Bevy of Education is Packed into One Day—Fenestration
The second annual Fenestration Day™,
held April 7 in Indianapolis, was a hit with attendees who were educated
during five sessions covering everything from saving money in the plant
to avoiding litigation.
Go Green and Save Money
Would you like to save thousands yearly through changing the lighting
in your plant? What about “north of six figures” due to a comprehensive
green strategy? Or $280,000 through bulk purchasing? Attendees learned
how to do so from panelists Todd Rascoe, vice president of operations,
Thermal Industries, a division of Atrium; Andre Touchette, president of
Royal Group’s Eastern Region, Canada; and Steve Chen, president of Crystal
Window and Doors, during a Fenestration Day session about going green
in the plant.
Rascoe outlined how attendees may apply for subsidies and rebates through
their utility companies to change the lighting in their plants which is
what Thermal did recently. The Pennsylvania-based company received a $40,000
rebate to do just that.
“If you can see better, you have less errors, it’s just that simple,”
said Rascoe, who added that the company stocks distinct color profiles
that were very difficult to differentiate with the old lighting.
“Imagine from a quality standpoint how much easier it is to get it right
now,” said Rascoe. “With our new lighting we are also able to detect scratches.”
|Attorneys Discuss Avoiding Litigation, Buying
the Right Insurance and More
“Alawyer gave a presentation recently on ‘how to
nail a window manufacturer to a wall,’” warned Charles
Gentry when addressing Fenestration Day attendees last week. That
was enough to gain the attention of attendees who said the information
they gained about legal issues was extremely helpful.
Gentry and his colleague, Jason Call, with Carson and Coil LLC in
Jefferson City, Mo., outlined everything from buying the right insurance
to writing promotional materials and warranties. All of these issues
are more important than ever as the door and window industry has
become a target for some lawyers.
“If you wait until you are sued it will be too late,” said Gentry,
who specializes in the fenestration industry. He added that he is
seeing a lot of fraudulent representation of products and gave advice
on how companies can protect themselves.
“Sometimes a little too much is said about the greenness of a product
and sometimes it trips up the manufacturers,” said Gentry.
Buying the Right Insurance
Companies may think that as long as they have insurance they are
covered but, Call pointed out, it is all about purchasing the right
insurance—a crucial factor if a company is ever sued.
He pointed out that there are two types of insurance—SIR and deductible—and
there is a crucial difference between the two.
“In the deductible, the insurance provider is in control up front
if you are sued. With SIR the company has control up front,” said
“Cheapest is not always best,” he added, while stressing to make
sure there are no exclusions in your policy.
Warranties are “the single greatest shield a company can provide
to protect itself,” says Shield.
“What is most important sometimes is what you are not covering as
opposed to what you are covering,” he added.
He reminded the group that the warranty must be given to the customer
in order to be enforced. “The worst thing that can happen is you
have this great document and you don’t pass it on,” he said.
Gentry also explained that anything that is part of the sales pitch
is considered an express warranty and that companies should be aware
that comments made in selling can be construed as such.
Learn What Manufacturers Had to Say About
the High-Performance Windows Program
Graham Parker, PNNL, and Terry Rex, B.F. Rich, and Gary Delman,
Sunrise Windows, also spoke during Fenestration Day. Visit www.dwmmag.com
or scan the tag at right for the story. Get the free mobile tag
reader at http://gettag.mobi.
That resulted in additional cost savings as internal reworks as well
as reduced service calls.
A Full Scale Approach
Royal’s Touchette focused on the company’s full scale approach to “going
green” and stressed that this is a philosophy that must be a part of your
“It’s not something you do when you have time,” said Touchette.
Touchette pointed out that going green for Royal is definitely a priority
and that the company’s goal is 80-percent waste reduction and the company
should reach that goal by the end of the year.
That journey has included everything from revisiting most packaging on
its products, $35,000 in savings just from garbage disposal and revisiting
employee habits, such as having employees dress for the weather instead
of turning up the thermostat.
