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The Consensus Forecast Says...

We begin this week with another economic focus, with the release of the American Institute of Architects Consensus Forecast. AIA does this twice a year where they gather several forecasts and combine them and report out. It’s a very helpful tool to see where everyone is and where the predictions land. Now with the data in, AIA’s consensus for 2020 is showing the nonresidential world slightly up for the year. That solidifies what we have been watching over the last few months and continues to press on everyone that we are still positive, but not exactly gangbusters. You can read the report here, and if you look deeper at the categories and initial 2021 looks there are pain points.

What are the key takeaways? Continue to be proactive in your business and work. Look at diversification. Push the communication up and down the supply base to improve efficiencies and make as much now as you can. 


  • Along with AIA coming out this week, I ran into a forecast that I had not seen before. This is the Marcum Commercial Construction Index. Interesting read and some good data to take in. Check it out.
  • One item leftover from the previous NGA Annual Conference was the news that Sylvain Denis of Walker Glass was named Volunteer of the Year. This really makes me happy and proud as I have always appreciated the commitment to the industry that Walker Glass has made over the years, and Sylvain’s individual efforts are always so strong. Everyone is busy in certain ways out there, and it can be tough to commit to volunteering your time, but it is very valuable and it does make a difference! Thank you Sylvain and Walker, and please, if you out there want to be involved or can make some time, please consider doing so—the industry will appreciate it!
  • You know me, I watch the Super Bowl more for the commercials now. Next week, I’ll have my favorites here; feel free to let me know what ones you liked!
  • I found this article on natural light and carefully designed high-end rest rooms to be fascinating. I love the thought that went into this project, and it’s yet another example that natural light is so prominent in the design mind right now. (As it should be!)
  • Last this week, and a fun one for me: I teased it previously, but the latest airport rankings have me really going. I know many of you who read me weekly are road warriors, so you’ve been in and out of more airports than you care to count. I think I am at least appealing to you with these thoughts. This week will be the review on the Top Big Airports and next week I’ll look at the medium ones.

The Wall Street Journal had the following as their top 10 large airports, and I am NOT in agreement with many. And my fellow road warriors please let me know what you think…

10. Houston (Bush). Not bad- no issues with it.

9. LAX. Really? Seriously? I was there last year; it was a mess and I hear so many nightmare stories. I’ll probably be back there in March; maybe it’s gotten better?

8. DFW. It’s nutty to get around driving wise, but it’s pretty simple inside. I do like Love Field better, though.

7. Atlanta. It takes a ton of heat, but ATL is a very good airport and should be higher.

6. Las Vegas. Not bad, and has gotten better over the years, but still too high here.

5. Orlando. No way it’s the fifth best. No way. I fly in and out here a ton. Tiny bathrooms, limited seating, no outlets, limited food.

4. Detroit. Yes! Finally, some respect for one of the best airports around. Yes, it’s my home airport so there is bias but it’s very good.

3. Fort Lauderdale. Again, what? No way. Weather is nice, but hot, cramped and usually frustrating. Not better than Detroit, ATL, DFW or Houston.

2. Denver. It’s solid—too many food options on the wrong side of security, the result of building before 9/11, but not bad; also, not second.

And number 1. Phoenix. No way. Older, not bright or clean. I mean I just don’t get these rankings at all.

Not in Top 10 of large airports: Seattle, which is a super airport, easily top five. Minneapolis should be in the top ten.

There you go; at least the rankings did not have New York or Chicago on there, so that means at least there is some semblance of legitimacy. 


Max Perilstein

Max Perilstein

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. Contact him at