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The Virus

There’s a saying out there that goes “When China sneezes the whole world catches a cold.” So what happens if China has a runaway virus? Heck of a lot worse than a sneeze, right?

It is time to talk about the Coronavirus and what could be next for all of us. This obviously is very frightening situation on many levels and one that many of us in North America have not felt yet but probably will…soon. Slowly but surely, sourcing lanes—in all walks of life, not just the glass industry—are being affected and this will probably only get worse before it gets better. ITR Economics is a presence at many industry events and last week they weighed in on what the Coronavirus is doing now; they had a relatively positive outlook, though they did hedge their bets by saying they’ll re-examine at the end of the month. We’ll see what comes next from them, but for all of us now it’s really about preparation and organization industry wise. Making sure your sourcing path is open or has proper options so you are not delayed—this is more than glass, it can hardware, components, machinery, etc. —so once again, communication is paramount. Hopefully this virus can start to be more contained soon but judging from recent news including the spread in South Korea, we may be in for more rough roads.

Want a deeper dive on this issue? Check out this piece from Ducker.


  • Some seriously incredible usage of glass and glazing products in this report on Adaptive Reuse designs. If you were involved in any of these projects ping me and tell me which one—you deserve some props. And once again I think our products steal the show here. Good stuff.
  • Also good? The National Glass Association just produced six new Glass Technical Papers. Urmilla Sowell and the Task Groups did some serious work here! Here they are and absolute kudos should go out to everyone who took the time to work on these:
  1. Bird-Friendly Glass Design Strategies
  2. Marking and Labeling of Architectural Laminated Glass
  3. Safety Guidelines for Deglazing Structural Silicone
  4. Protecting Against Weld Splatter
  5. Top 10 Items Commonly Missing from Fenestration System Shop Drawings
  6. Approximate Weight of Architectural Flat Glass
  • The Architectural Billings Index had a good month, coming in with a solid rating of 52.2. Design Contracts checked in at 56 which shows that work is actually trending upward! That’s been a theme here and one that is actually even surprising the analysts who expected flat to even a little bit of a drawback in this world. Obviously, things can and do change quickly but this is positive. The only downside of the report had the Northeast really dragging, way behind all other regions. That is not welcome news to folks there who have seen some serious inconsistencies over the last six to nine months. Rocky roads are still on tap for you all.
  • Last this week: a goodbye to the industry for a good friend of mine and an industry stalwart. Mike Gainey is hanging ‘em up officially here at the end of the month. Mike has been around our world for quite some time and for me he was always one of the most positive and upbeat guys out there. Always sold with a great enthusiasm, and you could always count on him to be a friendly face at a show or conference. And Mike knew/knows his stuff, so him retiring and taking that deep technological knowledge with him is yet another blow to our world. But, in the end, I am thrilled for Mike to go off into retirement, enjoy his family and new found free time and love it all! Thank you for all you have done for us!


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