Volume 10, Issue 6 - July/August 2009

First Annual DWM
Green Award Nominations
Cast your Vote

What does it mean to be truly “green?” Find out by learning what these truly innovative manufacturers and suppliers are doing on a daily basis to be stewards of the environment—to conserve resources and produce less waste.
Yes, everyone is talking about “green” building and you’ll find from the list of nominees that many manufacturers have had sustainable strategies in place for more than 50 years—some even longer.

In the following pages you’ll learn about the range of ways manufacturers are working to be green. For example, you’ll learn from one manufacturer that its recycling efforts are self-sustaining even after paying for landfill costs, etc. And you’ll learn how others have taken this quest beyond their companies and employees to their communities as well to promote the conservation of our resources.

In the next few pages you will find a snapshot of all the nominees in a variety of categories. Readers may then go to www.dwmmag.com to vote for a winner in each category. The list of winners will appear in the October issue. Due to space restrictions, it was necessary to condense a lot of this information, so we didn’t list how many Energy Star® products a company offers, or how many products meet the tax credits. And when it comes to wood products, the nominees either participate in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification, or pledge a commitment to obtain their wood from well-managed forests. When choosing the nominees we took into account not just the efficient products offered, but the energy-efficient practices put into place in the respective plants and manufacturing processes.

As with any awards, we know there will be other companies who believe they should be included in future listings. If so, e-mail ttaffera@glass.com so your company can be considered in next year’s nominations. And the nominees are …

Nominees Green Manufacturer (Large)

Pella Corp., Pella, Iowa

While many companies have just recently started implementing environmentally responsible strategies Pella Corp. says it has focused on this since the company was founded in 1925.

• Recycling: Wood, glass and screen cloth leftover from Pella manufacturing processes are recycled into materials like pet bedding, reflective coating for highways and even archery targets. The company also recycles materials such as sawdust, paper, cardboard and plastics.

• Reducing energy consumption: In 2007, the company implemented 700,000 square feet of lighting improvements in manufacturing facilities and reduced energy consumption by 1,900,000 kilowatt hours per year-enough to power 160 average homes for an entire year.

• Community efforts: In 2009, the company held its first annual community-wide electronics recycling (e-cycling) event in Sioux Center, Iowa, honoring Earth Day.

Andersen Corp., Bayport, Minn.
Andersen Corp. says it has embraced environmental principles for more than a century, and has set a variety of environmental goals.

• Fibrex® Product: At the 2009 International Builders’ Show the company introduced its 100 Series windows and patio doors made from the company’s patented Fibrex material, a structural composite that blends the attributes of polymer and wood fiber. Much of the wood fiber is reclaimed directly from its manufacturing plant operations. The overall amount of recycled content is certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) and ranges from a minimum of 18 to 24 percent pre-consumer recycled glass and wood fiber content.

• Energy Star: Andersen says it was one of the first window companies in the nation to meet Energy Star performance requirements in all geographical regions. The company has also won several Energy Star awards, including Manufacturer Ally of the Year and the National Window Partner of the Year.

• FSC certification: Andersen worked with SCS to achieve FSC Chain of Custody certification (COC). By obtaining this COC certification, the company is able to manufacture and deliver FSC wood-based products to help achieve LEED materials and resource credits, or in other sustainable building programs where applicable.

JELD-WEN Windows and Patio Doors, Klamath Falls, Ore.
JELD-WEN employees strive to be industry leaders regarding environmentally responsible practices. The company also is committed to continual improvement of its products, processes and culture.

• SFI Windows: JELD-WEN offers as an option SFI-certified wood windows and patio doors. The company achieved chain of custody plant certification from SFI Inc., and was honored with a 2008 SFI President’s Award.

• AuraLast® wood: JELD-WEN makes solid pine doors, windows and door frames with AuraLast wood, which is treated with a proprietary, water-based protection process. Compared to the dip-treat process typically used in the industry, the company says this process decreases VOCs released during production by 96 percent. The company adds that it results in less waste in landfills, thus reducing the need to re-harvest.

