Quiet Victories

It happened on January 22 ever so quietly, with barely a whimper so no one would notice. But we noticed. Yes, the glass industry noticed and reacted with a mixture of joy and relief, proving that quiet victories can be the most satisfying of all.

The occasion of that industry-wide sigh-of-relief was the announcement by the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers that its working group and then full committee had voted to withdraw the dreaded proposal, the 189.1 Addendum, which would have severely limited the amount of glass that could be put into a building. (For more information, see “The Battle for the Wall,” USGlass, April 2013.)

The Addendum was the single biggest threat to the glass industry in years because its direct result would have been a reduction in the amount of glass that could be used in buildings, including new construction. In shorthand, it would have made the size of the entire glass pie smaller.

The defeat of the Addendum was the direct result of how the entire industry came together to defeat it. “Altogether we had the support of 126 individual companies and 13 associations representing probably well over 2,500 companies big and small, which is tremendous. This was a big win for us all,” said Thomas Culp, a codes consultant who led the opposition under the banner of the Glass Association of North America (GANA).

So thanks to all who got involved, and to GANA and Mr. Culp as well … and to the “early adapters” who saw the threat to our industry right away, including Scott Thomsen and Earnest Thompson, both formerly of Guardian Industries, as well as PPG and the other primaries who worked diligently against it as well. This top-level support really made a difference.

We, as an industry, need to remember how effective we are when we work together. It was an awesome effort with equally awesome results. Still, we will always need to stay vigilant as different regulatory and code groups, mandated or voluntary, continue to try to chip away at the size of our pie. More on that next week.


I was sad to see that longtime editor John Swanson passed away last week. John had edited the old title “Fenestration” for a long time before it folded and then went on to a competing magazine where he worked until his death last week at the very young age of 52.

I will leave to others to speak of John’s skill as an editor. What I loved most about him was his lack of politics. The fenestration publishing business is intensely competitive, yet none of that seemed to phase John. He was polite and conversational with everyone, compadre and competitor alike. Our editor emeritus Charles Cumpson originally hired John and shared his thoughts about him last week. Charles was right; he was just a good guy. Please keep his family in your prayers.


So many people reached out wondering how Lyle was doing last week that it took me awhile to figure out why. His own blog last week hadn’t mentioned his condition. That’s because he had said the week before that he was “closing the cancer chapter” and would not be reporting in on it anymore.

What he did not tell you is that the reason he would not be reporting on it is—that there is nothing to report! He has come through the stem cell transplant with flying colors, cancer-free and is home building his strength back up. “The doctor is very optimistic and believes it’s gone,” says Lyle. “And I am just working hard now to build up strength and appetite. I hope to be fully released from treatment in early February and back at it in March. I am extremely thankful that this is the case and thankful for everyone’s prayers. I cannot tell you how thankful.”

We are, too, Lyle.