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Philadelphia Freedom

Big glass is here to stay.

AIA is always a show of note—and innovation. In addition to the glass and metal products there, visitors also are exposed to building products such as living roofs and custom faucets. Everything from new types of software to bathtubs for bicycles (true) were displayed. Here are some of the top themes from the event: Mood of jubilation! Every industry member with whom I spoke was busy with work. The number of bids and contracts are up, and backlogs are higher than they have been in years. The buoyancy other building material industries had at last year’s AIA show has reached the glass industry. And this makes sense because glass is… Read More »

Don’t Trend on Me

The amount of change in the world, and the pace at which it occurs, continues to amaze me. Take trends for example. Trends are no longer things, they’re actions. So here’s my top five list of what’s “trending” in the glass world of the future: 1 – Acoustical purity: As restaurant critics begin to rate the amount of noise in the establishments they review, and concert halls start to publish their acoustical ratings, we can see how important noise, or the lack of it, has become. This new emphasis will be true in the glass industry, as well. The importance of acoustical ratings, and acoustical glass products, will continue to… Read More »

In the Heart of Texas

The crowds were steady both at the seminars, above, adn the Glass TEXpo trade show.

Well, every once in a while you get to have a really special experience that touches you on both the personal and professional level. A visit to San Antonio last week did just that for me. The original reason for my half-week visit was Glass TEXpo™ 2016, the semi-annual regional trade show that is sponsored by USGlass magazine and the Texas Glass Association, but it turned into even more. On Thursday I got to visit the Façade Tectonics symposium being held at the University of Texas Downtown San Antonio location. I was able to participate in two sessions that were eye-opening, and I’ll cover them in weeks ahead. But I will confess… Read More »

A Not-So Tempered Response

Broken Glass2

I just watched another story by a TV reporter about glass. This time, the topic was tempered glass breakage. I give the reporter an A for effort, but it’s a tough concept to understand quickly and completely. It seems in this case, the tempered glass in question was in a car sunroof, but it could just as easily have been in a building or on a table. At the conclusion of the report, any rational person would ask why car makers use tempered glass in sunroofs. Heck, they might ask why we use tempered glass at all. It was another attempt to give tempered glass a bad name and yet,… Read More »

Code Led

“You must have it, you must,” he said very authoritatively, though it came across tinged with hostility. “But I don’t want it, we don’t need it,” I fired back just as authoritatively, working to mask my own growing hostility. The “it” in question was a tiny little room in our new offices, and “he” was a general contractor who was going to give me a quote on doing the build-out of our new space. I wanted the little room gone, as it served no purpose and seemed overkill for a non-public building that was going to house 16 people on a regular basis. Then he threw the C word at me…. Read More »

Early Take-aways at BEC

The Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Building Envelope Contractors Conference (BEC) began its educational program this morning with a presentation by Serge Martin of AGC Glass Company. In an informative and fact-filled presentation, Martin took some issue with the infamous Wall Street Journal article of a few months ago that predicted a glass shortage. Here are my top five take-aways from his presentation: Clear is less: Clear glass is now approximately 55 percent of all glass manufactured, down significantly from more than 77 percent just a few years ago. Residential dominates, but only in tonnage. Manufacturers are about 5 percent of the chain. There’s always glass somewhere. Any shortage… Read More »

Office Politics?


I will admit it. Usually, I think I know what to do. That is, even if I don’t know exactly what to do, I have a general idea of the direction in which to go. But not this time. I have no idea which way to go. This time I am stumped. So I am turning to you and I am going to do whatever you say. Here’s the issue. It’s a presidential election year, and this year, politics and the glass industry collide as they never have before. In fact, we have found at least three stories, and candidates, that have glass-industry ties. We have done some write-ups and… Read More »

Eye Openers

We are putting the finishing touches on the USGlass Contract Glazing Issue, which goes to press this week. The February issue includes our list of top contract glaziers in the country. Along with the largest sales volumes, we track a number of other metrics, as well, and there’s one we are adding this year that is truly eye-opening. When you see the issue, you’ll notice we also track number of locations, employees and length of time in business. And every other year, we include the results of our massive contract glazier survey. We have tracked the top-20 companies for years. This past year, we have expanded the list to track… Read More »

Carpe Anno

So here we find ourselves in 2016. Wasn’t it just yesterday we were hoarding water and batteries in anticipation of Y2K? Not this year, my friends. Call this year whatever you want–the year of the millennial, the year of the angry voter, or the Chinese calendar’s year of the monkey–but I know the truth. This glorious 2016 that rose into being four days ago, is the year of glass. Let me explain. They say that 90 percent of the solution is understanding the problem, and our industry is finally there in a number of areas. We finally understand that we must meet the design challenges that architects and design professionals… Read More »

Good Tidings

Well it’s almost Christmas, a joyous (though often stressful) time. And to add to that joy and stress, we are vacating the offices we’ve had for the last 19 years and moving. More stress, hopefully followed by joy. More on that next time though, because here are my picks for some of the top stories of the year: The sale of C.R. Laurence (CRL) to Oldcastle Building Envelop®(OBE). This may have been the deal of the decade, let alone the year, as OBE chose its acquisition targets with skill and strategy. And its acquisition of CRL is akin to Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise or the Muppets in… Read More »

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