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Volume 6   Issue 5                June 2005



WDMA Plays Role in Important Revisions to Industry Standards
by Jeffrey F. Lowinski

Standards and certification programs are the lifeblood of many different industries, especially the window, door and skylight manufacturing community. These programs are crafted carefully with the consensus of the industry, and help manufacturers provide the best product for the application. The programs are designed to meet or exceed building and energy codes and can also satisfy requirements for specialty glass and glazing, such as in the instance of impact- and hurricane-resistant windows and curtainwall. On an even higher level, blast-resistant products on the market can be used in true-to-life security scenarios, where they can be deployed to save both lives and sustain property as well.

Whats behind all the highest technology in windows, doors and skylights? It starts in the research and development and design stages, before production begins. Manufacturers go to great lengths to test and certify products, and to make sure that they can perform to the highest threshold that the real world can dish out. It also starts with the development of standards, and the Window and Door Manu-facturers Association (WDMA), and other associations, including the American Architectural Manufac-turers Association (AAMA), have guided the development of several key documents over the last several years.

Most recently, WDMA approved a new, groundbreaking standard for exterior side-hinged doors, the first time this type of product has been individually recognized in a performance-based standard. The standard is now part of the latest version of the North American Fenestration Standard (101/I.S. 2/A440 Specifications for Windows, Doors and Unit Skylights). It was the first edition jointly developed by AAMA, the Canadian Standards Association and WDMA. AAMA and WDMA have proposed this Standard/Specification for inclusion in the International Code Council 2006 International Building Code and the 2006 International Residential Code.

Joining Hallmark Certification 
Now, the stage is set to add exterior side-hinged entry door systems to WDMAs Hallmark Certification Program. WDMA recently approved the formal Hallmark Procedural Guide for Side-Hinged Exterior Doors, the road map for its implementation. The Hallmark Certification Program is a long-standing, but constantly evolving, WDMA program that is considered a seal of approval in the building design and specification community. The program provides the manufacturing, installing and specification community with important benchmarks to guide products for their ultimate use on a job site. 

The addition of side-hinged exterior doors will provide a full circle of products that can be applied under the Hallmark Certification Program, adding excellence to the manufacturing process and giving producers a tangible way to differentiate their doors from others on the market. With the addition of these types of products to the Hallmark Certification program, its scope will broaden to include hinged entry and hinged patio or French doors. 

Once side-hinged exterior doors are folded in, the program will cover a complete range of window, door and skylight products, for a total building envelope solution branded with the Hallmark Certified label.

In addition, the Hallmark Certification Program carries American National Standards Institute accreditation, further elevating its status with the building code community. 

The Hallmark Certification Program for side-hinged exterior doors is expected to be an operational program within months. A manufacturer may also use Hallmark to certify side-hinged entry doors as follows:

1. Impact performance levels in accordance with ASTM E 1996;
2. Structural test and rating method in accordance with ASTM E 330; and
3. Impact and cycle test and rating method in accordance with ASTM E 1886. 

Jeffrey F. Lowinski serves as acting president of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association based in Des Plaines, Ill. 

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