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Guardian Building Products Makes the Right Move

Guardian Building Products Fiberglass Batts Proper Installation

Yesterday I received an email and letter from Steve Ziessler, president and CEO of Guardian Building Products. In it, he apologized for their heavy-handed approach to expressing their displeasure with seeing their fiberglass batts pictured in an article on poor installation. From the email:

” You’re right in saying we were over the top in our initial response…We’ll keep our lawyers for other matters.  Again, my apologies for coming off so harsh.”

The letter was a bit more measured but still made me breathe easier. They’re holding out an olive branch, and I accept it gladly. Here are some quotes from Mr. Ziessler’s letter:

“Thanks for stimulating some serious soul-searching within our organization over the past few days.”

“As the recently appointed President of Guardian Building Products, I am committed to improving Guardian’s communication standards at all levels, including to our customers and the building industry. This social media episode gives me the opportunity to put that commitment into action.”

“I apologize for our Company having sent a letter that may have gone over the top or that was viewed as improperly harsh.”

“…we have no desire to pursue this matter any further – unless it’s to engage you and interested folks in the merits of improving energy efficiencies.”

“We welcome the opportunity to engage in a broader discussion with you and your readers about how to improve energy efficiency in homes and the quality of installation across the spectrum of building products.”

They also put the word out on Twitter:

“You’re right of course, our response to your blog was over the top.New & improved letter on its way to you.Then lets talk.

I was happy to hear from him so we can put this whole affair behind us and move forward with the work that both companies want to be doing, they in selling their products and Energy Vanguard in, well, doing all the things we do: blogging, training, design, checking REM/Rate files for our raters…and perhaps working with Guardian on some new training initiatives for their installers.

If Guardian is serious about improving the quality of installation, as Mr. Ziessler wrote, I think I might be able to help with that. I know a thing or two about education and training, and the people I’ve taught can confirm that. If for no other reason, then I’d have some photos of Guardian fiberglass batt insulation installed well to use here in the Energy Vanguard blog.


Allison Bailes of Atlanta, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the founder of Energy Vanguard. He has a PhD in physics and writes the Energy Vanguard Blog. He is also writing a book on building science. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.


Photo at top from Guardian Building Products website.


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This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Some things turn out well.
    Some things turn out well. This story is taking the right course!

  2. Kudos to the CEO. That a way
    Kudos to the CEO. That a way to step up and be a leader.

  3. Glad that cooler heads
    Glad that cooler heads prevailed. Good decision by the new president.

  4. Unexpected smart response
    Unexpected smart response from a CEO who quickly realized this was not a winner. I wonder if he was aware of the letter before it went out. Kudos to Mr. Ziessler for his handling of the situation. (assumming he was not aware of the letter before it went out). He would be even smarter to have Allison put together a program to improve FG installation. Might be able to turn this fiasco into something positive as well as differentiate his product from the pink stuff. ooh ooh brainstorm just hit me – How about pink cellulose?

  5. Good job by Guardian’s CEO
    Good job by Guardian’s CEO for making it right.

  6. Excellent. I’m glad the new
    Excellent. I’m glad the new president embraces the aspects of social media.

  7. Excellent move on their part.
    Excellent move on their part.  
    Kudos to them!

  8. Glad to see this appears to
    Glad to see this appears to be heading to a happy ending. Kudos to the new CEO of Guardian for seeing that his organization was heading down the wrong path. Hopefully, Allison can get something very positive out of this whole situation. 

  9. Good job Mr Ziessler for
    Good job Mr Ziessler for doing the right thing.

  10. Nice! plus a great
    Nice! plus a great affirmation for the power of social media.

  11. A big corporation does the
    A big corporation does the right thing? Let’s hope this is the start of a trend.

  12. Allison, 

    Congrats! And I’m glad to see Guardian’s CEO stepping up, too. Really, I know you’re totally relieved.

  13. Boy, talking about some great
    Boy, talking about some great tunes the ALLISON BAND-wagon plays… I can two-step to that tune, fer surrr!!! Yeaah-ha!!!

  14. Just like a GOOD politician
    Just like a GOOD politician (rare as they are) Ziessler has stepped up and held his organization to account. Sincerity and good intentions will always enjoy long term reward. That previous attack was a myopic attempt at short term self-preservation. It’s almost always a losing proposition.

  15. Great response by the CEO. He
    Great response by the CEO. He could really use your article to improve installation and efficiency of his product.

  16. Hopefully this will turn into
    Hopefully this will turn into a business opportunity for you. This whole episode truly shows the power of social media. This may have actually turned into a “eyeopener” for Guardian and if they are smart, they will also learn the power of social media positive uses in the future. Way to go Allison!

  17. Steve Ziessler is just doing
    Steve Ziessler is just doing the CYA thing at this point. No way that first letter went out without his knowledge and more likely he authorized it. At least he stood up and admitted he was wrong. Well, sort of.

  18. Is that guy side stapling?
    Is that guy side stapling? Sorry, couldn’t resist. 
    It’s great to hear that things worked out Alison.

  19. Very glad to hear that
    Very glad to hear that Guardian have changed their mind to take the enlightened pro-knowledge path rather than the way to ignorance and corporate irresponsibility. 
    This kind of legal attack has been used extensively in the UK where many scientists have been sued under by way of an abuse of lax libel laws by companies and organisations trying to cover up poor practice. Individual scientists have faced bankruptcy faced with massive legal bills. 
    Let’s all applaud Guardian for owning up to their mistake and encourage them to join us all in opposing companies who attack reasoned opinion with legal threats. 
    All the best, Paul

  20. Oops, hubspot grabbed my
    Oops, hubspot grabbed my comment too soon and I wanted to give you the link to my article in response to this event, include recommendations to Guardian and all other manufacturers

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