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June-July  2004

AAMA Analysis

Googling for Windows
A Quick Guide to Window Industry Resources
by Carl Wagus

Inveterate web surfers are quite familiar with Google™, the famous and spookily omniscient Internet search engine. It’s so well-known, in fact, that in research circles, “google” is becoming a verb. But when you “google windows” (i.e., enter the keyword “windows” and hit “Google Search”), no less than 113 million information sources present themselves for your researching pleasure. Even if you limit the search to cull out stuff about Bill Gates’ software, you still have 9,380,000 entries to sort through.

So, what’s a windows researcher to do?

As quaint as the medium might be in today’s cyber-world, I humbly attempt a rescue by offering a simple, hard copy list of some of the premier information sources that the industry has to offer. 

American Architectural Manufacturers Association 
AAMA has more than 100 newly published or recently updated standards and publications available in electronic or printed format from its website at www.aamanet.org

Many AAMA publications are referenced in building codes at the local, state and national levels. Several of our flagship documents, such as AAMA/NWWDA 101/I.S. 2-97, “Voluntary Specifications for Aluminum, Vinyl (PVC) and Wood Windows and Glass Doors” and the similar North American version 101/I.S. 2/NAFS-02 (both jointly sponsored by AAMA and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association [WDMA]), are included in the International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC).

One hot tip: designers and users of fenestration products often need information on the structural requirements for installed products. AAMA TIR A10, “Wind Loads on Components and Cladding for Buildings less than 90 Feet Tall” can often be used to simplify the determination of wind loads when the building code references ASCE 7, “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.” 

However, inquiries on other buildings and subjects not covered in TIR A10 should be directed to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at www.asce.org. Because not all building codes reference the ASCE standard, and those that do often reference different versions, designers should check local code requirements before deciding to seek guidance on the use of ASCE 7. Code information pertaining to the IRC, IBC or IECC can be obtained from the International Code Council at www.iccsafe.org.

ASTM International
ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society of Testing and Materials, is one of the world’s largest development and delivery systems for voluntary consensus standards—accepted around the globe—for materials, products, systems and services. AAMA documents reference hundreds of ASTM standards related to building materials. Many of ASTM’s standards applicable to fenestration products are under the jurisdiction of ASTM’s E06 Main Committee on Performance of Buildings and the E06.51 Subcommittee on the Performance of Windows, Doors, Skylights and Curtain Walls. Key standards pertaining to fenestration products are E 330, E 331, E 283, F 588, F 842, E 1105 and E 547.

An online index of ASTM International standards enables the viewer to locate ASTM standards in 130 varying industry areas. Searchable by key word or standard number, the titles and scopes of all 12,000 ASTM standards can be found on the ASTM website at www.astm.org

Aluminum Association Inc.
Membership of the Aluminum Association Inc. (AAI) consists of the primary producers of aluminum and fabricators of aluminum building products and other wares, as well as companies that supply goods and services to those producers. AAI members conduct research and development into the use of aluminum alloys and products, including those used by the building construction industry.

The Aluminum Design Manual, produced by the association and available for purchase from its online bookstore at www.aluminum.org/Bookstore, is a particularly good source of information on specific properties and uses for architects, designers, structural engineers, roofers and builders.

Material specifications, drafting standards, documents on designing with aluminum and the finishing of aluminum are available from AAI via its website at www.aluminum.org.

Glass Association of North America
Fabricators of glass products such as insulating glass, laminated glass, heat-treated glass, mirrors, decorative glass and other fabricated glass products often belong to the Glass Association of North America (GANA). Information on these products and the standards relating to their fabrication and installation can be obtained from www.glasswebsite.com. 

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