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July-August 2002


                        A Watchful Eye
                WDMA Works for the Industry on Vital Code Issues 
by Rick Perry 

It’s safe to say there’s never a dull moment in the association or the building construction trades for that matter. The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) has many objectives, and ultimately those often relate to building codes and/or industry standards and certification 

A Proactive Approach
WDMA works proactively and consistently on building codes and other vital issues affecting membership and ultimately, designers, specifiers and contractors who use doors, windows and skylights. Some of these issues may seem unrelated and obscure, but we dig deep and often find that they may have an effect on door and window products.

A perfect example is an issue that surfaced in Florida recently. The Florida Building Commission proposed a new rule named the Statewide Product Approval System Program, which would have meant thousands of dollars in fees and related costs for manufacturers, because of the way in which it defined and determined “product” (see DWM, winter 2001, page 14, for related story). In meetings with the Florida Building Commission, WDMA was instrumental in influencing this proposed rule, which then took a positive, more palatable direction.

Job-one is to act as watch dog, monitoring items of interest and taking appropriate action, such as in the circumstances above. We continue to elevate our status and stature in the industry, influencing code bodies and other building construction entities on matters that may be of importance to both consumers and manufacturers.

Consistent Efforts
WDMA also promotes the advancement of the door and window industry by developing and redefining standards and performance-based certification. These performance standards are a necessary step in establishing a basis for builders, architects, specifiers and consumers to make decisions on the level and type of window, skylight and door that is required for a particular application. Ultimately, it is our goal for the code bodies across the country to embrace WDMA’s standards and certification pro-cesses and programs as yielding the best product available, one that fits the application and can stand the test of time, no matter the environment.

Our members are the ones who make all this work. WDMA’s technical committees are comprised of people from the leading companies in the industry. We also have a building codes and regulations committee, and many other committees that contribute to the success of the organization. 

We also believe that there should be one recognized building code, the International Building Code (IBC), to provide uniform compliance and avoid unnecessary confusion in the construction industry. WDMA actively supports the adoption of the IBC by all jurisdictions, coast-to-coast.

Properly executed, standard compliance is a mark of excellence. Taking standards to the next level, we also promote integrated standards for windows, doors and skylights as a one-stop reference and compliance guide. The North American Fenestration Standard is a perfect example. Once integrated, standards are recognized and approved by building code bodies, the entire industry benefits. For consumers, it means a better product overall. 

Also critical to our goals is the Hallmark Certification program, which represents WDMA’s commitment to state-of-the-art technology and our members’ commitment to the industry. This is a third-party certification program that manufacturers of windows, doors and skylights join voluntarily in order to add credibility and quality assurance to their marketing lines. With ANSI recognition, which is pending, it is our hope it will be the program against which all construction specifications are gauged and measured.

We continue to strive to be the guiding force in the industry and the organization that promotes the best door and window products available today, through workable and beneficial codes, standards and certification programs. 

Rick Perry serves as director of industry standards for the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, based in Des Plaines, Ill.

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