The second day of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., featured a wide range of meetings and discussions about the fenestration industry.
The AAMA marketing forum allowed members to discuss various ways to get more publicity for the organization’s conferences. One suggestion was to beef up the descriptions of the companies for whom AAMA officials or speakers work. Currently, conference lineups just feature a speaker or AAMA official’s name and the name of their company.
Angela Dickson, AAMA’s marketing director, discussed the upcoming redesign of the organization’s website. She said it will feature a much more robust search function and possibly an energy section with easy-to-understand definitions of terms and acronyms. She also said she’s seeking feedback on the members-only section of the site.
Jim Snyder, a Memphis-based window replacement specialist, gave a presentation entitled “The Paradox of Next-Generation Window Replacement.”
Snyder began by pointing out that there was no real market for replacement windows in the U.S. prior to the energy crisis in the 1970s. “That made single-pane windows much less desirable,” he said.
By the early 1990s, replacement products were about 72 percent of products sold, he said. They’re currently about 55 percent of the market, but he warned that if the industry doesn’t take action now, there could be big problems down the road.
The demand for higher window standards is one area of concern. That’s being driven by code requirements, which consumers now expect and demand.
But Snyder says rapid improvements in new-construction products and installation processes are leaving the replacement segment behind. “The difficulty of future replacements is going to place the industry in jeopardy,” he said.
The biggest problem will be integrating newer window products into existing wall systems. He likened it to trying to remove walnuts from a cake that’s already been baked.
“Full-frame replacements in the future will be difficult,” he said. “As we move from the traditional installation and products to the newer-generation processes and products, we continue to dig in deeper each day. It’s a complex problem that will take time to resolve. Replacement can no longer be an afterthought.”
Snyder urged AAMA members to keep future replacement needs in mind when designing new-construction windows. He also said manufacturers should involve others who don’t have a vested interest in the process, such as builders and architects. Finally, he said it’s critical to enforce proper installation in new construction.
Greg Shrider, global business manager of paint for BYK-Gardner, gave a presentation on the fundamentals of color management. He offered an overview of the physical properties of colors and the factors that influence how humans perceive them. He also discussed the technologies involved in assessing color. For example, most manufactured colors have at least four pigments in them, and the reflective curve of a color is so distinctive, it can be trademarked. (Think Coca-Cola’s iconic red.)
He also pointed out that the automotive sector has gone to digital color standards, which could eventually be used in other industries.