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Finally Turning A Corner?

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April 26, 2021 |
Bill O'Keeffe

In press release dated March 24, 2021, the AIA was pleased to announce that the Architecture Billings Index posted a score of 53.3 in February 2021 (according to the AIA, a score of 50 and above indicates increased billings). This was the first time ABI posted a positive score since February 2020. In addition, the new project inquiries score was 61.2 for February 2021, reaching a 22-month high.  

For all of us in the construction industry, this is much welcomed. Last year was filled with concern. Almost overnight, we had to make adjustments on how we conducted our business to respond to the changes that were happening. In the midst of this, the decision was made to be forward looking and chart a course that would make our organization more resilient. We invested in our manufacturing facilities, re-examined our processes, attacked R&D projects head-on to improve and expand our product offerings, and provided additional support to our most valued resource – our team members. We are glad to say that while 2020 wasn’t without its challenges, we are proud to report our company made it successfully through to the other side. We knew that if we were to come out strong, we’d have to be reactive, nimble and bold, something most companies in the construction business are adept at. 

An unprecedented $2 Trillion proposal is before Congress that should help our industry. Architects, contractors, and building material suppliers like ourselves should see an uptick in activity. Of course, all of us will continue to watch the ABI, look at all the economic forecasts, and keep our finger on the pulse. The construction industry has proved to be resilient time and time again.  

The Biden administration’s executive order to strengthen Buy American provisions should help. There now seems to be an opportunity for manufacturers and those of us involved in construction located in the U.S.A. to participate more in this economic recovery. In this article, the author summarizes the key provisions that pushfederal agencies to buy more construction products made in the U.S.A.,and the effort to close loopholes for waivers in the existing Buy American provisions. “Made in the U.S.A.” is something that sets SAFTI FIRST apart from other fire rated glass and framing suppliers. We are the only vertically integrated, single source, fire rated glass and framing manufacturer entirely producing our systems in the U.S.A.Our manufacturing plants are located in Merced, CA, with a total of five buildings and almost 20 acres of dedicated facilities. SAFTI FIRST producing clear, wire-free and tint-free protective and resistive fire rated glass rated from 20 minutes to three hours. GPX creating fire rated framing, and most recently, Titan Metal Products building fire rated doors. These separate facilities each have state-of-the-art CADD/CAMM equipment and we are proud of our hardworking, skilled and caring craftspeople.  These people are dedicated to producing the highest quality fire and safety products available. 

 

Titan Metal Products is our dedicated facility in Merced, CA producing high quality specialty doors including fire rated, ballistic, detention, security and more.

 

In my previous blogs, I’ve always said, “this too shall pass.” Hopefully, we are turning a corner and headed for a recovery.   

Bill O'Keeffe
SAFTI FIRST Fire Rated Glazing Solutions

About the Author: Bill O’Keeffe is the President and CEO of SAFTI FIRST Fire Rated Glazing Solutions, a leading USA-manufacturer of advanced fire rated glass and framing systems.  An industry veteran and innovator with over 45 years of experience in architectural glazing, he was first to introduce and manufacture clear, fire resistive glazing products in the US.  He is also a safety advocate who exposed the dangers of traditional wired glass, which lead to code changes and fire rated glass products that are safe, affordable and clear alternatives to traditional wired glass.  Today, Bill continues to develop building products that enable architects to create beautiful, safe and energy-efficient spaces with advanced glazing systems.

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