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….

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 Top Trends

We’re off and running into 2017 and aside from a rocky weather start in many parts of North America, it’s been pretty quiet overall.  So with that in mind it’s time to take a look at my fearless predictions for the coming year with regards to trends in our industry.  Here goes…

More Unitized.  The growth of the unitized curtain wall process will be significant.  This has been a growing segment over the last few years and in 2017 it will take another step forward.  And this is a trend that is not going to burn out thanks to significant labor shortages in the field.  In addition more and more unitized systems are performing at incredible levels energy wise- making them extra attractive to building owners and designers.

Net Zero.  Even with the political winds shifting in the United States, the desire and charge to still build with energy efficiency and sustainability is very strong.  Building to a Net Zero performance is actually accomplishing more than if you went through some “green” rating system and more and more people are realizing that. 

Security.  Again.  As I noted last week, this was on my list for 2016 and I am putting it back on for 2017.  It’s unfortunate that as a world we have to think this way but it’s reality.  I am seeing more security product options available hitting different application needs and that too makes this an area to follow.

Deals and Acquisitions.  Considering that at least 2 major deals that I expected to hit at the end of 2016 haven’t happened yet, this could be an easy prediction for me when they hit this year.  But even aside from that there are still a lot of people looking to buy and sell right now as well as companies looking to diversify through acquisition.  All of that makes it ripe for a big deal year.

New Social Push.  A fun one to end it.  At this point mostly everyone is familiar with the basic social outlets like Facebook and Twitter.  Some people love them and some not. (Example- I loved following Matt Hale of Global Glass on Facebook as he flew to and worked around China this week.)   However the freshest outlets going right now are podcasts, periscope, and Facebook live.  These take the communication level to the next step.  As I noted a few weeks ago John Wheaton has done a great job pushing his periscope approach, and kudos to the folks at GCI Consultants who launched a podcast program.  I have always harped on communication and these new outlets are just another way to educate, inform, and promote.

So there you go… It’s shaping up to be a great year overall and I am looking forward to everything that happens in our industry and covering it here!


We had three big industry moves personnel wise to start the year-featuring three of the most talented people in our world. 

--   First Dr. Helen Sanders joined Technoform.  I have written about Helen a lot over the years- she’s been brilliant representative of our industry at the code and trade level and a massive credit to the dynamic glass segment.  She’ll continue to do great things at Technoform.  I need to note that even with Helen leaving Sage they are still in fantastic shape talent wise and I am confident they will continue to be an industry leader and supporter. 

--   Next was my pal Scott Goodman joining Aldora.  Scott is a relentless sales professional and my respect for him is deep.  He’s a great hire and he will be a force to be reckoned with in his territory. 

--  Last a major coup for the folks at Guardian with the tremendous addition of Darijo Babic.  Anyone who knows Darijo likes him and absolutely respects his skill and passion for his work.  He represents our industry very well at the architectural level and will do fantastic things for Guardian in that regard. 

Congratulations to all three of you and to your new companies for bringing you on.

--   Obviously in the United States later this week will start a new adventure- I will be most curious on what happens with the health care system.  Right now that may be the most frustrating thing going.  But we’ll see how that and all else goes as we begin with a new administration in power.

--  Last this week… I am pushing off the Glass Magazine review to next post- I know my audience and if I start flying past 700+ words I’ll lose you…. So we’ll hit that and much more next time out!


I love movies and I love creativity.  But a live action remake of “Dumbo” is just not cutting it for me.

I talked about social media above and it’s place in the world. Now the twitter account of the fast food restaurant Wendy’s isblistering folks.  And it’s comical.

Truly and creepy and bizarre story. I just don’t get our world sometimes….


“The Founder” comes out this Friday and I am hoping to see it then or over the weekend.  It is the story of Ray Kroc and his building of the McDonalds empire.  I have read the book on this and read a ton of other materials on it, so I am really curious to see it portrayed on the big screen and if Hollywood takes creative license… here’s the latest trailer.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Quick Note

No new post this week.... next week I'll my predictions for 2017 along with a lot of other stuff including reaction to some of the incredible personnel moves in the industry.  Have a good week!!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a great holiday season and you are ready to roll into a very exciting year ahead!  But before we look forward into 2017, it’s time to look back at 2016 and see how everything shook out with regards to my predictions at the front of the year.  I made 5 predictions and I don’t believe I was far off…

#1 - Go Big or Go Home.  – The fact that I was talking about the trend of going bigger and that it was not ending anytime soon.  Well with Guardian and Vitro putting in jumbo coaters (and Viracon which announced last year) and more oversize coming from all parts of the world, I’d say this was dead on. 

#2-  Security Focused- I talked about the need for security glazing.  It did not take off like I thought it would but by no means do I think this area was a dud.  I’d give myself ½ credit here and quite frankly I think I may put this on the 2017 list too. 

#3-  Greenfielding is back and new players emerge.  The new players emerging were surely a trend in 2016, but only a few greenfields and I was shocked that very few established fabricators did it.  Plus none of the bigger folks from overseas jumped in yet with facilities in North America.  They may still do it by acquisition or wait until the American dollar value changes.  This is a failed call by me at this point.

#4- Codes and Certifications.  No major issues on the code side thanks to a mellow year but also tremendous work by those who represent us at that level.  (Visit my MVP articles to see those names.)  However the certification side did get its feet down, and the work and advancement from groups like the NACC cannot be denied.

#5- More focus on birds- This was on the list in 2015 as well and the focus without a doubt continued to grow.  While there are still too many new buildings being built without bird protection in mind, many more are.  With more products than ever available, I believe this is an area of concern that will continue to be addressed and the usage of the right design and products utilized.

So overall not that bad- surely better than my sports predictions (sorry Panther and Bengal fans!)  Next week I will have my predictions for 2017…


--  The new year has begun and somewhat shockingly to me a few of the deals that I was told that will be done by year-end, still are not complete.  So I guess we’ll see if the 1st quarter breaks anything loose on that front. 

--  The Sota/Apogee deal that closed right after my last blog of 2016 is a good one for both sides and surely is a great addition to the already powerful Apogee group of companies.

--  The November Architectural Billings Index hit positive levels again with 50.6.  That is basically unchanged from the previous month.  The interesting news was new project inquiries were up sharply to 59.5.  That’s an area to watch, as with a new presidential administration this would be the first area to see any change- positive or negative.

--  Congrats to good friend and excellent rep Margaret Brune- she continues to land excellent clients, most recently curtain wall manufacturer FreMarq Innovations.  Good match of talent there and good to see!

--  Last this week- the coolest buildings of 2016 according tothe folks at Construct Connect.  4 of the 5 are on North American soil- which I am not sure has happened a lot in recent years.  Take a look and if you had anything to do with these amazing structures drop me a line!  Would love to give you proper credit for being involved in something so “cool.”

Next week- predictions for 2017, Glass Magazine issue review, a great video and more!


This cracks me up… plane load of people drinks the trip dry!

My alma mater is mentioned in this article on “Jerry Maguire” and being a sports agent.  Interesting piece- and being an agent of any kind- not an easy gig.

I’m not a big fan of BuzzFeed but this list of things we were doing in the 90’s vs now is classic.


Well here it is… the end of 2016… so the final video of the year?  Funniest live TV bloopers of the year.  Enjoy…