Leading News

EPA Sets October Deadline for Energy Star 7.0

New requirements are set to take effect for Energy Star 7.0, after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) followed through on final specifications in late 2022. The final draft of Version 7.0 elicited feedback from 21 companies, organizations and industry experts, including requests that the implementation date be moved back in order to provide manufacturers with additional time to usher in new and improved products. Input from door and window manufacturers failed to persuade EPA officials to deviate from an October 23, 2023, deadline, though the resulting period is longer than what’s mandated by the program (which calls for a minimum of nine months). Officials say they felt it was important to maintain consistency throughout the Energy Star program, by keeping implementation for doors, windows and skylights in sync with other product sectors.

Under new Version 7.0 criteria, beginning October 23, 2023, windows in the Northern climate zone must offer U-factor ratings of less than or equal to 0.22 and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) ratings of greater than or equal to 0.17. In the North Central, windows must offer U-factor ratings of less than or equal to 0.25 and SHGC of less than or equal to 0.40. Windows used in the South-Central zone must include U-factor ratings of less than or equal to 0.28 and SHGC ratings of less than or equal to 0.23. In the Southern region, they must offer U-factor ratings of less than or equal to 0.32 and SHGC ratings of less than or equal to 0.23.

Masonite International to Acquire Endura Products Through Subsidiary,
Announces Layoffs In Walkerton, IN, Facility

Masonite International announced news at both ends of the spectrum in recent months. Officials said the company eliminated “at least” a third of the 220 jobs previously held at its facility in Walkerton, Indiana. Weeks later, the company announced one of its wholly owned subsidiaries has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the holding company of Endura Products. Endura manufactures high-performance door frames and door system components, holding more than 100 patents for residential new construction as well as repair and remodeling applications. The $375 million deal is subject to customary closing adjustments and regulatory approval.

In a notice addressed to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Masonite senior corporate attorney Donald Tyler said 74 to 84 jobs were eliminated from the company’s facility in Walkerton over a 30-day period. “We expect the employment loss at the Walkerton facility to be permanent,” the notification said.

The reduction results from changing business needs in the region, officials declared.

Legal

Racial Discrimination Suit Against Jeld-Wen Changes Venue

Attorneys for defendant Jeld-Wen d/b/a MMI Door removed a case from an Ohio court of common pleas in Hamilton County recently, moving it to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. In an amended complaint, plaintiff Richard Harris alleges racial discrimination against MMI Door, with the latter’s attorneys arguing that the development raises a federal question.

The plaintiff, a former employee of MMI, alleges that an issue arose in October 2021. Harris reportedly complained about the issue to his trainer, who “became enraged with him,” court documents filed by Harris allege. Harris, who is African American, also expressed concerns to Arthur, who is also an African American, alleging that MMI only hired Caucasian
people to managerial positions.

Harris alleges multiple occurrences of threats of violence from Arthur and subsequent complaints to management, eventually filing an official report. In court documents, Harris said that MMI ignored his complaints. Not long after, Harris says he was called into another meeting where he was accused of calling a Caucasian coworker a “racist.” Harris denied the accusation, but was terminated approximately 11 days later, according to his filed complaint.

Minnesota Department of Human Rights Settles with Andersen Corp.

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) announced a settlement agreement with Andersen Corp., requiring the company to pay a former job applicant a year’s worth of pay. Andersen will also have to work to build a more inclusive workplace for disabilities, MDHR reported.

The settlement stems from a 2019 incident in which MDHR states that Andersen withdrew a job offer to an applicant after learning of a disability. Andersen claims that it withdrew the offer because the applicant couldn’t operate a forklift.

After reviewing the claim, the department found Andersen’s “alleged justification for rescinding the job offer was false,” concluding that Andersen refused to hire the applicant because of his disability, which is a violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

M&A

ASSA ABLOY Sells Emtek and Smart Residential Business

ASSA ABLOY entered into binding agreements with Fortune Brands Home and Security Inc. to sell Emtek and its Smart Residential business in the U.S. and Canada. The transaction is part of the company’s bid to fully resolve concerns over competition surrounding the proposed acquisition of the Hardware and Home Improvement (HHI) division of Spectrum Brands announced in September 2021.

ASSA ABLOY’s agreement to acquire the HHI division of Spectrum Brands last year included a purchase price of $4.3 billion on a cash and debt-free basis. In September, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) blocked the proposed acquisition of HHI. The company then announced it will sell Emtek and the Smart Residential businesses to address the DOJ’s concerns.

In December, ASSA ABLOY entered into binding agreements with Fortune Brands. Residential businesses outside of the U.S. and Canada are not in line to be divested and the divestiture is dependent on the successful defense against the DOJ regarding the planned acquisition of HHI.

Both the proposed acquisition of HHI and the divestiture are expected to close during the second quarter of 2023.

In fourth-quarter 2022, ASSA ABLOY acquired Bird Home Automation GmbH, a German manufacturer of door intercom systems for single and multi-family buildings, marketed under the trademark DoorBird. DoorBird was established in 2014 and has approximately 110 employees.

PGT Innovations Acquires Martin Door

PGT Innovations Inc. acquired Martin Door Holdings Inc., a custom manufacturer of premium overhead garage doors and hardware serving the Western U.S. residential and commercial markets. The transaction is part of PGT Innovations’ move into adjacent building product categories that complement its current portfolio of door and window brands, officials said. The deal is reported at a purchase price of approximately $185 million.