• Juniper doors: The company says it is the first major door manufacturer to utilize Juniper wood. The company says the Juniper line of doors is made from a “locally available throw-away, nuisance wood.” The company says development of its Juniper doors has become an important part of ecological restoration efforts in the Pacific Northwest’s high deserts.

• No added formaldehyde door skins: JELD-WEN offers Phase 1 Compliant and NAF doors that are in accordance with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) – Air Toxic Control Measure. NAF is the highest achievement claimed by a CARB-ATCM regulated product.

• Renewable energy: JELD-WEN voluntarily supports renewable energy sources and has committed to purchase 2,241 100-kilowatt-hour blocks of renewable energy per month.

Marvin Windows and Doors/Integrity from Marvin, Warroad, Minn.
As with many other manufacturing nominees, Marvin has made a commitment to manufacture energy-efficient products and to make the production process environmentally friendly. And the company says that it also considers the “extended life” of its products when manufacturing its windows.

• Integrity: Marvin also offers Integrity Windows and Doors, which are made of Ultrex, a pultruded fiberglass that offers environmentally friendly attributes. Ten percent of the components used to make Ultrex are derived from recycled materials. Additionally, Integrity uses reliable raw lumber suppliers that subscribe to SFI standards promoting good forest stewardship.

• Recycling and waste reduction: Company officials say they are “constantly looking for ways [they] can maximize the resources [they] have and reduce what ends up as waste.”


Nominees Green Manufacturer (Mid-Sized)
Many manufacturers on our list offer vinyl products, which displays much about the industry today. Some critics say vinyl cannot possibly be a sustainable product. But learn why these manufacturers are proving that, if designed correctly, this is simply not the case.

Kolbe Windows and Doors, Wausau, Wis.
Kolbe is so confident in its efficient products that it says that if all the new homes built each year used its LoE2 glass, the 30-year accumulated savings would be more than $100 billion dollars.

• Recycled content: Recycled content is also used in some products, such as its Ultra Series. The extruded aluminum billet in this product consists of 50 to 75 percent recycled material. Additionally, its standard glass used contains 25 to 30 percent recycled content.

• Recycling: Materials such as glass, wood and vinyl scraps are recycled for use as raw materials by others. The company says its recycling program is self-sustaining even after paying landfill costs for solid waste disposal.

• Supplier partnerships: The company has aligned itself with suppliers that adhere to sound environmental practices. Using use those resources efficiently, Kolbe and its suppliers maximize the use of lumber in its wood products using sophisticated computer measuring and cutting methods.

Simonton Windows, Parkersburg, W.Va.
Simonton is another company that drives home to homeowners just how much money and energy they can save through purchasing efficient windows such as those they manufacture.

• Recycled content: SimEx, Simonton’s vinyl frame extruder, uses post-industrial top-quality vinyl generated and recycled during its manufacturing processes to create its window frames.

• Efficient fabrication process: SimEx and Simonton recycle and reuse vinyl as a result of its own fabrication processes. This post-industrial vinyl is reground and recycled for use in its window frames. SimEx sells any vinyl waste that cannot be used in Simonton products to other extruders for re-use in the manufacture of pipe.

Thermal Industries, a division of Atrium, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Thermal Industries is another company that has employed energy-saving practices way before it was the trend—for almost 50 years. The company says it has a simple philosophy: “Provide our customers with energy-efficient, maintenance-free products that help to lower their energy bills.”

• Recycling: The company recycles its vinyl, glass and aluminum scrap, often selling it to companies outside the industry, such as PVC pipe manufacturers and post-industrial recyclers. Its lead-free PVC vinyl is not petroleum-based, so production requires no burning and generates no harmful gases.

• Equipment: The company has made upgrades to the equipment used to produce glass in its door and window products. One example is its new glass oven from GED, which uses infrared heating elements that reduce energy consumption by 75 percent, resulting in added savings for the company and the consumer.

