Sunday, February 28, 2016

Must Have Resource

Over the last 2 weeks an amazing resource was released.  One that I think is a must to have bookmarked for future use especially considering the adventures of supply.  The National Glass Association and Glass Magazine launched the very slick website and it’s appearance only can continue to help with the information and communication flow in our industry.  I advise you if you have not checked it out to do so and consider a subscription to stay fully up to date.  Congrats to the folks at NGA and Glass Magazine on this excellent proactive piece.


--  Monitoring the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) as always… the latest scores for January were slightly off coming in at 49.6.  (50 is the break even).  New product inquiries also were down from December.  The good news was a nice bounce out of the northeast, and the fact that January historically has had softer numbers.  I am not worried on 2016 at all at this point and will be watching the February totals on both the ABI and the Dodge Momentum Index for any signs of true weakness.

--  Speaking of 2016, Glass Magazine had a great article in the most recent edition on the potential growth in our industry.  If you have not seen it, check it out here.

--  Actually that entire issue of Glass Magazine is loaded.  Great articles on:

  • The energy code adventures in Florida
  • Structural Glass (which is a VERY hot product area right now)
  • Tips to avoid labor shortage issues- which obviously is a major deal in our world these day.
Next week I’ll hit you with my favorite ad from that issue as well…

--  I have written a few times on here about the difficulty we have as an industry finding project managers.  I do think I have another position that can rival that.  CAD Technician.  Looking on various job boards and the need for CAD people both in our industry and out are really mind blowing.  On that note it is good to see many high schools (including where my kids attend) offering 4 years of CAD classes as this surely looks like an area the world needs.   Maybe though we can get schools to offer glass and glazing project management to help on that problem too!

--  More industry meetings this week with IGMA and GANA having technical conferences in California.  I am unable to attend, but will follow along online as much as possible.  It’s at these conferences where much of the heavy lifting happens with regards to standards and guidelines in the glass and glazing industry.  So keeping tabs on it is very important.

--  Last this week; I was reviewing a residential interior design site and looking at some of the projects that they felt were best in the past year.  The one thing that stood out to me was the amount glass that was used- specifically decorative glass used as counter tops, wall cladding, and backsplashes.  Decorative glass has been growing on the exterior quite a bit and being used in more and more commercial interior applications but the residential application is looking like a very hot area and one where more and more glass can be used in place of other building products. 

 LINKS of the WEEK

--  Story that could be sad but swerves into the comical
--  I am not a big Facebook user but this piece helps explain some of the new additions to the site.  By the way, you can now “love” a post…

--  I ran this story a few weeks ago, and this is a wonderful update to it!


Anyone watching “The People vs OJ Simpson” on FX?  It’s been decent- though I think when it comes to that case I’ll watch and read anything.  This week- fun video from that series of David Schwimmer playing Robert Kardashian and saying “Juice” over and over…. Oh and by the way- the Kardashians have played an interesting role in this whole mini-series so far…

Monday, February 22, 2016

Wire Update and BEC Recap

Before I get into the BEC recap and rundown, one big follow up from last week.  I wrote on the wire glass situation in Canada and had a feeling that there had to be more to it.  And it turns out there is.  Thanks to Thom Zaremba, I was updated that the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) has already published for public comment a new, draft safety-glazing standard.  The website with the review can be found HERE and the public comment period ends next month- so obviously if you have an interest in this issue, taking some time to review and comment is a must. 


So BEC 2016 kicked and as always here are my highlights…. 

--  The opening reception from Viracon was jam packed, the room was a bit tough to work being a long rectangle, but still a nice event.

--  The State of the industry speech via Serge Martin of AGC had plenty of interesting takes, but a big part of his piece was collaboration with suppliers to make sure everyone can get supply.  That’s something I have hit on here many times.

--  The panel on oversize glass was very strong as was the presentation by architect Kai-uwe Bergmann.  I was also pleased with Dr. Tom Culp and Urmilla Sowell as they covered the crucial code and tech subjects.  Overall lots of insight and if you want to really get a fast flavor of it- go check out the twitter feed of @GlassMag- Katy Devlin was her usual off the charts self with amazing social coverage.

