Sunday, March 18, 2018

Next Round Of Codes

Last week’s mega blog on the BEC actually missed a few nuggets so I wanted to clean that up here.  There were some additional pieces that I found newsworthy.  As always Dr. Tom Culp provides an update with extreme value as does Urmilla Jokhu-Sowell.   First amongst the many nuggets from Tom was discussion on where the energy codes will go next… he listed 4 bullet points that I found relevant:

-- More high performance thermal breaks
-- More 4thsurface low-e, or triple glazing
-- More warm edge spacer
-- Lower SHGC triple silvers in the south

For some of us, the thought of these things are exciting and for some of us the thought in nauseating.  For those sick to their stomach, my advice is you have a bit of time to prep because it’s coming, so you may want to prep.  One thought I had is I wonder if moves like this will grow the Vacuum IG side in the commercial industry?  Regardless these are items to have on the radar.
Urmilla’s presentation did break down how much was going on in the tech side of NGA/GANA and with the merged group some things will certainly change, but what will not is the desire to make sure the items that affect our industry the most- serious ones- will be addressed.  I am excited to see how Urmilla and the technical side evolve and advance with the new set up.


--  I did run into Courtney Little of Ace Glass at BEC but found out after that he was just elected as President of American Subcontractors Association (ASA)- Courtney will be a great force there and he’s always been a tremendous person for insight for our industry.  Congrats Courtney and hope to still see you at glass events still even with your new responsibilities. 

--  Saw an interesting article  this week that was promoting the “Tesla of Housing.” Basically this was something compared to the groundbreaking like Tesla vehicle and features a contractor specifically focused on advancing the energy efficiency in the housing market. The approach noted is basically “passivhaus” which is not new but still very good and important.  Resistance in the US has always been pretty strong, since we love our “McMansions” so we’ll see if this developer can break that trend.

--  I do love the show Flip or Flop on HGTV though I do believe the pricing that they assign to things is usually woefully low.  Especially on shower enclosures.  (Please anyone who’s worked on that show with glass weigh in) I find it very interesting to get into the minds of the players.  And another show in that genre is “Fixer Upper” and from time to time Dustin Anderson of Anderson Glass plays a role.  In the new episode that aired last Tuesday, Dustin had to fabricate a huge glass wall and install it on the 3rd floor of an apartment building.  The wall was weight bearing as well and Dustin and his team had to move materials up the old fashioned way- through the stairwells!  Overall it was interesting to watch the players view what Dustin and his team did with amazement.  Glass and glazing is so cool and so many don’t realize it.  Kudos to Dustin for showing off what we do to the masses.

--  Last this week… my favorite show…The Americans returns for its final season on the 28th.  Lots of loose ends to tie up and I simply can’t wait!


Sometimes cool things happen from mistakes online and with texts.

Tracking of students by their ID cards- not surprised in the least

Wonderful.  A mystery disease is on the horizon. 


As mentioned above the final season of The Americans comes on March 28th.  Here’s the preview…

Sunday, March 11, 2018

BEC 2018 Recap

Well another great BEC Conference is now in the books and once again it was a major winner.   Like the many I have attended previously I left very fired up about what I learned and whom I got to meet and spend time with.  This year the attendee numbers were strong, more than 500 were there and they were active, either in the conference area or in the mini trade show spot.  This was the first year since those crazy pre-recession days that the numbers were that impressive. 

--  As for recapping there were a few things that stuck out.  The opening panel, that featured leaders from the design, manufacturing, installation, and contracting world was off the charts.  It could have easily taken up the entire morning session, especially with quite a few questions that were still waiting in the queue.  So lesson learned on the planning end- something that good, will need more time.  Tom Jackson, President of Steel Encounters did an absolutely fantastic job on the world of employee relations, culture, finding and retaining the workforce. He had one stat that I discussed with a lot of attendees and so I need to share here…

“95% of job candidates believe culture is more important than compensation”

--  That still blows me away but also shows I am old fashioned…. And speaking of old, the keynote (thanks to Guardian Glass and an inspired choice by Chris Dolan) was Jeff Havens and he provided an incredibly energetic and entertaining approach to generational differences in the workplace… old vs. young… and my gosh I am now officially old. 

--  Overall the presentations were excellent with a ton of different subjects to satisfy so much of what the modern glazing contractor or installer could need.  The technical meeting, chaired by the impressive Matt Kamper of Woodbridge Glass was interesting.  I always enjoy the ins and outs of it but the fact that NFRC was covered in detail cracked me up.  I have been in the NFRC mix since 2004!!  And we’re still talking about the same basic things.  Just incredible really. 