• Park Avenue collection: The company says this collection is a particularly great choice when it comes to its energy-efficient windows. The fusion-welded, multi-chambered construction prevents air leakage, water infiltration and energy loss.

Comfort Line Inc., Toledo, Ohio
One reader who nominated Comfort Line said, “fiberglass is one of the greenest frame materials used in our industry. The FIBERFRAME™ Family of custom-made pultruded fiberglass patio doors and windows are custom-made to specifications. All are available with PPG®’s low-E insulated glazings and argon gas. All designs have earned the Energy Star qualified label.”

The company says that its fiberglass products are stable over time, even in harsh environments because they are built with pultruded fiberglass, which Comfort Line officials say outperforms other materials.

Nominees Green Manufacturer (Small to Mid-Sized)

Gorell Windows and Doors, Indiana, Pa.
Gorell prides itself on being a truly environmentally friendly, “green” manufacturer—by producing doors and windows made of highly sustainable materials and that reduce energy consumption.

• Energy Star: Gorell says that more than 95 percent of its products are Energy Star qualified. The company is a winner of the Energy Star Partner of the Year Award for the sixth straight year.

• Tax credits: More than 500 product combinations qualify for the credits.

• Manufacturing: Gorell is committed to using environmentally responsible processes at its manufacturing facility. 

• Recycling: The company says it makes every effort to reuse and recycle materials.

Empire Pacific Windows, Tualatin, Ore.
The reader who nominated Empire Pacific Windows mentioned that the company converted to environmentally friendly hardware recently, and there are many other factors that make Empire Pacific worthy of a nomination.

• Hardware: The company converted recently from zinc die cast type hardware to environmentally friendly composite hardware, which offers a low carbon footprint, is lead free, and is manufactured in the United States.

• Tax Credits: The company offers a special .30/.30 energy package, which it deems the Ultra Efficient Energy package. This includes the Duralite® spacer system, argon gas-filled IG and LoE 366 glass.

• Energy Star: The company says it was one of the first manufacturers to sign an agreement for Energy Star products and a founding member in the NFRC program. It also points out to its customers that if all residential windows in the United States were replaced with Energy Star rated windows, the nation would save $7 billion in energy costs over the next 15 years.

Northeast Building Products, Philadelphia, Pa.
Northeast Building Products (NBP) has practiced “green” practices, which includes recycling and energy use mitigation, since the company’s inception in 1975. It also offers an energy-efficient window that the company touts as the most efficient IG unit on the market.

• Product line: The company’s Crusader® line of premium foam and argon-filled vinyl windows is described by the company as a green IG technology because it utilizes the Sashlite technology (see page 36). The product also features other technologies that contribute to the green, energy-saving aspects of the line including foam-filled, fusion-welded frames. The windows are argon-filled and come standard with double-strength, PPG Solarban 60 low-E glass for improved U-values and lowered solar heat gain coefficients.

• Materials recycling: The company’s philosophy is that every effort, no matter how small, makes a difference for the environment. For example, it recycles all packaging materials from its vinyl manufacturer by returning it on back hauls. Other programs include recycling all reusable glass as well as all vinyl material that is not contaminated.

• Reduced water consumption: The company has outfitted its Crusader® line glass washers with float control valves to reduce plant water consumption. The rinse and wash tanks employ a recirculation cycle, while the final rinse is guided by a timer switch.

• Vendor partnerships: NBP worked with its vendors to create a reusable cart system for tempered glass. It also obtained reusable totes for its foam fill program, thus eliminating the need to throw out empty 55-gallon drums, which contribute to landfill pollution.

Soft-Lite Windows, Streetsboro, Ohio
Soft-Lite works to make sure its products are manufactured in the most efficient way possible, thus reducing waste and energy. (For more on Soft-Lite, see the plant tour)

• Equipment: Soft-Lite manufactures its products in an environmentally responsible way, reporting that it operates the only automated robotics window manufacturing facility in the United States. The equipment ensures the least amount of waste possible by maximizing each piece of material. The technology also ensures accuracy and tight tolerances, which minimizes mistakes and discarded window units.

