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Volume 6   Issue 2                March 2005


Innovative products were prominent at this year's show in Orlando
by Sarah Batcheler

The International Builders Show (IBS), one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive shows for the residential building industry, took place in Orlando, Fla., January 11-14. There were many new trends at this year’s event, including fiberglass doors, new decorative options, fresh finishes and colors, expanded options in sizes and shapes and new company brands. Additionally, after the active hurricane season of 2004, a new wave of products was released specifically for coastal areas. 

Some companies waited for the arrival of IBS to unveil their latest products to an audience of interested, industry professionals. More than 100,000 attendees grazed the aisles to view the latest in home and building products. 

We have highlighted the latest trends manifested at IBS this year. Following are some of the exciting and interesting products on display. 

Fiberglass …
Jeld-Wen Introduces Premium Fiberglass Doors
Premium fiberglass doors, (see image at left) with PÜR-Fiber technology, was introduced by Klamath Falls, Ore.-based Jeld-Wen. The company headed development and research efforts to create the new line of exterior fiberglass doors.

PUR-Fiber technology is different from the process in which fiberglass doors are currently being manufactured, according to Jeld-Wen. The standard amount of fiberglass content used for doors in the industry is 10-12 percent, while Jeld-Wen’s new doors have 35 percent, according to the company. This makes it four times stronger than any other fiberglass door and gives it the ability to withstand hurricane forces. 

There are 32 standard styles offered, with a pronounced woodgrain look, including Mahogany and Alder grains.

The line will be available in the United States in June 2005. The new doors will be competitive in price to other fiberglass door products on the market, according to the company.

Dual-Appearance Entry Doors Available from Peachtree
Peachtree® Doors and Windows of Gainesville, Ga., unveiled a fiberglass panel with a smooth exterior and textured interior for its new entry door line. It offers the look of a wood door inside and the clean appearance of a smooth door outside. 

“The smooth exterior/textured interior door is often requested because it provides a beautiful, low-maintenance, non-rot alternative to wood doors that also provide greater energy performance,” said Jeff Kibler, brand manager.

The exterior can be finished in one of six standard colors, while the interior panel can be stained to bring out the wood-grain appearance of the textured fiberglass.

All entry systems from the company have a patented, virtually maintenance-free sill that resists moisture and rot by keeping the wood jamb above the water source, according to the company.

An integrated frame system that encases the door panel, sidelites and transom creates a durable unit that is easy to install and provides greater structural strength than mulled units, according to the company.

Hurricane Products …
Insulated Impact Products for Coastal Areas
Vetter® Windows and Doors of Mosinee, Wis., introduced its insulated impact products with a durable layer of polyvinyl butyral bonded between two lites of annealed laminated glass. The interlayer is designed to remain intact to protect a home and its contents during a storm. Insulating properties can be made greater by filling the airspace with argon gas, according to the company.

“Many architects, custom builders and homeowners have been asking for these products in order to meet the demanding building codes of the eastern seaboard and gulf shore states,” said Jeff Kibler, brand manager. 

The new products include an out-swing patio door in French and traditional styles, and double hung, casement and direct set/picture windows. These products are rated to ASTM E1886 and ASTM 1996 Missile level D.

ImpactShield™ Makes an Impact with Hurricane Protection
Miami-based Shield Technology Group unveiled ImpactShield™, which was installed on the 2005 NextGen Safe and Sound Demonstration Home in the parking lot at the Orlando Convention Center during the show. 

The new hurricane protection consists of an impact-resistant, high-strength fabric stretched over a window to create a hurricane-resistant barrier against flying debris, according to the company. The fabric is stored in a small weather-resistant housing located on the outside above the window. During hurricane preparation, the fabric is pulled over the window, attached with a lower bar to the bottom window and pulled tight to provide protection for up to category five hurricanes, according to the company. 

Cameron Gunn, Shield Group founder and president received a patent for this system after experiencing the frustration of finding an economical, simple and strong protection for his own home.

The installed cost of ImpactShield for an entire average-size home is about $2,500, and requires about 30 minutes to prepare a house for a hurricane, according to the company. 
It has met all of the American Standards Testing and Measures, Florida Building Code, International Building Code and International Residential Code approvals, according to the company.

