Personnel and Test Method Changes Abound at NFRC
From a new executive director to a new test method for obtaining solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) ratings, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) of Silver Spring, Md., has been the industry’s biggest newsmaker in recent months.
First, in personnel news, the organization announced that Jim Benney, former NFRC director of education has been named its new executive director. Benney replaces Susan Douglas, who stepped down in May. Douglas was with the association for approximately ten years.
“We thank Susan for her long service to the organization, and wish her success in her future endeavors,” said Tony Rygg, NFRC chair.
At the annual meeting in May, the NFRC also announced the following appointments: Ken Nittler, a principal at WESTLab, will serve as chair of the technical committee; and Bill Lingnell, technical consultant with the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, will serve as chair of the technical interpretations policy committee.
Solar Heat Gain
Personnel appointments weren’t the only news coming out of the annual meeting. The NFRC board of directors voted to approve a new test method for obtaining SHGC ratings. The test method will allow NFRC to provide SHGC ratings for glazing products such as glass and acrylic block windows.
While there will be a new test method for solar heat gain, York, Pa.-based Architectural Testing (AT) announced that it has received full NFRC accreditation for its 52-inch solar calorimeter for performing physical testing for NFRC 102 Solar Heat Gain. The solar calorimeter will enable manufacturers who were previously unable to receive solar heat gain coefficient numbers through simulation to receive a rating based on tested results, according to AT.
The solar calorimeter, available online, will provide SHGC’s for products, so manufacturers will be able to market their products in regions currently enforcing compliance to the NFRC SHGC standard.
Window Film Rating System
In addition to solar heat gain, the NFRC board also approved a new technical procedure for rating window film. NFRC will begin to develop the certification and labeling procedures at its upcoming task group meetings in Kansas City, Mo., to be held September 18-19.
“NFRC is committed to improving our existing rating procedures and to expanding the universe of products that manufacturers can bring to us,” said Rygg. “We appreciate the effort made by window film manufacturers to work with us to develop technical procedures that will eventually allow them to rate and certify their film products through NFRC.”
NFRC Enters the “Big” Time
While most of the above news is industry-specific, consumers will be hearing more about the NFRC as its retailer tear sheets will soon appear in big box stores across the country, starting with Home Depot. Silver Line Windows will distribute the sheets through its existing channels, according to the NFRC.
The sheets are designed to provide useful information to homeowners, contractors and builders as they select the right windows, doors and skylights for projects. They contain information about NFRC ratings, describe the label and direct users to a website where they can download rating for specific products.
“This is the best way for NFRC to get information to window buyers where they want it in the way they need it,” said Benney.
Efforts are also underway to place the sheets in Lowe’s stores.
Paris-based Saint-Gobain announced that its net consolidated sales for the first quarter of 2003 amounted to $6,986 million EURO, compared with $7,296 million EURO for the same period in 2002 … Twenty-two employees from Guardian Industries headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., donated nearly 400 hours in two days to help a local family build a new home. Additionally, Guardian’s Building Products Group, contributed fiberglass insulation for the house … Chelsea Building Products of Oakmont, Pa., will be featured on the educational television series “New Home Journal.” The series, shot by Platinum Television, is scheduled to air in 25 cities. The video, which is approximately five minutes long, talks about the growth of vinyl windows, and showcases Chelsea as an industry leader … Bill Roberts Sales has been named Manufacturer’s Sales Representative Agency of the Year by Texas Wholesale Building Materials Inc. of Dallas … Jeld-Wen of Klamath Falls, Ore., has embarked on a large consumer-oriented ad campaign. The campaign, which began in June, is in response to the company’s January announcement that it will combine its 27 window and door brands in North America under the umbrella name JELD WEN … Tecton Products LLC of Fargo, N.D., has been granted ISO 9001:2000 certification … Sartomer Co., a specialty chemicals manufacturer, announced that its Stratford, Conn., plant has received ISO 9001: 2000 registration … Scherer Industrial Products of Atlanta now represents the FeneVision® line of software products developed by FeneTech Inc. of Aurora, Ohio.
CERTIFICATIONS AND STANDARDS
BHMA Updates Door Hardware Standard
The Builders Hardware Manu-facturers Association (BHMA) has revised and updated
the ANSI/BHMA A156.14-2002 American National Standard for Sliding and Folding Door Hardware.
This standard describes performance requirements for hardware products that are critical to the operation of folding doors and sliding doors, including heavy sliding doors for commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. Products covered by the standards include box tracks, track supports, door hangers and many other critical components.
According to the BHMA, this update has replaced illustrations of typical products with improved electronic drawings. The entire document has been reformatted with the requirements highlighted in outline boxes. Other revisions include updating the fire test reference as well as the addition of standard tolerances and measurement system requirements.
|True Warm Systems Provides True Savings
Representatives from Thermo-Twin, a window manufacturer in Oakmont, Pa., were so pleased with the purchase of its Lisec True Warm Spacer System that the company, along with Edgetech and Lisec, invited members of the press to its facility in May. Thermo-Twin representatives wanted to share how this equipment helped increase the company’s productivity for the production of insulating glass units.
