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  • I recently came across 5 Ways to Build Affordable, Energy Star-Rated Houses, an article on BuilderOnline that highlights strategies used by a South Carolina builder.  "The company upgraded its windows to low-E high-performance units, but it reduced the number of windows it uses, which reduces costs," the report notes. Over the past several months, I've also heard a couple window... more »
  • The Cash for Clunkers program is in the headlines this week, as it's proven to be so successful among the consumers, the government has run our of money for it. Tax credits for energy efficient windows and doors haven't drawn the same attention, but we see in this week's Simonton headline that the $1,500 credit available to homeowners has had a positive impact on that company and its workers.... more »
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    Education remains key, but updated standards and WOCDs could help efforts to prevent child falls
    As a product safety engineer and leader of the product safety group for Andersen Windows, and administrator of the manufacturer's “Look Out For Kids” program, Kathy Coen is responsible for safety advocacy and injury prevention efforts. In 2000, her work led to a meeting with Kim Healey, founder of the Timothy Healey Foundation, a child safety advocacy organization named for Kim's son... more »
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    Understanding the basics can help a manufacturer upgrade its product line to meet tax credit and new Energy Star criteria
    With the impending changes to Energy Star and the .30/.30 tax credit requirements of the American Rescue & Recovery Act,  now, more than ever, fenestration manufacturers are looking at every option available for performance improvement and making product adjustments to take advantage of the sudden flurry of activity in the market. There are literally endless possibilities for designing... more »
  • We Chicagoans are, unfortunately, all too aware of the perks expected by some elected government officials. Whether its exotic trips or payment for a truck driver’s license or a vacated Senate seat, we don’t have to go back to the days of Al Capone to find crooks in Illinois. Of course this is not unique to Chicago. Nor is the expectation unique to elected officials. Stories about... more »
  • Product development advances despite weak market and installation issues attract more focus
    Despite challenging economic conditions, suppliers say the impact-rated market is continuing to improve thanks to manufacturers’ R&D efforts. Mother Nature doesn’t care that the economy is a mess. Hurricanes do not decrease proportionally with the country’s GDP. In fact, as the 2009 hurricane and tropical storm season kicked off in June, the National Oceanic and... more »
  • An old fable from India tells of a group of blindfolded men who, having never seen an elephant, were asked to conclude what an elephant is like based on touch alone. Each, having touched the elephant in various places–trunk, ears, belly, leg, tail–respectively describe the elephant as like a snake, palm leaf, wall, tree trunk or rope. Some in our industry– be they manufacturers... more »
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    Atlanta event looks more promising as window and door makers gear up for better times
    With the light the end of the tunnel coming into view, window and door manufacturers will make their way once again to GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo this fall. More than 400 exhibitors and 9,000 attendees are expected for this year’s show, scheduled for the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, September 30 through October 2. “While residential window and... more »
  • Several times in the past year or two I've come across quite a bit of fodder on the generations in this country. The Baby Boomers are welcoming Generation X and Y, and even the Millennial generation (those born from the late 1970s to the early 1990s) into the workplace and the homebuyer market. And homeownership among immigrants has been increasingly rising ever since I started covering this... more »
  • The Federal Reserve came out with a new report that suggested a "jobless recovery," according to a recent article from the Washington Post. The overall economy could begin to start growing again before the end of the year, it was noted, but unemployment levels are likely to continue their rise to about 10 percent by year-end, and may not come down all that quickly. We've seen a mixed... more »