--  As always the networking makes the event. The Sunday night reception was awesome- the room was jam-packed and when the reception ended it was still busy with the hotel management trying several different moves to get people to clear out.  That is always the sign of a good party.  And yes I stayed til the end. (That never, ever happens if you know me.)

--  Before I run into whom I visited with, I have to give props to Gus Trupiano of AGC for leading this event as the chair of the BEC division.  Gus is not only an excellent and classy man, but he’s also a great leader who did the industry proud once again.  Kudos as well to Sara Neiswanger of GANA/NGA for her tireless work on this- she does so much behind the scenes, and does it with great care & skill.

--  As for the networking… it was fun to fly on a plane loaded with industry folks, poor Joe Erb of Quanex got stuck in the middle seat next to me for 4-1/2 hours.  He deserves a medal.  Plus the team from Guardian Glass was on board and I do sincerely enjoy chatting with them any chance I get.  Once in Vegas it was great to see Bill Sullivan of Brin Glass, he’s a tremendous supporter of the industry and it is appreciated.  In that same boat are people like Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP and Jon Kimberlain of Dow- I love what they do and getting a few minutes with each of them is a great honor for me. 

--  The talent on display at this event is really crazy- people like Gary McQueen of JE Berkowitz, Rob Carlson of Tristar, and Ian Patlin of Paragon are so impressive to me.  And my friend Shelly Farmer of Trex Commercial never disappoints, she’s always top of her game and doing great things.  It’s well known I am a fan of the Viracon guys, Garret Henson, Seth Madole, and Cameron Scripture- brilliant and good people too. 

--  I like meeting new people and learning new things too… It was great to meet Charles Alexander, the newest addition at Walker Glass (though saying goodbye to Marc Deschamps was VERY hard for me) and meeting Joffy Thompson and John Vissari of United Plate Glass was incredible.  Good, sharp guys for sure.  As for new things, I learned about the new, exciting unitized product from Kurt Levan and Joel Phelps of Entekk- that was very cool.  Best of luck to them.

--  Got to chat with Chris Knitter of Oahu Metal & Glazing for the first time in a few years and same with Maure Creager & Tim FInley of SAGE Glass  (Side note- SAGE has the coolest business cards- props to Derek Malmquist on that) I only see Tracy Robbins of Walters & Wolf at this event, and I am glad I always do, good guy!  Running into a former co-worker of mine Wardi Bisharat of PRL was fantastic- she rocks as always.

--  Any time I get with the great Rich Porayko is a blessing for me.  I got to tell the “how I met my wife” story to Bob Burkhammer of Giroux and his wonderful wife, and I spent some quality time with Bernard Lax of Pulp which I value a ton. 

--  The event was so huge I did not see a lot of people I wanted to see.  I barely saw Tim McGee of Glass Coatings and Concepts and I missed Tom O’Malley of Clover Architectural completely.  I so badly wanted to hear how great things are going for him, as I see Clover everywhere these days!  I also missed visiting with the Vitro folks and missed a few opportunities to catch up with old friend Tim Moore of Standard Bent.

--  So it’s now on to the next events… for me its most likely GlassBuild as I do not think I am attending AIA…. And I am very excited about GlassBuild based on the vibes just experienced at BEC.  We have a lot of positivity flowing in our industry right now, so let’s keep at it!


You don’t always get rewarded for doing something nice or right, (as that’s not why you do nice things) so it’s very neat to see when it does happen!

If any of you think you can be stealth and private?  Not a chance… everyone is watching.

Jury Duty needs… and if anyone wants to hear my classic jury duty story, just ask… it’s a favorite of mine…


I mentioned how energetic and entertaining the keynote was at BEC and found a quick video of him online… this gives you a flavor.  Good stuff!

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Covering the Bases

This week… I am in Las Vegas at BEC and I will have my review and wrap up on the event on my post next week.  With more than 500 people in attendance I truly expect some very interesting conversations and great insight into our world and as always I look forward to sharing some of my experiences here with you.

--  One person who is usually at BEC and won’t be here will be George Sultage of Vitro.  As I wrote a few weeks back, George is battling a health issue and can still surely use all positive thoughts and prayers.  We will miss you at the conference George and hang in there!

--  Economy wise it has been a pretty volatile since my last post.  The stock market had some terrible days and some less than cherry forecasts came out.  The possibilities of tariffs were openly discussed by the US and that was not accepted well by many.  In the meantime I point to a post from ITR Economics (you may remember them from having a yearly speaker at the Glazing Executives Forum) noting that 5 leading economic indicators are now trending lower and this came out before the stock market saw its declines. Add in some fears with regards to the homebuilders and the residential forecasts and quite frankly it was a skittish week.  Hopefully this week will be better, but is surely now more important to keep an eye on all of the metrics out there.

