WDMA Members Get Technical

July 5th, 2011 | Category: Event News

Members of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) met in Grand Rapids, Mich., in late June for their annual technical conference and discussed issues such as market trends, building codes and revisions to the North American Fenestration Standard.

Trends

Ed Hudson, director, market research division, National Association of Home Builders Research Institute, spoke about market trends affecting the purchase of doors, windows and skylights.

Hudson pointed out that demographics and other factors support long-term growth in smaller, more basic housing. He forecasts that the following will occur:

• Initially, some rebound in high-end fenestration purchases in new homes;

• Echo-boom generation moving into home buying years, in market for starter homes;

• Baby boomers are more likely to downsize than upsize;

• Population growth from immigration;

• Uncertainty in home values encourage renting—favoring multi-family construction; and

• Economic instability has reduced homebuyer/homeowner expectations.

Another trend relates to different approaches to what he calls, “green home marketing.” In order to accommode the trend, Hudson suggests the following tips for door and window manufacturers:

• Help pro channels to create or strengthen their marketing messaging through offering your products;

• Continue to position your company to take advantage of the housing rebound;

• Focus on efficiency of installation, relationships and transactions;

• Offer a high-quality fit and finish, operations and durability;

• Expect low- to mid-range housing to be strong;

• Refine marketing messaging with emphasis on benefits, not features; and

• Tap into latent demand for remodeling.

Updates to NAFS

Joe Hayden, senior project engineer–certification, Pella Corp., and WDMA Exterior Product Standards Committee Chair, gave an update on revisions to AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/IS2/A440, North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for Windows, Doors and Skylights (NAFS-11).

Hayden explained the changes made to this updated standard, and examined the use of the new standard to meet the requirements of the 2012 I-Codes, and its timeframe for implementation. He also offered updates to the Hallmark Certification program, both for compliance to NAFS -08 and the new NAFS-11.

Canadian Code Updates

Jeff Baker, WESTLab, technical consultant to the Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association, gave an update on the Canadian building codes.

He reported that the National Building Code (NBC) of Canada was updated in 2010, and beginning in mid-2011 provinces across Canada will be adopting the national code. While the NBC 2010 was updated to reference the NAFS-08 standard for fenestration, the code also references the Canadian supplement to the NAFS standard. This presentation focused on the adoption of the code, province by province and highlighted the additional requirements beyond the NAFS standard that will be required to comply with the code.

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