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Volume 6   Issue 10               November  2005


Hurricane Rita Cripples Texas/Louisiana
Border, Keeps Construction Companies Busy

Hurricane Rita made landfall on the border of Texas and Louisiana on September 24 and brought with it forceful winds, tornadoes and water. The areas that were affected endured weeks without electricity and now brace for the long road to recovery. In the midst of this effort, door and window suppliers, and others in the construction industry, are as busy as ever.

Greg Green, owner of A-1 Glass Co. in Beaumont, Texas, said his company was up and running the day after the hurricane. A-1 Glass, which has three locations, closed two of those and all employees worked from generators at the remaining facility. “It took 4 to 5 days to get 90 percent of our employees back,” said Green.

Tommy Montelaro, owner of AMA Remodelers in Beaumont, Texas, said his company was out of electricity for 17 days. 

For those in the door and window manufacturing industry and remodeling business, the demand for product and service has been enormous. 

“We’ve been working from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every single day and we don’t see this letting up in the foreseeable future,” said Green. 

The demand for the company’s products has gone up as well.

“It has been absolutely incredible. Our work went from steady to six months behind in three days,” he said.

I’ve been slammed, said Montelaro. “The business is through the roof.”

He said everyone at his company is safe and doing well after the storm. “Everyone here is good to go and making a ton of money.”

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact on New Orleans and the surrounding areas, coverage from media outlets on areas affected by this hurricane have been noticeable absent. 

“That really aggravates me. I just got my electricity back yesterday. Although I haven’t been able to turn on a television since the day before the hurricane, what everyone tells me is that the media dropped it immediately,” said Green. “I am here to tell you, I live only 200 miles from New Orleans, and the only difference between here and there is the water.”

What has been devastating about this storm is that the affected area has so many trees, said Montelaro. “Houses were cut in half by trees.”

NFRC Board Provides Annual Energy Performance Guidance 
During a recent working group meeting in Reston, Va., the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) board of directors provided “detailed direction” to its Long Term Energy Performance (LTEP) and Annual Energy Performance (AEP) subcommittees and task group leaders. 

When discussing long-term energy performance’s role within NFRC, the board directed the LTEP subcommittee to revisit its scope and identify a series of questions in order to develop an educational effort that would provide consumers with information variables that may impact fenestration energy performance over time. Prior to the meeting, the group had been developing a voluntary test procedure for fenestration manufacturers to evaluate changes in energy properties over time.

This board decision, however, is not without controversy. According to Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting LLC, who served as the chairperson of the LTEP task group, both NFRC membership and its board of directors approved the original scope of the LTEP subcommittee during the summer meeting in Quebec City. Culp said that it was during the semi-private meeting of the board of directors that the group voted to reverse its own earlier action, as well as that of the membership.

“This is one more example where certain board interests take one action in public, then take the opposite action once they are out of public view,” said Culp. “I question if certain members are truly voting in the interest of the public as they claim, if they are taking completely opposite positions in public and private meetings.”

During the meeting the NFRC board recommended that the AEP subcommittee first develop a calculation procedure known as “NFRC 901” and then a rating following board review. They also required that any procedure brought forward from the membership must:
• Provide for variability. The final product must be a range and may include other considerations such as climate zones, Energy Star® or code maps;
• Provide for a minimum of at least two ratings; it will include heating and cooling and may also reflect climate zones or other factors; and
• Include user-specific variable behavioral inputs/modifications (i.e., thermostat set points, shading and orientation).
The board also provided guidance regarding approval requirements. Specifically: 
• Any assumptions must be supported by research and must be sound technically;
• The intended audience is the consumer and/or builders in both new and existing markets. Any rating procedure is not intended for code use; and
• The rating program that is developed for AEP must be “administrable” by NFRC within fiscally responsible parameters and must be consistent with NFRC’s 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status. NFRC’s intellectual property rights in any proprietary product produced by NFRC for AEP must be protected.

ASC Develops Cost Models for Adhesives and Sealants
The Adhesive and Sealant Council Inc. (ASC) is pleased to announce the development of cost models designed to assess the economic costs of substituting adhesives and sealants for other types of fasteners.

Developed exclusively for the ASC by The ChemQuest Group, these tools have been made available to the ASC and its 42 BTI coalition members.

The cost models can be used either at the strategic level to understand the cost of a particular technique through an industry application, or at the customer level, to show how adhesives compare to either mechanical fastening or welding currently in use.

