Volume 11, Issue 6 - July/August 2010

AMD Headlines

What’s All the Fuss About?
by Rosalie Leone

For seven years, the Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) has represented the millwork industry interests in standards and codes, with a particular interest in the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS) or AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440. The NAFS is an all-encompassing system-based standard that addresses doors, windows and skylights products related to static pressure, air infiltration, water infiltration and other minor tests.

The issue for AMD members has always been “component interchangeability,” or should I say “the lack thereof” that was provided in this proposed standard. To no avail, years have passed without all parties reaching a common ground on this issue despite AMD’s continued efforts and many volunteers.

Numerous trips by all parties concerned to the International Code Council (ICC) Code Development and Final Action Hearings to discuss and debate the Side-Hinged Exterior Door (SHED) Portion of the NAFS standard have been fruitless (see June 2010 DWM, page 37). The author of S141 wished to see all side-hinged exterior doors scrutinized by the numerous NAFS tests. AMD doesn’t see the need for numerous tests and believes that static pressure testing for doors sold in high-wind, hurricane-prone regions be reframed to include door component interchangeability. Our association supports this position to the point of writing its own standard, SHEDS, titled Performance Ratings of Side-Hinged Exterior Door Systems and Their Components by Static Pressure.

"Who would want to inflict numerous tests on door manufacturers? Who could benefit from lots of needless testing? Certainly not the millwork manufacturer or distributor pre-hanger."

The ICC has continued to allow for an exemption for the side-hinged exterior door test requirements of the NAFS due to the overwhelming support of substantial testimony from AMD members as well as other industry professionals across the country. AMD’s opposition to the S141 code amendment was based on the fact that there was no validated need for such a regulation and testing. So let’s ask ourselves, who are the winners here? Who would want to inflict numerous tests on door manufacturers? Who could benefit from lots of needless testing? Certainly not the millwork manufacturer or distributor pre-hanger. Millwork companies would end up paying more money for tests that may not be necessary. For example, would a door need water infiltration tested in New Mexico? In light of today’s economy, or even in a decent economy for that matter, we need fewer unnecessary regulations and more free markets.

The ICC proposed that fellow industry associations come up with an industry consensus solution to the SHED portion of the NAFS standard. AMD tried to meet halfway with the NAFS proponents for several years, but still the best that was managed was a set of component interchange guidelines for certification. AMD did not buy in. so, we steered our own course for the good of the industry and the interests of its members by developing SHEDS.

I guess where code and standard organizations are concerned, AMD has been referred to as the “new kid on the block” and most recently as “immature” by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) when presenting its new standard during the most recent ICC code hearings this past May in Dallas.

For the record, I’m proud to be part of an “immature,” 47-plus-year-old organization that represents the little guy, the big guy and everything in between; to be part of an organization that listens and put’s its members’ interests first. AMD represents the millwork industry and the millwork industry is people. We want to see a two-year-old millwork company celebrate its 20th year anniversary and a 75-year-old company reach 150 years of business rather than closing its doors.

AMD will continue to move forward with its SHED document. The bottom line is, even if it helps one millwork company stick around a bit longer, it’s worth it!

So again, what’s all the fuss about?

Rosalie Leone is chief executive officer of the Association of Millwork Distributors. Her opinions are solely her own and do not necessarily reflect those of this magazine.


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