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March 2013

BEC ’13 Becomes a Memory

As the Glass Association of North America (GANA ’s) Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference comes to a close, I can’t resist some final thoughts about all that I saw during the past two days. Here’s my top five: There were a ton of glazing contractors here. It was heartwarming, and hopefully a sign of good times to come, to see large numbers of contract glaziers big and small, attend. This is as a great a sign of an industry come back as I have seen thus far. The guys that were here, are here to stay. Thomsen’s speech got great reviews … but. Nearly everyone to whom I spoke about… Read More »

A Ready Warrior

Scott Thomsen just might be the Colin Powell of the glass industry. He opened this morning’s session of the Building Envelope Contractors’ (BEC) Conference with a methodical, well-researched and persuasive case for the redefinition of the industry’s competitors and its future. Watching Thomsen reminded me of watching the well-respected and long-admired Powell systematically lay out evidence for action before the UN and other bodies. And, while the data upon which Powell relied was ultimately proved flawed, Thomsen’s won’t be. And the conclusions he drew from it will ultimately be shown to be prophetic. In little more than an hour, Thomsen logically showed the glass industry why it needed to change,… Read More »

Super Heroes, Irish-Style

St. Patrick

I am writing this on Sunday Saint Patrick’s Day. In the morning. On a plane. At 6:30 a.m. Just let that sink in a minute. The sun has yet to rise on the second weekend day that should, but won’t, start devoid of work and end with corned beef and cabbage. Yet I am hurling myself in a long metal tube at unsafe speeds toward the Sodom of North America. Yawn. What could ever possess me to do this?You know what caused this. I’m headed to one of my favorite conferences of the year, the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Building Envelope Contractors (BED, no wait that’s BEC, sorry… Read More »

Has a Spring Sprung?

The residential homebuilding market has also been the bellwether of the entire construction industry. This miner’s canary, which has lain barely breathing for more than three years, has started to chirp again. I thought of this a few weeks ago, while watching a presentation at the HSG Summit in Florida by Alan Beaulieu, an economist with ITR Economics. Alan and his brother, Brian, are both economists and many years ago, Brian came up with an algorithm that he used to predict changes in the economy.  He proceeded to show a series of graphs with his modeling followed by what actually happened. By golly, he was right. Alan said that in… Read More »

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