Representatives Meet to Discuss Complex Issue of Exterior Side-Hinge Door
Specially selected members of the industry's leading associations, along
with component suppliers, product manufacturers and pre-hangers gathered
on Tuesday in an attempt to resolve the issues surrounding compliance
of exterior side-hinged entrance doors with AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-08
The meeting of the Door Component Interchangeability Task Group was hosted
by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the
goal was to provide a forum for industry dialogue on the development of
component substitution for door certification and testing.
Though advertised as an open forum, AAMA did control access to the meeting
by limiting its attendance to those with substantive knowledge of door
components and finished product performance. The meeting began by reviewing
component testing conducted to date by its task group. It was agreed that
the base exterior side-hinged door system should be tested to the air-water-structural
requirements as outlined in AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440, NAFS - North
American Fenestration Standard/Specification for windows, doors, and skylights.
Based upon this testing, component substitution would be permitted per
the specific test requirements as applicable within this document. In
addition, participants of the door forum discussed a pure component-based
testing and qualification method and agreed that complete component mixing
deserved additional study.
Jeff Lowinski, vice president, Advocacy and Technical Services for the
Window and Door Manufacturers Association and Mark Fortun, manager of
testing and certification for Endura Products in Colfax, N.C., and chairman
of the task group, were a few of those in attendance, along with representatives
from the Association of Millwork Distributors.
In essence, the meeting was very positive, according to Lowinski, who
says there were a lot of viewpoints represented.
"The intention [in my mind] was to get all players to talk and come
up with a consistent and uniform set of guidelines [or positions] regarding
this issue," he says.
"The group discussed initial system testing that will be necessary
before components can be substituted. Not every configuration will necessarily
need to be tested, nor will every component substitution require a system
test, but there is a need for a documented trail that supports any combination
of components back to testing or reliable engineering evaluation,"
Fortun is also optimistic about the meeting's turnout.
"I was very encouraged by the cross-section of the door industry
that attended the meeting and the openness and positive contribution by
all of those in attendance toward the development of a component interchangeability
regardless of the company each attendee represented, all
agreed on the importance of having a solution which addressed the needs
of the pre-hanger segment. There was also agreement that such a solution
will be beneficial to the door industry overall. I'm very encouraged by
the unison within the group." Fortun says.
He also feels progress was made during the meeting.
"Prior to the meeting some of the initial documents that will likely
be incorporated into the guideline were drafted by Jeld-Wen and Endura.
These facilitated input and suggestions by the wider group and helped
generate early momentum in the meeting," Fortun explains. "However,
this was only the first meeting and there is considerable work ahead as
we continue to draft out remaining portions of the guideline and then
validate feasibility. With depth and breadth of those attending, I expect
Another door forum is expected to take place on September 25 following
the AAMA National Fall Conference in San Antonio, and Lowinski says that
although progress has been made there are a great deal of issues that
need to be discussed.
"We haven't even touched on a lot of the components," he says.
Fortun says that the actual approach to component interchangeability is
not yet worked out.
"We are evaluating if the guideline will require some baseline system
testing, coupled with component evaluation to allow component interchangeability,
or if component-only testing can be used. It's still too early in this
process to understand what the best solution will be, and will require
further discussions (at our future meetings). Regarding door failures,
this was just a generic discussion on what those attending have experienced
in the market, whether it is in coastal or non-coastal areas."
Lowinski says that the work this group does will aid in preparation for
the 2012 code cycle. "The goal is to have 'guideline' work completed
for reference by industry certification programs in time for the 2012
ICC code cycle," he says.
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