Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • I was discussing the American Clean Energy and Security Act with my oldest son a while back. I explained that it had started out as a bill by these two representatives Waxman and Markey, who had brought it before the House Energy Committee, where it had been passed. At the time of our conversation, it had recently been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. “So now it has to go to... more »
  • In 1985, a young window salesman was sent to Columbus, Ohio, to negotiate a contract of $275,000. His supervisor had commanded that young salesman to come back with the order and allowed, if necessary, that the salesman had the latitude to adjust the price by as much as $25,000. The very inexperienced young salesman walked into the office and met an intimidating purchaser who quickly exerted... more »
  • When the economy turns and the tide of red ink finally ebbs, the predominant color in a resurgent construction and remodeling market is very likely to be green. On the commercial side, the U.S. green building market is accelerating at a dramatic rate, says McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Outlook 2009: Trends Driving Change report, released last November at the Greenbuild Conference. The... more »
  • The 2009 edition of the International Codes is now available. The debut of a new edition of the I-codes usually sparks a flurry of questions about content and enforcement. It is timely therefore to devote this column to the most frequently asked questions and their answers: Is the 2008 edition of AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 referenced in the 2009 I-codes?Yes. When the phrase “I-codes... more »
  • Nothing feels better to me than the beginning of summer. And from an industry perspective, it’s great to see things warming up a bit. With the spring came news that workers were returning to window and door plants, and I suspect many distributors and dealers brought back employees as business picked up in the office and in the field. Whether you attribute the increase in activity to normal... more »
  • It wasn’t the main topic, but customer satisfaction was a recurring subject of discussion at a focus group of custom and semi-custom home builders I moderated recently. Held in Las Vegas at the same time as the International Builders Show, the session revealed a shift in builder reliance upon manufacturers for “customer satisfaction,” as opposed to dealers and distributors. The... more »
  • The only constant in life is change. These include new ways of getting things done, such as the use of a smart phones to check our e-mails, or the use of a Web tools like GoToMeeting to facilitate the effectiveness of our conference calls. Many changes are made because progress in technology makes them possible and cost effective. More recently, however, the International Code Council ... more »
  • Impact resistance, water penetration, thermal performance mandates– even bomb blast resistance – are among the headline issues that have raised the bar on building performance in recent times. Building codes, industry standards development and both government and non-government rating programs have taken up the drumbeat for performance requirements that weren’t even thought... more »
  • If you have ever become lost or nervous in the midst of a presentation, you’re not alone. Giving presentations is a scary proposition for many people, but with a little practice and preparation, you can confidently deliver engaging, impactful, and insightful messages. The key to delivering a high impact presentation is to deliver the “right message to the right audience at the right... more »
  • I picked up a brilliant little phrase when I lived in the South that many subsequent years in Washington, D.C., and New York have yet to erase. To me, it is so much more appropriate than any of its proper English counterparts. Though I never mastered the Southern drawl, I love the phrase “fixin’ to.” As in picking up the phone to hear, “Honey, have you left for the store?... more »