Our Quickly Changing Industry

This week, just some random quick thoughts: 1.  In case anyone hasn’t noticed, the glass industry seems to be imploding before our eyes. The bankruptcy (however complex the reasons for it) of Vitro, the large losses announced by Apogee last week, the radical changes in the contract glazing industry and the retirements of many smart industry veterans who decided now is a good time for change including Apogee’s Huffer, California Glass Association’s Donn Harter and the soul of MTH Industries, Lyle Hill*, have led many to wonder if there will be any glass industry left. The answer is yes, there will be. This is just what happens when you reduce… Read More »

Donn with Two Ns

Amid all the news of the past two weeks a little retirement notice slipped by quietly on our daily e-news service, USGNN.com™. Though the news was quiet, the person it was about is anything but. You can read the announcement of Donn Harter’s retirement here. It talks about his many accomplishments with the California Glass Association (which later morphed into Americas’ Glass Association)—so many, in fact, that the association will pass into history upon his retirement. In addition to all the work the announcement mentions, there are a few other things you should know about the Donn with two Ns: He was one of the most effective influencers of codes… Read More »

Contract Glaziers Viva in Las Vegas

MARCH 30–When you walk down the hall at the Paris Hotel and see three guys practically dismantling a huge Vegas mirror from the wall, or sit down at a breakfast table where the hot topic is embeds, you know you are at the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference. With all due respect to the companies that start with sand and end with glass, or those who take it and fabricate it in a myriad of ways, the guys at the BEC Conference make the glass and metal world go round. They scale tall buildings and crawl into tiny spaces. They are the work engines of this industry and are engaged… Read More »

Singing the LOGICal Song

MONDAY, MARCH 28 — There is so much going on in Vegas that it’s hard to keep track of it all. Here’s a very rough breakdown: Wednesday-Thursday IGMA Friday-Sunday Glass Week Sunday-LOGIC Sunday-Tuesday BEC Tuesday-Thursday NFRC If the acronyms don’t drive you crazy, the schedule will but, as always, it’s full of substance. A few thoughts thus far: –It’s always impressive to see how hard the GANA committees work. The committee members toil over everything from informational bulletins to surveys. The hard work shows in what they produce. –There’s a lot of buzz about the new LOGIC event for leaders in the glass industry held yesterday (more below). There’s an… Read More »

Well, Shame on Me

To Our Readers: On Friday, I wrote a blog called “Have You No Shame?” Well, this one should be called “Shame on Me.” I am writing to you to apologize for it. Shame on me for bringing up the topic in the first place. Shame on me for writing a story in such a way that it was construed by Steve Howes as being disparaging. That was not my intention. And I was wrong. Shame on me for, as Steve says, a “holier than thou” attitude about our conflicts screen. The lawsuit being discussed, between Edgetech and Glasslam, mentions USGlass magazine. When I wrote my blog in response, I was… Read More »

Looking Back at Glass Expo Northeast

Glass Expo Northeast 2011 (GENE) just hit the history books and with it, a number of great memories for me. Among them was a most excellent education program. It included the most relevant BIM program I have ever seen, presented by Joel Kaskela, vice president of operations for LTS Drafting and Engineering Company in Centennial, CO. Unlike the many BIM “experts” out there, Joe has actually completed a number of projects using BIM. He was able to detail the ups and downs, cost savings, additional expenses as well as the new vocabulary used … Likewise, a detailed mirror installation program by Long Island’s own mirror master, Michael O’Sullivan of Hampton… Read More »

The King’s Love of Glass

I was in Memphis a few weeks ago getting ready for Auto Glass Week this fall. Upon our arrival, my colleagues Tina Czar, Holly Biller and I found ourselves with two unscheduled hours of time, mainly because we had one of those rare trips where nothing went wrong or got delayed. “Let’s go to Graceland,” I said, unable to stop myself. “That way we will be able to answer questions when people who are coming to Auto Glass Week want to know what it was like.” Our VP Holly Biller is very gifted musically. She has even produced a series of her own CDs, but I am not sure Holly… Read More »

Fashionable Advice on Decorative Glass

An Easterly trek last month turned into a very memorable one for Bernie Lax, the president of Los Angeles-based Pulp Studios. Lax headed East in mid-January to meet with customers in the New York and New England area and to fulfill some speaking engagements. Instead of going as planned, he spent a few days (that he probably doesn’t remember too well) sequestered in a hotel room in New Jersey fighting a very nasty New York flu bug. His first day back among the living found him rushing to get to Rockville, Md., where he provided a unique view of the decorative glass industry to members of the Mid-Atlantic Glass Association…. Read More »

LEED-ing Lawsuit

From the sound of the court documents, Henry Gifford is a man on a mission.  Gifford, an energy savings consultant with Fuel Saving Inc. is the lead plaintiff in a massive lawsuit that takes aim at the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system (see related story.)  In court documents filed last week in a U.S. District Court in New York, Gifford and his co-plaintiffs allege that USGBC’s advertisements that buildings certified under its LEED program “are, on average, performing 25-30% better than non-LEED certified buildings in terms of energy use:” is false. The complaint further alleges the Council’s claim that LEED provides… Read More »

The Kegelbahn and Auf Wiedersehen

Glasstec 2010 is now history for the 45,000 who visited during the four days. Organizers released a press release citing an air of optimism and I think they got that right for the international glass industry as a whole. U.S. attendees brought a blank slate—neither too optimistic nor too pessimistic. “We are sitting on the elevator in the basement,” said one attendee, “I don’t think we will go down any more, but we are sitting still waiting to go up.”  Professionally, glasstec 2010 marked an achievement for USGlass. We were told it was the first time a news organization ever covered the show with daily video reports every day—and we… Read More »

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