Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • To some extent, sitting in on International Code Council hearings is a bit like watching a professional baseball game. You have to know the rules, and the players involved, to actually understand what is happening. And sometimes, amid long periods of tedium, there are flairs of the dramatic. Such was the case at the code development hearings, which started at the end of October and conclude this... more »
  • It is unusual for the fenestration industry to fall within the scope of presidential action. It happened in February 2009 with President Obama’s signing of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus package. The law was designed to boost sales of energy efficient building envelope components, including windows and doors. The idea was to create jobs and reduce... more »
  • For some time, the side-hinged door was something of an outsider in the arena of standards development and certification, owing to unique properties of both the product and its marketplace. Although the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-08 North American Fenestration Standar for windows, doors, and skylights–and its immediate 2005 predecessor–have been referenced by the I-codes, their... more »
  • It is now planning time for many fenestration companies. Most successful firms do annual planning for the entire company.  Many of these firms typically include marketing planning or research and development fiscal planning for new products in this process.  But few companies actually do market research planning. Yes, they may have a lump sum ready to be used for the annual customer... more »
  • This past September, Accu-Weld, a window and door manufacturer based in Bensalem, Pa., hosted a White House Clean Energy Forum featuring Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, as well as Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Delaware Governor Jack Markell. The event was part of the Obama Administration’s campaign to pass climate change or cap-and-trade legislation. Accu-Weld was selected to host the... more »
  • Talking recently with my younger son, whose passion is physics, I explained my concerns about the continued push within the energy codes to lower the maximum SHGC, which in turns lowers the visible light transmittance of the window. There are proposals pending for the next code change cycle that would establish the maximum SHGC as 0.25 in Southern climate zones. Even with very good glass, what... more »
  • The weak economy has created tremendous challenges in  the window and door market over the past three years. From an editor's perspective, I still have a hard time believing how much bad news we've had to report. It's more than I have ever seen in 25 years covering this industry. Of course not all the news has been bad, and we continue to look for the good.  Amid all the stories of... more »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »