Latest Articles in Industry Watch

  • Today’s array of window features and performance claims emphasize energy efficiency. While energy performance is obviously of major importance, windows must serve purposes beyond saving energy. The best window for a given application and site is a virtually customized mix of features that represents an ideal balance of specific performance attributes. As we enter the fall season–... 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 »
  • When the economy turns and the tide of red ink finally ebbs, the predominant color in a resurgent construction and remodeling market is very likely to be green. On the commercial side, the U.S. green building market is accelerating at a dramatic rate, says McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Outlook 2009: Trends Driving Change report, released last November at the Greenbuild Conference. The... more »
  • Impact resistance, water penetration, thermal performance mandates– even bomb blast resistance – are among the headline issues that have raised the bar on building performance in recent times. Building codes, industry standards development and both government and non-government rating programs have taken up the drumbeat for performance requirements that weren’t even thought... more »
  • As annual Window Safety Week–the first full week of April–rolls around, the industry highlights its focus on home safety, an important facet of window performance in addition to the usual concerns of green credentials, energy efficiency, wind and water intrusion, impact resistance and security. The problem: Young children are naturally curious and are attracted to an open window. Even... more »
  • Although it's counterintuitive to think about global warming when a hard winter besieges the upper Midwest, we in the fenestration industry ignore the implications of global warming at our peril–at least in the sense that doing so will likely hamstring our businesses. The human role in global warming is heavily debated, but the political role is hardly questionable. As a result, regulations... more »
  • While natural disaster newshounds watch alternating seasonal threats of East Coast hurricanes and West Coast wildfires like a tennis match, building codes have been shoring up the defenses in hopes of mitigating disasters such as 2005’s Katrina and 2007’s Witch Creek. We have devoted much discussion in these pages to the evolving codes and standards for hurricane wind, water and... more »
  • Those who ignore the knowledge, buying power and participation of women in the home improvement marketplace, a longtime male-dominated niche market, do so to their economic peril. The Lowe's home improvement chain set out to prove this premise about five years ago and came up not pink, not green, but golden. The blue's answer to Home Depot's well-established orange, which included wider aisles,... more »
  • Last March I suggested in this column that the handwringing over the housing slump and the general recession that many were sure it would bring were overwrought. Let's see, some six months later, where all that stands.In essence, the jury is still out. True, the housing crunch and its economic downturn have reached epic proportions and remain the highlight of campaigns for Presidential hopefuls.... more »
  • Given numerous well-publicized issues and events over recent years-the 2004-2005 hurricanes, mold from building envelope leakage, high energy costs and terrorist bomb threats-state and international building codes, industry standards and a variety of other rating programs have been steadily raising the performance bar for windows and doors. The primary focus has been on energy efficiency, impact... more »