Volume 7 Issue 3 March 2006
FMA: Not Just Another Association
you’re a member of the fenestration industry it’s a good bet you are
familiar with the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the
American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). But what about the
Fenestration Manufacturers Association (FMA)? Chances are you’re not as
knowledgeable about this organization, if at all. But the FMA plays an important
role in the fenestration industry, specifically in the Gulf Coast states. So
here’s your chance to learn more about the FMA, why there is a need for it,
how it differs from WDMA and AAMA and what role it plays in the industry.
find the answers to these questions, I interviewed Dick Wilhelm, FMA executive
director, and Jon Hill, vice president for Keystone Certification Inc. (Keystone
administers the FMA/Keystone Certification Program). But first, following is a
bit of background on the association.
FMA’s mission is as follows: “To advocate the position for fenestration
manufacturers marketing in the southeast United States and Caribbean through
interaction with building code promulgators, consensus standard bodies, the
design professional team, the building inspection community and policy makers.
This interaction allows for the FMA to provide real-time solutions to members’
FMA evolved from the Architectural Manufacturers
Association of Florida. FMA, headquartered in Tallahassee, Fla., was formed in
1989 to give a voice to manufacturers of doors, windows, skylights, shutters,
component suppliers and dealers by providing them a “place at the
table” when regulatory decisions affecting their
businesses are being promulgated.
The association currently has approximately 60 members that include
fenestration manufacturers and industry suppliers.
The FMA maintains a proactive stance in the development of the
International Family of Codes, the Florida Building Code, the Florida Product
Approval process and representation before the Florida Legislature and the
Florida Building Commission.
association is divided into six standing committees, each chaired by a board
member, who report to the executive committee.
These include: Thermal, Fenestration, Education and Testing, Vinyl
Fabrication, Fenestration Installation Committee, Codes and Technical and
Membership. Their main function is to review member issues and determine a
course of action to solve problems on a real-time basis. These committees meet
as needed via teleconference and report back to the executive director with the
resolution. Response time for
executive board decisions is generally two days.
the FMA different than the WDMA or AAMA?
are based in Florida and that is the number one state for impact-resistant
products. The bubble will not break here. We offer real-time solutions to
problems as we are located ten minutes from the state legislature. It’s
nothing for me to walk over to the state legislature to gain answers to problems
affecting our industry.
If you compare us to Southeast AAMA that organization is more
technical as we are more of an advocacy group that offers a certification
are very unique needs in Florida and the Gulf Coast states that were not being
met. Our focus is on the hurricane market. We started in Florida and we are
well-connected here … What happens in Florida is a good indicator of what will
happen in other states. For example, Louisiana is in the process of upgrading
its building codes so it is more like Florida.
Do you work together with the other
do work with Southeast AAMA frequently on joint efforts. But our focus is to do
things better. For example, we need to do a better job at representing the code
And as the Gulf Coast states respond to the new reality of
hurricane codes and enforcement we’re here to respond to the needs of
manufacturers regarding questions about enforcement of the codes, etc.
DWM: What efforts are in
place for your expansion outside of Florida?
an advocacy group for members conducting business in the Southeast and Gulf
Coast states, while also providing direct support and educational components,
the association has committed to, and is actively expanding, it's sphere of
influence outside of Florida as the International Family of Building Codes are
expanded north and west along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.
DWM: The FMA offers a third-party
certification and quality assurance program through Keystone Certifications.
Tell me more about this partnership.
Hill: The FMA is the advocacy, marketing and education side of the house and
Keystone is the third-party inspection and certification side. The programs
operate in accordance with the International Standards Organization Guide 65, is
accredited by the American National Standards Institute and is officially
recognized by the Florida Building Commission.
FMA/Keystone Certification Program enables licensees to demonstrate compliance
with the International Code Council’s requirements in 45 states as well as the
Florida Building Code/Florida State Product Approval.
vision of this affiliation is the team approach. FMA/Keystone will offer
manufacturers one-stop shopping to bring fenestration products to the
marketplace in a timely and efficient manner amongst the myriad of standards and
regulations affecting the industry.
DWM: Are there manufacturers
in the Gulf Coast states who may not be aware of the FMA?
is a lot of education that needs to be done. We get inquiries daily on our
website. There are manufacturers that have never even heard of us so we will be
working on some promotional efforts in the coming months.
But let me add that our membership has been growing.
One of the reasons is that we are
committed to offering improved conferences. (The FMA hosts two each year. In
2005 they will be held in March and October. Go to www.fmausaonline.com
for more information.) To that end, we hired a professional meeting planner
DWM: What are some of the future plans
for the FMA?
expand its functions beyond codes and standards. We have the inside scoop on
manufacturers in Florida as most of the major manufacturers own plants here or
conduct business in the state. We want to keep these companies apprised of tax
issues, etc., thus adding another dimension to the association. As another
example, we are currently working with the best minds in the industry on test
protocols. We’re taking the association in another direction than our
during 2006 the association will produce and publish the Installation Guide for Windows and Doors into Masonry Construction, and
is working on an educational course addressing compliance with testing and
labeling of fenestration products to meet the revised Florida energy code. These
courses will be offered to members, building officials, architects, builders and
code bodies as part of the FMA education mission.
they want [FMA members], we’re here.
FMA’s spring conference will be held April 12-14 in Tampa, Fla. For more
information visit www.fmausaonline.org.
Taffera is the publisher and editor of DWM
© Copyright 2006 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.