• Recycling: Soft-Lite recycles all material waste and excess in order to be a responsible steward of the earth. Like all vinyl products, vinyl window and glass door profiles and the glass itself is recyclable. With the exception of the spacers in the insulating glass units and foam insulation, Soft-Lite says its patio doors and windows are recyclable.

• Printed products: Soft-Lite says that almost all of its brochures are produced at a printer that operates on 100-percent wind energy.

Vytex, Beltsville, Md.
Vytex tells its customers that it’s whole window construction that makes the difference in energy savings. This includes the way the frame and sash are engineered and manufactured, type of glass used (single-, double- or triple-paned), use of a low-E coating, and presence of argon or krypton gas-filled insulating glass. The company looks at all of this carefully when creating its window products.

It offers three complete energy-saving glass packages, including its argon-filled Energy Saver Plus™ which is double-paned with one pane of low-E glass; Energy Saver Max™, argon-filled, triple-paned with two panes of low-E glass; and the krypton-filled Energy Saver Ultimate™, which is triple-paned with two lites of low-E glass.

BF Rich, Newark, Del.
B.F. Rich began its Go Green initiative in 2007 and since then the company has made great strides toward its focus on energy efficiency.

• PX-6 windows: B.F. Rich has introduced its line of Green Shield windows, which have standard features such as the DuraLite™ insulating glass spacer, Enviro-Foam filled sash and frame members, SunClean™ self cleaning - Solar Control Soft Coat low-E glass, antimicrobial-treated weather seals and a BetterVue™ screen.

• Marketing support: B.F. Rich expands its role beyond just being an industry supplier of patio doors and windows. “Providing our distribution base with marketing materials and marketing support is a key element to our 2009 From Green to Greener initiative,” says Terry Rex, director of marketing, “We see ourselves as an energy conservation and marketing company that happens to manufacture windows and doors.”

• Recycling/optimization of materials: The company recycles raw materials from its manufacturing process. Glass waste is minimized through computerized optimization, and glass waste is recycled into glass beads for highway reflective paint. Vinyl waste is minimized through computerized optimization, and vinyl waste is recycled into vinyl fencing or decking material. Aluminum waste is minimized through computerized optimization and aluminum waste is recycled.

Nominees Door Manufacturer

Masonite, Tampa, Fla.

Masonite has been focused on environmental issues since the company was founded in 1924 and William H. Mason discovered that post-industrial wood chips could be reconstituted and used to create building material. Byproduct wood chips are a vital ingredient in many of Masonite’s doors and the timber used comes from sustainable, managed forests. Many of its products are FSC-certified. The company also uses other renewable biomaterials in its products, such as wheat straw, in all of its interior door products. When possible, Masonite utilizes recycled materials in its doors.

When it comes to saving energy, this is a big focus for a company that offers Energy Star products. Masonite also has created regional manufacturing plants, minimizing the amount of travel necessary to provide products to its customers.

ProVia Doors, Sugarcreek, Ohio
ProVia Door is the recipient of the 2009 Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award for door manufacturing, and has received this award for four consecutive years.

“The reason the Department of Energy looks favorably on ProVia Door when considering this honor is because we took the big step of making sure all doors shown in our catalog are Energy Star qualified,” says Joe Klink, marketing. “ProVia Door is making a direct impact on our environment by minimizing energy loss on thousands of homes by installing our Energy Star-qualified doors.”

CraftMaster® Interior Doors (CMI), Chicago
A few companies promoted their SCS designation earlier this year at the Builders’ Show as a point of differentiation. CMI announced at the show that its CraftMaster molded door designs, MiraTEC® trim and Extira® panels have received this certification. SCS verified all three products have no added urea formaldehyde, while CraftMaster molded door designs were certified also to contain a minimum of 63 percent by weight, pre-consumer recycled content.

