Volume 9, Issue 2 - February 2008

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DOE Revises Energy Star® Proposed Criteria

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced a list of possible elements for inclusion for the revised Energy Star® criteria and made available a preliminary list of window criteria on Friday, January 18.While the DOE previously had announced a number of possible elements that might be included in the new criteria, it says it has refined a number of these with the latest announcement, specifically:

  1. A revised climate zone map; 
  2. Introduction of a phased approach with near-term, mid-term and long-term criteria announced simultaneously;
  3. Near-term, estimated to be effective in 2009, criteria levels achievable with products in production or with feasible manufacturing modifications;
  4. A narrower range of U-factors in ES Zones 4 and 5 for 2009;
  5. Specific SHGC ranges to capture winter solar gain;
  6. A narrower SHGC range in ES Zone 1 for 2009;
  7. Preparation for an IGU certification requirement;
  8. A later release date for the Criteria Proposal and Analysis (the release date is scheduled for early March, to take into consideration the outcome of the late-February IECC Code hearings); and
  9. More time to transition from the current to the new criteria (six to twelve months). 

In addition, DOE has added the following two new elements to the criteria:

  1. Separate criteria for doors that differentiate between opaque and glazed doors; and
  2. An air leakage requirement. 

The table (below) shows the current range of possible options that reflects these refinements. The final proposed criteria will have single-value maxima or minima in each cell that fall within the ranges in the table, DOE says. The agency also notes that the table does not yet reflect the results of the energy savings analyses, which could change some of the listed ranges. 

The upcoming changes were a popular topic at the recent Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) annual meeting in Palm Gardens Beach, Fla., at the PGA National Resort and Spa (see related story on page 48).

Rich Karney, head of the DOE’s Energy Star program, spoke during the group’s meeting and stressed that the program is striving to beat what is in the code requirements. “Energy Star barely beats the code in many states,” he said.

“The latest data we have shows Energy Star at 53 percent of the market,” he said. “We’d like to see it at the top 25 percent as opposed to saturating the market.”

“The label should provide a meaningful differentiation,” he added.

To work toward this goal, one of the items the DOE is considering is dividing the Northern zone into two. Karney said the revised map aligns with the International Energy Conservation Code’s (IECC) 2006 climate zones. “We’re looking at reducing U-factors dramatically.”

He also said the DOE wants to give the industry a head start so it can start working on product development to meet the new criteria. Karney pointed out that Super Windows have been developed, but currently are not cost-effective.

“We hope these products will be cost effective in 2012 or 2015,” he said.

Under the new proposal, there also would be a separate requirement for opaque and glazed doors.

One attendee asked what would be done for all the old windows out in the field, and Karney said the DOE is looking into that issue—the possibility of having a program for replacement and new construction but added, “We want to keep the program as simple as possible.”

Another attendee questioned where the mandate is that Energy Star must beat the code.“It’s one of the principles of the program,” said Karney. Another attendee told Karney, “If you go with the numbers you have up there, most of us can’t meet that.”

Karney conceded that the bulk of the comments has come from the proposed requirements in zone 5.“Maybe that’s what we focus on at the March stakeholder meeting,” he told attendees.

A meeting with stakeholders is scheduled for March 26. He encouraged members to continue offering feedback.

WDMA is not the only industry group talking about the latest changes. American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) technical director John Lewis told DWM magazine he thinks the latest criteria announced is favorable to the industry.

“If the final [U-factor and SGHC] values are in the range of those presented, then I believe much of the industry will be satisfied,” he says. “As far as the phased-in approach, the DOE has gone so far as to provide increasingly stringent performance criteria for 2009, 2012 and 2015. The 2015 numbers are very aggressive, and the vast majority of today’s products do not meet these numbers, but DOE is challenging the industry to upgrade the energy efficiency of the products continuously. I think most of us would agree this is the right thing to do.”

