David Maxwell, AIA, outlined the importance of daylighting.
Larry Maxwell, AIA, outlined the importance of daylighting.

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) concluded its meeting in Orlando on Wednesday and a focus on vinyl in the commercial market was just one of the many topics discussed.

As vinyl continues to move more into the commercial marketplace, the Commercial Vinyl Products Committee met for the first time to “investigate, monitor, address and remove restrictions and limitations that reduce the potential penetration of vinyl fenestration products in the commercial/architectural marketplace.”

The group talked about developing an AIA course and a white paper, while also developing case studies where vinyl has been used in commercial applications. These efforts are all aimed at educating the market, including architects, regarding vinyl’s effectiveness in commercial applications.

“It’s the 10-30 story buildings we are not getting,” said VEKA’s Kevin Seiling, reiterating this need for education.

The Vinyl Materials Council Marketing Committee also discussed vinyl applications—this time its sustainable attributes. Royal’s Mark DePaul gave an overview of a recently developed AIA course on sustainable vinyl. The course covers everything from the features and benefits of vinyl, how it is manufactured, discussions on recycling, and more. The course will go through the AAMA balloting process then will be made available to the industry.

Larry Maxwell, AIA, gave a presentation on the Impacts of Daylighting and Fenestration on Building Energy Efficiency and the Impacts of LEED and Building Energy Codes. He reminded the group that daylighting can dramatically impact energy usage. He said 37 percent of commercial building energy consumption is electric lighting and 90 percent of commercial building’s use is during daylight hours.

“You all have the opportunity to make a significant impact,” he said.

But he cautioned attendees that daylighting is not just adding windows in a wall. Improper daylighting will adversely affect functional requirements including glare, heat gains/heat losses, poor illumination, high contrast ratios, etc.

Once again, vinyl played into the discussion.

“Vinyl is not highly regarded in a LEED environment,” said Maxwell. “For us we work in coastal environments in Florida and I like to spec PVC because I know it will hold up well in a coastal environment.”

One of the most interesting parts of his presentation came out of the question and answer session when Maxwell was asked about Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and the effect he thinks these will have on the industry.

“It [LCA] will become central to what we do,” said Maxwell. “Even now the first thing we are asked is, ‘What is my payback?’”

As far as EPDs, he said these are just now hitting the market and believes they will have a huge impact on the USGBC’s LEED program.

“I think at some point LEED is going to go away,” said Maxwell. “The reason I say that is because of the iGcc [International Green Construction Code] so the certification programs won’t have a need to exist as green will be mainstream. As that happens more and more people will be asking for EPDs.”

Maxwell was also asked about full traceability of products.

“It is important [to companies],” he said. “People even care about social impacts (labor laws, etc.) and that will all come into play.”

Finally, the World Vision Humanitarian Award for fenestration was presented at the meeting by the organization’s Mary Garcia. This year’s recipient was Milliken Millwork Wholesale Distributors who started donating products in 2008; 21 truckloads were donated by Milliken in 2013.

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