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Spring 2001



IGCC Develops Certification Program for Argon Gas Windows

Insulating glass manufacturers who believed in their product before now have further ammunition to backup product claims. The Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC) has developed a new certification process for argon gas windows. According to the IGCC, this new process, consisting of independent laboratory testing and inspection, gives manufacturers the means to prove their products are properly filled. The process also ensures that all units receiving IGCC certification meet or exceed federal guidelines for insulating glass. 

Although certification is voluntary, organizations, like the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), are pledging their support for the program. “There are ways to check the material compliance of other variables in energy-efficient window systems, but, since argon gas is odorless and invisible, it is impossible to look at the windows and see if they are filled with argon gas,” said Jim Krahn, chairman of the NFRC. “Manufacturers are responsible for the claimed fill levels used in rating their products, so we absolutely encourage manufacturers to participate in the program.”

While participation benefits the manufacturer, it has advantages for numerous other groups as well. 
“It [certification] also benefits the customer,” said Mark Cody, president of the IGCC. “Contractors will know that an IGCC certified window meets the advertised standards.”

IGCC Administrator John Kent agrees. “The bottom line is that architects, specifiers, buyers and consumers will all benefit from the added assurance provided by third-party certification ... which provides a level playing field for all manufacturers.” 

CMG Predicts Most Popular Shades of 2001 
The Color Marketing Group, based in Alexandria, Va., has made its yearly predictions for the colors most consumers will seek in architectural applications and other facets in the year 2001. Among those colors are the following: Marrakesh Red, a soft, earthy red; Apricot Ice, a pale, vibrant shade of melon, Orange Spice, an energetic, sophisticated orange; Copper Blush, a beige tinted with white and pink; Latte, a warm brown blend; Burnished Sage, green, gold and brown blended into one; Industrial Taupe, a soft and slightly pink color; Cityscape Gray, a neutral, specific shade of gray; Storm, a deep gray based on minerals that often reflect shades of blue and green; Mysteria, a calm, mid-toned purple; Java Bean, dark brown with a purple tint; Vin Roughe, the color of Chianti; Fuschion, unisex, sporty, yet sophisticated, shade of pink; Glass Block, calm shade of aqua; Capri Blue, soft pastel version of the water in a “tropical paradise;” and, Paddy Green, a bright but bold bluish-green.

ICC Wishes to Continue Discussions with NFPA Despite Deadline
The International Code Council (ICC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) continue to agree to disagree as each continues to develop its own fire code. Both groups have held a series of meetings and are yet to reach a decision. Now, the ICC says it is reviewing what the NFPA calls its “last and final” proposal to create one model fire code for the United States. But, the ICC argues that further negotiations need to follow the “last and final” proposal so that the groups may reach an agreement, despite the deadline the NFPA has set.

“The ICC Board has taken action to advise NFPA that ICC is eager to continue discussions on the cooperative development of model codes with NFPA,” said Dan Nickle, chairman of the ICC board of directors. “However, the terms of the NFPA’s last and final proposal require further discussions including resolution of plumbing and mechanical code matters.”

In conjunction with this debate, the ICC’s board of directors considered the organization’s future at its November 11-12, 2000 meeting. In an effort to enhance its capabilities as a board, the group voted to eliminate the positions of president, vice-president and secretary/treasurer. Thus, the ICC’s executive vice president will become the general manager and chief executive officer of the council. With this change, the board will be more directly involved in leading the organization as the code officials of the country unite under the ICC umbrella.

Likewise, the board agreed to begin the consolidation of all code development activities within the ICC organization, which is working to develop an organizational mechanism to assign responsibilities to various code councils. These code councils will then oversee code development committee activities such as committee appointments, arrangement and conduct of public hearings and other such activities.

The board also agreed to begin the establishment of a consolidated ICC national certification program. As the program begins, the ICC will take ownership of the joint model code organization examinations that are currently available and will begin issuing certificates for these exams. This will enable candidates to obtain multiple ICC certifications rather than repetitious certifications through each model code organization.

In other business, the board revised the ICC code development procedures to allow all members of Building Officials and Code Administrators International, In-ternational Conference of Building Officials and Southern Building Code Congress Intern-ational in attendance at the initial code development public hearings to vote on floor motions during assembly consideration of code development committee actions.


