Commercial Opportunities Abound

by Tara Taffera

A theme that emerged from last week’s GlassBuild America show was an array of commercial products offering viable solutions to the industry. Even more encouraging were reports from two CEOs who predict growth in this market.

Many exhibitors say this year's trade show was an overall positive experience.

Commercial products offering viable solutions to the industry was a recurring theme at last week’s GlassBuild America show in Atlanta.

“We are focused on growing profitably—both top and bottom,” says Bill Griffiths, Quanex CEO. “In fact, if you ask anyone with a Quanex shirt, you will get that same answer.”

The event allowed Griffiths to speak to glass, door and window companies and he was encouraged by the optimism, one he strongly shares.

“Almost every manufacturer I spoke to has experienced growth,” he says.

“We have had double-digit growth this year,” says Filip Geeraert, president and CEO of Deceuninck North America. “We have added new customers and customers are asking what is new as a system.”

He adds that regionally Texas and North Carolina are some areas that are strong.

“There is a focus on remodeling and I see that continuing through the end of the year. We are seeing some aluminum companies moving into vinyl,” he adds.

Big growth will come from commercial, says Geeraert. “Our customers tell us they have found some niches,” he adds. “Some have found the niche of light commercial. Some say residential is flat, but light commercial is up,” he says.

Capitalizing on that trend, both companies showcased products for the commercial market, in addition to their residential offerings.

Quanex introduced what it calls its “first foray into a true commercial window.” The C3 11000 tilt and turn window is targeted for 25-story buildings, says Eric Thompson, Quanex Building Products. The 1 5/8-inch glazing helps the window achieve low U-values and high structural properties, he adds. (To learn more about the product and view it in action, watch the USGNN video newscast.)

Meanwhile Deceuninck focused on its newly branded Icon Series, a line of residential products that may also be used for commercial applications.

At the Truth Hardware booth, Jim Seaser, director, new business development, referred to the fact that Truth and Amesbury are now “sister-companies” as Truth was purchased by Tyman, who also owns Amesbury.

“Companies see the value of it and it definitely makes sense,” he says. 

One of the reasons is Truth’s strong presence in the commercial hardware market and Seaser talked about some of those options. The company was featuring its multi-point locks for commercial windows.

“We wanted to leverage our Maxim product on the residential side and bring that to the commercial market,” he says.  This commercial product offers ease of operation, performance, ease of installation and adjustability.

“Commercial windows are getting bigger so this new product offers five locking points and can be used for windows up to 102 inches tall. Each locking point can accommodate 350 pounds, says Seaser.

“We have received a lot of interest on this and we just completed the pilot run,” he adds.

Amesbury also had commercial hardware on display at the event. “The ADA handle is very big for the commercial division,” says Deb Lanctot, who adds this is a new product for the commercial division.

Tara Taffera is a contributing editor for USGNN.

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