Volume 35, Number 2, February 2000


                            the industry in the media spotlight

Debate Over Who Pays for Damage from Hurricanes Rages On

Homebuilders and insurers are at odds over how stringent building codes should be in hurricane-prone areas. Homebuilders say new homeowners don’t want to pay for anti-hurricane products; insurers say consumers aren’t always right. As reported in a Sept. 16, 1999, Wall Street Journal article, the debate has become so heated that representatives from State Farm Insurance Co. have resigned from a panel attempting to draft new building codes for North Carolina.

Among the issues is whether houses should be built to withstand medium-sized hurricanes, or bigger storms, such as Hurricane Andrew. Both sides agree preventing a breach to the house’s outer shell, including windows and doors, is pivotal to preventing damage.

But the article quotes Randy White, president of PGT Industries Inc. in Venice, FL, as saying that adding impact-resistant windows and doors to a new home runs about $13,000 for
a top-of-the-line system, compared with $4,000 to $5,000 for conventional windows. Homebuilders contend such additional costs would turn away some first-time buyers.
The insurance industry maintains that the cost would be recovered by saving lives and preventing property

marketing maneuvers

Häfele on Tour: Mobile
Design Center on the Road

Häfele America of Archdale, NC, has received quite a bit of press for a North American tour of its Mobile Design Center, a 40-foot Mercedes coach outfitted with more than 1,000 pieces of hardware and design systems in full application. The program is designed to allow architects, interior designers, office furniture and store fixture manufacturers to have hands-on experience with the products they are considering for designs. The center will make stops at architectural, interior design and manufacturers’ offices in more than 25 cities in the U.S. and Canada. The center includes furniture casters in an automated display, table frames ready for assembly, height-adjustable table systems, numerous sliding wall and door systems, store fixture displays and a wall where guests can examine decorative hardware on a variety of substrates.

Glass Companies Included in
Fortune’s Top 100

Think you work for a great company? Well, you may want to compare your organization to Fortune magazine’s annual list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The list includes two companies involved in the glass industry: Pella and USAA.

Window and door maker, Pella of Pella, Iowa, ranked 47, offers a profit-sharing plan that has boosted employee pay by 15 percent since 1952. Additionally the family-owned business has never had a lay-off in 75 years.

USAA Insurance Company of San Antonio, TX, also boasts no lay-offs in 77 years. Several company locations offer child care facilities, and two-thirds of all employees work a compressed work week.

Architectural TV Series Features Omega-Lite

wpe17.jpg (3565 bytes)Buildings that utilize Omega-Lite panels from Laminators Inc. of Hatfield, PA, was highlighted in a November 14 episode of “American Architectural Review,” hosted by John Stossel of ABC News.

Laminators designed a variety of simple installation systems for the panels. A “how-to” trailer with installation highlights was added to the video for mailings to architects and designers. Omega-Lite consists of a corrugated Polyallomer core sandwiched between pre-finished aluminum sheets and bonded with a thermal adhesive.


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