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Forecast Season Begins

The first of two major construction forecasts were released this previous week, and leading off was the annual Dodge Data & Analytics Conference. Going into this, every previous forecast was basically saying we are headed into a dip, but expect recovery into 2021 and beyond. And all metrics always note that it’s assuming the virus issue is under some sort of control and we don’t backslide into lockdowns or other catastrophes. This one came in pretty similar, but it was more sobering for some reason. This forecast says the commercial sector for starts will finish down 23 percent this year and only gain back 5 percent of that in 2021. That is a tough number for us because what we do lags starts quite a bit, so some of us probably haven’t even tasted any of that 23 percent reduction yet. The perk up of 5 percent is probably less than we all were expecting too. Obviously a lot can and WILL change, so we just have to keep plugging away. (Communicate! diversify!) There was a ton more to this session and I am still going through it all, and am planning to share more insight on this in the coming weeks. Plus, Construct Connect has their forecast this coming week and I want to see how they come in as well. That all said the economic news wasn’t all negative or down; this blurb elsewhere online caught my eye:

Goldman Sachs sees a bull run in 2021. Expects a strong vaccine-led recovery w/global real GDP growth of 6 percent. Sees S&P 500 at 4300 by the end of 2021, 22 percent higher than today.

We may have some short-term pain, but could have some long-term gains coming. No matter what, it all hinges on a virus that has been pure misery so far, and I am not sure is ready to give up haunting all of us yet.


  • By the way, the next Architectural Billings Index is coming this Wednesday. I will be absolutely stunned if it is not down from last month. Last month was a doozy to me, and the over cautious tone from the analysts give me a feel like it was a fluke. We’ll see and hope for the best. I’ll obviously cover it all on my next post.
  • Big Thirsty Thursday this week on restoring glass surface blemishes. This is a major issue in our world, and NGA lined up two excellent speakers for this session. For more details and how to get signed up (it is free) click here! 
  • Congrats to Rick Alexander of Tom Brown Inc. for getting big time published with a paper on Pressure-Sensitive Glazing Tapes for Window Fabrication that appears in Adhesives & Sealants Magazine (ASI)―Great piece that has been the lead story at that publication. I always love when our industry has people doing bright things, and everything Rick does is brilliant so it fits the bill. Nice work!
  • Also, nice work to Guardian Glass, and a thank you to Alan Kinder there. A few weeks ago, I had a super project of the week in North Carolina and no glass players were listed. I asked who did this excellent work and Alan jumped in and gave me the details. It was the Clayton Commercial Glazing job from my 10/25 post and Guardian Glass is the primary manufacturer with the fabrication done from the fine folks at TriStar Glass. Great work everyone―thank you for passing the info along!
  • Also from the Guardian Glass world, they announced a new low-emissivity with the release of SunGuard SNE 50/25. From initial looks I really like the appearance and performance. Good new option for designers/energy models. I like pushing new products as we have to keep overcoming objections out there about what we as an industry can do (or can’t do) and as we keep innovating and releasing new products, let’s celebrate it because it is good for our world as a whole. Congrats to the team at Guardian Glass who worked on this one.
  • Now to my ongoing “Influential 15” and two more spots covered this week. And since we’ve been on a Guardian run, it’s fitting that one of the spots goes to someone from there, or at least used to be there. The late great Russ Ebeid is the choice on this one because both personally for me and professionally on this industry he did have an incredible influence. For me personally, I have noted on here before that it was Russ that was a great sounding board when I was between jobs, and his advice and insights were dead on. Industry-wise, Russ was a tremendous leader and quite a few people who are still major players today came from the Russ tree. He was the smartest guy in the room during his time leading Guardian and so much of what he put into place remains today.

My other spot this week goes to the head of the National Glass Association, Nicole Harris. I have had the honor of working with and for Nicole for many, many years, and have seen up close what she has done and how she thinks and leads on a totally higher level than anyone else out there. It truly is amazing. The saying that goes, “We are all playing checkers while Nicole is playing chess,” is absolutely appropriate. Her leadership has been crucial, and now even more so in the time of Covid. Nicole pushed her team to put out incredible amounts of resources to help companies through this, and those efforts haven’t stopped, all the while making sure our technical interests are covered and we are not losing sight of the battles for the wall. I live and love this industry and our products, but I don’t come close to doing what Nicole has done to make sure we are better tomorrow than we are today. Two more amazing people who are truly key to our world, and only 5 more to go…

  • Last this week... no post next week. I’ll be back after U.S. Thanksgiving, unless some sort of major news breaks (doubtful, though you never know!) As those of you who know me, know my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, and this year will be a tough one with limits on gatherings and worries with regards to the virus, but I am still incredibly thankful for all my family, friends, and all of you who read and support me and our industry. Hope all of you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and we’ll see you back here in a couple of weeks!

Read on for links of the week...


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