May 22

The Alarm Has Sounded



Blah, Blah … Blog

It certainly seems to be the topic of the day and rightfully so. To be sure, magazine articles have been written about it, bloggers have turned themselves loose over it and the topic took center stage at the recent GANA Building Envelope Contractors Conference in Las Vegas when keynote speaker Scott Thomsen devoted his entire presentation to it. I refer here to what has now been labeled the “Battle for the Wall’ in reference to the continuing pressure to regulate the percentage of a building’s exterior wall surface that can be a glazed opening. Specifically, the reduction being pushed is  from 40% to 30% … a reduction in the glazed area of 25%!!! The reduced area would be replaced by materials deemed to be more energy efficient such as brick, concrete and the like. As Thomsen points out … “All over the world, people are trying to reduce the amount of glass in facades, claiming that a solid surface wall has a much better U-factor and insulation performance than an all-glass façade.” And unfortunately (for the glass industry), this battle could very well be lost without a meaningful, educated, and coordinated response. If you care, and I hope you glass guys do, please take a couple of minutes and go to www.usglassmag.com/digital/2013/Apr2013.pdf or borrow an April copy of USGlass (I am told that there are almost 50,000 copies floating around out there) and track down Thomsen’s article (starts on page 36). OK glass industry, the alarm has been sounded. And you most likely have now heard it at least once. So whatta you gonna do? Respond or walk away and hope that somebody else does so for you.

An Opportunity for You I have been invited to join legendary gold prospector Roy “Stumpy” Darby on a gold prospecting expedition this summer and naturally, I jumped at the chance. Because of Stumpy’s connections and membership in a prestigious national prospecting organization, he is allowed to work land that is not, under normal circumstances, available to the public. In fact, when I asked Stumpy where we would be looking for gold, he would only say that it is in a place where “the catfish eat well and the salmon run free.” Stumpy talks like that a lot. I’m just hoping I don’t have to wear a blindfold to get there. At any rate, sponsorships for this venture are available. For just $100 you will not only get a portion of the net proceeds (no guarantees of course) but also a gold pan autographed by Stumpy and myself with the date of the expedition. Send me an e-mail at lhill@glass.com if you are interested. Only gonna allow a few sponsors … first come first serve!


Stumpy & Lyle

Stumpy & Lyle


As Some Have SuspectedA recently completed study that was co-sponsored by BOMA and the Greater Boston Real Estate Board concluded that “there is no positive correlation between mandatory building energy labeling and energy use.” Further, Robert Stavins, one of the reports co-authors said “The biggest surprise to me was that we found … no empirical evidence that these mandates have any effect on energy use.” I know, from comments I have received from some readers, that the whole “green program” so to speak, is not held in the highest of regards. My personal opinion is that while some regulation and standardization is needed, the market place should be the driver here and allowed to direct most of what goes on with regards to this. Enough said for now. Just thought some of you might be interested in this.

And Here’s the Proof For those of you who are constantly making fun of Chicago’s weather, I submit the following picture taken last week in one of the numerous Chicago area public parks. This photo was one of several sent to me by good friend and professional photographer Lori Kachlic (CharCole Photography). Of course it’s much easier to take beautiful pictures when you can include your beautiful kids in them.


Cole & Charley

Cole & Charley

Gas vs. Glass This gas-glass thing has been kicking around for a few weeks now and I have appreciated the many comments that I have received as well as the charts and articles that were sent to me about the matter. Maybe too much has already been said about this but I just felt compelled to add yet another quick comment or two and then I will try to let it go … I promise. First, glass pricing … specifically, in spite of a number of announced price increases by the various primary producers and fabricators over the past few months, the latest “Producer Price Index Report from the U.S. Labor Department finds that on a national basis, flat glass prices just suffered a .9% price decrease. Please remember that the question was raised (in this blog) more than once about whether or not the supply side of the industry could make their price increases stick. On the gas side, global demand has continued to drop and so much so that China (where gas prices are governmentally controlled) has slashed retail prices to increase consumption. Also, oil prices per gallon continue to be around $95/barrel and the US dollar has now strengthened. US consumption is still down and domestic oil production is better than ever and ahead of previous predictions (as to when the country will be totally oil independent), so once again, the question … why are gas prices so high?

Half & HalfJust finished reading a summary of our current labor situation in the US of A and the report indicated that approximately half (actually a little less than half) of all work eligible adults (non-disabled and 18 – 70 years of age was the definition) in the country actually have a job. The report claimed that this is the lowest percentage since the great depression. Note today’s quote below.

The Sports Thinga special thanks here to my “friends” from the Detroit area for pointing out that the Red Wings have now beaten my poor Blackhawks twice in a row while outscoring them 7-2. I still think the Hawks will prevail … it’s just gonna take a little longer than originally anticipated. And hey, how about my White Sox? I’m going to the game tonight against Boston if the weather cooperates and they can sweep the series with a win tonight. Not gonna talk about the Cubs right now. On the NBA front … nobody’s gonna beat the heat this summer!!!

The Quotable Thing …This week’s quotation comes from Bobbie Rovner who I had the privilege of working with for 35 years. She actually sent it in a few months ago and I am finally getting around to using it … not because it was not as good as others but simply due to timing … the time is now! Unfortunately, I don’t know who said it or when but again, now is the appropriate time to share it.

……“When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.”


Have A Great Week Everybody!!!


  1. sausage

    Just the other night I was enjoying my favorite pass time. Chanel surfing!
    I had planned to just bust right through CSPAN, when, whoops, it was the British parliament.
    I love watching these guys debate. They are real debates with hard questions and demands. You know right where these guys stand.
    I think its one part of the British system we forgot to include.
    I digress……
    So one item that was stirring hot debate and demand was that the government looks into price fixing of Gas and oil.
    Now I don’t buy into most of the whacky conspiracy theories that we generate here in the US. But I have to say I buy into this one.
    Think our politicians will ask the same questions? I guess not, they are being paid off by big oil.

  2. Lyle Hill

    Sausage old friend … welcome back. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard from you. But a conspiracy? Really? And government being paid off by big oil? Can’t happen my friend … the IRS wouldn’t stand for it!!! Lyle

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