The 78th annual conference of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) kicked off on Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The core of the annual gathering is its committee meetings, and there were dozens covering all aspects of the fenestration industry.

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Kim Flanary, right, receives award from Steve Fronek.

The Aluminum Materials Council (AMC) Marketing Committee worked on several issues, including a review of the Wikipedia page about the metal that the group worked on and progress on an energy white paper that would address energy efficiency and the product life cycle. The committee is seeking more feedback from industry stakeholders, who’ve indicated that grappling with code compliance for both thermal efficiency and impact safety remains a major issue.

The Glass Material Council Marketing Committee discussed the evolution of Glassdocs.com, a partnership between AAMA, the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance and the Glass Association of North America that comes to an end this month. The group is also working on a Consumer’s Guide to Understanding Glass Standards that aims to translate highly technical terms into easy-to-understand language.
The Architectural Finite Element Thermal Modeling Group attempted to hash out language changes to a proposed AAMA standard that deals with substrates and condensation as it relates to the fenestration industry. Committee chair Steve Fronek of Apogee Enterprises said it’s been “an interesting process” getting the document fine-tuned.

The Security Hazard Mitigation for Fenestration Products Committee discussed National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Disaster Resilience Framework Document, which aims to develop standards for resilient infrastructure, says Maureen Knight, AAMA’s regulatory affairs and product stewardship manager. The group also discussed revisions to AAMA 512, “Voluntary Specifications for Tornado Hazard Mitigating Fenestration Products,” specifically the sections that deal with impact location, missile size, tornado versus hurricane language and test unit size. The committee is also working to develop a white paper on security glazing for schools, and will seek feedback from the Collaborative for High Performance Schools.

Meanwhile, when the steering committee met, AAMA’s Angela Dickson reported that “this is one of the best-attended conferences in a long time.” The challenge, however, is recruiting more marketing representatives from member companies to start attending meetings.

The group lost two extremely active marketing members who left the industry. Those individuals served in chair and vice chair roles, so Dickson asked for input on how to get other marketing representatives to attend.

“Now that we are out of the slump, how can we get more marketing people to attend these meetings?” was the question she posed to the group. The group decided to add marketing representatives from member companies to newsletter correspondence and other forms of outreach so they can see the work the association does and then encourage them to get involved. Another suggestion was inviting them to attend the conference for a day or so.

In the Vinyl Materials Council (VMC), some of the discussion centered around the role of vinyl in commercial applications. Joe Hums of the VMC marketing committee reported that the group’s request for commercial case studies resulted in a number of great submissions. As a result, the group has almost completed a learning unit (LU) for the use of vinyl in commercial windows. Dick Doyle of the Vinyl Institute (VI) was also in attendance and said the VI would like to share some of those case studies as well. The VMC marketing committee is also close to completion of a learning unit on sustainability as it relates to vinyl windows.

Additionally, Royal Building Products’ Mark DePaul reported that the group has completed a draft of a commercial fenestration AIA course. Later in the day during the VMC marketing committee, DePaul went through a draft to get member input. The program covers everything from vinyl as a recyclable material to design flexibility and installation and compatibility with other cladding materials.

The day ended with the association’s annual awards banquet, where various members were honored for their hard work and dedication to AAMA. The Distinguished Marketing Award went to Terry Abels, Chelsea Building Products; the Architectural Products Group Distinguished Service Award went to Doug Holmberg, Wausau Window and Wall Systems; the Chairman’s Award went to Kawneer and was accepted by Bill Deuschle and Greg McKenna; Loyalty Awards were given to Winco and PPG for 50 years of membership in AAMA; the Residential Products Group Service Awards went to Joe Hayden, Pella Corp; and the outstanding member award was presented to Kim Flanary, Milgard. Finally, Florence Nicolici, an AAMA staff member, was honored for 30 years of service to the association.

-Tara Taffera contributed to this report.

The conference continues through Wednesday. Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for the latest updates.