Volume 8, Issue 5 - May 2007

What’s News


Symposium Addresses Energy Efficiency and Moisture Control in Florida
The Florida Department of Community Affairs aimed to identify the relationship of sensible heat load and air-conditioning systems to moisture control in the Florida at its one-day symposium, Energy Efficiency and Moisture Control in Florida Homes. The event, which was held in Tampa, Fla., in February, also served as a forum for discussion over the concerns and in particular—from the fenestration community’s standpoint—how these concerns will affect the continued effort to market and sell low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) glazing in Florida.

Rick Dixon, chief of staff for the Florida Building Commission, noted that the purpose of the symposium was “to assess the risk to indoor air quality, identify technology to counter that risk and develop a problem statement to identify actions and strategies to address such risk.”

The topic is of importance to the fenestration industry because the FMA had sponsored numerous amendments in late 2006 to place key International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) provisions into the Florida Energy Code. These amendments were soundly defeated in the Energy TAC by the heating, air conditioning and ventilation community (HVAC) as well as the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSAC).

FMA was informed that the continued push to introduce energy-efficient windows into Florida will have a detrimental effect on the SEER 13 HVAC systems, indoor air quality and will help promote mold in Florida homes.

Chris Mathis, building science consultant with MC² served as the spokesman representing the fenestration industry’s position.

A few of the points made during presentations:
• The optimal comfort zone in the continental United States is 65 percent relative humidity at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This matrix is recommended to inhibit mold, bacteria and mites; 
• It has been discovered that Florida and the Gulf Coast, due to high humidity, requires 55 percent relative humidity to achieve the same optimal comfort zone; 
• Bigger is better when it comes to air conditioning units does not hold for Florida or the Gulf Coast; 
• Retrofit of homes with new window packages may require the use of variable speed fans added to existing air conditioning units; 
• If air conditioning units are consistently oversized and the glazing is changed to low SHGC, the mold problem is compounded; • The HVAC community would like to see Florida require variable speed fans added to existing air conditioners; and 
• Windows are the key to sizing the HVAC system. 

According to the FMA, the HVAC community would like to see:
• A phase in of low SHGC glazing requirements; 
• Air conditioning contractors, installers and builders to be required to take a CILB course to educate them on matching the glazing to the air conditioning and heating unit; 
• Would like to maintain a performance-based code as Florida currently has; 
• Reconfigure Manual J; and 
• Demonstrate to the builder and homeowner the advantage of sizing air conditioning equipment based on low SHGC glazing package. 

The symposium concluded with two major recommendations:
• Standardize design considerations for sizing air conditioning equipment including mechanical plans for residential construction; and 
• Create continuing educational courses for HVAC community, builders, glazing contractors and plans review. 

The FMA says it will continue to remain involved in the course development. The association will be soliciting support from members to assist the DCA in this effort. 


AAMA Releases Three New Documents
Three new documents that set performance requirements for the coating of fiber-reinforced thermoset profiles used in doors, windows and skylights have been published by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA).

AAMA 623-07, Voluntary Specifications, Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for Organic Coatings on Fiber-Reinforced Thermoset Profiles, outlines standards for basic pigmented coatings, while AAMA 624-07, Voluntary Specifications, Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for High Performance Organic Coatings on Fiber-Reinforced Thermoset Profiles, details progressively higher performance requirements, and AAMA 625-07, Voluntary Specifications, Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for Superior Performance Organic Coatings on Fiber-Reinforced Thermoset Profiles, is a guide for “superior” coating or the highest level of performance.

“These voluntary specifications were created by the AAMA Fiberglass Material Council (FMC) to reflect current industry technology for factory-applied coatings, with the goal of ensuring the use of consistently higher quality fiber-reinforced thermoset components in AAMA-certified fenestration products,” said Larry Livermore, AAMA technical standards manager. “Each document describes test procedures and performance requirements for organic coatings applied to AAMA-certified, fiber-reinforced thermoset profiles. Testing procedures cover (when applicable): color uniformity and reflective specular gloss readings; dry film hardness and adhesion; abrasion and impact resistance; chalk resistance, weathering; and resistance to chemicals, acids and cleaning agents,” added Livermore.

