Volume 12, Issue 4 - May 2011


Bevy of Education is Packed into One Day—Fenestration Day
The second annual Fenestration Day™, held April 7 in Indianapolis, was a hit with attendees who were educated during five sessions covering everything from saving money in the plant to avoiding litigation.

Go Green and Save Money
Would you like to save thousands yearly through changing the lighting in your plant? What about “north of six figures” due to a comprehensive green strategy? Or $280,000 through bulk purchasing? Attendees learned how to do so from panelists Todd Rascoe, vice president of operations, Thermal Industries, a division of Atrium; Andre Touchette, president of Royal Group’s Eastern Region, Canada; and Steve Chen, president of Crystal Window and Doors, during a Fenestration Day session about going green in the plant.

Lighting Changes
Rascoe outlined how attendees may apply for subsidies and rebates through their utility companies to change the lighting in their plants which is what Thermal did recently. The Pennsylvania-based company received a $40,000 rebate to do just that.

“If you can see better, you have less errors, it’s just that simple,” said Rascoe, who added that the company stocks distinct color profiles that were very difficult to differentiate with the old lighting.

“Imagine from a quality standpoint how much easier it is to get it right now,” said Rascoe. “With our new lighting we are also able to detect scratches.”

Attorneys Discuss Avoiding Litigation, Buying the Right Insurance and More

“Alawyer gave a presentation recently on ‘how to nail a window manufacturer to a wall,’” warned Charles

Gentry when addressing Fenestration Day attendees last week. That was enough to gain the attention of attendees who said the information they gained about legal issues was extremely helpful.
Gentry and his colleague, Jason Call, with Carson and Coil LLC in Jefferson City, Mo., outlined everything from buying the right insurance to writing promotional materials and warranties. All of these issues are more important than ever as the door and window industry has become a target for some lawyers.

“If you wait until you are sued it will be too late,” said Gentry, who specializes in the fenestration industry. He added that he is seeing a lot of fraudulent representation of products and gave advice on how companies can protect themselves.

“Sometimes a little too much is said about the greenness of a product and sometimes it trips up the manufacturers,” said Gentry.

Buying the Right Insurance
Companies may think that as long as they have insurance they are covered but, Call pointed out, it is all about purchasing the right insurance—a crucial factor if a company is ever sued.

He pointed out that there are two types of insurance—SIR and deductible—and there is a crucial difference between the two.

“In the deductible, the insurance provider is in control up front if you are sued. With SIR the company has control up front,” said Call.

“Cheapest is not always best,” he added, while stressing to make sure there are no exclusions in your policy.

Warranties are “the single greatest shield a company can provide to protect itself,” says Shield.

“What is most important sometimes is what you are not covering as opposed to what you are covering,” he added.

He reminded the group that the warranty must be given to the customer in order to be enforced. “The worst thing that can happen is you have this great document and you don’t pass it on,” he said.

Gentry also explained that anything that is part of the sales pitch is considered an express warranty and that companies should be aware that comments made in selling can be construed as such.

Learn What Manufacturers Had to Say About the High-Performance Windows Program
Graham Parker, PNNL, and Terry Rex, B.F. Rich, and Gary Delman, Sunrise Windows, also spoke during Fenestration Day. Visit www.dwmmag.com or scan the tag at right for the story. Get the free mobile tag reader at http://gettag.mobi.

That resulted in additional cost savings as internal reworks as well as reduced service calls.

A Full Scale Approach
Royal’s Touchette focused on the company’s full scale approach to “going green” and stressed that this is a philosophy that must be a part of your “day-to-day job.”

“It’s not something you do when you have time,” said Touchette.

Touchette pointed out that going green for Royal is definitely a priority and that the company’s goal is 80-percent waste reduction and the company should reach that goal by the end of the year.

That journey has included everything from revisiting most packaging on its products, $35,000 in savings just from garbage disposal and revisiting employee habits, such as having employees dress for the weather instead of turning up the thermostat.

All of these initiatives, among others, have resulted in “north of six figure savings,” said Touchette.

