Volume 8, Issue 5 - May 2007
Streamlining the Commercialization of Fiberglass and
Less than 20 years ago, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) made industry history by breaking the material barrier and combining aluminum and vinyl products under the umbrella of a single performance standard (ANSI/AAMA 101-88). That initial foray into the materials “neutral zone”—as revolutionary as it was—pales in comparison to today’s scope of material developments.
According to the AAMA/WDMA 2005 U.S. Industry Market Studies, fiberglass products are estimated to have captured 1.7 percent of the market in 2006—not a big deal until you consider that it is projected to represent 2.4 percent in 2009, a 41 percent increase in just three years. Cellulosic composites are not far behind. While still embedded in the “other” statistical category, they arguably lead that category, which is expected to grow in market share by about 18 percent by 2009.
A solid infrastructure for growth, is one of the reasons for this torrid pace of acceptance. These infrastructure factors include the following:
A Material-Neutral Performance Standard
A Well-Established Profile Certification Program
More recently, AAMA 305-06, the latest version of the Voluntary Specification for Fiberglass Reinforced Thermoset Profiles has been issued (originally published in 2000). It works in conjunction with the newly-created AAMA 623, 624 and 625 standards for organic, high- and superior-performance fiberglass finishes, respectively. This standards infrastructure has enabled last fall’s launch of a profile certification program for fiberglass framing.
AAMA 311-05, Voluntary Specification for Rigid Thermoplastic Cellulosic Composite Fenestration Exterior Profiles, similarly covers requirements for cellulosic composite profiles. Interlocking standards for laminated composite profiles (AAMA 312) and for finishes, a draft of the latter now being finalized in committee meetings, is also on the books. Bringing composite profiles into the profile certification program to join vinyl and fiberglass will not be far behind.
Improved Association Representation
Green Building Initiatives
Larry Livermore is the technical standards manager for the American Architectural Manufacturers Association in Schaumburg, Ill. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Livermore’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.