Volume 7, Issue 7 - July/August 2006

AAMA Meeting Review
by Tara Taffera

When the American Architectural Manufacturers Association met at the end of June in Lake Tahoe, Calif., much of the discussion again centered on promotion of its certification program (See April DWM, page 138).

AAMA president John Brunett addressed attendees during the opening session saying one of the association’s strategic planning goals was to update the certification program so it can be promoted and defended. He added that additional levels will be added, but clarified that no label fees are planned. 

“Our goal is not to blow up or destroy the current program. It is to complement it with additional levels,” he says. 

Earlier this year AAMA enlisted the help of an ad agency, Point to Point Communications of Cleveland, to help design the message.

“We haven’t done a good job of actively promoting AAMA,” says Brunett. 

Promoting AAMA Certification 

Brunett’s colleague at Simonton, Chris Monroe, agrees. Monroe also serves as chair of the residential marketing committee and says Simonton dealers tell him they don’t talk about AAMA-certified windows because it is too complicated. They say if there are three quick reasons to cite in support of using AAMA-certified windows they will promote it. 

“The certification program was difficult to explain so the sales reps didn’t want to talk about it,” he says.

That’s where promotion of the certification program comes in. Mike Hudock of Point to Point was at the meeting to give members a preview of some of the creative messages the agency has created thus far. 

The objective was to create a clear and concise message to encourage consumers to look and ask for AAMA-certified windows, similar to the Energy Star® program. 

The message “AAMA Stands for You” was unveiled by the agency. For example, AAMA stands for the consumer, the architect, the builder, etc. 

“It’s great,” says Monroe. “It plays to every audience we sell to.”

Monroe says he hopes the program will ultimately have consumers ask themselves, “Why would you buy a product that is not AAMA certified?” 

The promotional materials will include items such as postcards, flip charts, posters, a Web component and other items that can all be used as sales tools by manufacturers and dealers. 

It was stressed that AAMA will promote the program but after that it is an investment for association members, and also companies who certify to AAMA standards. For example, member companies can promote AAMA certification in selling tools, advertisements and other marketing vehicles. 

“That is a good point to remember,” says Edgetech’s Tracy Rogers. “There are manufacturers who certify to AAMA who are not AAMA members. We have to keep that in mind. They need to be involved as well.” 

Codes Update

When the subject turned to codes, AAMA’s code consultant Julie Ruth reported that the association is defending gains made in the last cycle, and that there are minimum threats to the reference of 101 IS 2/A440-05.

“We’re not pushing for any big items this time due to success in the last cycle … Sklylight/energy proposals are the biggest concern,” says Ruth. 
For example, there is a proposal to add an exception to the requirements of 101 for plastic skylights. AAMA’s codes working group (CWG) recommends opposition to this proposal. There is also a proposal to expand the requirements for skylights, which the CWG supports.

Regarding energy, there is a proposal that will require U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) area weighted average calculations. Ruth says AAMA will recommend support if it is revised to permit a software printout to be used. 

The National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) Jim Benney was at the meeting and was unhappy to hear AAMA’s support of this proposal. 

“AAMA was a big supporter of the NFRC,” he says. “The whole reason NFRC was formed was to have one voice. You would now be giving an alternative to the NFRC test (100) and AAMA 507.”

According to Jeld-Wen’s Ray Garries, the vote would be contingent on the fact that this doesn’t violate the NFRC/AAMA agreement (AAMA’s legal counsel was going to look into the matter following the meeting).

Regarding code proposals in general, Ruth reported that other groups are adding reference to AAMA standards in their proposals.

“We’re getting recognition as other people are putting these proposals in to recognize other AAMA standards,” she says. 

Southeast Region

With the numerous hurricanes of recent years, AAMA’s Southeast region has been particularly busy. When the group met during the association’s summer meeting it discussed the progress of its hurricane driven rain test procedure (for more on this and the work of AAMA’s Southeast region, see page 48). It is working to develop a standard based on the pulsating test procedure. 

“We have to have something concrete by the end of the year,” says Southeast region president Bill Emley. “If we don’t, Florida will come up with its own standard and we’ll have to comply.” 

Emley also noted that, as of December 1, 2006, Florida will accept the new energy code. 

“Single-glazed is just about done in Florida but they don’t know when they’re going to enforce it,” says Emley. “It’s going to force builders to go with windows with better performance. The lower the SHGC the lower the tradeoffs.” 

Committees Hard at Work

With numerous committees meeting over the course of four days, there was much work to be done by AAMA members. Below are some of the highlights:

• Fiberglass 305 Review Task Group: The group reviewed AAMA 305, Voluntary Specification for Fiberglass Reinforced Thermoset Profiles, which will now proceed to publication. The group noted that there is nothing in 305 to address laminates so that will be added in the next revision. They also will create a review task group for studying performance requirements for fiberglass door sills these have performance requirements that other products do not. 

• Flashing Sealant Compatibility Task Group: This committee, which is working on a Voluntary Test Method to Determine Chemical Compatibility of Sealants and Self-Adhered Flexible Flashings, began to review draft document 1a. The group had much participation as the meeting room was full of members eager to work on this standard. 

• Door Certification Program Task Group: This group is focused on a program for certifying exterior side-hinged door systems to the requirements of 101/I.S.2/A440. Members reviewed the results of system testing and reported that there were some variations in the test results. The group is also charged with addressing a component-based program for the certification of products under the new specification. The group will now perform component testing and will then decide how to proceed. The results of this testing will be presented at the fall meeting. 

• Wood and Cellulosic Composite Marketing Steering Committee: Chairperson Bill Thornton of Integrated Composite Tech-nologies reported that the group will embark on a speaker program beginning with the fall meeting. He hopes to have someone to speak on the topic of green building and also encouraged members to embark on membership recruitment. “We need to get more AAMA members to attend these meetings,” he says. 

• Vinyl Materials Council: The PVC Users Guide Task Group reported that this document will be complete by the fall meeting. David Pirwitz of Urban Machinery and chairperson of the Post-Use Recycling group, says the group is working to develop a recycling program, including developing a network of recyclers. Pirwitz reports that the committee is working with the Vinyl Institute, and is at the beginning stage of the process. “Opponents are saying that a lot of windows are going into dumpsters. We want them to know that it is and can be recycled,” he says. 

• Glass Material Council: The Insulating Glass Gas Retention Task Group reported that it will now disband as it has met its scope and will forward any future needs to ASTM/IGMA. The meeting of the Glass Materials Council also included a presentation from IGMA’s Margaret Webb concerning an update on current IGMA activities. The two groups are working together to ensure non-duplication of efforts, research, etc. 

Editor’s Note: Due to space considerations an abridged version of this article has been printed here. For the full review of the AAMA meeting, including more on the 2006 scholarship winners, see the full article at www.dwmmag.com.

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