Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • 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 »
  • I was discussing the American Clean Energy and Security Act with my oldest son a while back. I explained that it had started out as a bill by these two representatives Waxman and Markey, who had brought it before the House Energy Committee, where it had been passed. At the time of our conversation, it had recently been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. “So now it has to go to... more »
  • In 1985, a young window salesman was sent to Columbus, Ohio, to negotiate a contract of $275,000. His supervisor had commanded that young salesman to come back with the order and allowed, if necessary, that the salesman had the latitude to adjust the price by as much as $25,000. The very inexperienced young salesman walked into the office and met an intimidating purchaser who quickly exerted... 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 »