A Needed Innovation
Big innovation news from Viracon
The big news for this blog dropped late in the week and I think it was hinted upon during my podcast with Garret Henson of Viracon. The announcement that Viracon would be adding a code to each IGU that will identify the exact make-up of the unit is big, big news in my opinion.
This is something that has been bandied about for years and some have tried on much smaller scales but to have something formal like this truly is a huge accomplishment. Matching or replacing existing is already an adventure, but even worse when you don’t exactly know what the product is. This move by Viracon, at least for their units, takes that guessing game out.
Excellent work to get that moving, and now we’ll see how fast others will move to match. Again, it’s been a process that some have tried/done in small bursts, but now it’s a national play. Congrats to the team at Viracon for pushing this out there. I’ll count this is as a mini scoop because on my podcast Garret noted something big was coming and I have to assume this was it!
Lingering BEC buzz
BEC may be over but that buzz continues and I love it. One item that I want to share for those that did not attend was the “Top 10” list that I opened the show with. I found this list that was presented 20 years ago at BEC and brought it back to show how much has changed and improved since 2003. So here goes the Top 10 Industry Challenges for the Glazing Contractor in 2003:
10. Lack of commitment and dealing with poor project coordination by general contractors;
9. Architects—lack of product knowledge;
8. Ramifications from the design/build process;
7. Inadequate architectural drawings and/or details;
6. Construction scheduling;
5. Project management;
4. Risk transfer or evaluation;
3. Bad documents and killer contracts;
2. Getting paid;
1. Building a quality workforce.
As I noted from the stage, isn’t it great that we figured all of this out and fixed it?
Truly is something to see it all in print that 20 years later this list is pretty much what it would be if we created it today. Some things are being worked on more diligently than others but the challenge remains. The big question is at the 2043 BEC when probably one of the Habers, from the latest generation who just attended their first BEC, is hosting it, will they bring this up again and will it be the same?
One more note on BEC, if you were not convinced Bird Friendly glazing was a real thing, you should be now. The commitment is there. The products options are there, and the codes and standards will just keep coming.
Architectural Billings Index
The Architectural Billings Index gets released this week and will be a curious one to watch because last month almost was in the positive territory. The analysts have felt that the softening in 2024 would be on the shorter side, so if that is true, we’ll either be close to positive or over. Now obviously the same analysts did not expect a bizarre banking crisis either, though I am sure that is not factored in to this month’s index but could roil the next few. And no doubt this banking issue may wreak serious havoc on our space and bears watching.
Before the banks went haywire, there was some optimism on the backlog side. The ABC Backlog indicator reversed past losses and had a good last report. Historic high backlog is the headline and I know some reading this do not agree at all, but interesting to see and a good read here on the latest.
Last this week, the documentary series on Netflix “Pepsi, Where’s My Jet” is not only a fun and light watch but also the main guy in it worked in the glass industry in Seattle back in the day. Briefly talking about cutting and installing glass but then more into being a window washer. So at least it was a fun quick mention. Aside from that, the story itself was interesting and also somewhat bizarre in that a pretty solid cash settlement was offered but the guy wanted a military jet. You’ll have to watch it to get that whole thing, not a bad time passer for sure.