Sunday, November 27, 2016

Big News From Guardian

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

Elsewhere…

--  And staying on the trail of positivity the latest ABI did bounce back into positive territory.  So the 2-month down trend has been stopped.  The results continue to look like 2017 and into 2018 will be solid but not spectacular.  And as far as I am concerned, solid works. 

--  If you want some additional insight for the US and Canada- check this out from Alex Carrick- Chief Economist of Construct Connection.  Good and interesting stuff as always.

--  This has been out there some but I finally ran into it.  Drones and construction.  I’m blown away that it’s the construction world that is main user of the drone technology.  This article stated that drones would change the way construction is done.  Wow.

--  Zero Net Energy consumption or the Net Zero Building continues to gain steam.  This past week Santa Monica, Californian adopted an ordinance pushing it.  The glass and glazing industry does have wonderful and effective products to support these efforts so this is something I hope we see growing more and more.  Not to mention it is good for the world in the long run too!

--  Last this week… a Japanese scientist has carried out clinical trials that show if you eat ice cream for breakfast you are smarter and more effective with your day and work.  He had subjects eat ice cream right after they woke up and then tested from there.  Sadly I had to give up ice cream a few years ago so I can’t try this… but really amazing to think that this could work.  Could it be mix of cold and sugar snapping the brain to action? 

LINKS of the WEEK

I am not a fan of Daylight Savings Time- and I’m sure thesetwins born smack dab in the middle of it aren’t either!

Really nice story for the holidays!

Facebook usage taking a beating post election.  I see it for sure…

VIDEO of the WEEK

It’s the holiday season and it’s also yet again another release of Star Wars season with the latest “Rouge One” coming in a few weeks.  Here’s the trailer….


Sunday, November 13, 2016

AIA Controversy

The interesting news this week comes from the AIA and their membership.  The AIA put out a formal statement commenting on the recent US election and there’s been some backlash online from it.  With the intensity of both sides of the election is still holding true, I have a feeling we’re only at the start of this specific adventure.   There’s tons of politics here I can get into, but I’m not doing that.   I’ll only weigh in from a PR standpoint and my take there is I have no idea why the AIA would make a statement WHEN they did.  The timing absolutely made no sense, there was no urgency or call for their opinion at that time, and they were obviously not prepared for their statement to go viral within their community like it has.  So lessons here are- you gotta know your customer base or your membership- and you have to have a sense of timing-- and it’s surely looking like in this case the AIA did not on either case.  What happens next in the AIA world will bear some watching....

Elsewhere… and moving quickly to something else!

--  After GlassBuild America I got a call with a great question I could not answer…. It is do we as an industry know what our average opening size is?  And has that opening size changed at all in the last few years or is it expected to change going forward.  The angle here is there’s this major push for oversize.  Every one seemingly is addressing it one way or another, so the trend is there.  But I can’t find or figure out what averages are?  So if you have some insight on yesterday, today and tomorrow with regards to the average opening- please drop me a line….

--  The November issue of Glass Magazine is out and once again quite a bit of excellent content to take in.  The issue is dedicated to the “Top Metal Companies” so some interesting profiles both on companies and projects.  Also I liked the quick pieces from industry heavyweights Joe Erb of Quanex and Chris Giovannielli of Kawneer.  Plus the Q&A with Michael Spellman from IGE is a must read.

--  The ad of the month award was a tough one with many strong candidates.  People ask me how I choose this.  First thing I do is flip through the magazine without stopping to read.  I see if any ad jumps at me to make me stop.  I then note the ads that do and then review and decide.  And I do try to share the honors as some companies could win every month.  So this time around the nod goes to Dormakaba.  I liked the ad- caught my eye with a simple title.  And I will admit I had no idea this was an actual company of DORMA and Kaba, so I learned something too!

--  Great resource that I was reminded about via email blast (and on those e mails- if done right, very effective) from Vitro. (PPG)  The “Search Products” tool that breaks down products, performance, and aesthetics.  Very helpful!

--  The new Apple headquarter campus is coming along.  This week new drone footage was released and it’s worth the watch.  Right now the site is ugly with dirt everywhere- once they fill that in with the proposed green spaces- the building and environment should be absolutely awesome.

--  Last this week- just a programming note.  No blog next week, though if news breaks I will post something and also have comments on twitter.  Otherwise I’ll be back in this space for the last week of November.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING to my friends in the US!

LINKS of the WEEK

Well something I never thought would be outsourced is going that way…. The casket.

The Cubs won.  This guy called it.  In 1993.

Kudos to Kit Kat for using the viral parts of social media the right way.  But I gotta say that is waaaay too much chocolate.  And I love chocolate!

VIDEO of the WEEK

This is 45 seconds worth of fun video action between a little guy and a garbage can.  Classic stuff here. 


Sunday, November 06, 2016

Deals and Outlooks

The major news from the past week was the deal between JE Berkowitz and Consolidated Glass Holdings.  This was one of the major rumors that were circulating at GlassBuild so it came to fruition.  It’s a great deal for Consolidated with the very high profile of Berkowitz and their long track record of success.  This is a game changer for them.  Plus I am sure it was a great deal for Arthur Berkowitz and his family, as I can’t imagine he’d agree anything less than the best.  And as for those other rumors?  I think a few are very real and will be happening in the near future, so hold on tight, there’s a lot more to go.

