Volume 47, Issue 8 - October 2008


AMD Looks to the
Future, But Lives in the Now
CEO Discusses Side-Hinged Door Standard and More
by Rosalie Leone,

As an association representing for-profit companies, we are assisting them to develop todayís strengths by looking into the millwork industry horizon for opportunities. As an advocate we, the Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD), defend their interests against outside influences by addressing potential threats.

Letís Take the Now First
Case in point, the Window and Door
Manufacturers Association (WDMA) S141 code amendment. As you may be aware, there has been an ongoing debate in the building code arena since WDMA proposed exterior side-hinged door tests to the AAMA/WDMA/CSA NAFS standard nationwide, certifications and labels back in 2005 and now again in 2008. AMD carried the lionís share of the workload to fend off the 2005 advance with its participation and testimony in the 11th hour at the International Code Council (ICC) code development hearings which halted the exterior side-hinged door standard. AMD was the only voice at the hearing playing an advocacy role for the majority of side hinged door industry participants.

Leading the Effort in the Now
Again in 2008, AMD was the only millwork association to stand up for the core industry. The association created and managed a massive letter-writing campaign that tipped the scale with the International Residential and Building Code Committees this past February in California. A ďpublic commentĒ campaign was launched to AMD members this past spring that overwhelmed the WDMA single comment to the ICC with 140 nationwide public comments in opposition of S141. AMD also communicated with the voters of the ICC Final Action Hearings held last month in Minneapolis, Minn., to once again disapprove the S141 code amendment.

In order to resolve the S141 issue for the now and the future, an initiative by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) to bring together key participants in the side-hinged door industry included AMD representing its millwork industry distributors, pre-hangers and product manufacturers.

As AMD continues to focus on its commitment to its members in the now, and as important as this is, the real member value comes from its work for the future. AMD is not about putting out fires for today, our mission is to protect and strengthen the associationís future and the industry.

Letís Look at the Future
To explain the associationís actions for the future, letís go back to the WDMA S141 code amendment and begin with the AAMA offering. AAMAís S141 resolution involves addressing certification procedures and not the standard itself. Itís great that the other associations wish to address the weaknesses of linking the S141 with current exterior side-hinged door industry manufacturing and marketing practices, and this approach may be feasible. If enacted, however, it would leave AMD members with limited choices for the future, which is contrary to AMDís mission. AMD members would be resigned to meet a standard in which they have no voting rights (only WDMA, AAMA and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) have voting rights on NAFS), and then comply with certification programs in which they have no real voice. Nonetheless, this is an option for AMD, and we will participate in the discussions; however, we are determined to do better for our membership. So as we look to the future, AMD must look toward protecting its membersí freedom of choice by maximizing its membersí options.

AMD looks to the opportunities that address safety issues for exterior side-hinged doors that have been proven scientifically and are of significance. As we question, how can products be tested, certified and labeled for problems that may not significantly exist, letís not put the cart before the horse. If there is a question of performance in high winds, we have to question: Is it an installation problem or is it the product? At what wind speed (3-second gust) did the problem manifest itself ? How old were the products in question? Was a product standard in place when the products were installed? Was a building code in place in the jurisdiction at the time and was it enforced? Blanket answers usually are inefficient and costly. The federal government is a master at one-sizefits- all solutions.

As we look to the future, AMD truly desires that the products of its members continue to meet necessary safety requirements and add value and intrinsic benefits to the homeowner. As stated at the start of this article, AMD represents for-profit businesses.

© Copyright 2008 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.