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AIA: Day One and All the Fun

If first impressions mean anything, and we all know that they do, then the first few hours of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Conference, which opened in Washington D.C. this morning has impressed me a good bit. It seems the move to new venues such New Orleans last year and now DC is bearing attendance fruit as the show seems busier than it did in New down in the bayou last year. We are based over in booth 821, right across from Oldcastle Building Envelope’s (booth 825) large, sleek booth which enjoyed steady traffic from minute one on. And so far, it’s a show full of surprises and interesting turns…. Read More »

Be Our Guest

This week is a red-letter one in Washington, D.C. Really. NATO Summit ? No. World Bank or IMF meetings? Nope. Michelle Obama shopping at Target again? Not. What could possibly be more exciting? How about thousands of architects descending on the city that L’Enfant designed and GSA built? We are all very excited to have the design community and lots of the glass industry here in D.C. To welcome everyone, we asked members of our staff share with you their favorite “hometown” places to visit and we’ve been sharing them on our USGNN.com™ daily news site over the past few weeks. I enjoyed seeing what places the staff members who participated… Read More »

Primary Colors

No, this one is not about some new glass colors, nor politics. It’s about massive changes in leadership at the top that keep affecting our industry. But change is a constant, right? Especially in the glass industry. I am referring, of course, to the changes in management that have occurred during the last 24 to 36 months among the primary manufacturers. Consider this: Scott Thomsen took over as group vice president for Guardian’s North American flat glass operations on March 1, 2010. He became president of Guardian Glass upon Russ Ebeid’s retirement on September 1 last year. Though Guardian’s plan for and execution of a succession plan has been deliberate… Read More »

A Sure Win

This never happens, never, ever happens, at least not to me anyway. But it has. I can’t believe it, but I have found myself in the proverbial “Can’t Lose” situation. And this time it’s a sure thing. I am referring of course to the Stanley Cup playoff round now being played between the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers. No divided loyalties here. I will be happy no matter who emerges victorious. Here’s why. I grew up on hockey. My father was well-known to family, friends and the entire universe as the world’s greatest New York Rangers’ fan. Now, lots of people say they are fans, but my father… Read More »

Well Seated

It was my own fault and I was seething. I had done this to myself, even though I knew better. Now I was going to pay the price. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, that could make me feel better. And I knew it. The object of my scorn was me, myself and I. I don’t know about you, but I tend to get more angry with myself than I ever do with anyone else.  Even though I knew better, the stars had aligned in such a way that I had booked an outbound flight for late in the afternoon—from Dulles Airport no less. As someone who flies to and from… Read More »

Creative Thinking, Bad and Good

I got a shudder when I saw the news report come across my desk last week. “Oh no,” I thought, “It’s déjà vu. And the last time it happened, it ended up costing the glass industry millions and millions of dollars.” Here we go again. The object of my dismay was a little-noticed news item that ran on our daily DWM e-newsletter concerning a $112 million settlement among hardware manufacturers in Europe for alleged price-fixing. In it, nine hardware manufacturers were fined for allegedly fixing the pricing of window mountings (hardware) for eight years. I’m not defending price fixing, and, if the European investigators are to be believed, these incidences were… Read More »

Thing One and Thing Two

The big news this week probably wasn’t all that big in the grand scheme of things, but it opened up old wounds and debates about safety glazing and the law. And it has the potential to change our codes again, so, hey wait a minute, maybe this is one of those little things that is going to balloon into a way bigger one

What Happens in Vegas

Yeah, I’m in Vegas again, my second home this year. And this time it’s for a great reason — the Glass Association of North America’s Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference. Well, that Ted Hathaway of Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope™  is such a fooler! You won’t believe what he did at the conference and this time, what happens in Vegas isn’t staying here. You see, he opened the conference with a presentation that, at first look, seemed like it was going to focus solely on how a number of innovative glazing projects were done, including London’s famous Gherkin, the new basketball stadium being built in Brooklyn and a number of other ones. Each… Read More »

Three Words

Here are three words that are among the deadliest threats to any U.S. business: class action suits. Most of us think of class action suits as arising from situations like the one by residents of Love Channel in the 1970s or the one against Kerr-McGee chronicled in the movie Silkwood. Today, class action suits have moved from protecting the rights of those egregiously injured to becoming instruments through which attorneys make millions suing for “classes” that were “harmed” yet receive little in the way of compensation. Haven’t we all received some notice of class action suit settlement where we, as part of the class, get a free car wash, or… Read More »

Five Ways the New LEED Will Affect the Glass Industry

Saulo Rozendo, part of the high-performance building solutions team at Dow Corning Corp., gave an excellent presentation about the implications of the coming changes in the LEED certification program during the Glass Association of North America’s annual conference two weeks ago. While Rozendo talked nuts and bolts of the credits, the changes will also have broader effects on our industry. Here are the top five ways I expect the updated LEED green building certification program to affect the way contract glaziers do business: You’ll be doing alternative designs and analysis. LEED has always encouraged building designers to include analysis of alternative designs for energy load reduction. Under LEED 2012, it… Read More »

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