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Worn on the Fourth of July

Well the Fourth of July celebration has begun to fade into a semi-distant memory. The hamburgers will have been devoured, flags waived and fireworks exploded. But the cause for celebration will remain. I will explain. The glass industry has provided us all with tangible examples of the American Dream fulfilled. It has taught me a lot about what makes the U.S. work and what we can take pride in. Over the years, I have gotten to write about and follow numerous small business owners and entrepreneurs as they grew those businesses in gigantic corporations. I’ve seen the American dream in action. It lives in people like Russ Baumgardner, who loaned… Read More »

Food for Action, Not Thought

It’s been encouraging to see the level of care and concern our industry has put toward the recent proposals in New York City and heartening to have heard from so many readers about my recent blogs on the same subjects. Others in the industry have also taken up the cause with their thoughts on the subject and today I want to share Ric Jackson’s very astute blog for our sister publication, Door & Window Market (DWM) magazine. In it, he explains the interconnectivity of all pieces of the “green” puzzle and the localities and agencies that endeavor to regulate them: “Another Report Calls for Rapid Growth in Green Construction.”

Bird-Friendly, BIM-Friendly

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2019 Conference on Architecture, held earlier this month in Las Vegas, brought together thousands of architects and exhibitors. Visitors came for education and to bridge the gap between products and specifications. Here’s my take on the top trends: 1.  Glass for the Birds—Literally Bird-friendly glass has moved from novelty to de rigueur as a number of primary manufacturers and fabricators have advanced offerings. What began as a lark, so to speak, to protect our feathered friends has soared in popularity as the architectural glass community took action to reduce the number of avian deaths. You can see some of the latest here: AIA 2019… Read More »

The Future Construction Workforce: The Sounds of Silence

It happened pretty quietly and without fanfare, but it’s one of those “silent statistics” that has the potential to bring real change to our industry and to construction in general. Let me explain. Last year, for the first time, the average annual salary of construction workers passed those of college graduates. It wasn’t by a lot—$59,124 for the college grads vs. $59,267 for the construction workers—but it was significant and seen as the continuation of a trend that hasn’t peaked yet. What’s up? Well, demand for one. The U.S. has a high demand for workers in construction jobs (especially the very skilled ones like plumbers, electricians, ironworkers and glaziers) but… Read More »

New York Odds

So if you have been reading DEBlog over the past month, you know I have been taking the mayor of the Empire States’ largest city to task for indiscriminate attacks on glass. You can read about them here and here. My concern only grows stronger, however, after having read the whole proposed Amendment to the City Charter and Administrative Code. Please note first and on an important symbolic level, nowhere in the amendment is the word “glass” actually mentioned. That’s right. For all the verbal daggers sent its way, glass as a material is no different than any other material in the amendment. But a review of the entire document… Read More »

Loud BEEPing in NYC

A BITE OF THE APPLE: In the past week, New York City Mayor Bill DiBlasio has placed his name in the running to become the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. Democratic, republican, independent, left, right, up or down, he wouldn’t get my vote. Here’s why. It’s not because of his attack on glass two weeks ago (See “A Bronx Cheer,” posted May 13, 2019) but rather because of two things related to that attack. The first is the lack of understanding the mayor’s office has about glass and energy efficiency. The rhetoric the mayor put forth really displayed a knowledge vacuum. The second was the fact that… Read More »

A Bronx Cheer

There’s been a lot talk these past two weeks about the press conference New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio held on April 22. In a 40-minute Earth Day manifesto, Hizzoner touted a “Green New Deal” of his creation that would amend the NYC charter and administrative code to achieve certain reductions in greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2050. The glass industry knows that a move toward its more energy-efficient products generally is welcomed; it helps save energy and provides a value-added product at value-added prices. Requiring such enhanced products means that architects and other design professionals will need to be more aware of all the performance characteristics of glass—energy and… Read More »

The New Order?

What will the future customer of the contract glazier look like? Though no one can know for sure, one thing is certain; that customer will look nothing like he does today. “The days of getting three bids and choosing the lowest one are pretty much gone,” said one such customer recently. Let me explain. Mike Staun is the associate director of construction for Proctor and Gamble (P&G) and, as such, he oversees a construction budget of more than $1 billion a year, spent on P&G properties, including one of their newest ones in West Virginia. Staun spoke last week at the IMPACT/Ironworkers Annual Convention in Las Vegas. He provided a… Read More »

Doubling Down on Vegas

So I am writing this on Sunday morning on a plane on the way to Las Vegas for a glazing contractors conference that starts today. Before you say, “Wait Deb, you’ve got the wrong week; there’s a glazing contractor’s meeting in Vegas next week,” let me explain. I am attending the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) annual meeting being held at the Mirage hotel through Thursday February 27. IMPACT is an organization of Ironworkers and the contractors who employ them dedicated to addressing mutual concerns and advancing more work for both groups. It’s always been full of forward-thinking education for owners and managers of companies that employee ironworkers… Read More »

Clear is Near

The quest for a totally transparent façade came a step closer to reality recently when researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) moved from theory to the controlled production of formed glass via 3D printing. Since the pieces of glass that are being created are still quite tiny, this might seem like just one small step for glass. In reality though, it is one giant step for glasskind. Let’s review the technology, then I will explain. MIT researchers Chikara Inamura, Michael Stern, Daniel Lizardo, Peter Houk and Neri Oxman call their system G3DP2 and describe it as “a new AM platform for molten glass that combines digitally integrated three-zone… Read More »

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