Tuesday, November 29, 2005

NFRC Meeting in Santa Fe/China

As I write this, the Fall meeting of the NFRC is going on in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The tough thing about trying to introduce other opinions on this group is that its last three major meetings have been in absolutely impossible and expensive locales. Hawaii, Quebec and now Santa Fe- one heck of a travel club eh?

Well amazingly despite their plans to have meetings in Asheville, NC and Alaska- the NFRC did change their meeting locations for next year- San Diego, Minnesota and Washington DC! So the hope is that with meetings in easier to access to cities we can get more people involved and engaged in the process.

Also on a side note, my column in the current US Glass is on China and their effect on our industry. I have gotten some super feedback so far, and for that I am thankful. You know on these issues that I lay out all my passion there's days I feel like I am screaming in the wind- so its nice when others feel similar.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

Always the best weekend of the year- 4 days filled with food and football- really what more could you ask for?

But on such a good weekend it is also time to reflect...

Many thanks to go around...

Thanks for the obvious- family, friends and co workers- without them, life is not as meaningful.

From an industry standpoint- thanks for people like the gang at US Glass- who support this industry without batting an eye.

Thanks to the primary glass manufacturers- while we all like to pick on them, they do come to market with good products with unmatched quality 99.9% of the time.

On that note, thanks for products like SN 68 (Guardian) , and OptiView (Pilkington) that are trendsetting and helpful to the industry.

Thanks to the NFRC, as if not for them, I'd be bored... ha ha but seriously they were created to serve a purpose and they did- on the residential side... (hey did ya think I could get through blog entry without mentioning them?)

All in all we have much t o be thankful for- with the exception of one state, the economy for our industry is solid- we have caring people and organizations and healthy competition. Believe me things can be much worse.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Check this out

Glaziers.... industry....

Check out this site: http://www.powrgrip.com/cgi-bin/powrgrip/glass_related_sites.html

Good resource!


Just got back from a visit to Denver to speak to the Colorado Glazing Contractors Association. (CGCA) Good people and very well run organization by Rebecca Kaspari. Rebecca used to work for US Glass and is married to Mark Kaspari of Agalite Shower Doors so she has a pretty solid knowledge of what make our industry tick.

Anyway, I spoke about green building and LEED. And yes I did mention the NFRC but avoided going into detail because when I start that it's hard to get me to stop. Green building practices make sense and I guess because of my opposition to some of the things that NFRC does people may think I am against energy efficiency and advancement. That could not be further from the truth. I want and we need better performing building and we need the tools to be able to deliver that- we just do not need extra validations and on site inspections that the NFRC wants to go with it.

LEED as it stands right now is not perfect- but it is a start- if anything it gives architects a roadmap and ideas to do things better.

By the way, Denver will be in the glass industry news quite a bit as they host the Glass Expo Rocky Mountain in January (which is starting to fill up nicely exhibitor wise) and GreenBuild from the USGBC next fall.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Just a note- I've gotten a couple of e-mails that asked if I'll be bummed if I don't get comments to the subjects and the debate is little. Well at worst this process is therapeutic for me. If there's constructive debate great... If not I still have an outlet to release to....

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Election Results

The election for the Board of the NFRC has now closed- hopefully we will see results on Monday.

There were some solid candidates who could start to make a difference on that board, but I have a feeling that they will probably be on the short end of the stick- but we will see.

I, along with others, made a ton of phone calls on behalf of Cliff Monroe- one of the candidates. Many of the people we talked to were very supportive of Cliff- the question is "Did they vote for him?"

Whether they did or not, all but 1 person we talked to believed that the Board needed new blood- so hopefully those wishes will be granted!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Welcome Again to the BLOG

As more people find this site, I want to re-welcome everyone.

As you will below, already have a few posts and more to follow. Currently the subject is what I consider to be the hottest in our industry right now- the NFRC's plans on rating commercial products.

Believe me, if you are taking the approach of "This will never happen to me" or "I never have to do any of those AAMA or GANA thingees" this is not the case. While AAMA and GANA are trade groups, the NFRC is not. They are designated by the US government as the SOLE provider of energy ratings. If they get this thing going, you will not be able to ignore it.

So dig in, learn, comment (you can post comments, questions etc- on every post if you wish at the bottom right of every post. You can be anonymous if you don't want to log in- it is seriously that simple.

constructive debate- information on hot topics- and keeping the glass and aluminum industry up to speed on the issues that will really affect them is the goal.

So join in the fun.

By the way- here is a link to a story about the debate I talk about in the post below:

Coming up, we'll also do a comparison of Press releases and news article to see where the "spin" is and I will break down the NFRC issue even more.

And yes I am all for talking on other subjects and will!
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Debate

Back from Boston, where I had the opportunity to debate Jim Benney, the Executive Director of the NFRC. Jim is a good, friendly guy, which made it more of a challenge to go after the things that are wrong with that group.
But I did, and for the most part I think the debate went well. The NFRC Board is the "be all-end all" and Jim admitted that. The NFRC is not a member driven group, so why we all try to develop a consensus and work to put "fair"programs in place is kind of odd considering at the end of the day it truly does not matter.
In the debate a few things fleshed out. I noted that a whole system calculation would be good for our industry, good for designers etc. However what is not needed is the additional validation and on site inspections that the NFRC wants. The NFRC feels like all of that is neccesary while most sane humans, and pretty much the entire audience at the debate did not.
In laymans terms, the industry would submit material to an NFRC certified "calculation agency" for performance numbers. But that would not be enough as the NFRC would want those numbers validated (EXTRA STEP= EXTRA COSTS) and a review either on site or at the glaziers office that the proper products were installed (EXTRA STEP=EXTRA COSTS).
Am I crazy?
Commercial building has steps already in place, legally binding contracts that ensure that the proper products are used. But hand it to the NFRC Board they created a perfect mouse trap here. They will ignore the simplicity and the advantages to go forward with their plan because they need the "validation" yet that whole philosophy is skewed too.
It comes down to the Board of the NFRC and a handful of members who really control the action and will make every effort to make these programs go. Why? Because those folks have a monetary stake in these processes. They have built businesses off of the sole existence of the NFRC and the programs that are created there. Every new rating system means more money for them.
As anyone who follows this debate knows, the NFRC is an IRS 501C3 organization. Somehow that designation makes them more powerful than anyone on the earth. They are a charity, Jim even compared them to the United Way. Yes the NFRC and the United Way are in the same classification for the most part. I wonder do board members at United Way create programs and have ultimate input to create programs within United Way to benefit themselves financially?

I can and will go on and on. I can not stand still and watch this industry get hammered by a group like this.