“The FMC has fine-tuned performance specifications to reflect the latest thinking in the industry,” notes Livermore. “AAMA 305-06, Voluntary Specifications for Fiber-Reinforced Thermoset Profiles, in conjunction with the newly-created AAMA 623, 624 and 625, will facilitate AAMA certification of fiberglass windows and doors. Ultimately, this will assist architects and owners by helping to ensure consistently higher quality in the fiber-reinforced thermoset components which are used in AAMA-certified fenestration products,” he added.

USGBC Issues Final Report on PVC
The Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee (TSAC) of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) issued its final report to USGBC’s LEED Steering Committee (LSC) on the technical and scientific basis for a PVC-related credit within the LEED® Green Building Rating System™.

In order to apply TSAC’s findings to a decision about credits within LEED, the report points to a series of policy issues raised through TSAC’s research.

These issues include:
• How should risks to human health and risks to the natural environment be reconciled? 
• Should LEED offer credits for avoiding less desirable materials, or create credit incentives for the use of preferable, often innovative alternative materials or processes? 
• Should LEED address individual materials through its credits, or should it focus on areas of impact? 

“With the report in hand, the LEED Steering Committee, which has received the report simultaneous to its release to stakeholders and the media, will begin review of the report and its recommendations, determine which policy issues to address first and engage USGBC’s board of directors in that process,” said Scot Horst, chairman of the LEED Steering Committee.

Horst continued, “The publication of the final TSAC report on PVC concludes one process and begins another. To that end, the LSC is meeting to begin developing a plan and timeline for USGBC’s next steps.”

Horst noted that any significant changes to LEED credits that may result from this process will follow USGBC’s consensus process, including public comment and USGBC member ballot.


Woodgrain Millwork Acquires Monarch Windows and Doors
Woodgrain Millwork of Fruitland, Ida., has purchased Monarch Windows and Doors, an Alabama manufacturer. 

According to Stephen Coe, corporate environmental manager for Woodgrain, the Monarch name will continue to be used for products.

“Monarch will join the Woodgrain family as part of our windows division,” he says, adding that he hasn’t heard any discussion of layoffs.

Based in Anniston, Ala., Monarch has more than 203,000 square-feet of production space and approximately 200 employees. 

“Monarch Windows and Woodgrain Millwork have cultures, values and business models that align extremely well,” said John Smit, president of the Window Division for Woodgrain Millwork. “Employees, customers and vendors will benefit from the union of our two organizations.”

DAC Products Acquires 21C Retail Arts
DAC Products Inc. (Display Solutions), a North Carolina-based sample and display manufacturer that focuses on the door and window industry, has purchased the assets of 21C Retail Arts. In addition to the acquisition of assets, DAC has retained a number of key management and plant personnel with a combined experience of more than 75 years. DAC says it intends to enhance its product offering and increase services to include everything from point of purchase fixtures to complete showroom layout and design services.

“We have recognized the trend to more upscale showrooms in the building products industry. This acquisition and the hiring of key people gives DAC a solid platform upon which to build and expand our offerings to existing, as well as other diversified customer bases,” said Tony Smith, DAC’s president. 


AFG Changes Names to AGC
 AFG Glass, chartered as AFG Industries Inc., will soon be going by a new name: AGC Flat Glass North America.

Mark Montgomery, director of marketing for AFG Glass said the renaming of AFG, which operates plants in Kingsport and Hawkins County, Tenn., is “a response to globally unify Asahi Glass companies across the world—which are Asahi in Asia, Glaverbel in Europe and AFG in North America.”

There is no exact date the company is saying when the transformation will be complete, rather it is a several month process between now and September, Montgomery says.

“The global branding strategy is to be completed by September, in conjunction with Asahi’s 100th anniversary.”

All Weather Windows Announces New Facility
All Weather Windows is opening its second manufacturing facility to continue to provide Canadian residents with its products. The new facility in Mississauga is in addition to the company’s headquarters located in Edmonton.

The second manufacturing plant will allow for orders to be filled more efficiently and will provide more space for research and developing projects that are always in the works.

All Weather Windows’ doors and windows are CSA-certified, as well as Energy Star-approved.

Windsor Celebrates Growth with Local Expansion
After doubling its business in the last five years, West Des Moines, Iowa-based Windsor Windows and Doors opened a new 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in West Des Moines. The expansion houses Windsor’s vinyl offering and will be adding 125 jobs to the metro-area economy.

