One of the themes throughout the GlassCon Global conference has been finding opportunities for building innovation, design and development. Two companies here are working toward just that. Dow Corning Corp. and JE Berkowitz LP announced an agreement under which JE Berkowitz will manufacture Dow Corning Architectural Insulation Modules (AIM) utilizing Dow Corning’s Vacuum Insulation Panels. The agreement includes a joint marketing and sales effort for the eastern U.S. and eastern Canada.
“We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with JE Berkowitz for fabrication of AIM,” said Charlie Zimmer, global program manager for high performance insulation at Dow Corning. “After collaborating with JE Berkowitz for more than a year of development, mock-ups and testing, we’re confident not only in their high-quality fabricating, but also in their estimating, operations and project management capabilities.”
According to information form the companies, the AIM product combines the aesthetics and convenience of curtainwall construction with the added energy-savings benefit of high-performance insulation. Integrating Dow Corning Vacuum Insulation Panels in a protective architectural finish, AIM enables new design possibilities for zero-energy buildings, significantly increased thermal resistance in space-limited situations and creation of slim wall constructions with high R-value performance.
Speaking of the partnership, Paul Wisniewski, new business market development leader with Dow Corning, says, “We did not want to duplicate what already exists, so we’re combining both our expertise to offer a variety of [options] …”
“It’s the latest technology in thermal performance in the façade of building,” adds Mike Nicklas, business development manager for JEB. “This will allow you to go to a thinner wall with higher thermal performance.”
“You get service and support from both parties,” adds Wisniewski. ‘We’ve combined our resources together and that gives more value, and a high quality product with support and service behind it.”
Zimmer explains they’ve had the process available in Europe for a number of years, but this is the first agreement in North America, which is many ways is still catching up with what Europe has done.
“It’s the first time in North America and we’re seeing lots of traction with architects as what they can do to enable their visions,” says Zimmer. “It’s a good tool in their toolkit to design the façade of their dreams.” He adds that this technology will help enable glass facades to be more competitive with other products.
“It can help keep more glass on building because of the high performance,” says Zimmer.
To accommodate the new technology, JE Berkowitz has been expanding its operations in Pedricktown, N.J. Bob Price, JE Berkowitz director of sales, says the company is bringing on equipment to accommodate the addition and is expanding its capacity by bringing on a fourth insulating glass line. He says the company has gone through specialized training and is developing its staff internally to prepare as well.
“This adds to our commercial capabilities,” says Price.
“It’s been exciting to team with Dow Corning on the innovative Dow Corning Vacuum Insulation Panel and AIM technologies,” adds JE Berkowitz president Arthur Berkowitz. “These technologies will have a significant impact on improving performance for the curtainwall and window industry. Adding fabrication of architectural modules now is a perfect fit for our ongoing $5 million expansion, which will include additional building space as well as additional insulating glass manufacturing capability.”
JE Berkowitz will fabricate Dow Corning Architectural Insulation Modules in various sizes, thicknesses and finishes for the architectural curtainwall and glazing markets, helping to ensure ready availability of the product for glazing contractors and architects.