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Jumbo Tentacles

While jumbo glass has been around for a while now, the number of companies that manufacture it has increased rapidly. You’ll see offerings from so many companies that I bet within the next five years jumbo won’t be jumbo anymore; it will just be one of many glass sizes available. These new sizes are serving as the impetus for new products and variations of current ones in a variety of related fields. Specifically: 1. Jumbo coated glass: While jumbo glass gains in usage and popularity, so will its ability to be coated with a variety of coatings. Vitro’s new high-performance magnetron sputtered vacuum deposition coater debuted last month in Wichita… Read More »

Just a Shame

This is my end-of-summer patchwork-quilt of a blog, with a few pieces of this and that, stitched together in such a way that they accomplish the purpose for which they were designed. They are thoughts precipitated primarily from our industry’s news stories of the past few weeks. 1- It’s raining glass in Bethesda, Maryland–Well, not quite “raining,” but glass has fallen from the city’s only LEED Platinum-certified building more than once during the past few months. In fact, building management issued a statement saying that it had “identified six exterior panes of tempered glass that were affected by a ‘defective condition.’” The owner of a downtown Bethesda high-rise building is… Read More »

What I Learned from Mr. Ebeid

Russ Ebeid was a force of nature in the glass industry. In fact, he was the embodiment of the industry in which he spent his whole adult life—and the industry he shaped. I respected him so much that I could never call him Russ, despite his admonitions to do so. There will be many recitations of his life over the next few weeks, including some in our own publications and platforms. It was a large life with deep roots and huge branches that embraced thousands in his philanthropy and good works. In fact, if I tried to capture all the worthy causes he supported, the list would be hundreds long…. Read More »

Philadelphia Freedom

Big glass is here to stay.

AIA is always a show of note—and innovation. In addition to the glass and metal products there, visitors also are exposed to building products such as living roofs and custom faucets. Everything from new types of software to bathtubs for bicycles (true) were displayed. Here are some of the top themes from the event: Mood of jubilation! Every industry member with whom I spoke was busy with work. The number of bids and contracts are up, and backlogs are higher than they have been in years. The buoyancy other building material industries had at last year’s AIA show has reached the glass industry. And this makes sense because glass is… Read More »

It’s Round-Up Time

This is number two. Numero dos. This is my penultimate blog of the year and I am taking a look back at the biggest industry stories of the year. Today, I am focusing on news events in the past six months that have long-term ramifications for the industry.  I have even included a category called “stories with legs” for stories about glass that grow legs beyond the glass industry and into the mainstream consumer press. Here is a brief look at the last six months: Bankruptcies: Dlubak Inc. in early August. Mergers and acquisitions: The acquisition of said Dlubak by Grey Mountain after quite a bidding war, Apogee’s acquisition of… 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 »

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 »

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 »

Giving Thanks–and More

This is Thanksgiving week in the United States. And though we here as a country certainly have our issues, we definitely have more to be thankful for than not. I also believe that we, as an industry, are a generous one and no where has this been more true than in the aftermath of the hurricane that hit the East Coast. And that’s why I am writing today. Two weeks ago, in response to numerous requests for help from shops hard hit by the storm, we set up a web page where people could go and request help. We took it off line late last week as the requests were… Read More »

Marking Time

Glasstec, the mother of all glass trade shows starts tomorrow in Düsseldorf, Germany. Just as the first day of school marks an exciting time for school children everywhere, glasstec marks this time for me. And because it’s every other year the changes it heralds are always pronounced. This is my 14th visit to the show. I have attended every show since 1984, save one in the late 1980s. The changes that have occurred during that time have been dramatic. Let’s look at the glass manufacturing industry first. The landscape of the industry was a lot different during that first visit. Oh, the U.S. still had less than 10 primary manufacturers as it does now but look… Read More »

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