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November/December  2004

What's News
WDMA and AAMA to Further Pursue Consolidation 

The board of directors of both the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) have agreed to fully pursue a consolidation of the two organizations.

According to Rich Walker, AAMA executive vice president, the AAMA board unanimously authorized its negotiating team “to fully and enthusiastically pursue a consolidation with WDMA” with a formal proposal planned for 2005. 

“This decision was certainly not reached lightly, but in our opinion, it is the best decision for this industry,” said Walker. “As you can imagine, there are hundreds of details to be addressed during the months ahead to translate this vision into a viable organization that is stronger than the sum of the two existing entities.”

Walker said there will be a full disclosure of all working plans and timetables during the associations annual meeting to be held February 27-March 2 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The WDMA will also discuss the status of the merger talks at its annual meeting to be held February 12-16 in Pasadena, Calif. 

Many agree that a merger would offer a unified voice before code bodies and less duplication of efforts.

“A joining of the two associations can offer more service, speed and streamlined efficiencies to members and a whole host of benefits to all our specifier and user communities through simplified, single-source messages,” said WDMA chairperson Chris Simpson.

“A single, stronger window and door association is of high interest to AAMA members from both the residential and architectural markets,” said AAMA’s chairman of the Board, Chris Fuldner. “Such a change would bring together the two organizations into a more powerful and unified voice as we face issues in standards and code development, increasing legislative opportunities and rapidly escalating legal challenges.”

For more information contact AAMA at www.aamanet.org or WDMA at www.wdma.com

Florida Building Code is Delayed

The Florida Building Commis-sion has delayed the 2004 Florida Building Code once again—the new date is July 1, 2005. The original date was July 1, 2004 then it was delayed until January 1, 2005. According to a press release published by the Fenestration Manufacturers Association (FMA), an association very involved in Florida building codes and other issues, the Institute for Building and Home Safety precipitated the delay by raising a serious concern over a reduction in masonry construction requirements for the center areas of Florida. The commission felt the reduction (which came about with the introduction of the International Residential Code) was significant enough to warrant delaying the code in the name of public safety. 

This delay does however bring about several major problems for fenestration manufacturers, according to the FMA, as it will also delay recognition of new standards such as ASTM-E-1996-02 and ASTM-S-1886-02. Many manufacturers have already completed or are in the process of testing products to these new editions of these standards. At a meeting held in August, the Florida Building Commission rejected all products submitted for statewide product approval that were tested to the 2002 editions of the two standards. 
The FMA has asked the commission to take action to remedy this situation quickly. 

For further updates go to www.fmausaonline.org

VELUX®Acquires Thermo-Vu Sunlite Industries Inc. 
VELUX, national skylight manufacturer, has announced the signing of an agreement to acquire the assets of Thermo-Vu Sunlite Industries Inc, a regional manufacturer of residential and commercial skylights. A purchase agreement was completed on September 15, with documentation to be finalized in 45 days according to Tim Miller, VELUX American president. 

“Our product lines are complimentary and this acquisition increases our ability to provide the broadest skylight product program in the industry” said Miller. “In addition, it greatly expands our product offering for commercial applications in the Northeast region. 

In January 2005, the Thermo-Vu distribution center in Long Island, N.Y., will be integrated into the VELUX distribution network creating a sixth U.S. distribution center for the company. 

Atrium Acquires Florida Window Manufacturer 
Atrium Companies Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Kinco Ltd., a Florida limited partnership, for a purchase price of $27.1 million, including $26.6 million in cash, $.4 million in assumed liabilities and $.1 million in the form of warrants to purchase Atrium Corporation common stock. The transaction was effected through a newly-formed subsidiary, Atrium Windows and Doors of Florida LLC, a Delaware corporation, and was funded through a combination of $20 million of additional term loan borrowings, borrowings under the Company’s revolving credit and accounts receivable securitization facilities and cash on hand. 

Kinco, based in Jacksonville, Fla., manufactures, distributes and installs aluminum and vinyl windows for the new home construction and replacement markets in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Through its 14 company-owned distribution centers, Kinco sells to large production builders, mid-size regional builders and replacement contractors. 

