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A Glaring Omission

It’s been a silent killer really, ignored for far too long by the glass industry. It’s been discounted—a glaring omission really. Based on what I am hearing 2017 will be its year. Just as we have become educated about energy performance characteristics, followed by the development of energy ratings, then learned about acoustical qualities followed by the development of acoustical ratings, I predict we are going to learn a lot this year about glare. That’s right, glare. A few months ago, I attended a whole symposium session during Façade Tectonics devoted exclusively to glare and the science around it.  And I have to say it was fascinating. Glass, for example,… Read More »

Early Take-aways at BEC

The Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Building Envelope Contractors Conference (BEC) began its educational program this morning with a presentation by Serge Martin of AGC Glass Company. In an informative and fact-filled presentation, Martin took some issue with the infamous Wall Street Journal article of a few months ago that predicted a glass shortage. Here are my top five take-aways from his presentation: Clear is less: Clear glass is now approximately 55 percent of all glass manufactured, down significantly from more than 77 percent just a few years ago. Residential dominates, but only in tonnage. Manufacturers are about 5 percent of the chain. There’s always glass somewhere. Any shortage… Read More »

Glasses with the Stars

Apogee CEO Joseph Puishys waltzes through his presentation at GANA

It takes a skilled dancer to make a presentation before a crowd full of those who consider themselves competitors. Apogee CEO Joe Puishys executed that dance successfully this morning and walked away with the “Glasses with the Stars” equivalent of the Mirror Ball trophy. Anyone attending who expected a tap dance, or side step, was sorely disappointed, as Puishys delivered a solid waltz through a number of topics. Puishys opened day two of GANA’s Building Envelope Conference (BEC) in Las Vegas. Apogee owns business segments as diverse as Viracon, Tubelite, Wausau, Linetec and one of the largest contract glazing companies in the world, Harmon. His talk this morning before nearly… Read More »

BEC Day Two–Future Shock

Mic Patterson of Enclos makes an impassioned point during his presentation yesterday morning at the BEC Conference in Las Vegas.

Change is often the theme of conferences; that’s nothing new. But the amount and complexity of the changes taking place in the contract glazing business, as detailed at the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference, which ended just minutes ago, has been staggering. The seminars and private discussions reiterated one fact over and over again: this is not your father’s contract glazing business. Here are the top five trends glazing contractors can expect to affect them in the next five years: 1. Design-Build is out and replaced by Design-Assist. Design-Assist, which I define as the process of helping to develop the glazing system before the job has been awarded, is going… Read More »

Why Am I Doing This Again?

GANA president Jeff Nixon of Glass Coatings and Concepts presents BEC member (and USGlass magazine blogger and columnist) Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP with the BEC "Member of the Year" award.

When I got in my car at 3:45 a.m. yesterday (read: Sunday) morning it was 22 degrees outside and pitch black. As I road along the empty road, I had one of those “why am I doing this again?” moments. You know those moments–you’ve had them, too. They are usually preceded by the internal dialogue that starts “I must be totally crazy, what am I doing and why am I doing this?” Well, by 11 p.m. that night, I knew the answer. That’s because 11 p.m. my time was actually 8 p.m. Las Vegas time and the closing hour of the first day of the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference,… 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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