Better Buildings Approaches Halfway Mark, Shows Progress

Jun 15th, 2015

We are now four years into the Better Buildings initiative, a program that aims to improve energy use in commercial, residential and public buildings by 20 percent over a 10-year period. I attended the annual summit in May, along with 900 others, to hear firsthand about some encouraging progress, as well as some educational gaps […]


May 26th, 2015

Since its inception in 2010, the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule has been a point of contention among building and construction professionals, especially those of us in the fenestration industry. Estimates vary on how many potential window replacement projects and other types of renovations have been postponed or abandoned due to the high […]

… And That’s How a Bill Becomes a Law.

May 18th, 2015

In the nearly 18 months I’ve been writing this blog, this is the first time I get to report that a bill has become a law. I wasn’t the only one happy to see the Energy Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 535) get enacted on April 30. The list of supporters reads as a virtual […]

Finally, Some Momentum in Congress

May 4th, 2015

Some good news came out of Washington last week when the House passed S.535, an energy-saving bill that is compatible with the president’s position on energy and climate-change issues. All it needs now is his signature. As I wrote in previous blogs, the S.535 bill contains some of the key components of the larger bill […]

DOE Has Big Goals for Building Energy Consumption

Apr 20th, 2015

On the coattails of last week’s U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office 2015 Program Peer Review in D.C., I can’t help but be excited about the aggressive yet hopeful future the DOE is working toward for the building and construction market. The department has expedited goals for significant building energy savings, which is […]

Same Issues, Different Outlook after WDMA Legislative Conference

Mar 30th, 2015

If the issues on this year’s WDMA Legislative Conference agenda look familiar, that’s because they should. As we all know, the 113th Congress didn’t do much to advance the causes impacting our industry. Or any causes, for that matter. However, this Congress is showing some early signs we might see better results. Granted, I’ve had […]

A Tale of Two Bills: 10-Year Paybacks are Back in Vogue

Mar 16th, 2015

Some good news came out of Washington last week with the reintroduction of the Shaheen-Portman Senate Bill S 2262 (aka the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act), a measure that’s publicly endorsed by 140+ corporations, including Quanex. As you might recall, this energy-savings bill became ensnarled in politicking last May, leaving us wondering if it […]

It’s Getting Harder to be an Optimist

Mar 2nd, 2015

Following the midterm elections, I wrote an optimistic blog titled No More Excuses for Partisan Politics in which I discussed the high expectations we have for Congress to produce results. I also said that the first two months would be very telling, and they certainly have been. In his first six years in the Oval […]

DOE Converts Complicated Concepts into Consumer-Friendly Dialogue

Feb 17th, 2015

Over the past several months, I’ve dedicated a few posts to the emergence of energy-conscious homebuilders. Like all businesses, builders are seeking points of differentiation. At the same time, they are trying to wrap their minds around the evolution of consumer preferences and the highly technical world of energy-efficient building technologies. As a result, many […]

6 Themes in this Year’s WDMA Policy Agenda

Feb 2nd, 2015

Every year, the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) produces a National Policy Agenda (NPA) outlining its take on the many issues facing the fenestration industry. The 2015 version was released recently, and it’s well worth a read, if you haven’t already read it. The comprehensive, 15-page document covers eight distinct categories: energy conservation, building codes, […]