Celebrating 100 years - 123

WORLD

The 1970s ended with the United States
economy on the verge of a recession. Inflation
exceeded 13 percent, and a tight money supply limited lending for projects. Memories
of long gas lines lingered in people's minds.
Americans worried about energy. The Three
Mile Island power plant accident made
them worry about nuclear energy. Then,
the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.
The world was tense in 1979.
In an amazing course reversal, the 1980s
would bring economic growth, innovation
and glasnost, or openness. Reaganomics
provided tax cuts, budget cuts and the
unrestricted, free-market economy. IBM
introduced the PC; Apple Computer
launched Macintosh. The Digital Age was
at its dawn. The Cold War was ending.

INDUSTRY

AWCI's 1981 needs assessment survey found
that its contractor members had experienced
a 46 percent increase in revenues over the
prior two years. How was that possible?
Overbuilding in the 1970s had produced a
glut of office space. On the housing front,
residential construction had ballooned 26
percent, far surpassing the population's actual
shelter needs. It seemed that construction
would slow down.
Every cloud has a silver lining. The energy
crisis of the 1970s had driven Americans

to seek energy efficiency for their homes
and commercial buildings. Homeowners
started remodeling projects. The warehouse
home center, the likes of Home Depot and
Lowe's, appeared on the scene catering to
the new do-it-yourselfer. Building owners
sought large-scale retrofits.
In January 1980, then, wall and ceiling

A contractor
offering both
fixed wall and
movable wall
construction could
offer a turnkey
service advantage.
construction was a bright spot. And a surge
in construction innovation would make its
mark on the new decade. Here are some
examples.
New production processes. Panelization-
the prefabrication of walls and other
assemblies-offered the industry "the

most significant growth opportunity to
come along in many, many, many years,"
Construction Dimensions said. AWCI was
on top of the trend early. In 1980, the association produced a pre-conference seminar
entitled, "Short Course on Panelization."
More than 150 contractors, suppliers and
manufacturers' representatives attended the
two-day educational event.
New sectors. Architects started specifying sound attenuation systems on projects.
Sound control was a profitable new niche.
The products carried high margins, and installation could be handled entirely within
an AWCI contractor's scope. "There's a very
definite growing market for acoustical wall
systems," said Construction Dimensions.
"A contractor offering both fixed wall and
movable wall construction could offer a
turnkey service advantage."
Growing sectors. The exterior insulation
and finish systems market became huge
in the 1980s. Construction Dimensions
estimated it in excess of $1 billion at the
end of the decade and growing.
Thus, many new ideas and growing
markets brought business to AWCI contractors. AWCI's 1985 needs assessment
survey showed the average AWCI member
company had 32 employees, generated $3.28
million in annual revenue and had been
in business for 27 years. Together, AWCI

The Foundation
Research and
Reference Library
In 1980, the Foundation of the Wall
and Ceiling Industry announced
plans for a new
research and reference library . The
Foundation raised
$27,000 to launch
the project . Several
AWCI contractors,
manufacturers and
suppliers supported the effort and
commissioned
plans (shown) .
In 1982, the first
Foundation
Auction raised
$40,000 . By 1984,
the John H . Hampshire Research and
Reference Library
was completely
catalogued . Today,
it remains the
largest independent library serving
the wall and
ceiling industry .

123



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Celebrating 100 years

AWCI's 100th Anniversary Video
i. Table of Contents
ii. Forward
iii. Acknowledgements
Chapter 1. 1918-1919 : The Master Minds
Chapter 2. The 1920s: Choosing Sides
Chapter 3. The 1930s: Unity Prevails
Chapter4. The 1940s: Dormancy and Revival
Chapter 5. The 1950s: Plaster vs. Drywall
Chapter 6. The 1960s: Other Lines of Endeavor
Chapter 7. The 1970s: Consolidation
Chapter 8. The 1980s: The Growth Years
Chapter 9. The 1990s: Money
Chapter 10. The 2000s: Exceptional Times
Chapter 11. The 2010s: We the Industry
Chapter 12. The Future
Chapter 13. The Sponsors
Appendix 1. AWCI’s Presidents
Appendix 2. AWCI Awards (the E.F. Venzie Award and the Pinnacle Award)
Appendix 3. Lifetime Members
Appendix 4. Longtime AWCI Members
Appendix 5. AWCI Board of Directors
Appendix 6. The Organization Behind the Leadership
Celebrating 100 years - AWCI's 100th Anniversary Video
Celebrating 100 years - Cover1
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Celebrating 100 years - i. Table of Contents
Celebrating 100 years - ii. Forward
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Celebrating 100 years - iii. Acknowledgements
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 1. 1918-1919 : The Master Minds
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 2. The 1920s: Choosing Sides
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 3. The 1930s: Unity Prevails
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter4. The 1940s: Dormancy and Revival
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 5. The 1950s: Plaster vs. Drywall
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 6. The 1960s: Other Lines of Endeavor
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 7. The 1970s: Consolidation
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 8. The 1980s: The Growth Years
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 9. The 1990s: Money
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 10. The 2000s: Exceptional Times
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 11. The 2010s: We the Industry
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 12. The Future
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Celebrating 100 years - Chapter 13. The Sponsors
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 1. AWCI’s Presidents
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 2. AWCI Awards (the E.F. Venzie Award and the Pinnacle Award)
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 3. Lifetime Members
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 4. Longtime AWCI Members
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 5. AWCI Board of Directors
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Celebrating 100 years - Appendix 6. The Organization Behind the Leadership
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