Therma-Tru, Maumee, Ohio
Therma-Tru is another manufacturer on the list that places energy as a high priority both in its products and processes. Its fiberglass entry door systems are Energy Star-labeled and many qualify for the tax credits, thus helping homeowners save money on energy costs.

The company recycles a variety of materials—in fact, more than 12,000 tons of materials at its Indiana and Oklahoma facilities over the past two years. Nearly all of the steel scrap from its manufacturing facilities goes to recycling centers. The company also uses recycled products such as recycled wood chips, diapers and plastic bottles for its composite wood end rails and sill substrates The wood products used in its systems, such as the door frame components, come from managed forests.

Nominees Vinyl Extrusion Suppliers

Mikron, Kent, Wash.
Like many vinyl manufacturers, Mikron supplies vinyl and composite window profiles and boasts of the longevity and durability of vinyl. MikronBlend vinyl extrusions are AAMA-certified to be lead-free and they do not contain formaldehydes or other environmentally harmful materials. Interior wood veneers applied to Mikron Wood profiles are sourced via suppliers that are FSC chain of custody certified.

Mikron also encourages customers to participate in its scrap buy-back program, founded in the 1980s, in which virtually all post fabrication vinyl material scrap is returned to Mikron and recycled back into new vinyl extrusions. Overall, Mikron vinyl extrusions contain approximately 15 percent pre-consumer reprocessed material.

Deceuninck North America, Monroe, Ohio
Deceuninck, which boasts of more than 150 fabricators with more than 500 distribution points throughout the United States, says its customers can manufacture windows that qualify for the windows tax credit.

Windows made with the company’s SunShield® technology require one-third less energy to produce than aluminum and steel windows, according to the company. SunShield is an advanced material developed through an intensive manufacturing process and formulated to withstand the harsh effects of weather and ultraviolet light. This environmentally safe compound exceeds all AAMA-required materials strength and retention standards, according to Deceuninck.

VEKA, Fombell, Pa.
VEKA has focused on efficiently producing high-quality vinyl profiles while also acting as an accountable steward toward the environment.

It has created the dedicated position of safety and environmental manager to review its operations constantly for safety concerns and process efficiency.

VEKA recycles some in-house vinyl scrap into non-critical PVC shapes such as its bundle box packaging for smaller shapes. The remainder is sold to a third-party for re-use in other vinyl applications.

The company also has a customer buy-back program that was initiated to recycle post-manufacturing waste vinyl, keeping it out of the waste stream. It also ships finished profile in returnable steel racks. These racks safely transport product and serve as a convenient storage system for vinyl lineals at the customer’s fabrication facility.

Chelsea Building Products, Oakmont, Pa.
Chelsea Building Products says it has a number of window systems that will qualify for the tax credit (see May/June issue of DWM magazine, page 22.) Chelsea marketing director Gary Hartman says that the company is working with its customers as a solutions provider, and helping those who may not have qualified to reconfigure their products so they do qualify.

Royal Window & Door Profiles Div. Thermoplast, Laval, Quebec
Thermoplast says it has many practices in place that foster sustainable solutions and environmentally friendly technologies. This includes minimizing waste by recycling scrap and unused PVC profiles and using recyclable paperboard packaging. The company also says that its products are Energy Star approved to reduce energy consumption.

PH Tech, Lévis, Québec
P.H Tech, a supplier of PVC door and window profiles, says it delivers “some of best energy ratings in the industry.” The company says this is due to the exclusive multi-chamber design that has more air space than a comparable vinyl window. The added air space acts as insulation, according to the company, reducing noise and keeping a home comfortable year-round.

Nominees Glass Restoration

GlasWeld, Bend, Ore.
Glass restoration is a growing area of interest for door and window manufacturers interested in reducing waste and saving money. GlasWeld offers its Gforce scratch removal system, and the company’s Mike Boyle says his company is focusing on building the brand with door and window manufacturers.