The panelists didn’t just focus on reducing its waste produced through production of windows and doors. They tackled all the ways they could save money in their plants and facilities including replacing the toilets. At Royal that translated into a 4-5,000 gallons a day savings.

It’s the Little Things that Add Up
Crystal’s Chen also looked at his facility’s water usage after getting an idea from the waterless urinals at the New Yankee stadium. The company installed these in their plant and saved $225 per urinal as well as 90,000 liters of water a year.

Other initiatives put into place include reusing the cardboard corners on window packaging, installing motion sensors for lights, use of photovoltaic solar panels in its building and encouraging employees to order food as a group instead of driving to a restaurant. Crystal then picks up that delivery cost and tip, while also telling the restaurants to not bring plastic utensils.

The company also eliminated ten overnight trips through use of teleconferencing for various meetings, and offers afternoon exercise classes that last 20 minutes.

“Our insurance agents love it,” said Chen, “and it reduces sick days.”

Energy Star® Phase Two and “Most Efficient Label”
While the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Doug Anderson spoke at Fenestration Day to give an Energy Star Update, he educated attendees on many more issues affecting them, including the NFRC’s blind verification program, IG testing and much more.

What’s in Store for Phase Two?
Anderson, who serves as the Energy Star Windows project manager, spoke regarding phase two of the changes in criteria for Energy Star windows.

“We’ve been watching the IECC (International Energy Conservation Code) and we will at least meet that level in phase two,” he said.

He added, “Currently, the IECC is more stringent than Energy Star levels in the South. We are doing that analysis right now and we will see how far we can go.”

The EPA also will likely mirror what the IECC stipulates in terms of an air leakage requirement, said Anderson.

He also stated that the EPA is looking at triple glazing and would assume that people not utilizing tripe glazing would use argon.

“Krypton prices are likely to go higher and we are very concerned about that as affordability is an issue,” said Anderson.

He mentioned that it’s going to take two to three years to get life cycle analysis data, and, while the addition of structural requirements was discussed, it won’t happen in phase two. He also alluded to a few areas in which the EPA will conduct more research such as shading and a possible exemption of Energy Star products in hurricane regions.

“We will put out our initial criteria and see what the industry says [in terms of hurricanes],” he said.

The EPA will issue its initial phase two proposal in the fall, which Anderson joked goes until December 21. The EPA anticipates two rounds of comments, and a stakeholder meeting to be held in Washington, D.C.

“I promise you we won’t be faster than that, but there could be delays. We will give 270 days before the final criteria goes into effect in the fall of 2103,” he said.

Until that time there is still more work to be done and Anderson said the EPA hasn’t started to look at door or skylight criteria. He also pointed out that Department of Energy still is very involved in the process and that the two agencies work very close together.

Other Initiatives
Anderson also outlined for attendees why Energy Star now includes IG certification.

“We are seeing some failures and companies and people want to see the bar set high so this has confirmed for us that product testing is a good idea,” he said.

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) recently unveiled its new Blind Verification Program, which it developed with EPA input. “We will begin with some testing in the fall of 2011,” said Anderson. “We want to make sure that the product meets the levels originally intended and make sure it is built as designed.”

Most Efficient Products
While names such as Super Star and top-tier were used in the past, the EPA has finally settled on the “Most Efficient” designation for top-performing products. While windows are not currently included as part of this program, EPA is still considering it.

Why were windows initially not included with products such as appliances?

“It was easy to figure out with appliances in terms of energy performance which were top performers,” said Anderson. “We can’t do that with windows.”

“In the North you can point out some top performers,” he said. “In the South it is harder so maybe it doesn’t make sense for the South.”

Anderson also said there is not cost-effective criteria for the Most Efficient label and he is looking for the early technology adopters to get the technology “out there.”

“The type of numbers we are talking about are better than R-5,” he said.

Get the Door and Window Industry UpdateFor the story on Michael Collins' seminar during Fenestration Day. Visit www.dwmmag.com or scan the tag at right for the story. Get the free mobile tag reader at http://gettag.mobi.

Scan this tag to watch the Fenestration Day video or visit www.dwmmag.com



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