Lasting Impact

Last blog—of the year that is. So I have spent most of the weekend thinking of how to accurately describe this year and capture the lessons it taught us. Can anything really do that? I doubt it, but I am going to try. I am writing here of the pandemic in general because far too many people have had their health, or that of their loved ones, affected. Far too many have watched loved ones wage and lose a war against it. I am sorry for all these losses. Those of us still here have aged more than a year since last December. What COVID has is the extraordinary ability… Read More »

This is Us

It’s no secret that the architectural glass industry has been a consistent and long-term adaptor of much of the new technology developed for automotive glass. Tinted glass, for example, was originally developed for automobiles. The rotatable magnetron, which was originally used to place coatings on glass, was developed by an auto glass fabrication company from Michigan. Today, its successor technology is used to provide a number of different coatings, including low-E coatings. But these inventions pale in comparison to what is coming now. Let me explain. Apple, yes the Apple of iMacs, iPads and iPhones, filed a patent application in late August that will identify cracks or other imperfections in… Read More »

The Consequences

Should I go there? It’s the biggest story of the week and most likely the second biggest story of the year (COVID-19 will win that contest every time). But USGlass magazine is a trade publication, not a current events magazine … and the preliminary results are not yet certified and the subject of dispute. So, I will go there in one sense only. And that way is this: Assuming Joe Biden does take the office on January 20th, here are the top five items that are most likely to change for our industry: Construction Spending: Biden’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure package focuses mostly on roads, bridges, etc. But it does… Read More »

Taking Stock

The Presidential election tomorrow has led to an interesting condition in the glass industry, especially among retailers and smaller glazing contractors. It’s actually one I’ve not seen before. Many of the glass shop owners and managers with whom I have spoken during these past two months or so have told me the same story: their warehouses and back rooms are full of glass ordered specifically for jobs they have already been contracted to do. They are ready to schedule and complete them, but the building owners are not. They don’t want the glass installed, not yet anyway. Some of the glass replacements are a result of usual breakage, others a… Read More »

Five Ways COVID Will Change Contract Glazing Contracts

Few things have had such broad and wide-reaching implications for all aspects of life as COVID-19 has. It has permeated just about every piece of it, including how we conduct business. Contract glaziers are no exception. COVID-19 will force changes in contract language and open items to interpretation that have never even garnered a glance before. Here are some of the areas you’ll want to review in your contracts in light of COVID-19: Force majeure: Most contracts between general contractors and their glazing subcontractor have exceptions to deadlines, etc., for force majeure. COVID shined a light on exactly what constitutes force majeure. Is it having the virus in your workforce… Read More »

In and Out Merger

Almost everything is different due to COVID-19, an unwelcomed visitor upon this planet whose appearance has lasted far too long. While the pandemic doesn’t change the most important things in life—the people you love (assuming they have not sadly been a victim of it), the morals you hold and the faith you live by—a lot of other things will and have changed. Here’s an updated list of what industry and business items are going out and what’s coming in as a result of what we are experiencing. This is an open list, so if you have any suggestions for other items that should be included, please send them in and… Read More »

Putting Action on the Table

About 15 years ago, I wrote in my column in USGlass magazine to warn about the dangers of non-safety glass used in furniture, particularly in glass table tops. After going through all the safety and moral reasons why safety glass should be necessary, I ended with a prediction. I predicted that it would not take long for an accident or high-profile event involving glass furniture to occur and bring negative and wide publicity to the industry. “Then,” I opined, “we will lose control of the dialogue and the solution to this problem in much the same way the safety glazing laws originally came about in the late ’70s and early… Read More »

No Place Like Roam

I think our wonderful USGlass magazine editor Ellen Rogers summed it up best. She was chatting at our virtual networking event on Thursday evening as part of GlassCon Global-Glass Expo VE when she said it, and she was right. “You know,” Ellen said, “I really didn’t think I’d ever miss traveling. I do a lot of it and it can be a hassle. But getting to connect with people I hadn’t seen in months at the show and to enjoy a virtual happy hour together, just reminded me how much I miss being with everyone.” For Ellen, and all of us here, “everyone” is the glass industry and we miss… Read More »

Some Updates—Codes and Otherwise

Judging by your response to the recent blogs in this space, there is widespread concern about glass railings. These concerns generally center on safety issues, dealing mainly with those who do not know the proper codes and/or installation procedures or are deficient in installation skills. Our industry wasn’t the only one to notice this problem. The International Building Code’s (IBC) Section 2406 is being rewritten to define terms such as guards and handrails. Previously, the section used terms such as guardrails and railing in-fill panels. During a recent glass conference code update, industry consultant Thom Zaremba explained that glass in guards must meet the load requirements of 1607.8. The glass… Read More »

A Clear Choice

So when Hurricane Isaias came through Virginia last week, he left a little (but memorable) present in the form of hundreds of gallons of water deposited swiftly in my basement. His parting gift led me to venture out to my local hardware chain store in search of a generator that could power a wet vac just in case the electricity went out. I have been retail-deprived since the whole COVID-19 crisis began, opting to do most necessary shopping beyond groceries online. So when I set foot into my neighborhood Lowes for the first time this year, the differences the pandemic had wrought were clear. Well, they were almost clear. I… Read More »

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