AAMA Members Address Issues Impacting the Commercial Market

AAMA marketing director Angela Dickson addresses members during the opening session yesterday, and the big news was the launch of AAMA’s redesigned website.

Members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) are meeting this week in Phoenix, and there were several important updates for those in the commercial glass and windows industry. The group’s work encompasses everything from vinyl to aluminum and the installation of those products.

The Vinyl Materials Council (VMC) reported that a draft of Installation Methods in Commercial Construction is close to being published. Additionally, Mike DeSoto, Western Division president at MI Windows and Doors, gave an update on InstallationMasters™ as it relates to commercial construction.

“The board has agreed to break this into a two-day retrofit course that will be ready in April,” he said.

For those focusing on aluminum, there was a presentation from Marshall Jinlong Wang, senior sustainability specialist at the Aluminum Association. He focused on aluminum as a material solution for green buildings. He addressed the requirements for materials and resources in the new version of LEED.

“I know many of you are very confused by this,” he said. “People are still exploring how the system works.”

Here’s how some of it breaks down: 5 points for building life cycle impact reduction; 2 points for the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and 2 points for the source of raw materials.

“To get that 5 points use as much of the existing building as you can,” he said. “Or you do a life cycle assessment of the entire building.”

In regard to the 2 points for the EPD, he said, “there are 20 products required in the building, so your material may only contribute 5 percent. These are the tricky questions.”

What hasn’t changed in this newest version is that recycled content still matters.

In essence, Wang said the goal is to get aluminum companies thinking of how these materials can be incorporated into a green building system.

“We are not only a material industry, but we are an industry with the right solutions,” he said.

Members of other industry organizations were in attendance at the AAMA Conference, and many of them gave an update on their associations’ efforts.

Scott Hanlon, director of programs at the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), reported the NFRC is currently gathering detailed commercial market intelligence. Margaret Webb, executive director of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, spoke about a myriad of activities into which the association is delving. This includes looking at ceramic frit and its impact on thermal stress, as well as IG cavity width manufacturing tolerances.

In the future IGMA will look at developing glazing guidelines for vacuum insulating glass, and will also look at complex products such as spider glazing and others. “We’re really seeing some complex stuff,” said Webb.

AAMA regulatory affairs manager Diana Hanson gave a short report on ASHRAE. Current work of the group includes thermal bridging, air leakage and developing a user’s manual. She mentioned that public comment for ASHRAE 90.2 ended in December and this is the first review undertaken in ten years, and the association received more than 200 comments.

For more on the AAMA meeting, read Tara Taffera’s day-one report. Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for more news from the conference, which continues through Wednesday.

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