“We are enthused about our opportunity to grow our vinyl business, while simultaneously making an investment in a community in which we have such strong roots,” says Mark Rieser, vice president of sales and marketing.

Patio Enclosures Inc. Becomes 100-percent Employee-Owned
As the company passes its 40th year, Patio Enclosures Inc. of Macedonia, Ohio, announces that it has become 100-percent employee-owned through employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

“It is a real milestone for our company and the employee-owners of Patio Enclosures Inc.,” says Ken Sekley, president and chief executive officer. “This event was made possible by our employee-owners’ commitment to delivering quality products and satisfying our customers.”

Deceuninck® Consolidates Two Locations
Strategic planning and implementation is in place at Deceuninck® North America in Monroe, Ohio, in an effort to improve operating performance and increase revenues in spite of a soft housing market, the company reports.

The company has recently consolidated two of its manufacturing locations and upgraded capabilities at all North American facilities. This includes the previously announced consolidation of extrusion production at the Oakland, N.J., plant to the modern and efficient Monroe, Ohio and Little Rock, Ark. facilities.


ECMD Inc. Named SBMA Supplier of Year
ECMD Inc. in North Wilkesboro, N.C., has received the Supplier of the Year award by the Southern Building Material Association (SBMA). SBMA noted in its presentation of the award that, in addition to serving its customers and the association, ECMD serves the community in a number of important ways, including donation of land behind one of its manufacturing facilities for a sports field complex. 

Winkhaus Group Reports 
Record Sales for 2006The Winkhaus Group, headquartered in Telgte, Germany, reported record sales of $395 million USD for 2006. Winkhaus manufactures multipoint door locks, cylinders and window hardware. In 2006, more than 70 percent of its sales were generated outside its domestic market in Germany.

In spite of a significant decline of the U.S. housing market in 2006, the company’s North American subsidiary, Winkhaus North America Inc., experienced a double-digit sales increase in 2006. This is the second year in a row of double-digit growth after its relocation from New Jersey to Whitewater, Wis., in 2005 and the opening of its newly-expanded distribution center.

National Vinyl Products Receives Grant for Training National Vinyl Products Inc. (NVP) in Chicopee, Mass., has received a workforce training grant from the state for $82,700, according to company president Scott Channell. The funds will enable NVP Inc. to provide training in lean manufacturing, customer service, supervisory training and English to speakers of other languages to 62 employees in the Chicopee facility.“These funds will enable us to invest in our most important resource, our employees … The combination of all these programs will assist in our continued growth while strengthening our commitment to maintaining jobs here in western Massachusetts,” says Channell. 

Atrium Companies Acquires Canadian Window Company
Atrium Companies Inc. in Dallas has acquired North Star Vinyl Windows and Doors. 

Headquartered in St. Thomas, Ontario, North Star Vinyl Windows and Doors operates a 223,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that produces a complete line of energy-efficient vinyl windows and patio doors. Seventy percent of the company’s product goes to the replacement/remodeling market, with 30 percent going to new construction projects. North Star sells 90 percent of its volume to dealers in Canada, with 10 percent of its product going to dealers in the United States.

In addition to manufacturing doors and windows, North Star’s business is vertically-integrated and it owns and operates its own vinyl extrusion lines, known as North Star Profile Extrusions. 

Edgetech I.G. Earns Three Safety Awards
Edgetech I.G.’s safety record was recently recognized with three awards at the Guernsey-Noble Safety Council Annual Awards luncheon in March. 

The honors included the 100 Percent Award for operating the entire year of 2006 without a lost-time injury, the Group Safety Award for contributions by employees at all levels and the Special Award for achieving 687,301 hours without a lost-time injury. These hours were accumulated from September 17, 2004, through December 31, 2006.

The Guernsey-Noble Safety Council serves to bring together businesses in Guernsey and Noble counties of Ohio to discuss safety issues and share ideas. 

Precision Entry Named Energy Star® 2007 Partner of the Year
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have named Precision Entry Inc. of Sugarcreek, Ohio, as an Energy Star 2007 Partner of the Year in door manufacturing. 

The award is for Precision’s contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by manufacturing and educating consumers about energy-efficient products. The award is given to manufacturers and retailers that successfully promote and deliver Energy Star-qualified products, saving consumers money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 


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