As reported last month (see USGlass, March 1998, The Issue at Hand), the Energy Star Windows Program has been launched with 23 industry partners now on board. A voluntary partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the fenestration industry to promote sales of energy-efficient doors, windows and skylights, the program is part of the high-profile effort by the DOE and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to encourage consumer preference for energy-efficient products including major home appliances, electronics and HVAC equipment.
The Energy Star identifies products that meet heating and cooling requirements for particular U.S. regions.
The program was developed with input from window, door and skylight manufacturers, glass and framing material manufacturers, utilities designers, government representatives and public interest groups. In addition to providing consumers with an easy way of identifying efficient products, the Energy Star Windows Program offers its partners innovative marketing tools and strategies to support their own promotions. These include a window labeling system with the distinct Energy Star logo, consumer education, national program promotion and window financing for qualifying products.
Because requirements for efficient performance varies by climate, the Windows program divides the United States into zones for the northern, southern and central regions. The Northern Climate Zone is heating dominated, the Southern Climate Zone is cooling dominated, and the Central Climate Zone meets both heating and cooling requirements. Lines between the zones have been softened to eliminate rigid delineations. Products that meet specific heating and cooling criteria for a particular zone or zones qualify for labeling with the Energy Star label(s) that identifies that zone(s).
To participate in the program, window, door and skylight manufacturing partners sign a memorandum of understanding with the DOE, describing the role of each partner and how the Energy Star logo may be used; label qualified products; and train staff on the advantages of efficient products. All windows must be rated, certified and labeled for both U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient by the National Fenestration Rating Council.
Partners include Accu-Weld; Aluma-Glass Industries; Andersen Corporation; Cardinal IG; Crystalite, Inc.; Empire Pacific Industries; Gilkey Window Company; Insulate Industries, Inc.; Jeld-Wen, Inc.; Marvin Window and Doors; Merzon Industries; Mikron Industries, Inc.; Milgard Manufacturing; NRG, Inc.; Pacific Gas & Electric Co.; Philips Products; PPG Industries, Inc.; Southern California Edison; Spectus Systems; Superior Engineered Products Corp.; TruSeal Technologies; Viking Industries, Inc.; and Windowmaster Products. Products with the Energy Star label are expected in retail stores by late spring, according to the DOE.
Pella Corporation has purchased Viking Industries, Inc. of Portland, OR, a manufacturer of vinyl and aluminum doors. This acquisition, combined with the acquisition of Cole Sewell, of St. Paul, MN, a storm door and window manufacturer, is intended to make Pella competitive in new markets and expand its growth opportunities.
"We will continue to seek opportunities for Pella by expanding into new market segments and offering new products. This will continue to be achieved primarily through internal market development," Pella president and CEO Gary Christensen said.
Nashville, TN-based Western Reserve Products, Inc. (WRP) has acquired Bevelite Panels, a San Juan Capistrano, CA-based custom decorative window products manufacturer. The acquired company will operate under the name Bevelite Panels as a division of WRP. WRP says that as a result of the acquisition, it will establish a design and research and development center in San Diego, CA.
WRP has also announced the consolidation and expansion of all of its other manufacturing capabilities to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The company now operates a plant in Gallatin, TN, the operations of which will be combined with the Matamoros operations. WRP says the consolidation will enable it to remain competitive with key competitors who have established operations in China.
TruSeal Technologies Inc. of Beachwood, OH, has entered into a partnership with Accumetric Inc. of Elizabethtown, KY, which manufactures a line of neutral cure and acetoxy silicone products for use by the OEM window and door market.
TruSeal, a manufacturer and marketer of insulating glass products, will have exclusive responsibilities for sales and marketing of the following Accumetric products: the BOSS GS1 neutral cure silicone glazing sealant, Boss GS2 fast-cure silicone and BOSS GS3 acetoxy silicone.
Marshall Aluminum Windows of Corona, CA, has changed its name to Marshall Vinyl Windows following the company's decision to exclusively manufacture the Nationally Branded CetainTeed Vinyl Window System and distribute other vinyl products.
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has published three specifications for windows, doors and similar products. Voluntary Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for Organic Coatings on Plastic Profiles (AAMA 613-97) describes test procedures and performance requirements for organic coatings applied to AAMA certified plastic profiles for windows, doors and similar products. An updated and expanded version of Voluntary Specification for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Exterior Profiles Extrusions (AAMA 303-97) covers PVC exterior profiles used in windows, doors and skylights. Finally, Voluntary Specification for Reinforced Thermoplastic Fenestration Exterior Profiles Extrusions (AAMA 310-97) establishes requirements for material properties of rigid reinforced thermoplastic exterior profile extrusions used for assembled windows, doors and skylights. Copies of each are available through AAMA.
American Architectural Products Corporation of Boardman, OH, will restructure the production capabilities for three of its subsidiaries to enhance its vinyl window and patio door division. Forte, Inc. of Youngstown, OH, will be designated as the anchor in the production of an expanded line of vinyl windows and doors for the new construction market, while Thermetic Glass, Inc. of Toluca, IL, will expand its production of windows for the remodeling and reconstruction markets and Thermetic of Michigan in Oak Park, MI, will serve as a sales, service and distribution center.
Glass Equipment Development (GED) of Twinsburg, OH, has introduced the intergrid computer controlled roll forming muntin machine to increase muntin fabrication quality and capacity. The system, which is capable of producing up to 2,200 grids per eight-hour shift, automates rectangular muntin bar production for greater capacity, according to the company. Features of the machine include the ability to pre-notch the flat aluminum stock, a buffer conveyor that handles 24 grid components and WinGrid II software.
AFDC, Inc. of Seven Fields, PA, has introduced the Neoframe, a rubber glazing gasket and window frame. According to the company, features of the Neoframe include rubber frame components, noise and vibration dampening, inside or outside glazed, no exposed caulking and use in new construction or retrofit.
Aurora, IL-based Vinyl-Lite II window and door systems has announced the addition of European-based window technology to four window and door line offerings. The new systems, two sloped sill lines and two pocket sill systems, consist of more than 30 individual window styles from double hungs to oriels.
Durango, CO-based Glass Technology is now offering a full 10-year warranty on pumps in its VP-5000 and Eliminator windshield systems. According to the company, the pump is an integral part of both systems.
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