IGMAC and SIGMA Become One
The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association of Canada and the Sealed Insulating Glass Manufac-turers Association officially became the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) on October 2, 2000. The membership of both organizations voted in favor of the merger in hopes that both organizations will combine strengths and resources for the North American insulating glass industry. Current board members of both organizations will serve on the new board where a strategic plan will be written for the new organization based on recommendations of a task force assigned to this project. Both management firms of the former associations, Smith Bucklin and Associates and the Canadian Lumbermens’ Association, will continue to serve IGMA during this transition period. 

Texas Door Manufacturer Incurs Million-Dollar OSHA Fine
The Occupational Health Administration (OSHA) has fined a Texas door manufacturer $1,124,500 for a series of accidents among its workers. According to OSHA, the accidents caused two workers to endure finger amputations, and other crushing injuries to both hands.

The company, Lifetime Doors Inc. of Hearne, Texas, has been cited for 37 alleged safety and health violations. And, after inspecting the company, OSHA discovered that Lifetime Doors had failed to train its employees in locking out certain pieces of machinery and the lack of knowledge contributed to the injuries sustained.

“This company allowed employees to continue working on the very machines that caused two employees to suffer finger amputations within 24 days of each other,” said OSHA administrator Charles N. Jeffress. “The employer failed to comply with known safety requirements, even in the face of repeated injuries and employee complaints. The manner in which this company operates epitomizes its disregard for employee safety and cannot be tolerated.”

OSHA fined Lifetime $860,000 for the 17 instances of failing to train its employees on locking out machinery, and $210,000 for three alleged willful violations of machine guarding requirements and failure to implement a lockout program. In addition, OSHA charged the company a total of $53,500 for 15 serious violations of standards involving ability to hear conversations, hazard communication, flammable and combustible liquids, personal protective equipment, powered industrial trucks, machinery requirements and electrical standards. The company also was fined $1,000 for two other violations. These were for not posting noise regulations and not fulfilling record-keeping requirements.
“During our inspection, we found that managers at the Hearne plant were well aware of viable safety and health policies and still failed to implement them,” said Jeffress.

The investigation of these violations began on May 5, 2000, when an employee reported the finger amputation problem.

California Tightens Energy Regulations, Moves Toward High-Performance Glass
The California Energy Commission has enacted new home-building regulations to assist in solving the state’s energy problems. These regulations will provide options for conserving energy, including the use of high-performance glass to reflect more of the sun’s rays in the summer.

“In all, the new standards are expected to make new homes between 12 and 15 percent more energy-efficient,” said Robert Rivinius, chief executive officer for the California Building Industry Association.

In related news, regulations enacted recently in California include a new requirement that site-built fenestration products in large new nonresidential construction be certified and labeled by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) for U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient. According to the NFRC, the California Energy Security and Reliability Act, signed last year by Governor Gray Davis, requires the California Energy Commission to adopt a variety of new energy-efficient standards for residential and nonresidential buildings.

The new nonresidential NFRC requirement, which references the NFRC 100-SB procedure, applies to vertical fenestration systems for buildings with 10,000-square-feet or more of fenestration area and a minimum of 100,000-square-feet of floor area. 

(For more information about the standards visit the California Energy Commission’s website at http://www.energy.ca.gov). 

Lake Country Sales Becomes LCS Precision Molding
Lake Country Sales Inc. of Elysian, Minn., has a new name, LCS Precision Molding. The company, a supplier and custom plastic injection molder for the fenestration industry, decided that after years of business, the old name was no longer representative of its areas of expertise.

Premdor Purchases Masonite from International Paper Co.
Premdor Inc. of Toronto has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Chicago-based Masonite Corp. from the International Paper Co. The purchase price is $523 million and is subject to certain closing adjustments, according to Premdor. As of June 30, 2000, Masonite’s net value was $558 million. The companies are now awaiting regulatory approval of the transaction.

“The combination of Masonite and Premdor will create a more profitable, vertically integrated international building products company, and will lead to tremendous opportunities for the company,” said Philip S. Orsino, president and chief executive officer for Premdor. “Masonite is one of the most recognized and respected names in the building products industry and a leader in wood composite products.” 

In the Win-Door preview article (see Door & Window Maker Supplement page 53), the photo for Titon was inadvertently placed with the LCS article. We regret the error. 


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