Latest Articles in Industry Watch

  • This summer, the Environmental Protection Agency issued label guidance for identifying window, door and skylight products that meet Energy Star Version 6.0 requirements. Section I of the document outlines labeling of products; Section II describes the proper use of display unit labels; and Section III presents guidelines for use of labels on packaging that obscures product labels. Guidelines for... more »
  • As fenestration products have evolved to encompass greater numbers and combinations of operator types, materials and performance criteria, their governing standard has grown substantially. Consider this: In the 25 years since the advent of the first truly material-neutral, performance-oriented standard—AAMA 101-88—the scope has grown from 44 pages referencing 14 operator types and 45... more »
  • Given the enormous amount of U.S. energy consumption attributed to buildings, the 2013 State of the Union address announced a new goal of reducing energy losses in buildings by 50 percent over the next 20 years. The latest Department of Energy Research & Development report, “Windows and Building Envelope Research and Development Roadmap,” provides guidance to help make this happen... more »
  • By now, most people with interests in the remodeling industry, and the replacement window business in particular, have heard about the $500,000 fine imposed on Lowe’s Home Centers by the Environmental Protection Agency for violations of the job practices and record-keeping provisions of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule.   Applicable to homes built before 1978, LRRP imposes... more »
  • The exact mix of ingredients in Coke wouldn’t be so secret if The Coca-Cola Co. had to fill out one of the new Health Product Declaration forms that building product manufacturers are facing. And many manufacturers are voicing concern that their own proprietary formulations might be forced down the disclosure path posed by HPD. The HPD is a standardized format for reporting a building... more »
  • The partial federal government shutdown last fall, the haggling over raising the debt ceiling, Obamacare missteps and its unknown―yet-postponed impact on business costs and personal finances all muddy the waters. Not surprisingly, this has led to a decline in consumer confidence over recent months. The Consumer Sentiment Index fell in October to the lowest reading since December 2012—even... more »
  •   As 2012 drew to a close, we were waiting for the sequestration shoe to drop. This year, we are in a similar but much less publicized situation with regard to the fate of quantitative easing. Quantitative easing, or QE, is a federal monetary policy that the government occasionally resorts to when standard monetary policy becomes ineffective, to pump more money into the economy... more »
  • Not too long ago, the construction marketplace—and the residential sector, in particular— led the national economy in a race to the bottom. Other sectors fared somewhat better, but only by comparison. Now, the tables might be turning. Consumers are considerably more positive about current business and labor market conditions. According to Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan... more »
  •   While this column is generally devoted to happenings in the residential fenestration industry, there have been some negative developments in the commercial energy code arena in recent years that deserve everyone’s attention. In 2010, the fenestration industry successfully blocked a proposal to amend ASHRAE 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential... more »
  • Today’s windows, doors and skylights bear little resemblance to those of yesteryear. Materials technology, designs, standards, testing protocols and installation requirements have continued to evolve, providing consumers with greater performance and aesthetic options at moreprice points. The old double-glazed window pane has moved well beyond a simple unit consisting of two lites of glass... more »