Short-Lited

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  There’s a reason they call James O’Callaghan, director, Eckersley O’Callaghan, “the big O” in the glass industry. Well, they really don’t. But you will after I explain why he deserves the title. O’Callaghan’s presentation at the Glass Association of North America’s Building Envelope Contractors Conference was both enlightening and exasperating, and it detailed the inspirational and the insurmountable. In a thought-provoking presentation, O’Callaghan chronicled the growth trajectory of some of the projects he has done for a certain large international company named after a fruit that possesses the largest cash reserves ever. Yeah, that one. O’Callaghan discussed the creation of the first Apple stores and the advancement of technology,… Read More »

Golden Year

The August 1967 cover of USGlass magazine.

You’ve done it. You know you have. Because everyone does, and you can’t help it. You’ve engaged in goal talk. You’ve set ‘em, made ‘em and missed ‘em. And you have done so with every type of goal there is—personal, professional, realistic and lofty. So have I. When I started with USGlass magazine nearly 23 years ago, I had a lot of goals. My first one was to keep the doors open, one day at a time (USGlass wasn’t in the best shape then). Funny how ignorant I was about starting a business. I thought you started it, worked like crazy to get it going, then you could sort of, well,… Read More »

Glasses with the Stars

Apogee CEO Joseph Puishys waltzes through his presentation at GANA

It takes a skilled dancer to make a presentation before a crowd full of those who consider themselves competitors. Apogee CEO Joe Puishys executed that dance successfully this morning and walked away with the “Glasses with the Stars” equivalent of the Mirror Ball trophy. Anyone attending who expected a tap dance, or side step, was sorely disappointed, as Puishys delivered a solid waltz through a number of topics. Puishys opened day two of GANA’s Building Envelope Conference (BEC) in Las Vegas. Apogee owns business segments as diverse as Viracon, Tubelite, Wausau, Linetec and one of the largest contract glazing companies in the world, Harmon. His talk this morning before nearly… Read More »

Snow and Sky

Ice on the roof

I am rather proud of our assistant editor Nick St. Denis. Last week, he did something that just might save some lives. Nick noticed there had been reporting on an avalanche of instances in which people have fallen through skylights over the last few weeks—particularly in the New England region. And he saw such an increase in the number of injuries (and sadly one fatality) from falls through said skylights that he thought the trend was newsworthy. The main cause of all the accidents seemed to be the same: people clearing snow off roofs, and by last Wednesday, there had been six related skylight falls in six days—in New England alone. I… Read More »

Heart of Glass

heart four

Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d write this very public love letter. It’s for you to guess who the addressee is, but then again,  I think you know already. I think you know because you may feel the same way—if you underwent the same process I did, thinking your lot in the business world just happened to include this particular material. But then, the more you got to know it, understand it and see what it could do, the more you loved it. And I do love glass, as much as you can love any inanimate object, anyway. I love the way it looks, the way it moves,… Read More »

A Final Bow to BAU

Bau in Munich attracted more than a quarter of a million attendees.

It’s amazing to me that more than 150,000 individuals involved in construction attended the International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Vegas and, at the same time, more than 250,000 similarly situated individuals attended the BAU (Build) construction show in Munich, Germany. I have been writing about the show quite a bit these last few weeks. Today, I want to focus on the trends in doors and windows at the show. Halls B4 and C4 were the focus for doors and windows of all types, as well as locks, fittings, access and sunshade systems. Here are some of the notable European trends most likely to make their way across the Atlantic in… Read More »

Trendspotting at BAU

bausign

A show like BAU just serves to highlight what we already knew: that the Europeans are “lite years” ahead of North America in design, energy efficiency and quality. And the difference is readily apparent. As one colleague said to me, “this show really highlights the differences between American and European building styles. Europeans begin a project thinking, ‘how can we build the highest quality building that does what we want?’ Americans start a project by wondering, ‘how can we build the cheapest building that does what we want?’” I was fortunate to spend two days at BAU2015 in Munich, Germany last week. The biennial six-day (yes, six) show attracts visits from… Read More »

BAU’s a Wow

BAU opened yesterday at the Munich Messe in Germany. The five-day show features 16 halls of building products and applications.

Today was my first time ever attending the BAU (which means “Build” in German) show, which is being held at the Munich Fairgrounds this week. I’d been told for years, and by a number of people, that “you really should visit BAU.” Well, after just one day here, I understand why. Why? Because while glasstec—held every other year in Dusseldorf—focuses on all types of glass manufacturing and processes, BAU is where you see the glass in action in all sorts of products. And because it also showcases a variety of glass-related products, including steel and facades, BAU is where you get to see everything, from building facades to high-end residential… Read More »

A Race Well-Run

USGlass editor Ellen Rogers gets a victory hug from son Rylan after finishing the Chicago Marathon in October.

I wanted to wait until the holidays were well behind us for this blog. Because I really, really wanted you to pay attention to it, and because the person it’s about is not only a good person—she is good at what she does. Let me explain. Each year, Key Communications, Inc., the parent company of USGlass magazine, presents an award to the employee who has, in the opinion of our management team, excelled beyond all measure. The award is called the Holly X. Biller Award for Extraordinary Company Service, and it’s named after our vice president Holly Biller, who sets the standard for company service. We always present the award… Read More »

Sign of the Times? Not So Much

gaslow

It sure was a strange sight, but a welcome one… and one that impacts almost every aspect of our lives. But is it a real harbinger of things to come, or one just designed to lull us into complacency? You decide. You see the sign in question here, photographed late afternoon yesterday on Route 3 in Stafford, Va. Not only was the price per gallon below $2—it was substantially below, having fallen from $1.99 a week before. But falling gas prices, I fear, raise more questions than answers. Will the cost to transport glass come down? Will “fuel surcharges” disappear, or at least abate? Will the costs related to glass… Read More »