Volume 45, Issue 7 - July 2010


Miami Visitors Take a New View
AIA Show Spotlights Glass for Solar Control, Flood Mitigation and Everything in Between
by Ellen Rogers and Megan Headley

Companies supplying glass, metal, doors, windows and a host of other products for the fenestration industry pulled out all the stops and brought their most energy-efficient and hurricane-sound products to the American Institute of Architects’ recent convention, which took place June 10-12 in Miami. Some exhibitors speculated that attendance was lighter than in years past, but more than 17,000 took part in the three-day event looking to find the latest developments.

A Range of Protective Products
In Miami, of course, well known for its stringent hurricane codes, safety glazing products were prevalent.

Savannah Trims Inc. in Palm Beach County, Fla., featured a flood-resistant glazing system, which has passed the Flood Abatement Approval Standard Class 2510 testing requirements. The company says this is the only known glass window which also serves as a flood abatement system for new and existing construction applications. In addition, the company’s products also passed the Miami-Dade Large Missile Impact Test Protocol.

The company says its glass and aluminum barrier has seen positive response from both architects and homeowners as it is permanently installed.

Matt Snyder, Acurlite Structural Skylight’s sales and marketing assistant manager, was promoting the company’s timely completion of impact testing in South Florida. The company was assigned its Notice of Acceptance NOA 10-0271.07 by the Miami-Dade Building Code Compliance Office for its Secure Series large and small missile impact tested skylight system.

“It’s great for this audience,” Snyder said.

CGI Windows in Miami showed what blast-resistant products can do with a sample in its booth of a fragmented window intact in its frame.

“We’re a company that makes hurricane windows, impact [resistant] windows and now we’ve branched out to get into the blast area,” explained Steve Dawson, chief financial officer.

“People are surprised you can get blast resistance in an attractive product; they’re used to seeing it in more of a commercially oriented product,” Dawson said.

Crawford Tracey Corp., a glazing contractor in Deerfield, Fla., spotlighted its new ProTech 45SG and ProTech 7SG curtainwall systems and highlighted the fact that these new systems meet impact and blast test standards. The curtainwall, with laminated insulating glass, meets the Miami-Dade impact standards for large missile with a water-resistant rating of 100 psf and now has been tested to meet the GSA bomb blast standards.

“Although it is a niche market, we have had a number of clients inquire about systems that meet both impact and blast standards,” said Ray Crawford, chief executive officer.

As Bill Bonner, the newest architectural representative with Crawford Tracey, pointed out, it used to be enough simply to have the building standing following the hurricane, but as product performance improves building owners now expect the glass to keep the water out as well.

The pair pointed out that more products are able to offer both safety and other performance benefits.

Doors and Windows on Display
Dennis Kelly, senior vice president of Graham Architectural Products in York, Pa., said the company had been receiving great reports following the six-month soft launch of its new GThurm window. The new product features thermal transmission measures as low as U 0.18 (R 5.5).

The architecturally rated windows are made using the company’s glass-reinforced polyurethane technology. It combines 80-percent continuous stranded glass content with 20-percent of a unique polyurethane resin to produce window lineals using a pultrusion process.

Valerie Jenkins, director of marketing for Serious Materials in Sunnyvale, Calif., was excited over the interest the company was getting on its brand-new fiberglass commercial window. In what Jenkins called the company’s fastest growing product line, the new heavy commercial SeriousWindows Series are rated to deliver thermal performance of up to R-value 7.

Sage Electrochromics Inc. promoted its new triple-pane, high R-value glass unit as well. Lou Podbelski, vice president of marketing for the Faribault, Minn.-based company, said he’d been getting lots of questions about the new window, as well as Sage’s standby dynamic glazing products. He said a number of utility company representatives had been walking the show floor and one from California had noted he’d been tracking the electrochromic window with interest.

While architects continued to show interest in all things green, MGM Industries in Hendersonville, Tenn., was focusing on the full range of colors.

Abe Gaskins, president, said the company “is looking to sell painted vinyl windows to architects for commercial and residential windows.” According to Gaskins, the first-time AIA exhibitor can custom-match any color for jobs where more than 200 windows are ordered.

There were a number of aesthetic and high-performing automatic doors on display in the Portalp booth. Its automatic doors have been designed with a focus on applications such as hospitals, laboratories, clean rooms and other areas where air flow must be tightly controlled.

“All doors are fully wireless,” said Daniel Zuloaga, president, as he aimed a remote at a floor sample. He explained the doors also can be set on timer. “They can handle a lot of weight,” he added, “normally 550 pounds.”

Another European import was the Sunflex booth; the company has been importing products from Germany to its facility in Bonita Springs, Fla., for two years now.

Marco Bickenbach, customer relations manager with Sunflex, was letting attendees get a feel for the company’s impact-resistant bifold system.

“It’s a bottom loader, not top-hung,” Bickenbach explained as he demonstrated the smooth movement of the 9-foot-tall sliding door system, “so you don’t need to engineer the top header.”

Also on display was the wood-clad version of its sliding wall, the SF 55c, and the slide-and-turn door or window system.

Across the exhibit hall, Greece’s Alumil (with U.S. headquarters in Long Island, N.Y.) was showcasing its S450 lift and slide system. The thermally broken system has two chambers and a sash width of 45-mm.

Kyp Bazenikas, president, was also quick to show off the company’s new adjustable spider system. “It provides a lot of adjustability at the jobsite,” Bazenikas said, demonstrating that the hardware can take corners and provide radius installation.

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