Volume 7, Issue 7 - July/August 2006

What’s News

Ducker Releases Annual Door and Window Market Study

Ducker Research has published its Annual Study of the U.S. Market for Windows, Doors and Skylights, which is funded jointly by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA). 

“This is the best data ever as more people than ever have participated,” says Ducker’s Nick Limb. 

He forecasts that 2006 will be the year that growth of the residential market will ease somewhat. 

“Every year, I say residential will slow down but it keeps growing,” says Limb. But next year I really think that [slowing down] will happen.” 

According to the report, single-family sales are expected to decline 7 percent, while improvement expenditures are expected to increase 3 percent over 2005 levels. 

When it comes to materials, vinyl continues to rise and now represents approximately 57 percent of the overall market. This material grew 8.6 percent from 2004 while aluminum grew by 6 percent. The news was not as good for wood which declined by 2.5 percent “This is the first year [on the residential side] that there is a much bigger shift from wood to vinyl. This has been happening slowly in the past ten years but this is the first year that the gap has been so dramatic,” says Limb.

But wood isn’t the only segment on the decline. The residential skylight market declined 4 percent from 2004 levels. 

The study once again looked at fiberglass which continues healthy growth. In fact, this market grew 14 percent from 2004 to 2005. Limb says that a number of new players have emerged since the last study, contributing to the growth of this material. 

Ducker also published its third bi-annual report, the Distribution of Residential and Nonresidential Windows and Doors in the 2005 U.S. Market. This report detailed distribution channels and noted that specialty retailers and lumberyards are nearly tied accounting for approximately 20 percent each for sales of windows from manufacturers. Lumberyards account for 29 percent of patio door sales and are the largest channel for manufacturer sales of this product group. For all product types, homeowner purchases are highest from the specialty retailers. Big boxes are the only other channel member that has greater than 20 percent of sales to homeowners. 

Along with the market study, for the first time Ducker published the Summary of Findings Regarding Installation Practices and Procedures, 2005 U.S. Market. Ducker interviewed installers and participating manufacturers regarding installation practices, documents, crews and materials. 


AAMA Updates Several Documents
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has released updates of several documents. 

• AAMA 800-05, Voluntary Specifi-cations and Test Methods for Sealants, a technical specification covering performance and test methods for sealants, has been revamped. The revised document provides detailed information regarding sealants, including evaluating test results. 

• The Voluntary Performance Rating Method for Mulled Fenestration Assemblies has been updated and published as AAMA 450-06. First developed in 2000, the standard details a voluntary testing and rating method to determine air infiltration, water penetration resistance and structural performance of factory-built or knocked-down field mulled fenestration assemblies. 

A mulled fenestration assembly is defined by AAMA as an assembly of two or more individual products installed in a single rough opening. The assembly is not defined as a curtainwall, and 450-06 is not intended for curtain wall performance testing, noted Larry Livermore, AAMA technical standards manager. This updated standard, which covers the placement of multiple units into a single opening, provides a procedure for evaluating and testing the mulled assembly. 

• The updated AAMA 510-06, Voluntary Guide Specification for Blast Hazard Mitigation for Fenestration Systems, directs manufacturers to the appropriate resources to simulate blast conditions in a laboratory environment in order to evaluate and compare fenestration system performance in a standardized manner. 

• The new Voluntary Guideline for Engineering Analysis of Window and Sliding Glass Door Anchorage Systems confirms minimum anchorage requirements for windows and sliding glass door systems, which are certified in accordance with AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S. 2/A440-05 and the earlier 1997 standard, according to AAMA.

To purchase any of these documents, visit the AAMA online publications store at www.aamanet.org or call 847/303-5664.

IGMA Forms Thermal Stress Working Group 
The Insulating Glass Manufac-turers Alliance (IGMA) has formed a new working group to gather information and provide guidelines relating to thermal stress considerations for window glass products used in residential and commercial building envelope projects. The purpose of the group is to provide the user with specific guidelines and design assistance for avoiding glass problems that arise from breakage caused by thermal stress conditions. According to Margaret Webb, executive director of IGMA, the project is intended to consider, but not be limited to, conditions known to be important to thermal stress in glass, a knowledge base of reference materials, available industry information, do’s and don’ts for thermal stress and practical design considerations for the review and analysis of thermal stress.

In addition, the group has developed a thermal stress breakage field service inspection record form, which will be distributed to the industry for completion. The results will be compiled and presented to the working group. The intent is to gather field information and provide that information in macro format to the ASTM working group to assist them in developing a thermal stress standard for insulating glass. Participation in this survey is voluntary and all respondents will remain confidential. 