Preliminary Energy Star Window Criteria Parameters*

2009  2012  2015
ES Climate  Zone  U-Factor  SHGC U-Factor  SHGC U-Factor  SHGC
5 0.30-0.32 Minimum 0.35-0.55 0.24-0.27 Minimum 0.35-0.55 0.20-0.24 Minimum 0.35-0.55
4 0.30-0.33 TBD** 0.24-0.32 TBD 0.20-0.27 TBD 
 3 0.33-0.36 TBD 0.28-0.32 TBD 0.24-0.32  TBD
 2 0.33-0.36 Maximum 0.30-0.35 0.28-0.35 0.25-0.30 0.28-0.35 0.23- 0.28
1 0.55-0.60 0.25-0.30 0.50- 0.55  0.23- 0.28 TBD 0.18 - 0.23

* Preliminary criteria parameters may be revised in response to outputs from the technical and energy savings analysis. Final parameters will be set as single numbers, not ranges. DOE may allow trade-offs if the energy consumption analysis and code levels permit.
** For cells containing the letters To Be Determined (TBD), DOE does not currently have sufficient data to propose a range of values and will do so after the energy savings analysis is complete.
Source: DOE

MI Windows and Doors Announces Agreement with Ply Gem and CertainTeed 
MI Windows and Doors Inc. and Ply Gem Industries Inc. have completed a transaction whereby Ply Gem has sold certain assets associated with the CertainTeed patio door and window fabrication business in the eastern United States to MI. These assets were part of Ply Gem’s recent acquisition of CertainTeed’s vinyl patio door and window business, which was completed in September of 2007. The assets are used to produce and market vinyl extrusions, which are sold to licensed fabricators in the eastern regions of North America. 

As part of this transaction, MI has entered into a 10-year agreement with CertainTeed that allows MI to become the licensor of the CertainTeed brand for patio doors and windows in the eastern United States and eastern Canada. Ply Gem will continue to be the licensor of the CertainTeed brand for patio doors and windows in the western United States and western Canada. 

“We are excited about the opportunities this will create for our customers, team members and supply partners,” says Matt DeSoto, MI’s president of the eastern division. “The potential for our eastern team to increase market share with the trusted and well respected CertainTeed brand name is limitless.”

As the licensor of CertainTeed patio door and window products, MI, along with the other fabricators in the east, will be included in CertainTeed’s Builder and Remodeler rebate/rewards programs. In addition, MI has been granted responsibility for marketing, engineering/technical services, and new product development associated with CertainTeed door and window growth in the eastern regions.

G-U Hardware’s U.S. Operations Announces New Sales Agencies
G-U Hardware’s U.S. Operations in Newport News, Va., has added four new sales agencies for the company, as follows: 

  • Window Components and Supply, led by Derek Miller, covering Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington;
  • Material Solutions, led by Chip Moore, handling Michigan, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia;
  • Stalnaker Sales, led by Mark Stalnaker, managing Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas; and
  • ACD Enterprises, led by Chris Reid, covering Texas and Oklahoma.

Price-Fixing Suits Abound
Following the European Commission’s (EC) decision to fine Guardian, Saint-Gobain, Asahi and Pilkington approximately $719 million for price-fixing (see January 2008 DWM, page 16), the United States has seen its share of lawsuits on anti-trust violations; since December, three price-fixing suits have named glass manufacturers as defendants. The cases each reference the recent fines.

On January 29, Burhans Glass Co. Inc. of King of Prussia, Pa., filed suit against major glass manufacturers including Guardian Industries, PPG Industries, Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG), Pilkington Group, Pilkington North America, Saint-Gobain Corp., Asahi Glass Co. and AGC Flat Glass North America, alleging anti-trust violations. The complaint alleges that as early as October 2000, and continuing thereafter, the aforementioned companies conspired “to fix, raise, maintain and stabilize the price [and sale] of construction flat glass throughout the United States.” Less than a week earlier, on January 25, Diversified Glass Services Inc. (DGS) filed suit against Pilkington North America Inc., NSG, AGC Group, Asahi Glass Co. Ltd., Saint-Gobain and Guardian Glass. This suit alleges that the manufacturers “collud[ed] on the use and imposition of so-called energy surcharges to overcharge Plaintiff and other direct purchasers.”

In December, John Draper of Draper’s Auto Glass in San Bernardino, Calif., filed a class-action suit alleging price-fixing against Guardian Industries, Pilkington Plc, Saint Gobain Glass Corp. and Asahi Glass Co., and all their subsidiaries, in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Genius Adds New National Distributor
Screen Systems by Genius is the newest national distributor of Genius Screens. Screen Systems by Genius will be led by Merle and Diane Guant, who have many years of experience selling, installing and training dealers about Genius products, according to the company.

