Sunday, April 29, 2018

Now on the Radar

A couple of very important stories not getting enough coverage are now hitting my radar.  They are the shortage of aluminum and CAL GWP measures in California.  I will cover CAL GWP next week as I am still learning more about it and I want to get feedback from the presentation at the NGA-GANA Annual Conference that covered it.  As for the aluminum situation, that one is real, very real.  This release from the AEC explains it in more detail… Bottom line is this thing is real and it is scary.  The shortage is already starting to affect the aluminum folks who manufacture storefront and curtain wall and obviously will trickle down to the installer community as well as this proceeds.  It certainly bears watching and as I get more information, I’ll surely pass it on.


--  It truly is now award season in the glass industry.  I mentioned a couple last week but the big one to get your nominations in on is the annual Glass Magazine awards. 
These honors are the best in the industry and I love the mix of categories for this year.  Innovation takes the lead role, as it should, in what the judges will be reviewing.  So I advise all of you to click the link and see what you have in your world that may fit.  And remember you can’t win if you don’t apply!

--  Time for the monthly Glass Magazine review… Interior glass focus this issue…Nice cover hot with material from CR Laurence.  Inside the Glass and Metals 301 guide to interiors was excellent.  Once again that approach provides such a tremendous resource.   I also really liked the approach Joe Bazzano took in his column on the tax cuts and jobs bill- again same theme of excellent resource.  Last and most important the coverage of the merge of GANA and NGA is well defined in an excellent piece by Bethany Stough.  This section that included some great pictures and timelines, clearly lays out what is going on in our world with such a monumental move.

--  Ad of the month…. Yet another challenging one to choose… but after going cover to cover several times to break down the candidates, I just couldn’t deliver a clear cut winner this month.  There were a lot of solid pieces but none to stand out… So I’ll save this choice and use it for a month when I want to name 2 winners…

--  AIA show is coming up in June and they are promoting it pretty extensively.  Recently they sent an e-mail blast out of the “Top 6” reasons to attend the show… #3 was “tour iconic architecture” which for sure in NYC is going to be good and AIA noted more 200 tours would be available.  So that said I can only imagine the effect that will have on a show floor that already struggles to get architects to the exhibits…

--  Great blog last week by Pete de Gorter.  If you did not see it- please check it out…

--  Last this week… One of my favorite subjects over the years has been the volatility of gas prices.  Well we are on the upswing again with the prices gaining on pretty much a daily basis.  Not good, personally or professionally with summer driving season and the busy summer deliveries for fabricators and glaziers.  Maybe we were spoiled by a few solid years of lower prices… but all I know is I am feeling the pain at the pump and its getting worse.


--  Can’t get service?  Grab the PA system!

--  I love Amazon- but no way do I want them delivering to mycar.  So odd.

--  I do love these stories of texts that end up working out. 


So I saw the Avengers-Infinity War and it was solid- it was probably the best of the Marvel releases to date since the original Iron Man.  Anyway speaking of those characters… this video from the Jimmy Fallon show was brilliant… a take off of the Brady Bunch… loved it

Sunday, April 22, 2018


13 years ago I decided to start a blog.  I wanted a place to vent and educate and be able to network with others. I launched in 2005 (when blogs were very rare) and started slowly- but then picked up and started to post every week- usually 48-50 times per year.  And now with this post, I have reached number 700.  Yes 700 posts covering subjects from my overall observations of the glass industry including: NFRC, China, Solar, Acquisitions, Bankruptcies, Trade Shows, Products, Codes and more.  I am amazed that this has lasted this long!   It is an absolute thrill to run into someone and they note they’ve read my blog.  So for those of you read my weekly, or read me once in every blue moon- thank you.  I truly appreciate the support and I look forward to blogging for many years to come!


--  One of my favorite subjects in those 700 posts was GlassBuild America.  Either previewing it, commenting on it, or noting during and after the show everyone I was lucky enough to run into.  So on that note, it makes sense for me to mention that registration for the 2018 show is now open as of the end of last week!  So you can go ahead and get registered and get your hotel and housing taken care of.  This show is going to be very strong this year.  The combination of last years effort being hampered by Irma (people unfortunately unable to attend) and an incredible line up of exhibitors (tremendous variety and continuing to grow each day!) means everything from top notch networking to incredible education and growth opportunities will be there for you September 12-14 in Las Vegas…

--  The Vanceva World of Colors contest… if you have a job that meets the parameters hurry and get that submission in by April 30th!

--  Speaking of job submissions for great awards… The Glass Magazine Reader Photo Contest is now open for submissions.  Every year the pictures get more interesting and intense and they are great to show how our industry operates.  Check out the link and if you have a greatshot- get it in!

--  So I noted last week I would be watching the latest release of the Architectural Billings Index closely.  And unfortunately the ratings, while still on the positive side were shaky compared to previous months and the political adventures with the tariffs were starting to have an effect.  Anxious is the word the experts are using and it will now bear watching if that anxiety finally pushes the index down to a negative level across the board next month. 

--  Last this week… The China Glass expo was last week and there were many from North America in attendance.  I was not since I am not sure if I would be allowed- but that’s another story for another time.  (Those of you saw me at GlassBuild in 2007 would probably know why) In any case I am curious to get feedback from those who were there to get a feel for the marketplace with regards to importing, the tariffs and the overall economic atmosphere.


An awful week for flying including the very sad instance on the Southwest flight where one woman passed away.  On that flight the oxygen masks- were a challenge for the passengers.  That simply should not be!