--  Of course no industry event would be complete without my usual “seen and met” part of the blog.  I usually only get to see people like this twice a year- BEC and GlassBuild America- and I love it.  (Though the people who see me… not so much! Ha Ha) So here goes…

--  Ended up on same plane out to Vegas with Chris “Megatron” Dolan of Guardian.  He’s still earning that nickname by doing it all.  And I’m glad I saw him on the plane, once the show started, didn’t get to see him the rest of the way.   I was very excited to see my old friend Shelly Farmer- she just landed a great gig with SC Railing.  That’s a good match of person and company for sure.  I was happy to meet Brian Filipiak of Alliance Glazing- nice guy, and his company has a great twitter feed.  While with Brian I ran into the Hollywood poster boy Viracon’s Cameron Scripture.  Such a good man, and still looks exactly the same as he did from when I met him probably 10 years ago. 

--  Catching up with Kelly Schuller of Viracon was awesome as well.  My trip was improved because I spent time with three different Steves… Martin (OCBE) LeBlanc (Contract Glaziers) and Cohen (PPG) excellent gentlemen all. 

--  I really love the younger folks that are becoming a presence at these events.  That is important for the industry.  So spending a few minutes with the sharp couple Lindsay and Dustin Price was super, as well as meeting Mike Macurak of DM Products.  In addition Tim Mackin from DM was there and he wins the award for best dressed on night 1. 

--  The classy industry folks were out in force as well with folks like Max Hals and Ian Patlin of Paragon, as well as Tom O’Malley from Clover Architectural, and James Wright from Glass Coatings & Concepts.  Talking with them is always uplifting.

--  Old friends are always great- I have not seen Bob Cummings of Hartung in years.  He’s another guy who refuses to age.  Same with Joe Carlos of Triview, Gus Trupiano, and my old Ohio U buddy Rodger Ruff of AGC.

--  Missed- Heard unfortunately that Ruby Singh of GlassFab had to cancel.  That was a bummer for me- extremely nice man.  I also was bummed I never ran into Felix Munson of Anchor Ventana.  Great person who I’ll have to catch up with soon.

--  Last- a congrats to Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning- he did a great job with yet another conference and his care for the industry is true.


TV Movie in the works for this one for sure!

This story is only one paragraph but absolutely hilarious.

As a father of a child with severe food allergies, this story infuriates me- and the comments, defending the writer are even worse.  She made a mistake, but shouldn’t be given a pat on the back. 


I posted this on twitter over the weekend.. Kobe Bryant dislocates a finger and the trainer takes care of it… quick….

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Wire Glass Back In the Spotlight

The issue of wire glass usage in safety areas in the United States was once a major story.  But over time codes changed, different products became more available, and just overall information on where and how to use traditional wire glass was abundant and respected.  I actually thought this was the case in Canada too, so I was taken aback when I saw the news coverage from the Canadian TV news show 16X9 showing some frightening issues from structures in Canadian schools using wire glass (full gigantic pieces no less) in dangerous areas.   It’s a pretty sobering piece and one I am sure has “the other side of the story” to it as well.  Regardless it’s frustrating that in some cases, according to the video, nothing is being done to improve the situation.

--  The Dodge Momentum Index went higher in January 2.4% overall.  Commercial was +1.6% and Institutional +3.3%.  So a nice start to the year for that index.  The latest ABI will be out end of next week.

--  Speaking of next week, the annual BEC event is in Las Vegas starting Sunday and running through midday Tuesday.  So my post next week will feature some flavor from the event and of course the who’s who from all that attended.  I’ll also do some live tweeting and I would expect you’d see great social coverage from @GlassMag as well.  So if you can’t attend, you’ll be up to speed no matter what.

--  One of my favorite contests ever is seeking nominations for its 2016 edition.  The Eastman Vanceva® World of Color Awards™ is back once again.  I love this contest and the amazing projects that get recognized.  For more information on submitting your project- click HERE.  Some day I will be a judge for a contest like this….

--  Did anyone else see this link that my friend Ted Bleecker tweeted out this week?  It’s pretty much the toughest look at glass usage in buildings you will ever read.  Wow. 

--  Question for those presenters out there… how many of you use the “Prezi” format for your powerpoint style presentations?  And do you like it?  Feel free to comment or just drop me a line.  My kids use it all the time and I have done a couple, but curious if it’s growing in our industry.

--  The Super Bowl was fun- happy for friends like Marty Richardson of Metropolitan Glass in Denver who saw their team win… and once again my online pick here went the opposite.  Sorry Panther fans.  The ads were just OK.  I was surely confused why Advil needed to take an ad out and somewhat frustrated by 3 different pharmaceutical ads.  That was 15 million+ right there.  No wonder our prescription costs are through the roof.  But anyway for creativity some winners in my book… T-Mobile was clutch using Steve Harvey in the same role of his disaster from Miss Universe and rap star Drake in a front running role.  Well done.  I loved the Doritos baby commercial though many online did not.  My winner though was the commercial for Avocados from Mexico.  Smart, funny, and creative.  The best visual and line too- with the line of “this was a form of torture in the 21st century” and showing people on a cramped airplane.  Perfect. 