“Two of our key strategic initiatives have been to increase our presence in Florida and to increase our installation capability in each of our primary markets,” said Jeff L. Hull, Atrium’s chairperson, president and chief executive officer. “Florida is currently the most active homebuilding market in the country and is expected to have approximately 10 percent of all projected housing starts in the United States over the next five years. With the acquisition of Kinco and the second quarter acquisition of Robico, Florida becomes our third largest revenue producing state behind Texas and California. In addition, the acquisition of Kinco and the August acquisition of West Coast Custom enable us to install our products in Florida and Southern California, markets which are extremely strong and critical to our future growth.”

Hull added that Kinco will remain a stand-alone and autonomous operating unit of Atrium and the existing management team will continue to oversee the business. 

CertainTeed Opens New Window Fabrication Facility
CertainTeed Corp. has opened its new window fabrication facility in West Sacramento, Calif. State and local officials joined employees for the official ribbon cutting and dedication of the multi-million dollar, 229,000-square-foot production facility.

The plant employs 79 people with the potential of employing 21 more by year’s end and 500 workers within five years.

“We have all the necessary ingredients to be a real force in this part of the country,” said Sam Ansley, president of the CertainTeed Window Group. “Easy access to major highways, a booming construction market, the most state-of-the-art window fabrication plant in the nation and West Sacramento’s positive pro-business climate combine to make this city the right choice for our new facility.”

The plant manufactures CertainTeed’s Insulate Series™ and Insulate Slimline Series™ products as well as New Castle XT™ vinyl windows and patio doors. The facility will also offer the new CertainTeed PrismGrid™ option on all its products. 

Window Products is Now Cascade Windows
Window Products Inc. has announced its new brand identity, Cascade Windows. The company, headquartered in Liberty Lake, Wash., has plants in Spokane, Wash., and Salt Lake City, distribution centers in Spokane, Boise, Idaho, Auburn, Mich., and Salt Lake City, and more than 400 dealerships throughout the Western United States. It has been producing vinyl windows and doors under the Window Products name for more than a quarter of a century. 

According to Mark McVay, vice president of sales, the change is in name only with no affect on the management and ownership of Cascade Windows. “The name ‘Window Products’ effectively represents an industry, but not necessarily our company. Changing our brand to Cascade Windows allows us to effectively communicate our value. It eliminates confusion with other window brands and the general perception among our customers that the name 

‘Window Products Inc.’ is too generic. Focusing the brand on our core series will raise product recognition and perception even higher.”

The company has long been associated with the Cascade name as the crown of its three series of vinyl windows. 

“Most of our customers are already familiar with this series name,” said McVay. “What will remain unchanged is the legacy of superior service and value our customers have always relied on.”

Friedman Corp. Named in Software 500 
Software magazine has included Freidman Corp. of Deerfield, Ill., in its annual Software 500 list. The listing is featured in the magazine’s September 2004 issue and Friedman was ranked number 309. 

“We’re pleased to be recognized by Software magazine,” said Craig Yamauchi, president and CEO of Friedman. “Friedman’s Frontier powers operational innovation initiatives of leading small to medium enterprises and our inclusion in this year’s Software 500 is further confirmation of Friedman’s forward-thinking technologies and solutions. We remain passionately committed to delivering the best customer experience in the enterprise solutions for dimensional manufacturers.”

Purfect Glaze Earns Innovation Award
Purfect Glaze window glazing sealants offered by TruSeal Technologies Inc., headquartered in Beachwood, Ohio, have earned the 2003 Technology Innovation Award from Frost & Sullivan, a market consulting firm that publishes information and intelligence on emerging high-technology and industrial markets. 

According to TruSeal, Purfect Glaze was selected for the award because of the unique technology it adds to the window sealants market. The reactive urethane adhesive glazing sealants are designed to bond quickly to glass, window sashes or frames. In addition, the handling strength of the sealants allows windows or doors to be stacked vertically and shipped in line. 

The sealants are available to the United States residential window and door industry, for general, special and high-strength insulating glass applications. 

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