“Our primary mission with ImpactShield is to help save lives and property. By helping people protect the most vulnerable part of their homes, the windows, we can help residents and communities avoid the devastating destruction caused by hurricanes,” said Justin Schaefer, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Unique Windows …
Atrium Stops the Sound with New Windows and Doors
Atrium Windows and Doors of Dallas revealed Silent Guard, which provides sound suppression, thermal efficiency, beauty and low-maintenance, according to the company. 
The windows were engineered using optimized placement and thickness of glass, according to the company. A primary panel with two lites of glass is separated by maximum airspace to reduce outside noise, while a secondary panel accommodates up to .25 inch laminated glass for the noisiest of places. Both panels are contained within a single frame. 

In addition to sound reduction, the windows come standard with warm-edge spacers between the lites to allow the glass to flex with varying temperatures to resist sealant failure. 

Venting Picture Window Combines Great Views and Cross Ventilation
Marvin Windows and Doors of Warroad, Minn., introduced the Venting Picture Window, a new product that provides the combination of unobstructed views and cross ventilation. The design features a sash that projects 2.25 inches outward to reveal a screened-in opening to vent stagnant air, reduce condensation and keep out insects, according to the company.

“Historically, homeowners and architects have had to make a trade-off between enjoying big, beautiful unobstructed views and ventilation ... With Marvin’s Venting Picture Window, there are no more trade-offs,” said Dan Lang, product planner.

The key to the window is a hidden screen, which is made of fiberglass-wrapped reticulated foam that resists mold, mildew and ultraviolet rays. The patent-pending screen surrounds the full perimeter when the window projects outward, allowing air to circulate and keeping bugs at bay without obstructing the view. The screen attaches to a sash at a single point to ensure strength and durability over time, and minimize stress during operation. 

From the exterior view, the window appears closed at all times. It also prevents interference with decks, flowerboxes or sidewalk traffic, and reduces the risks associated with larger openings when considering pets and small children, according to the company.

Hardware …
Hoppe Offers Sliding Door Locking Hardware
HOPPE North America Inc. of Fort Atkinson, Wis., premiered its HOPPE multipoint sliding door locking hardware. 

The 300 series stainless-steel sliding door gear has two locking points, which allow optimum contact with the jamb. The retractable hooks create a clean look on the door and jamb when open. The mishandling device prevents the retractable hooks from accidentally firing and potentially damaging the hardware, according to the company. Manual locking operations eliminate inadvertent locking of the door. 

The two newest finishes are available in the sliding door program as well as in satin nickel and antique nickel. Both are the Resista® finish which protects against tarnishing, peeling and cracking. Also in the Resista® finish line are polished brass and the split finish of polished brass and brushed brass. 

Letting in the Light ...
Multi-Panel Telescoping Sliding Glass Door Brings in the Outdoors
WeatherShield Mfg.’s new multi-panel, telescoping sliding door provides a dramatic display for a scenic view. The panoramic patio door can measure up to 24 by 8.083 feet in dimensions. 

The sliding door system features six panels with flush-mounted glass panels. The two end panels are fixed, and the center panels slide in a range from fully opened to fully closed. A three-channel sill design guides panels into position. When fully opened, the operable panels on each side slide behind the fixed panel with the use of a concealed flange connecting each panel from edge-to-edge. When the lead door is pulled, the remaining panels follow. The interlocking mechanism and three-point contact weatherstripping ensure a weather-tight seal, according to the company.

The three-channeled sill is available in all-aluminum for warm weather markets, or with a pultruded thermal break for cooler climates. It features stainless steel hardware components and fasteners.

A handle-activated, multi-point locking mechanism is standard. Handle sets are available in traditional and contemporary styles in nine finishes. 

Sun Tunnels Offer New Adjustable Angle Adapter
VELUX of Greenwood, S.C., unveiled a new line of sun tunnels that feature an adjustable angle adapter for easy installation. Other design features ensure higher light output, according to the company.

The adjustable angle adapter allows rigid or flexible tunnels to be installed in a straight line to the ceiling. According to the company, it is the first to introduce this feature, which requires installers to make only one trip to the roof and another to the attic. The straighter runs reduce the bounce effect of reflected light, increasing the intensity of light output. 

An optional, silver coating material on the interior of the tunnel reflects pure, white light with no color shifts. The new dome shape maximizes the collection of light from all angles.
It features an improved ceiling ring with pre-assembled components, including a dual diffuser and built-in flip tabs. It also includes gaskets to provide a secure fit on uneven ceiling surfaces.


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