Elsewhere…

--  So last week I mentioned the Dodge Outlook results and I have had some time to dig through those results as well as some other points of information out there.  Here are some tidbits…

      Residential growth is positive- single family housing especially is ticking up 7% in 2016 and 9% is forecast for 2017.  In fact residential had its best year since 2005.  Why that matters is when residential starts to tumble, that’s when the warning signs start to show up on the commercial side.  So far, the coast is clear.
      Surprisingly non-residential building did have an off year in 2016- not sure we felt it in the industry given where we are in the chain and also the previous bounce backs carrying on from the past years.  On this one there are many industry folks who believe we run a good couple of years behind this metric… So potentially this could mean we’ll have some weak spots in 2017, but the forecast going forward is strong- expected up 6% with spending up 8%.  So if we dip, it may not be sustained.
       Last the most positive data point for our world?  A look back.  When reviewed the amount of infrastructure projects started in 2015 were more than any time in history- and the analysis says it will generate spending through 2017 and deep into 2018. 

Obviously these are forecasts and they can and do change- and that certain election in the US will have an effect- just no clue on what that effect will be!

--  Just a heads up for those of you who deal with submittals for LEED.  Note that the LEED v4 is now in effect.  No new jobs can registered under the previous standard of LEED 2009.  If the jobs have already been registered, but not started, they can proceed and finish with that previous standard.  So you’ll still see it- otherwise get yourself familiar with LEED v4 its now here to stay.  A really good resource online is Guardian’s.  They do a nice job of explaining the two standards, the changeover and then details.  Good stuff.

--  Speaking of good stuff.. great blog post from Pete DeGorter last week.  Love that he took the time to do it and document with pictures.  Nice work there.

--  Ever wonder how the mega sky scraper is built?  Really well done and informative piece here.  I just love the thought process that goes into it. 

--  It’s that time of year again to have our Industry MVP award.  Once again lots of great candidates out there.  So this will not be an easy choice that is for sure.  As always I am open to suggestions so send them my way.  What makes the MVP? Someone who works hard for the industry, communicates well, is involved at the trade level, and is always looking to advance our cause.  That could be on the technical, education, or innovation side.  So who will join Tracy Rogers and Jon Kimberlain as past winners?  I’ll be listing the runners up on my post week of 12/11 with the winner honored the week of 12/18 on my last blog 2016.

--  Last this week… in the US it’s Veterans Day this Friday.  Please take a moment to appreciate what the women and men of the military have done (and still do daily) to protect our way of life.  They are the true heroes.  Thank you.

LINKS of the WEEK

--  The Internet of Things is HOT… and also can be Hacked…yikes.

--  Seriously is there anything better than unexpected acts of kindness?

--  I never expected to be enthralled by a story on Beavers and dams.  Yet here I am.  Interesting!

VIDEO of the WEEK

Fuller House is coming back to NetFlix.  I really enjoyed the reboot, fun and light…. And thus here’s the trailer…


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Great Industry News, Great Websites & More

One of the bigger stories that came out of GlassBuild America was the co-locating of the GANA Fall Conference with GlassBuild in 2017.  The Fall Conference brings some crucial technical pieces to the forefront, along with other important industry news and updates.  Having it now integrated with the largest trade show in North America will surely open it up to more people who had never attended before, those that used to attend but scheduling prevented them from doing so, or additional members from a single company when normally a company would only send one person.  Moves like this are very good for the industry- we have so much out there education wise, but I think only a small percentage of people are taking advantage of it.  Hopefully with a wider base things like this and the newly re-launched MyGlassClass.com will reach the larger audience and we can continue to grow and prosper as an industry!

Elsewhere…

--  Speaking of education and growth, one group who I admire is the Efficient Window Collaborative.  I have written about them a few times here and I am fan.  Recently they launched an updated website, and it is absolutely fantastic.  Please check it out at http://www.efficientwindows.org and remember this too is a great training tool for your folks and resource for your customers.  Kudos to Kerry Haglund and team for a job well done!

--  Also on the website resource side, Mark Spencer of SAPA turned me on to www.Shapes.Al and it is a really interesting and helpful resource for all things aluminum.  They took an interesting approach with writing more feature like pieces than technical articles.  Lots of content and worth visiting.

--  The industry lost another long-time player last week with the passing of Tom Petersen.  Tom spent 46 years in the glazing world and was extremely well known and respected in the Missouri/Kansas region.  He will certainly be missed and condolences to his family and friends. 

--  Anyone else suffering on the health care costs side?  My monthly costs will now be 110% more per month than they were 3 years ago.  It really is an issue that has gotten lost in the absolute mess of the US election.

--  As you may have seen the Architectural Billings Index did decline again last month making it now into a mini-trend of 2 downers in a row.  The analysts think the election may have some bearing on that- I guess we’ll see.  Overall though the metrics out there are solid as Dodge did their annual outlook conference and from the reports I have seen, they are still bullish on 2017/2018.  I have been gathering those reports and will have some additional takes on that on next weeks post.

--  Last this week… amazingly this blog just celebrated its 11th anniversary.  Every time I note a milestone, I seriously get more blown away that I’m still plugging along and this thing is still alive.  Anyway I thank you for following along and putting up with me every week.  It still is my therapy and while my content has surely changed (I’m much more kind) I hope you can find at least a nugget or two worthwhile each week.    Thanks again for reading- I truly appreciate it!

LINKS of the WEEK

--  Thank you to Paul Wagner who left a comment on the Glass Magazine.com posting of this blog.  Really interesting stuff here on solar roadways…. These need to happen!

--  Man dressed as a pine tree.  Blocks traffic.  People have issues. 

--  Great story on the backgrounds of the old Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe debacle.  Company was brilliant in their handling!

VIDEO of the WEEK

If you happened to miss GlassBuild or you missed the video recaps- here’s Day 3.. a look back at a fun day and great show!