For Fathers — Of People, Country and Otherwise


  Father’s Day is but six days away; the Stanley Cup finals start Wednesday night and this glass-related blog is due now, so it got me thinking about …. You guessed it … fathers in the glass industry who love hockey.My own Dad died three years ago and it’s still rare to go more than a few hours without thinking of him. Though he was not in the glass industry, he was by osmosis as he watched our magazines grow.  So, in a nod to the late Art Buchwald (who re-ran his column about celebrating Thanksgiving in France every year on Thanksgiving) and, in honor of Father’s Day, I am… Read More »

Final Fortnight

The deadline for submitting comments about the proposed life-threatening Addendum ‘am’ to ASHRAE 189.1 is two weeks from today. Your help is needed. It won’t take more than 30 minutes and it could end a dangerous threat to your business. There are few actions you can take that are more important than filing comments against the onerous proposal that threatens reduce the amount of glass that can be used in a building by up to 25 percent. There has been a fair amount of commentary about the proposed Addendum over the past few weeks. It is significant to note that those in this industry of varied, diverse and vocal opinion-givers have… Read More »

Got Glass? Maybe Not


As expected, it’s happened and now that it has, you need to act. You need to act because it’s the right thing to do and besides, if you don’t, it will cost you money–not hypothetical, not theoretical but real and actual money. Please don’t avert your eyes because yes, I am talking to YOU. As anticipated, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has proposed an amendment to its BSR/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Addendum 189.1am-201x, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings (addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011) that, according to ASHRAE “tightens the prescriptive requirements for window-to-wall ratios from 40 percent  for all buildings to… Read More »

Battle Cry

Dear Scott, Loved, loved, loved your article “The Battle for the Wall” on page 36 in this month’s USGlass magazine. Heard your speech about same at the BEC Conference. And it seems our major nemesis—an enemy called ASHRAE—has set its weapons on glass again. I think you identified our biggest long-term problem spot on, as any insightful general should do. But hey, I am a good lieutenant in the war to save our industry, so I wrote a battle plan. Forgive me for being so forward, Scott, as I know you are the general and I a mere lieutenant in this war. But I thought about it and here are the… Read More »

No Happy Ending

This is a new week and new blog and a new topic. But in case you missed it, I need to update last week’s blog. You see, I actually wrote it last Sunday. Last Sunday on a plane. Last Sunday on a plane on the way to the Boston Marathon. So you already know how this sad story ends. In case you missed it, Ellen Rogers wrote up a short news article about it last week. You can see it here. And I bring it up again for two reasons. First, I just wanted to say thank you to all the people—you overwhelmed me—who were kind enough to call and/or… Read More »

Wisdom Borne of Pain

It was the proverbial dark and stormy day in late December when we first met.  Most meetings we hold have some levity to them, but not this one. Some of us spread out across the wooden conference table; others stood against the back wall of the room, one joined us via conference.  Banter was non-existent and the pallor of the room was morgue-like. What had gotten this team of experts so somber? The occasion of our meeting was to discuss an action unprecedented in the history of USGlass magazine: the creation of a special issue focused on a single topic. And that topic was to be school safety. Our meeting… Read More »

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 »

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