A warthog was running loose in city neighborhoods… in Florida. 

Mother nature teams up with the karma police…


I’m too old to understand what Coachella is and who the Yodle kid is- but evidently they got together this past week and it was awesome…

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Positive Momentum

The latest Dodge Momentum Index was recently released and March posted a strong result- especially on the commercial side.  That is welcome news since commercial had been lagging some.  I had previously mentioned some softness in the markets and hopefully between the optimistic metrics and maybe the weather breaking in the midwest and northeast we’ll be rolling strong for the rest of the year.  (As I write this we are under a winter storm warning and my friends in Minnesota have a FOOT of snow on the ground.  In mid April.  Ugh.) Anyway the next Architectural Billings Index is out on April 18th, so we’ll see what sort of detail we can glean from that one and continue to always monitor everything.


--  So I hinted to it last week that a deal was in the works in our industry and it happened with Coral Industries being sold to Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope.  I have always been a fan of Lewis McAllister and I am happy for him and his family.  Its great that the management team there will continue forward. Heck of year there in Alabama- the Tide wins the title and now this. 

--  I was thrilled to see my friend Danik Dancause get a promotion at Walker Glass.  Danik is one of the best guys around and extremely talented.  I have noted many times that his clothing tastes are easily one of the best in the industry.  Now with this promotion does Danik raise the bar style wise? Can’t wait to see what he breaks out at GlassBuild.

--  This was an interesting article on construction corruption in New York City.  Those who have done work in the city know it offers a ton of challenges on a lot of levels, but how deep the rest of those issues go were pretty well spelled out in this piece.  I have to think that the overbilling happens everywhere but New York just has so much more noise surrounding every major project that it surely attracts more of the negative element.

--  Sat in on an interesting webinar on building projects and the stress that comes from it.  The intriguing part for me was learning the pain points and then seeing what some of the ideas were to address them.  One of the main issues was late or incomplete design.  I know many glaziers deal with problems along these lines all the time and they are counted on to come through for all involved.  Anyway the keys for dealing with the problems hit a key theme that I have harped on… communication.  Basically when it came to the messaging the more focused and clear with regards to expectations, schedules and approaches the better.   Obvious but probably not done like needed.

--  Last this week…  I was researching an upcoming trade show and I was blown away at how many companies did not have a website.  It just amazed me that someone could be in business in 2018 (and be doing a decent sized trade show) and not have at least something up online.  I haven’t touched mine in years-but I still have something up there. Maybe I am just hypersensitive because I am a communication strategy guy... 


--  Robbing a pharmacy but getting quite the surprise in the drugs they stole!

--  We are huge Disney fans but this house for sale in Florida is over the top

--  The world is changing on jeans and denim. 


The perils of live TV….

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Design Trends

I am always studying trends and directions that our world will go into and when I come across lists that interest me I love to share them here.  This week I ran into a great piece on the TMD Studio blog that broke down where the future of design and architecture and of course I had some comments on the list of trends that included…

Collaboration- There is no doubt that this area is growing and the article did not mention integrated project delivery which is absolutely a growing movement.
VR & Immersive Architecture- VR and AR are both items that benefit design teams- as that technology grows, so will the usage.  Residential glass shops are already seeing value but costs are still very high to use.
BIM- Is this the future?  Isn’t here and hasn’t been here for a while?  The article does do a good job of explaining the situation here.
Parametric Architecture- This is intense and deep- too much for my little brain
Robots and 3D printers- To me this is best bet for massive usage in the future.  I believe we will see more robotics in our world in many different areas.
Internet of Spaces- I have heard of Internet of Things- but I can’t say I remember this concept and when I read more I just don’t see it… yet.
Vertical Cities- Isn’t New York a pro at this at this point?
Sustainability- It is listed as a trend, but I think its beyond a “trend” and more an accepted practice for most. 

If you are an architectural geek the whole article is very interesting, though in some areas it’s deeper than I like to go…. Still it is worth the discussion of where we are now and where we are going…


--  Speaking of items that fall under “trends’- there’s been a push for Timber as a curtain wall framing product.  It’s evidently popular in Europe.  However a job in Oregon that was going with wood all over the project instead of conventional products had a rough go recently with a floor collapse and halting of work.  This could surely slow momentum.

--  Last week I hit on the awesome map that Glass Magazine included in its latest issue- and it reminded me on the site  Tremendous site and if you are member of the NGA it is free with your membership…. 

--  Hearing rumblings of a couple of mid size glass company acquisitions in the industry- one on the eastern side of the country and one on the west.  I think we will see a few more of these sort of deals over the next 2 years with the way the industry landscape is lining up.  I don't see the major monster deals happening though.  See I just did it- watch, some massive deal will be announced tomorrow.  Ha Ha.  In any case with the economy showing some extra volatility it could move people off the fence and into “sell” mode.

--  Last this week- the musical artist Zedd did all of the design for his gigantic home and he used tons of glass throughout.  As an industry we really do make, fabricate, and install an awesome product. Take a look at what he did and obviously not only does he have musical skills but also he is not a bad designer either!


This is crazy.  Every day it seems like a public health story is in the news…

I actually had not heard about this story with Amazon locking people out.  Wow.

Any time a real life happening mimics  a storyline from Seinfeld, I am all in.


Ellen DeGeneres is always a fun one… and she looked back at some of her best pranks of the past…