“Screen Systems by Genius supports [its] customers by providing in-depth product training, promotional tools and the day-to-day provision necessary for success,” says Randy Deering, senior vice president for Genius. “They are excellent business partners for Genius and retractable screen dealers.” 

Based in Minden, Nev., Screen Systems by Genius uses multiple distribution centers to provide delivery of Genius products within the United States, according to Genius.

WDMA Subcommittee Submits Fire Door Code Proposal
The Window and Door Manu-facturers Association’s (WDMA) interior product code subcommittee recently submitted a proposal to include the installation of vision panels into NFPA 80-2007, Standards for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.

The wording of the proposal is as follows: “Glazing materials in vision panels shall be installed in labeled glass light kits or in accordance with the fire door listing, and shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s inspection service procedure and under label service.” (Editor’s note: the italicized words are an addition to the original NFPA text.)

The association notes that while the preparation of doors for vision panels currently is held to inspection service procedure requirements and is under label service, the installation of such panels is not. 

“Unfortunately, since the labeling requirements of inspection and label service extend only through the door preparation stage, vision panels are too often installed inconsistent with the manufacturers installation instructions,” the association wrote in a recent newsletter. “Labeled doors with improperly installed vision panels are unlikely to meet their rated fire performance. This proposal requires that inspection service procedures and label services be extended to the installation of vision panels, regardless of where in supply chain vision panels are installed. The addition of third-party oversight of the installation of vision panels will help ensure that fire doors with vision panels perform to their fire rating.”

Investment Bank Launches Survey for Year-End 2007
Jordan, Knauff and Co., a Chicago-based investment bank with a specialized practice in the door and window industry, recently sent out its Window and Door Industry Benchmark Survey for year-end 2007 (which will be derived from companies’ 2007 financials, many of which won’t be reported until March or April 2008). 

Michael Collins of Jordan, Knauff & Co. encourages companies to participate by answering the survey because “the results of the survey should be a valuable resource for all participating companies.” Only companies that participate in the survey will receive the full results of the survey and all information received in conjunction with the survey will be held in the strictest confidence. 

The areas covered in the survey include the following: financial performance, product mix, offshore sourcing, productivity, human resources, sales, marketing, operations, distribution systems and acquisitions. Jordan, Knauff and Co. believes this to be the only survey that addresses all of these areas. 

DWM readers who wish to take part in the survey should contact Michael Collins of Jordan, Knauff & Co. at 312/254-5904 or mcollins@jordanknauff.com. The deadline for submitting completed surveys is April 13, 2008, and the firm anticipates publishing the results of the survey in early June. www.jordanknauff.com 

Viwinco Begins Full-Scale Production of New Products
Viwinco Inc. in Morgantown, Pa., has begun production of five new Viwinco brand vinyl window product lines along with a full line of complementary style products and vinyl sliding patio doors. 

The product names are Edgemont™, Strafford and Cambridge™ replacement windows; OceanView™ impact-resistant windows for both the replacement and new construction market; and Viwinco Signature Series™ windows for the new construction market.

“Our goal was to use our manufacturing experience as a licensed fabricator of window products to create new vinyl window and patio door products with the features, styling and ratings our customers really wanted—but under our own name,” says Viwinco president David Barnes.

On the Web
DWM Launches The Studio™
Key Communications Inc., the publisher of Door and Window Manufacturer (DWM) magazine, has debuted its new video portal, The Studio™. Designed to host video for related news items, the DWM Studio™ contains a wide spectrum of material; show reviews, plant tours and digital video submitted by companies themselves demonstrating their products and services.

“The Studio was created due to the ever-changing tide of media,” says Holly Biller, vice president of Key Communications Inc. “We’ve built a site that not only welcomes outside material but also can provide new marketing opportunities to smaller companies.”

The DWM Studio currently includes footage of a demonstration of the University of Florida’s mobile windstorm simulator in action and a tour of a Canadian window plant.

For information, contact DWM publisher Tara Taffera at ttaffera@glass.com. www.dwmmag.com/studio


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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.