Sunday, May 27, 2018

Nuggets from the past week

This week I am going to a quick hits version of my blog.  There are a lot of subjects to cover quickly without one main story.  So here goes…

--  Have you seen the design for he new arena being planned forLas Vegas?  The MGM Sphere is the project and it looks like something from a futuristic video game… and I wonder how closely they are working with the glass world on the design because this thing is interesting.

--  The Architectural Billings Index keeps trucking along with its 7th straight positive month and up a point from March.  The overall metrics continue to be trending up but the ABI noted this time that inflation is becoming a concern and the potential/current tariffs would only add pressure to that.   Obviously that is an area to monitor.

--  It is the start of hurricane season next week, but this week we already had some major tropical disturbances.  This has the make up of a very scary year ahead.  Let’s hope for the best here.

A few items from last week to complete…

--  In the May edition of Glass Magazine I forgot to mention the business card feature on the back page.  I think no matter how mobile and online we get, the good ole business card will survive.  But as the story showed, to stand out you need to come with some different looks & styles.  Kudos to those mentioned.

--  I wrote on Regenerative Design and I noted that this was intense subject matter that was beyond me.  So I was genuinely thrilled and honored that Mic Patterson reached out and wrote to me on it.  Mic is incredible and his insights and knowledge along with his desire to educate our world is truly something to cherish.  He explained to me that sustainable and regenerative are complimentary of each other and round each other out.  So basically I tool it as the building world just adding more mud to the waters with a different definition for the same/similar approach.  This line from his e-mail did for me:

All it does is confuse people and move us further from the vital benefit of converging on a shared understanding of what sustainability really is.

And that nails it for me… But I will tell you there is so much to learn and then so much to teach our other stakeholders out there in trying to truly do right by our environment.  Thank you Mic for the insight!

--  I also mentioned my new interview series- “The Big 3” where I am asking 3 questions to different folks in our world.  I have picked out 11 people so far to get me through the summer.  I am pretty pumped.  Again some of the folks you will easily know, others are not in the spotlight or industry news as often.  And my first interview I thought I knew really well but his answers really surprised me.  I am so excited to get this going with the debut next week.

--  Last this week… Architectural Binders…. Are they now finally a thing of the past?  For years I would get into heavy debates with the architectural salespeople at my companies/clients on the need for the big binder. And for years I would hear they are still needed, still valuable.  But lately I am hearing that need of the past is finally going away… so curious if those of you architectural salespeople are seeing it that way or are we still passing those big binders out?  E-mail me and let me know.


A pig following you home from the station… for real….

You probably saw this one… the 30 year old being sued by his parents to get out of their house. 

AI and facial recognition technology is unreal!


This went from a beetle to something huge really fast- I am glad it is on video and not anywhere near me. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sustainable vs. Regenerative

I saw a pretty interesting piece this week with regards to following a sustainability path or a regenerative one.  In all honesty I think this is the first time I have ever seen the word regenerative so digging into this was new to me.  The basic premise is that sustainable building practices can’t go the distance and that a change in thinking is needed.  I am honestly not smart enough to wade anywhere near that argument, I just want to be a part of what is best for our world going forward and I am already a fan of some of the techniques mentioned (like Zero Net) so maybe this needs to be a larger part of the overall environmental discussion?  In any case check out the article and let me know what you think…


--  By the way speaking of sustainable and the green building world- anyone care to guess how many standards and rating systems there are out there now?  I recently saw a list that had 12….wild.

--  Monthly Glass Magazine review time…  Are you thinking about going to glasstec?  If so make sure you check out the excellent pieces from Olivia Parker on the event.  In addition Wendy Vardaman did a fabulous job on high-end door and entrance hardware- that is a very hot segment and she covered the story perfectly.  And as always there’s trends pieces that cannot be missed- this month John Wheaton with the Top 10 in the curtain wall world.  Seriously well done- but I am biased with John- I think he could just string random letters together and I’d love it.  All in all make sure you check out the entire issue!

--  After taking last month off with my best ad kudos, I am back this month with 2.  Kawneer is back in the spotlight (I have noted them before) with their inside cover piece focused on education.  Loved the graphic design of it- very eye catching.  The other was a slim, smart ad from Vicone High Performance Rubber.  Just a very simple approach that worked- made me stop and read.  Well done!  

--  Normally I would put this in the link section but its too interesting to not call out here…  It is an article I had saved to read from 2015 (yes I am way behind, my instapaper account is overflowing) and it’s on the first digital camera.  It’s a great read but also comes with a lesson… you may be loaded right now with work but if you are not paying attention to trends and also looking to diversify, you could end up seeing the world pass you by…

--  Follow up from last week… I got great insights from several people on “Cheerwine” including an offer to send me some! (Thank you!)  So now when I head to Virginia or the Carolina’s I am going to take it in and give it a shot.  I appreciate everyone for taking the time to reply to me on it.  I’ll have to post a shot of me drinking it and a review when that happens.

--  Last this week… starting in June I am kicking off a new segment here to the blog…  It’s called the “Big 3” and it will be 3 questions to various people in and around the glass and glazing industry.  Some of the folks interviewed will be old time friends, but also some will be people I don’t know until I get the chance to interview them.  I have a list of folks I am going to approach and it will cover all different areas of our world- from sales reps, to management, to technical and in every channel we have.  I’m excited about it and quite frankly think it will add a fresh coat of paint to this blog.  It won’t be every week but enough to infuse some energy here and also give you different insights.  So stay tuned- and keep an eye on your e-mails as I may be asking you!


You usually see movies like this- impersonating a high school student

The Vape trend is just scary to me on a lot of levels, one of which being the dangerous way it’s delivered.


If you can get past the kids on here over-acting- it’s a good piece on them trying favorite kids snacks from the 90’s.  Though Pez was surely not the 90’s! I loved them….