Heated Glass Has a New Name: Thermique Technologies LLC 
Chicago-based Engineered Glass Products (EGP) has announced that a brand new wholly-owned subsidiary, Thermique Technologies LLC, will take control of all heated glass projects, products and technologies. Thermique Technologies will concentrate on the development, sales and marketing of Thermique™ heated glass, allowing EGP to remain focused on its core business of heat-reflective glass in kitchen appliances.

Thermique™ heated glass is a proprietary technology developed by EGP to uniformly heat a pane of glass. The company is developing commercial heated architectural windows for the home and office. The heated glass is also being incorporated into low-E window units. The creation of Thermique Technologies as a separate company is designed to streamline the operations of both companies for greater efficiency and customer service.

Patrick Earley, chief financial officer of EGP, has assumed the role of chief executive officer at Thermique Technologies. Earley will bring with him Peter Gerhardinger, who led the engineering team that developed Thermique heated glass. He will serve as chief technology officer.

Truth Hardware Reveals New Look
 The new logo of Truth Hardware of Owatonna, Minn., isn't just a visual update with a catchy tagline. The company says it is a critical component of Truth's integrated strategic communications program to let the door, window and skylight market know that there's a new Truth Hardware—one that has significantly changed the way it does business. 

The program, which will be rolled out over the coming months, is rooted in a commitment to unleash the resourcefulness of Truth's employees and empower them to listen to what their customers really want. The result will be a more flexible and responsive approach to customer service, according to information from the company. 

The program was unveiled recently to customers with a refreshed logo design and new positioning statement "better from every perspective." A new signature color—a rejuvenating and refreshing shade of green—signifies the company's renewed commitment to its customers. The positioning statement anchors the logo mark and articulates the essence of Truth's new approach to customer service and product development.

"It's no longer business as usual at Truth Hardware," said Greg Wobschall, president. "We took to heart what our customers were telling us: that we make great products but they want to work more collaboratively. As a result, we have reinvigorated our employees and will be communicating the new face of Truth in everything we do." 

In June 2006, Truth Hardware launched a new ad campaign to convey its more flexible, resourceful and responsive outlook. The campaign features a series of four ads with bold, dynamic graphics and the declaration to its customers: "You've Spoken. We've Listened. The New Truth is Here." A companion website for the ad campaign, thenewtruth.com details the changes that have taken place at Truth and features case studies with "change-making" Truth employees. 

Truseal Redesigns Logo 
Truseal Technologies Inc. of Beachwood, Ohio, has revealed a new logo as the centerpiece of its branding initiative centering on its efficiency and technological leadership. 

The new logo features the abstract representations of lites of glass shown in a round mark as a nod to the company’s core windows focus. The mark also suggests a “T” or an umbrella, depending on the viewer’s interpretation. The red color was chosen for its sense of warmth, assertiveness and freshness.

“The redesigned logo is just one piece of our re-energized brand platform that accentuates our history as a trusted supplier with proven technologies,” said John Kessler, vice president of sales, marketing and technical services. “Truseal has always been about improving efficiency, not only through our innovative products and systems, but also because of our ability to problem solve and increase productivity for our customers.”

MI Windows Plans to Acquire CertainTeed Facility
In a move intended to strengthen its position in the replacement products market and expand its presence in the Midwest, MI Windows and Doors Inc. of Gratz, Pa., has entered an agreement to acquire a 210,000-square-foot CertainTeed window fabrication facility in Lebanon, Ind. 

With the proposed acquisition, MI will be granted exclusive rights to fabricate CertainTeed vinyl window and patio door products for many of the primary markets throughout the Midwest. In addition to producing CertainTeed windows, the plant will be fabricating MI’s line of XACT replacement windows and patio doors. 

“We’re seeing a lot of opportunity in the Midwest for replacement products and that makes this acquisition a key part of our growth strategy,” said Matt DeSoto, MI’s executive vice president of the Eastern division. 


Ohio Governor Names Edgetech “Exporter of the Year”
Ohio Governor Bob Taft recognized 29 Ohio companies and organizations with the Governor’s Excellence in Exporting Award (“E” Award) at an awards ceremony in Columbus where he also presented Edgetech I.G. Inc. of Cambridge with the 2006 Exporter of the Year Award.

“To succeed in today’s global economy, Ohio businesses must look beyond our nation’s borders and explore opportunities in foreign markets,” Taft said during the ceremony. “These companies are growing and creating jobs here in Ohio as a result of aggressively selling their products throughout the world.” 

Established in 1985, the “E” Award recognizes Ohio companies that have increased sales volume through exports, increased Ohio-based employment as a direct result of export activity, or developed and implemented a strategy to expand their international sales. In addition, since 1994 an Ohio company has been selected as “Exporter of the Year” based on its outstanding growth in the international marketplace and exemplification of the state’s commitment to international trade. 