ASC recently completed its two-year $650,000 BTI program with a goal of creating greater appreciation for the capabilities of structural adhesives and sealants, and development of tools that participating members can use to educate companies involved in product and structural assemblies. Program participants gained insights into how to improve perceptions about the value of adhesives with designers, engineers and other key influencers, as well as obtained exclusive market research knowledge and tools to sharpen their product development and marketing programs.

Amesbury Expands with Acquisition of Builders Hardware
Rich Koopmann, president of Amesbury Group®, has announced the purchase of Builders Hardware Inc. in Buellton, Calif. As the newest Amesbury Group division, Builders Hardware brings a variety of patio door handles and door and window hardware to the line-up currently provided by the BSI-Door Hardware and Fastek Products divisions of Amesbury Group. 

“Bringing Builders Hardware into the Amesbury Group will bring a wider variety of swing and sliding door patio handles, as well as window hardware components. Builders Hardware will complement the BSI-Door Hardware and Fastek Products divisions by bringing successful companies together to provide our customers with a one primary source for the best window and door hardware in the industry,” said Koopmann.

Peter Hauber, president of Builders Hardware is excited at the prospect of joining the Amesbury Group’s BSI-Door Hardware and Fastek Products divisions and the possibilities it can offer, according to a news release from Amesbury Group. 

“The current management team, who has brought to our industry such patented items as the One-Touch-Actuated Multi-point Latch System and the Automated Window Sash Lock, will remain with the company ... We are very excited about this alliance and look forward to offering a full range of products to the industry,” said Koopmann.

VT Industries Help the Victims of Hurricane Katrina
In an effort to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina, VT Industries donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army. In addition, VT matched donations received from its employees at all facility locations through the end of October. This will provide additional financial assistance to the Salvation Army for those storm victims in need.

AFG Laminating Heads South
AFG Industries president John Litzinger has announced that a new autoclave will be added to its Jacksonville, Miss., plant in the first quarter of 2006. 

“The new laminating capability is designed to support our strong, and growing, residential customer base in the Southeast,” said Litzinger. 

He also said that the company added a tempering line recently to its existing insulating operations in Jacksonville, Miss., which has been an asset to AFG’s residential customers with its custom tempered, Comfort Ti solution. 

“The addition of residential quality, hurricane laminated products including laminated Comfort Ti, will go a long way to expanding our residential strategy in the Southeast,” said Litzinger.

Insula-Dome Skylights Acquires Roto Frank of America Roof Window
Insula-Dome Skylights of Yaphank, N.Y., has announced that it has acquired the operating assets of the Roto Frank of America Roof Window manufacturing division of Roto Frank of Chester, Conn. The roof window company is a subsidiary of Roto Frank AG, a world wide manufacturer/distributor of roof windows and fenestration hardware products including Roto Roof Window product.

“Roto Frank reflects a similar integrity with respect both to its products and service. That fact, coupled with its well-established Roto Roof Window, made Roto Frank an excellent fit for our corporate growth plan,” Bill Stauffer, chief executive officer of Insula-Dome.

All products formerly known as Roto Roof Windows will be consolidated into the Insula-Dome line of products and will be marketed as Insula-Dome Skylights. The acquisition of Roto Frank will add a number of New England-based employees to the Insula-Dome organization, according to a press release from the company. The employees will be directed by Barbara Larson, the customer service manager for the Northeast region, and Dana Fargnoli, the director of engineering and development.

As a result of the acquisition, Insula-Dome also announced a new customer call center and distribution facility in Essex, Conn. Through the new call center, New England-based customers now have access to an extensive product inventory, knowledgeable product specialists, and a local pick-up and delivery service. Also established in Essex was a new research and development laboratory.

Fenestration Components International to Represent LAMATEK
LAMATEK Inc. has signed Fenestration Components International Inc. (FCI) to represent LAMATEK’s fenestration line of tapes and gaskets in Western Canada, specifically in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia. 

FCI will offer LAMATEK comprehensive representation in an area where some of the largest window companies in North America are headquartered, according to a press release by the company.


n a ceremony at a recent Florida Home Builders meeting in Orlando, the Protecting People First Foundation Safety Award was presented to First Home Builders of Florida, of Cape Coral, Fla., for “leadership in providing passive opening protection, through the use of impact-resistant laminated windows, as a standard feature to first-time home buyers for safer living in hurricane-prone regions.” ... Window and door manufacturer MI Metals has chosen Granco Clark to supply equipment to its facility in Millen, Ga. A new Granco Clark billet heating system will upgrade an existing press line at the facility ... Chicago-based Republic Windows and Doors has been re-certified for the National Association of Home Builder’s National Housing Quality Certified Trade Contractor Program for its installation program called The Republic Difference. 

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