--  Leo Messi- best soccer player in the world and also very cool guy.

--  I have written here about Martin Shkreli before but before you read the link, check out this PERFECT line from a Facebook commenter on him:

Behold, the Chosen One: capable of uniting Democrats and Republicans, Jews and Muslims, vegans and bacon, Star Wars and Star Trek, Xbox and PlayStation, iPhone and Android, dogs and mailmen--all under the banner of 'Screw that guy!'

 --  Sad story here and confusing too.  Odd mix or health and not health.


Could this be the best dunk ever in the NBA Dunk Contest?  Insane!!

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Glass In Schools

This week a really interesting debate popped up over the usage of glass on the interiors of a new elementary school in Boulder, Colorado.  The issue at hand was that the design is calling for a very open floor plan (which as we know is very popular these days in business structures) and some believe that would potentially put the children at extra risk if there were a school attack.  I struggle with this on many levels.  First... the protection of the children needs to happen from the exterior entrances.  Once someone with evil intent enters any structure any layout could be exploited.  There have been great strides with exterior protective systems specifically for schools (Childgard via Global Security Glazing is one I am familiar with) and more designers are laying out the entrances of schools with attacks in mind.  Another other issue is the “living in fear” factor.  Shouldn’t we want the best possible educational environment for our children?  So if this is it, then we should not penalize them by forcing the kids into thoughtless, boring shelter like structures.  If we want to keep them safe we need to do it in other ways. The glass on the interior can be beefed up to offer extra protection, but obviously if someone gets through the doors and wants to do harm, nothing will stop them.  Regardless I hope this school moves forward and does what it needs to in meeting the educational and safety needs of its students.  By the way this story should give pause to the glass industry that our product is once again looked at as the weak link in the building.  That too is not good.


--  A hearty congrats to old friend Scott Hoover after he signed on with Solaria as their VP of Sales, Building Solutions for North America.  I was not at all familiar with Solaria but after digging into it I am excited for Scott and for what this company will bring to the industry space.  As everyone who reads this knows I am a big supporter of advanced technology, so I’ll surely be rooting for success here. 

--  Speaking of things I have been hitting on, the North American Contractor Certification (NACC) organization released a new Program Procedure Guide.  This new document is helpful in understanding the process and requirements for this important industry program.  Check it out HERE.

--  Fun visual of the week?  Tweets from Brian Savage of Viracon.  He tweeted the following pictures before a blizzard rolled in and then halfway through the blizzard

And you know those Minnesota people are tough, blizzard rolls in and they still work their entire shifts- no rushing home for them!

--  Friend of the blog and all around good guy Joe Carlos of Triview Glass sent me a wild link.  This story on a Burger King having all of its windows broken is one to check out.  After I watched it, my thoughts were surely that a glass company needing some business was behind it!

--  Next week I’ll have my Super Bowl commercial thoughts.  I am sure you can’t wait for that! 

Last this week; my favorite airport rankings brought a lot of discussion and other options.  A major thank you to everyone who reached out via Twitter, comments, and e-mail.  Some of the airports that came up in the various discussions…

Raleigh-Durham- I do like this airport, agree for a mid sized one its good.
Minnesota-St. Paul- A few hit me on this and it probably should be in the top discussion.  It’s gigantic but it does have tons of amenities/option and I totally forgot about that. 
Flint- Flown out of there many times- easy airport to work through, though food options are a bit light for me.
Portland, OR- For me it’s decent- nice open concourse but not top 5 worthy.
San Jose, CA- I have never been through there, I assume it has to be better than going through SFO or Oakland if you are going to that region.
John Wayne-Orange County, CA- Been awhile since I have flown through there.
Denver- I have never been a fan; to me it’s always cramped, and not great options.  Plus for some reason I always lose the rental car battle there- in the winter, all that’s ever available are rear wheel drive cars.  In the summer, giant SUV’s. 
Hopefully I’ll hit some new and different airports this year and we’ll look at this again in 2017.


Did you have or attend a Super Bowl party?  If so, you may be at extra risk for the flu!

I can’t believe Amazon is actually going to have retail stores.  Makes zero sense to me.

The Burger King Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger.  I am absolutely sure it’s good for your diet!


Young man plays a high school hockey game just hours after his dad passes away… and scores the winning goal in overtime.  Got chills just typing it, teared up while watching it.