--  My good friend Marc Deschamps of Walker Glass announced his retirement and that is going to be a huge knowledge and personality loss to our industry.  Marc is a wonderful man who was extremely dedicated to his company and industry.  A tremendous volunteer, the amount of time he gave up to help push industry topics forward was amazing.  His departure will leave a hole in a lot of efforts that is for sure. Personally, I am really going to miss seeing him and his awesome suits and style at the various glass industry events.  Best of luck and fortune to you Marc and ENJOY retirement my friend…. You earned it!

--  Recently I wrote on licensing and certification and I got a few questions on the process and the organization.  A very good overview handout is here.

--  Also this week a pal of mine called to ask me about the Silica Rule via OSHA.  It is real folks and as frustrating as can be.  Glass Magazine has written some excellent pieces about it and in case you missed it you can click here and here.

--  Last this week…. I have one kid in college and one about to go in the fall.  So I had to laugh when I was told about a major being offered at Northern Michigan University.  It is in Marijuana.  Yup.  But it’s not as easy as it sounds… interesting story and will be fascinatingto see how this takes off.


I love it when justice works out!

Bizarre and brilliant!

More bizarre stuff and frightening


This is crazy cool.  It is a mash-up of the 2 amazingly different songs into one and it works incredibly well.  I am a fan of both songs; so hearing it this way blew me away…  good creative stuff.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Forecasting Volatility

I study a ton of forecasting data.  Some of it I can easily understand and some has me in an utter state of confusion.  Right now we are in one of those times where the forecasting details may not be matching reality- both good and bad.  Some regions in North America are exceeding what was predicted and some are falling short.   So it’s been a tough one to get straight.  Somewhat following that theme, this week I found an interesting release from Dodge Data and Analytics that looked at commercial starts in 2017 vs. what happened in 2016.  The immediate surprise for me was the New York region- so amazingly hot for many in our world, was down again in 2017 vs. 2016 and way off of the 2015 results.  Also down in ’17 vs. ‘16 were Los Angeles, Dallas, DC, and Miami.  All of those markets have been booming.  Among the up in 2017 were San Francisco, Philadelphia, Orlando, Austin, and San Diego.  What does this mean?  Well starts usually do not affect our work until a year later or longer- so possibly could this be a signal of things to come in those markets or a reason why for some folks out there its been very inconsistent business wise.  The whole piece is worth the read….


--  And while we are looking at the forecasts… the month Architectural Billings Index continues to be incredible.  The January performance was the best January showing since 2007.  3 of the 4 regions looked at were very strong with the Northeast lagging behind.  I will admit when I see comparisons to 2007, I do start to sweat some, as it wasn’t too long after those amazing days in 2007 that the bottom fell out.  I am not saying it is happening here, but it surely gives me pause.

--  BEC is kicking off this coming weekend and it looks like more than 500 people will be there.  I am looking forward to catching up with friends, networking, and learning about what’s new, exciting, and hot in streets these days.  Obviously I’ll be reporting back here and posting on twitter.  If you are attending I look forward to seeing you!

--  The GANA-NGA merger is done and I was very impressed by the video message that NGA President and CEO Nicole Harris released recently.  It is a quick piece where she outlined her thoughts on the deal and I love the use of the video medium, it is a great way to continue to reach additional audiences. 

--  Two Amazon related items to end the week…. First I went into a “Whole Foods” for the first time in many many years.  When you have my body and eating habits that is not a place to frequent… in any case I was blown away at the amount of specialty foods available and the costs of them.  Now I know why a buddy of mine calls that place “Whole Paycheck”
Also the news surrounding the new Amazon HQ 2 continues with word that the new betting favorite is Dallas.  From the start I have been on Dallas and Atlanta as the choices, so we’ll see if that happens, but supposedly there was a major spike in housing searches in Dallas from people in Seattle… so that set the rumors on fire…


This is a very interesting article on “forgetting how toread” and quite frankly I fall in to that category.  It’s a struggle now…

For my marketing friends… the sponsorship drain from the Olympics.  I think we all go through the same thing in evaluating spends in our world as well.

I don’t have any idea what to make of this.. so I’ll just leave this link here.


Did you see and hear pop singer Fergie trying to sing the National Anthem at the NBA All Star game last week?  If not here it is….  And its rough.