Volume 9, Issue 1 - January 2008

from the publisher

Polarizing Positions
Exemption Divides Window Industry 
by Tara Taffera

As an editor, itís my job to get people to talk. Lately, it seems some want to do less and less of that, which makes my job more difficult. 

One issue manufacturers donít want to talk about is AAMA/WDMA/ CSA 101/IS2/A440 and the fact that exterior door systems would no longer be exempt from this standard if it is adopted into the 2009 International Building Code. DWM contributing editor Samantha Carpenter did a fine job of outlining what this would mean for the industry, particularly pre-hangers, in the article on page 30. If included†door pre-hangers would have to test, certify and label all exterior door systems for compliance with the standard as a complete unit. All possible combinations of door units would need to be tested individually and certified to be labeled. 

This all started when the Window and Door Manufacturers Association filed an International Code Council building code amendment removing the exemption for door systems that affects both residential and commercial construction. The rationale behind this is that this will raise entry systems to a higher level of quality. Since the manufacturers arenít talking, we have to assume many support this proposed standard considering the WDMA represents the interests of door and window manufacturers. And since AAMA is a supporter of this standard as well, and it also represents door manufacturers, the same could be assumed for its members. So, letís talk about quality. When you talk to a door or window manufacturer, whether itís at a trade show, in a plant or even by reading a press release, nine times out of ten you will hear the word quality mentioned when talking about their products. So if this will raise the quality of products thatís a good thing, right? 

On the flip side, the pre-hangers have two main concerns. The first is that having to test a myriad of products would limit the amount of options offered, thus hurting the homeowner. I wonder what the homeowner would say when asked which is more important: quality or product options? (Iíd say quality, but thatís just me.)

The other main concern of pre-hangers regarding this standard is cost. Some say the amount of testing required would put them out of business. Some manufacturers may counter that this is the cost of doing businessóof putting out quality products.

If anyone wants to talk about this topic, Iím more than eager to listen. Please e-mail me at ttaffera@glass.com.

P.S. Another topic some manufacturers are reluctant to speak about is energy efficiency. See the feature article on page 22 in which DWM assistant editor Penny Stacey does a great job of outlining the proposed energy legislation before Congress, and if passed, how this will affect door and window manufacturers. She did talk with manufacturers who are quoted in the article, but several declined to be interviewed saying they didnít want to comment on proposed legislation. Is it that the manufacturers donít want to talk about what they are doing on this front in fear of tipping off the competition? Iíd love to hear from you on this subject as well. 


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