The machine, a fully automated Super Spacer® line for residential applications, features vertical, automatic Super Spacer application as well as automatic gas-filling and automatic secondary sealant application.
The new system allows for fast, efficient material flow with vertical-to-vertical glass handling while accommodating all glass sizes and popular glass coatings. In fully-automated configuration, the Lisec True Warm System can produce up to 1200 units per shift with no direct labor, according to Edgetech.
Joseph Palermo, president and chief executive officer of Thermo-Twin, conducted the tour. Also in attendance were Edgetech president Mike Hovan and Gerhard Reichart, vice president of business development for Edgetech.
Thermo-Twin, which sells, 3 ¼-inch standard replacement windows, say they sell approximately 300 windows per day. The company also manufactures custom millwork.
According to Palermo, purchase of the line doubled output of its IG units with less than half the people.
LCS Precision Molding Moves Offices
LCS Precision Molding, formerly known as Lake Country Sales, has announced that it is combining its corporate offices with its production facilities. Formerly located in Elysian, Minn., LCS’s offices are being relocated to its production facility in Waterville, Minn. According to the company, this move is designed to facilitate better communication and services for customers and employees.
Ultrafab and Tecseal Announce Technology Agreement
Farmington, N.Y.-based Ultrafab Inc. and Tecseal S.A. of Terrassa, Spain, have announced a technology agreement by which Tecseal will utilize Ultrafab’s patented/proprietary manufacturing technology to produce weatherstrip and other related brush seals for sale to nearly 60 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.Full production is expected to start at Tecseal by September of this year.
The announcement was made jointly by A.C. Engelfried, Ultrafab president/chief executive officer, and José Vintró, Tecseal president/managing director.
Energy Star® Adds New Homes to Program
While the Energy Star program includes a myriad of products, it has also tackled a bigger project within the building-products industry recently. Now, consumers can buy an Energy Star-qualified new home.
All of the home’s systems, such as its heating, cooling and envelope systems, have to be Energy Star-qualified. This rating is completed by a certified energy rater. A home gets the Energy Star-qualified new home distinction by being 30 percent more energy-efficient than a standard home.
Mergers and Acquisitions
ADCO Purchases Chemetall’s Sealant Business
ADCO Global Inc. of Michigan Center, Mich., has purchased Frankfurt, Germany-based Chemetall’s insulating glass sealants and casting resins business. According to ADCO, the purchase makes it one of the largest suppliers of polysulphide sealants.
ADCO’s products include InterSeal®, a single-seal IG sealant, the TPS warm-edge spacer and AT-2 muntin bar tape.
Deceuninck Acquires Thyssen Polymer
France-based Deceuninck, a manufacturer of PVC-U window systems and building profiles, has announced the signing of a sale and purchase agreement to acquire Thyssen Polymer, the extrusion business unit of ThyssenKrupp Technologies, based in Germany. The acquisition was to take effect in June 2003.
“Thyssen Polymer and Deceuninck have the same business philosophy, namely a strong customer focus, high-quality extrusion technology and the use of self-manufactured tools,” said Clement De Meersman, chief executive officer of Deceuninck. “Moreover, Thyssen Polymer’s range of door and window profiles and geographical markets are complementary to those of Deceuninck.”
Milgard Opens East Coast Facility
Milgard Windows, which is based in Tacoma, Wash., is expanding east with a new plant in Spotsylvania, Va. The company is renovating an 82,000-square foot building, in which it began production in June. The facility will employ approximately 60 to 100 people and will concentrate on the company’s double-hung window, a new addition to its product line.
Vinyl Building Products Opens Logistics Center
Vinyl Building Products of Oakland, N.J., has moved into its new logistics center in Pompton Plains, N.J. The 130,000-square-foot facility is located on a seven-acre lot and contains space for warehousing, lamination and repacking. According to the company, the new facility, which is located five miles from its manufacturing plant, enables it to categorize its inventory through bar-coding and a radio-frequency location system to simplify the processing and loading of orders.
“In order to maintain our competitive edge in the area of customer service and logistics, it was important to further invest in our infrastructure,” said Ralph Weiss, president and chief executive officer at Vinyl Building Products.
Groups Push Legislation Designed to Regulate Lawsuits
Fed up with soaring insurance premiums, builder groups in Colorado and Texas are sponsoring legislation to toughen the process of filing and collecting damages on defects lawsuits.
The Colorado Association of Home Builders is working on both Senate and House side bills–while the Senate bill would enact a $250,000 cap on treble damages, the House bill would provide judges with the power to rule if a builder acted deceitfully.
Meanwhile, the Texas Association of Builders is trying to create the Texas Residential Construction Commission, designed to settle disputes without the need for lawsuits.
Prior to filing a lawsuit, the homebuyer would request dispute resolution. Consequently, an inspector would be assigned to investigate and make a recommendation. The homebuyer and builder would then appeal the investigator’s report to the commission, with the option of filing a lawsuit if unsatisfied.
Jeld-Wen Named Energy Star’s® Partner of the Year
Jeld-Wen’s efforts to manufacture energy-efficient windows and doors have earned them recognition from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, which recently named the company as its Energy Star Partner of the Year.
The manufacturer, based in Klamath Falls, Ore., has been an Energy Star partner since 1998.
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