All of these initiatives, among others, have resulted in “north of six
figure savings,” said Touchette.
The panelists didn’t just focus on reducing its waste produced through
production of windows and doors. They tackled all the ways they could
save money in their plants and facilities including replacing the toilets.
At Royal that translated into a 4-5,000 gallons a day savings.
It’s the Little Things that Add Up
Crystal’s Chen also looked at his facility’s water usage after getting
an idea from the waterless urinals at the New Yankee stadium. The company
installed these in their plant and saved $225 per urinal as well as 90,000
liters of water a year.
Other initiatives put into place include reusing the cardboard corners
on window packaging, installing motion sensors for lights, use of photovoltaic
solar panels in its building and encouraging employees to order food as
a group instead of driving to a restaurant. Crystal then picks up that
delivery cost and tip, while also telling the restaurants to not bring
The company also eliminated ten overnight trips through use of teleconferencing
for various meetings, and offers afternoon exercise classes that last
“Our insurance agents love it,” said Chen, “and it reduces sick days.”
Energy Star® Phase Two and “Most Efficient Label”
While the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Doug Anderson spoke
at Fenestration Day to give an Energy Star Update, he educated attendees
on many more issues affecting them, including the NFRC’s blind verification
program, IG testing and much more.
What’s in Store for Phase Two?
Anderson, who serves as the Energy Star Windows project manager, spoke
regarding phase two of the changes in criteria for Energy Star windows.
“We’ve been watching the IECC (International Energy Conservation Code)
and we will at least meet that level in phase two,” he said.
He added, “Currently, the IECC is more stringent than Energy Star levels
in the South. We are doing that analysis right now and we will see how
far we can go.”
The EPA also will likely mirror what the IECC stipulates in terms of an
air leakage requirement, said Anderson.
He also stated that the EPA is looking at triple glazing and would assume
that people not utilizing tripe glazing would use argon.
“Krypton prices are likely to go higher and we are very concerned about
that as affordability is an issue,” said Anderson.
He mentioned that it’s going to take two to three years to get life cycle
analysis data, and, while the addition of structural requirements was
discussed, it won’t happen in phase two. He also alluded to a few areas
in which the EPA will conduct more research such as shading and a possible
exemption of Energy Star products in hurricane regions.
“We will put out our initial criteria and see what the industry says [in
terms of hurricanes],” he said.
The EPA will issue its initial phase two proposal in the fall, which Anderson
joked goes until December 21. The EPA anticipates two rounds of comments,
and a stakeholder meeting to be held in Washington, D.C.
“I promise you we won’t be faster than that, but there could be delays.
We will give 270 days before the final criteria goes into effect in the
fall of 2103,” he said.
Until that time there is still more work to be done and Anderson said
the EPA hasn’t started to look at door or skylight criteria. He also pointed
out that Department of Energy still is very involved in the process and
that the two agencies work very close together.
Anderson also outlined for attendees why Energy Star now includes IG certification.
“We are seeing some failures and companies and people want to see the
bar set high so this has confirmed for us that product testing is a good
idea,” he said.
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) recently unveiled its
new Blind Verification Program, which it developed with EPA input. “We
will begin with some testing in the fall of 2011,” said Anderson. “We
want to make sure that the product meets the levels originally intended
and make sure it is built as designed.”
Most Efficient Products
While names such as Super Star and top-tier were used in the past, the
EPA has finally settled on the “Most Efficient” designation for top-performing
products. While windows are not currently included as part of this program,
EPA is still considering it.
Why were windows initially not included with products such as appliances?
“It was easy to figure out with appliances in terms of energy performance
which were top performers,” said Anderson. “We can’t do that with windows.”
“In the North you can point out some top performers,” he said. “In the
South it is harder so maybe it doesn’t make sense for the South.”
Anderson also said there is not cost-effective criteria for the Most Efficient
label and he is looking for the early technology adopters to get the technology
“The type of numbers we are talking about are better than R-5,” he said.
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