Taft honored Edgetech president Michael B. Hovan and the company for its outstanding export sales, history of exporting and commitment to the Ohio exporting market. 

“As a result of our 10 foreign trade offices and our finely organized missions abroad, the Ohio Department of Development remains an excellent resource for Ohio companies wanting to compete in the global marketplace,” said Lieutenant Governor Bruce Johnson, who also serves as state development director.


Huttig Forms Distribution Agreements
Huttig Building Products Inc. of St. Louis and Troy, Ala.-based HB&G have announced an agreement under which Huttig will distribute HB&G brand products at all Huttig millwork distribution locations. HB&G is a manufacturer of composite and wood columns, railings, posts and porch parts. 

Under the agreement, the number of Huttig branches featuring HB&G products will increase from 22 to 38 locations. The agreement furthers Huttig’s strategy of offering industry leading millwork products on a nationwide basis to the rapidly growing national and regional pro dealer chains.

Huttig has also announced a distributing agreement with Therma-Tru Doors, an operating unit of Fortune Brands Inc., based in Maumee, Ohio. Under the agreement, Huttig will distribute Therma-Tru® brand exterior fiberglass and steel doors through all of its 40 millwork locations, expanding from the 31 Huttig locations that currently offer Therma-Tru doors. The joint agreement will allow the two companies to offer exterior door systems on a nationwide basis to the rapidly growing national and regional pro dealer chains.

Arkema Forms Industrial Partnership with Chinese Glass Manufacturer 
Arkema, a company specializing in glass coatings for the flat glass industry (represented in the United States by Arkema Inc. in Philadelphia) has announced that it will partner with Qinhuangdao Yaohua, China’s leading hard-coated glass producer, on a second glass production line project. This new line will use the next generation chemical vapor deposition (CVD) low-E process, jointly developed by Arkema and its engineering partner Stewart Engineers. 

This second production plant using Arkema’s CVD low-E coating system will allow Qinhuangdao Yaohua to add additional capacity for the hard-coated low-E grades within its range of thin glass and solar control glazing products in 2007. This expansion comes two years after a successful start-up of the first line. The products from this partnership will fulfill the growing demand of the local market, while providing Qinhuangdao Yaohua with strong assets to maintain its leading position in hard-coated glass in China, according to information from Arkema.


EFCO’s Designs Pultruded Commercial Window 
The February 2006 newsletter from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s (AAMA) Fiberglass Material Council (FMC) included an article from the June 2005 issue of Composites Technology, “Pultruded Heavy Commercial Window an Industry First.” The article reviewed the efforts of window manufacturer EFCO Corp. of Monett, Mo., in designing and manufacturing a commercial window with a U-factor of 0.35, the same U-factor required for residential windows. The E-Shield heavy commercial window was designed in response to a proposal for stricter energy codes from the International Energy Conservation Council, requiring commercial windows in Northern climate zones to have a U-factor of 0.35 or less. 

According to the article, engineers with EFCO decided that pultruded components would be able to support the size of a commercial window and offer energy savings. The company partnered with Tecton Products of Fargo, N.D., to manufacture the pultruded fiberglass window frame.

The design resulted in a thin-walled pultruded frame profile with hollows, the article said. The hollows form insulating cells within the profile to minimize heat transfer and convection currents.

The fiberglass production model commercial window is believed to have the potential to reduce energy consumption in a building by an estimated 6 to 8 percent.

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TDCI Inc. has announced that CertainTeed Corp. of Valley Forge, Pa., has selected TDCI’s BuyDesign® software solution as the basis for a new quoting and sales support system for use in selected window and patio door sales channels … Intertape Polymer Group has announced that it will move into a 275,000-square-foot distribution center in Columbia, S.C. The new distribution center will be the company’s second largest among four total facilities.

Quality Built Tracks Most Common Construction Defects 

Quality Built of Poway, Calif., a risk management firm providing inspections and quality assurance services to homebuilders and commercial developers, has released the results of its 2005 Construction Defect Data Survey. The firm collected information on 31,995 completed homes and condominiums across the U.S. between October 2004 and 2005, looking for information on the most common construction defects, their frequency and their cost to home and building owners. 

Among other results, the study showed that in single-family home construction, the single highest risk problems included improper framing around doors and windows, building paper and housewrap installation flaws and missing structural connections. According to information from the company, none of these defects are visible to the homeowner upon completion of the home, but can be corrected easily during construction if identified early. 

The study also showed that of the top 100 construction flaws for both single-family and multi-family projects, all top risk issues were related to either a building code requirement or an installation standard. These top defects, amounting to more than $204.2 million in corrected defects, would have been preventable if the installer had followed the plans and installation instructions. 

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