and an odd tweet.

This really happened and was not an episode of a show on TV… yet….


As noted previously… here is the video via Guardian on glass in the middle east…

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Shows, Rankings, Boards, and More

After starting the new year with lists, trends, and reviews, I had a bunch of other items piling up.  So time to do some catching up with a handful of different industry related takes.

--  The National AIA show is changing its name. It will now be known as the AIA Conference on Architecture and it’s a part of a bigger rebrand.  So the questions are- will it actually make the show better for the exhibitors and will it help the AIA recover from the continuing angst from its membership over the infamous press release after the US Presidential election?  My initial answers are no and no.  This show will always be about the architects getting their educational credit and between lack of time and desire a legitimate visit to the floor is just not in their plans.  Plus as long as AIA has a floor with companies desperate to get a visit from a real live breathing architect they’ll never be meaningful change in the schedules to even give folks a better chance..  And as for the “revolt” it surely seems to be real as there’s still a massive dialogue featuring people that are talking about not renewing their membership and using this issue to point to other deficiencies inside the organization.  So we’ll see if in April at Orlando (a traditionally awful trade show town anyway) if anything really has changed other than the name. 

--  Thanks to the folks at Azon who tweeted out a link to the Top 10 countries (Not including the US) for LEED usage.  It was a stunner for me to see the #1 on the list wasn’t my awesome friends in Canada… but China.  Yes China is now at the top thanks to obviously some massive projects as they had 1600 fewer buildings but still produced more square meters of LEED than Canada.  The whole list is HERE and don’t worry my friends in the North- you are always #1 on my lists….

--  GlassBuild America formally announced it’s dates for the 2017 event in Atlanta.  Be there September 12-14!  As always I believe it will be a fantastic show (I’m obviously biased, I work it, I love it), but I was very pumped to see that the GANA Fall Conference will be held during/at the show as well.  That is HUGE.  As an industry guy, the tough thing is the expense of travel to all of the events I want/need to attend.  I know I am not alone.  By simple collaboration this sort of move helps so many be more efficient and more active in our industry.  Great move and adds another angle to an already exciting process!

--  I saw that the NFRC released their new board member list and laughed a bit thinking back to the days when my life was consumed with trying to affect change by getting fresh blood in those spots.  My candidate Cliff Monroe would’ve been the best board member ever- that’s for sure.  Anyway the next laugh I had was a ton of the “new” board looks exactly like the boards and power players from 2006 etc. Baker, Bipin, Hayden, Charlie etc…  it’s unreal.  My only hopes there are with Paul Bush and Kerry Haglund.  Excellent people who I know will at least listen to other views.  Though hopefully me mentioning them as “good” won’t get them blackballed.

--  There’s been a lot of chatter in the construction world on usage of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in the building and design process.  Also in the sales funnel too.  I did a lot of research in to AR and I really like the potential from a sales and marketing standpoint.  Pricing is still high and you have to have a solid sales staff but my goodness it could be a game changer if used effectively.

--  Last this week… the Super Bowl is now lined up- my condolences to my pal Mike Synon of HHH who is also an owner of the Green Bay Packers.  Tough one.  This should be a very good game.   As always I am really looking forward to the commercials to see what 5 million dollars for a 30 second ad gets you these days in the way of creativity and memorable moments.  I’ll give you my favorites on next weeks post.  Also next week… preview of BEC, a great video from Guardian, potential good news for fellow road warriors and more!


New evidence in the DB Cooper case?  This one always fascinated me…

Another remnant from my childhood- the Ringling Brothers Circus is going away.

This one baffles me.  You make boots- you would think you’d look at the footprint it made before producing.  These guys didn’t.


This basketball flop is beyond anything I’ve seen in a while… wow…

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Net Zero Not A Zero Program

Last week I covered some of the trends I see really taking off in the new year, so I was pretty pumped to see a report come out that backed one of my predictions.  Navigant Research released a study that shows the Net Zero Building movement growing tremendously over the next 20 years- eventually becoming a trillion dollar market segment.  That’s trillion… with a T.  The good news continued with the expectation that the main areas of the growth will be from the glass and glazing segment.  As I noted last week this sort of building is growing because it’s a smart process that produces real results and it’s exciting that as an industry we have great options to be heavily invested in it.


--  Twitter can some times drive people crazy especially with some of the insane negativity that can appear there but I continue to try and find the good in it.  Example was Friday during the riots in Washington DC, someone posted that there’s tons of broken glass and windows all over the area.  I replied to that tweet with “Oh to be a glass shop in Washington DC right now…” and lo and behold a few hours later I see a tweet from Mike Albert showing his company (S. Albert Glass) out on the job, in DC, in the damaged area.  Cool stuff and nice to see our industry in action.  This is the 2nd riot that I have watched a company I am familiar with jump into action, with my pals at Binswanger in Charlotte being the previous during the riots there this summer.

--  Time for some reviews… Magazine, Book, and Movie…

--  The Magazine is the long over due one for the December edition of Glass Magazine.  Bethany Stough’s excellent cover story on installation was strong- especially given the severe labor pressure our industry faces.  I am sure I am not the only one who walked away from this with an advanced understanding of the options available to the glazing community.  And that story really made me understand even better why the installation equipment folks at GlassBuild were swamped.   Also in this issue.. Joe Schiavone of CRL who did a great Glazier Bulletin like always… love his work and I am also a huge fan of Mike Burk of GED via IGMA who had a story on safety and smarts on the fab floor.  Plus the recap of the incredible 2016 GlassBuild America just got me pumped for the future….  All in all, from front to back a great issue and must read.

--  The ad of the month goes to Wood’s Powr-Grip for the family approach featuring Dustin Anderson of Anderson Glass of Waco, TX and his beautiful family.  The message of “bringing you home safe” is something that may be simple, but needs to be reminded daily.  Good work there!

--  The Book review is “Losing Isn’t Everything” by Curt Menefee.  This was an excellent and easy read about the people on the other side of some of sports most famous plays and how they dealt with the disappointments of being in the spotlight and known for losing.  Some handled it better than others but all of the stories were very interesting and some actually inspirational. 

--  Last the Movie review is “The Founder” which was the story of Ray Kroc, the man best known as the builder of the McDonalds behemoth.  It’s an intriguing story in that Kroc is not your typical business hero.  And that’s probably why it’s taken so many years to get a movie about him.  He was not the brains behind really any of the advancements of the company but was smart enough to listen and learn from those who had the ideas.  From a business standpoint it’s a great watch and from an entertainment side good as well since he’s not what you would expect as the guy behind such a happy brand.


A boy and his fish who passed.  I know it well my man….

This guy has survived a ton to become a huge mushroom entrepreneur….

Imagine going to a random comedy club and a tons of superstars unexpectedly show up to perform?  Wild.


Traveling in the NBA is always loosely called and widely made fun of.  This week the great Russell Westbrook took it to a new level… you don’t see it happen at first but wait til the replay at :25….