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Growth Areas

Twice a year a very interesting webinar takes place featuring the top analysts from the construction, architecture, and contractor world.  Usually I report on the typical details including the pace of predictions and what the overall expectations will be  from the market.  But this time I wanted to focus in one area of commercial building space that could be a hidden champion moving forward.  Renovation & Remodel.  If I understood the panelist correctly the retail space is ripe for renovation because of the amount of store closings out there and that’s pushing the space into mixed use buildings.  Obviously that needs renovation.  Also office growth is strongest in one area- urban renovation-  as the trend of the suburban office park looks to be a thing of the past.  Last hotels are pretty saturated and now facing stiff competition from outsourcing players like Airbnb, they’ll need to update and remodel to at least stem that tide of defections.  So bottom line?  New construction may still be out there- but don’t sleep on the reno side…


--  Speaking of all that- airport construction is poised for serious growth.  The infrastructure of so many airports has been stretched to the limit that finally money is coming through to help.  Good article here breaks it all down…  

--  My twitter feed reminded me that GlassBuild America opens in 4 months...  Get yourself registered and book the hotel.  

--  It was super to see Sam Hill of Oak Cliff Mirror & Glass be honored by the Texas Glass Association (TGA) this week.  Sam is one of the good guys in our world (as is Felix Munson who is the current President of the TGA) so it’s awesome to see his work and efforts appreciated!

--  As I do from time to time here I review new website launches and I love to do so.  Technology allows us to do so much more these days.  So that said kudos to Intermac on their new site. Strong, smart site that checks the two major boxes- it looks fabulous and it’s easy to get around.  I can’t tell you how many sites I run into where the design is breathtaking but trying to navigate it is miserable.  Nice work here by the team at Intermac for making it user friendly and memorable.

--  So California will now require solar panels on all new homes.  Which makes me wonder when there will be moves to do more with regards to renewable energy or Net Zero on commercial structures.  Keeping in mind one of the main issues with energy loss in this country still remains with the old inventory.  Until those buildings can be addressed and then improved, all we are doing is treading water.

--  I have been in the southern part of the US twice over the last few weeks and I keep seeing this soft drink (assuming that it is a soft drink its with the Cokes and Pepsi in the store fridge) called “Cheerwine”  - anyone know what it is?  I am curious what the taste is?  I almost grabbed one thinking it was my all time favorite Diet Dr. Pepper…

--  Last this week… Like many of you I am a road warrior… and I always like to see different hotels, their layouts and approaches etc.  Well this list of the top 5 “green” hotels is very cool but I doubt my travels will ever take me to any of them.


When I first saw this video I seriously thought it was a clip from Titanic.

This takes the cake for bizarre divorce story.

Nice work by Ken Jeong- actor, comedian and life saver!


Funny video of the Cleveland Cavaliers and all LeBron… I think LeBron is so good he could carry 4 people off the street into the NBA playoffs.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

High Performance is High Priority

A lot of news came out of the Annual Conference recently held in California.  Glass Magazine will have in-depth breakdowns of everything, but just a quick take from me on one of the happenings.  Dr. Tom Culp (best in the business) reiterated what he covered at BEC with regards to more stringent energy codes coming down the path.  If you are in the IGU business and not paying attention to these moves you are doing yourself a massive disservice… Get up to speed.  Because of this  movement I also think products like dynamics and VIG will start to really become enticing on the commercial side to work within that world.  Also I mentioned last week on the California GWP but still don’t have my information settled- I will post on that as soon as I do!


--  I have noted here a few times that there’s been some soft spots in the marketplace to start 2018 and interestingly enough some of the latest data out backs that up.  And this report does also note that the other metrics we all follow are still tracking positive but the issue is in the current time period.  I think the weather had a different effect this year vs. the past (more severe and compacted time frames) and that is a big player in the process.  There is nothing worrisome overall- the softness is minor even with the numbers listed and there’s still a very positive foundation and backlog out there.  Still some who thought they were losing their minds because business was a bit off now at least have something to point to.

--  I was really excited to see the Houston Area Glass Association announcements on their scholarship program for a few reasons.  One I love these active local associations like HAGA, The Texas Glass Association, Colorado Contract Glaziers Association, Washington Glass Association and many others… they work hard for their local glass and glazing community and they deserve your support!  I also loved seeing that my old friend David Ozment from Binswanger Glass mentioned with his son winning one of the awards.  Obviously the good guy genes run deep in that family!

--  As I have written here before I love the “Flip or Flop” shows but I continue to be driven crazy on the estimates on the repairs.  Just watched an episode on the Vegas edition where they re-did a bathroom completely- and put in a massive, oversized heavy shower enclosure.  They also put in new sinks, hardware, tiles everywhere- and the estimate was laughably low.  I must be missing something… anyone with insight please let me know- and I’ll even keep it private if need be.  Plus my wife will love you because she’ll enjoy the show more without me yelling at the TV every time the ultra low estimate comes on the screen…

--  Speaking of those shows- I am starting to see more advertisements from glass related players- the latest being a very cool commercial from Pella.  I know they don’t play in the commercial realm but slickly produced ads are always nice to show our industry off.

--  Last this week… and lets end with absolutely wonderful news about George Sultage of Vitro.  I had noted on here several months ago that George was in a heck of a battle and I am thrilled to report he is doing great AND now back to work (from home to start)  This is awesome and I look forward to seeing George at GlassBuild hopefully or somewhere else down the line!  


Interesting story on the battle for  - worth watching on what happens.

Its prom season so lots of looks to comment on… this one is interesting- not traditional but I’m not freaked out by it


A guy like Bill Maher can be polarizing but I have to say he’s been pretty interesting lately on the common sense takes… this is one hits that tone for me.