Good News / Bad News
A look at the most recent ABI
A very interesting Architectural Billings Index was released this week. On one hand the news was good, but on the other, not so much. In my last post I predicted a bad overall score. The worries on interest rates and the banking mess (still on going, though the world moves on to other issues) would weigh it down was my thought. Well thankfully on the overall score I was wrong. In fact the Architectural Billings Index posted a positive score of 50.4, putting us in the plus territory for the first time in five months.
However, a deeper look brought out my concerns and, in a way, justified my prediction. The numbers for new inquiries and new contracts both went down, the contract one dropping to an under water 48.9 which reverses what was a positive trend the last few months. Plus three of the four regions were negative with only the mighty Midwest in the plus side. In addition, the firewall of the south, that in this study includes Texas, continues to stutter with its 4th straight negative month. So good news that overall things are hanging in, but future facing has some additional worries to it and we all knew this road ahead was never going to be easy (it never is) but we surely have to keep plugging away.
The next episode of the From the Fabricator podcast premieres next week and I’m pretty stoked. I have two of the three interviews in the can and it features some good stuff from very different parts of our industry. Looking forward to dropping that edition and sharing!
Embodied carbon in buildings
Good work from Oldcastle Building Envelope on a primer about embodied carbon in buildings. They worked with Architectural Record on a free e-book and it was a great way to explain and lay out the entire realm of this issue. Well worth the study to get up to speed on a very important issue and kudos to OBE for stepping up and sharing.
A net-zero future
Also a good share this week from NFRC’s Tom Herron. The article features the top 10 recommendations for the construction sector to reach a net-zero future. Good find and share by Tom who is a very good guy in our space.
Maryland is the latest into the bird-friendly push with a bill proposing bird-friendly glass on all state-owned buildings. This is trend that is not going away, and our industry has really stepped up with many options and avenues to get things done. Good to see!
Gas station design
Architectural Digest did a list of the 14 best designed gas stations in the world and it is worth the click. Some wild looks and layouts here but two quibbles. Buc-ee’s has to be on there, if only because no other gas station leaves you with memories like Buc-ee’s. And the other comment is the Winston-Salem one listed is very fashionable which makes me think that Dapper Dan Reinhart of Salem Fabrication Technologies must get his gas there to be always in tune and in style.
By the way if you’ve never visited a Buc-ee’s don’t hesitate the next time you see one while out on the road. It truly is an experience.
A loss for the industry
Last this week, the passing of John Kalakos who many will know from his time in leadership at TRACO. John was a massive part of the success that TRACO experienced, for those who may not know or remember, TRACO was an absolute monster in the market for many years. My brother Steve and John worked closely together, and the growth of our company came in combo with TRACO’s advance. John’s faith in my brother and our team allowed that, so we’ll always be thankful for those opportunities. John was a great leader and person and will be missed tremendously. Thoughts and prayers to John’s family, friends, and co-workers.