“Window manufacturers didn’t know waste was an issue, but now that profits are down they are looking at glass,” he says. Boyle, who says 70 percent of door and window manufacturers use the system, adds that more manufacturers are turning to it as a way to help with are warranty issues. 

The portable system restores damaged glass at any stage from the manufacturing floor to the distribution facility, and even after installation. By repairing scratches and other damage on glass doors and windows, users can keep these products in the supply chain and out of the landfill. By repairing, users also can eliminate the additional labor and energy costs of producing a new piece of glass.

Glass Guru, Roseville, Calif.
With such a focus recently on preventing products from going to the landfill, companies like the Glass Guru franchise are making sure this doesn’t happen. One of the services the company provides is a moisture removal service for failed IG units, as well as scratch and stain removal. The company says that since its inception in 2004 it has saved thousands of units from going to the landfills. “More importantly, preserving these damaged units saves the energy it takes to reproduce the products as well as saving our customers about half compared to a comparable replacement,” says company founder Dan Frey.

SRP Glass Restoration, Savage, Minn.
SRP says it has a proven track record in glass restoration as companies have used its products for more than 20 years to restore scratched and damaged glass, including residential windows.

According to the company, the SRP Glass Restoration System removes scratches quickly, easily and neatly.

Nominees Spacer Suppliers

TruSeal Technologies, Beachwood, Ohio
TruSeal has achieved success with its Envirosealed Windows program and has 110 window manufacturers participating in the program, which is based on its Duralite spacer. (In fact, a few manufacturers on this list are using the Envirosealed program.) The windows created with the spacer meet the tax credit criteria as well as meet or exceed the Energy Star 2010 criteria, according to the company. The company markets staff as “efficiency experts,” which includes promoting a green message to window producers and consumers through involvement in educational outreach, industry conferences and other activities.

Edgetech IG, Cambridge, Ohio
For more than 20 years, Edgetech’s Super Spacer® products have been a known name to window manufacturers. In addition to its spacer products, Edgetech provides its customers with tremendous marketing support and this includes its Super Spacer SustainaView® Window campaign.

Beyond its products and services, Edgetech is committed to its mission of environmental stewardship by implementing waste-reducing initiatives, educating employees, customers and the industry about energy-saving practices, printing on FSC-certified paper when feasible and encouraging employees to participate in environmental organizations outside of work.

GED Integrated Solutions, Twinsburg, Ohio
GED, known for its Intercept® product, says this spacer meets or exceeds the .30/.30 requirements in the tax credit legislation. The company’s new Intercept ULTRA Stainless Steel material carries a conductivity rating of 13.63 W/mK as verified by the NFRC. This translates into a 20 percent reduction from standard stainless steel material, and results in unit U-values that are equal to or better than those found on other competitive spacer products, according to the company.

Glasslam, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Glasslam, traditionally known for its glass products, expanded its product portfolio last year with the addition of its Air-Tight™ Spacer Products. The company says that the addition of these warm-edge spacer systems for insulating glass production is a natural addition to its product line. Now window companies and insulating glass producers may choose between a high-tech warm-edge foam product and a one-step spacer with a pre-applied secondary seal, says the company.

Technoform, Twinsburg, Ohio
Technoform, which offers products for the residential and commercial markets., describes isystems to deliver superior thermal performance results.” The company adds that its spacer meets or exceeds the toughest global standards for condensation resistance, durability, UV resistance, fogging, volatiles and moisture penetration.

Sashlite, Westport, Conn.
If you’re not familiar with the Sashlite technology you may wonder why the company is nominated in the spacer category. But the Sashlite technology eliminates the need for a separate insulating glass unit in the production of vinyl windows. (One manufacturing nominee on our list uses the process.) The result, according to the company, is a streamlined production process that reduces energy, material, space and labor requirements significantly. Rather than the conventional method of fabricating a separate IG unit, Sashlite’s patented integrated spacer technology allows the manufacturer to adhere the glass directly to the sash frame. Because Sashlite is an integrated spacer that is extruded as part of the sash profile, there are no additional raw material requirements.

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