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Volume 6   Issue 10               November  2005

WDMA Opens Up

The State of the Association

Standards-Making and Technical Expertise Top Efforts
by Jeffrey F. Lowinski

Weather-wise, it’s been a tumultuous year. And while those who know association work will agree that it may sometimes be hurricane-like, we continue to forge ahead successfully for the good of the door, window and skylight industry.

To our members who have suffered the ravages of one of the most dangerous hurricane seasons in history, we offer our concerns and hope for new growth and prosperity. Many of our manufacturer and supplier members were not affected directly, but those who were may now be on the road to recovery and we wish them well.

WDMA is bearing witness to some of the most profound changes in the industry ever.  Door and window usage continues on the upswing and new construction and remodeling industries are strong.

More and more, manufacturers are combining product lines and material choices for their customers. Wood and composites, vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass and more all make up industry lines today. This trend will continue–in essence resulting in a superior door, window and skylight product that is beautiful and easy to maintain. Customers and code bodies continue to push the envelope–and manufacturers–into developing products that include superior energy-efficient designs as well as impact-resistance. They also want units that meet historic replications or designs to coincide with modern décor that include exterior cladding in a host of colors. 

The mission of WDMA remains steadfast: to promote the interests of the door, window and skylight industry, to increase the use of products in the industry and to enhance the association’s position of leadership. Now, however, we’re working together with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) with these goals in mind. 

WDMA continues to put the mechanisms in place for the planned merger of the groups. In fact, we are combining meetings this winter at the Esmeralda Renaissance Resort, Indian Wells, Calif., February 18-22, 2006.  We are planning several combined social events and plenty of discussion about the consolidation.

In the codes arena, work is laborious but successful. This past year saw the creation of a new Joint Code Committee (JCC), between the two organizations. Through the JCC, WDMA and AAMA coordinated testimony and an approach to the code changes being considered for the 2006 I-Codes, streamlining efforts and establishing further industry solidarity. 

WDMA’s technical expertise continues to take the association to the next level of credibility. Representative of the influence of the organization, WDMA was granted its request recently to hold a seat on the board of the International Codes Council Foundation, providing more direct representation from the door, window and skylight industry.

The heart of our work is standards making and certification programs. The Joint Document Management (JDC) committee of AAMA and WDMA began work on the next edition of AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S. 2/A440 Standard Specification for Windows, Doors and Unit Skylights. In another area of cooperation, WDMA is working within AAMA to revise AAMA 450, a rating specification method for window mullions.  

WDMA has recently initiated the process for approval of I.S. 1A-2004 Industry Specification for Architectural Wood Flush Doors as an American National Standard (ANSI). (Contact WDMA if you are interested in participating in the ANSI Canvass process.)

The Hallmark Certification Program includes more options and is moving along at a rapid pace. The number of Hallmark certified member companies and products lines have increased and program participants are already certifying to 101/I.S.2/A440-05, as well as to the older editions of this standard. Procedures were also put in place to allow certification of side-hinged entry doors, which are now part of the new standard. Side-hinged entry doors can also be certified to structural and impact resistance requirements of the current I-codes. 

As we number our accomplishments, we turn our sights to current efforts on the horizon.

The state of the association is strong and growing. WDMA and AAMA continue to work as a united front for the benefit of the door, window and skylight industry.

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

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