Martin will operate under the Western division of PGT Innovations. Martin CEO Scott Huntsman will remain with the company and assume the role of president of Martin Doors.

Quanex Acquires LMI Custom Mixing

Quanex Corp. has acquired its way into more complex and innovative compounds by acquiring one of its vendor partners: LMI Custom Mixing. Cambridge, Ohio-based LMI is a polymer solutions provider that focuses on advanced methods for mixing rubber compounds for the most demanding applications. Officials for Quanex said LMI was selected for its complementary technology and shared culture.

“We’re confident their expertise will help us solidify and enhance our portfolio of solutions in the areas where we do business today, and as we seek to diversify, the LMI team will be essential in allowing us to develop innovative new compounds and meet our growth goals,” said president Bob Daniels.

LMI is now known as Quanex Custom Mixing.

Drexel to Merge with McMahon and Co.

Drexel plans to merge with McMahon and Co., a Wisconsin-based supplier of doors and millwork. A family-owned business, McMahon and Co. was established in 1996 and employs approximately 50 people in Jackson, Wis.

Drexel plans to integrate the McMahon business into Eastern, Central, and North Central Wisconsin, primarily hinge on efficiency and quality. The company plans to grow into a new facility, dubbed Drexel Doors and Millwork, where it will employ 100 full-time workers. The facility is slated to open in 2024.

At press time, the transaction was expected to be completed by December 31, 2022.

Santiago Investment Group Acquires Sprouse Windows and Doors

Denver-based private equity firm Santiago Investment Group LLC acquired a majority ownership position in New Martinsville, W.V.-based Sprouse Windows and Doors. A long-time family-owned business, Sprouse manufactures doors and windows for both the new residential and remodeling markets.

“We believe customers and employees of Sprouse Windows and Doors will benefit from our industry contacts, financial expertise, and management experience. It is an exciting opportunity for Santiago and Sprouse,” said Cal Noreen of Santiago Investment Group.

Sprouse will continue to partner with companies focused on energy efficient window systems, according to the press release. Recent growth led the company’s leadership to partner with Santiago, which will invest in modernizing equipment, as well as employee engagement, while adhering to the company’s vision.

Sprouse will continue to operate under the same name.

Great Day Improvements Acquires Your Home Improvement Co.

In its second acquisition of 2022, Great Day Improvements LLC added Minnesota-based Your Home Improvement Co. to its umbrella. Officials for Great Day said the company has been expanding its geographic boundaries by acquiring like-minded companies in the door, window and general home remodeling space since 2018. Officials said the company will expand its footprint to serve more customers across the country, while also creating opportunities for employees to grow.

Michael Hoy, Great Day Improvements CEO, will lead the combined companies, while Steve Little, president of Your Home Improvement Co., will continue to lead Your Home Improvement Co.’s executive team. Great Day Improvements acquired Universal Windows Direct and Champion Windows in December 2021.

Expansions

Elevate Adds Space and As Many As 100 Jobs

Elevate Windows and Doors LLC has added 40,000 square feet to its operations in Grand Prairie, Texas, where it will host from 75 to 100 new jobs. Officials say the move increases the company’s capacity by 1,000 units per day. The company also added a 100,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Hopkinsville, Ky., where it will produce 2,000 units per day primarily for the Kentucky and Tennessee markets. The Kentucky facility will eventually employ more than 200 people.

“Our expansion is one way for us to reemphasize our commitment to our excellent distribution partners,” says Jim Robinson, co-owner. “We see the Kentucky-Tennessee corridor as having a similar growth trajectory as our Texas operations. These new plants are our first steps into geographic expansion and where we expect our company to grow.”

Woodgrain Announces $7.5M Expansion in N.C.

Woodgrain Inc. announced a $7.5 million expansion for its door-hanging operation in Rocky Mount, N.C. The development adds 225,000 square feet of space, while bringing 42 jobs to Nash County. Family-owned and operated since 1954, Woodgrain manufactures moulding, millwork, doors, windows, door jambs and door frames. Headquartered in Idaho, the company has more than 45 manufacturing and warehouse facilities in the U.S. and South America, including operations in Chile and seven locations in North Carolina, including a sawmill. The expansion will relocate Woodgrain’s existing operation to the 225,000-square-foot facility.

Crystal Window and Door Systems to Open in Dallas

Crystal Window and Door Systems is set to open a new office branch in Dallas. Officials say the company’s new facility will feature a sales showroom, warehouse space and administrative offices.

At more than 5,600 square feet in size, the facility is set to be the company’s largest branch sales and distribution center indepedent of a production facility.

“In recent years, Crystal has supplied several projects in the region and with the Texas construction market booming, it makes sense for us to establish a presence here,” says Frank Ganninger, regional manager.

YKK AP Breaks Ground in Georgia

YKK AP America broke ground on a new residential door and window manufacturing facility in Macon-Bibb County, Ga. The move follows an announcement in August 2022, detailing plans to invest $125 million into the middle-Georgia region, including additional machinery and equipment. Slated to open in January 2024, the new facility will create 100 new jobs in addition to the 250 YKK AP currently supports in Macon, Ga.

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DWM Magazine

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