AAMA Makes Progress at its Fall Meeting This Week

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) met this week for its National Fall Meeting, which took place at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa at Summerlin in Las Vegas.

AAMA's executive director Rich Walker announced there were 46 new attendees at the meeting and said that the Strategic Planning Committee has been working on updating its certification program.

David Moyer of Architectural Testing Inc. provided an update on the activities of the Structure Work Group (SWG). The SWG has been conducting a SWOT analysis of the current certification program.

"We are including insulating glass certification under one roof to provide one administrator/one certification program," Moyer said. "Work is ongoing on a proposed certification procedural guide taking into account all 'A' priorities."

Janice Charletta of AAMA provided an update on the association's Marketing Work Group, which has been conducting customer need assessment.

"They've been exploring international acceptance, which has had some limited interest, but broad-based, and will be looked into further," she said. The group is working to improve state requirement compliance, and has seen interest from architects, builders, contractors and dealers. The goal is to get information from the manufacturers to these end users.

Paul Deffenbaugh, editorial director for Reed Building Group, presented the "Giant Moves - Top 400 Builders." He said some factors that affect profitability include increased margins, greater customer satisfaction and land assembly strategies; the least important factors were savings on building product costs, reduction in construction costs and reduction in cycle times.

Consolidation of the largest homebuilders is big. "The industry is still fragmented," he said, adding that Pulte is the largest with 2.4 percent of the market.

"[In the next couple of decades], 75 percent of the industry will be controlled by 20 homebuilders," he said. "Further growth may come from mega mergers." He added that Wall Street is driving consolidation. "There are 28 publicly traded companies and Wall Street wants to see them grow."

He said the building industry has seen growth in the vacation/second homes market with a significant amount of investment this past year--12.37 percent increase in square footage.

In the top 400 builders, he said, there were changes in types of construction; custom housing increased the most at 13.5 percent from 98-06. He also said land development rotates between anti-sprawl groups and smart growth groups based on political and market forces. Another fact, he noted, is that 360,000 houses are razed annually, which is feeding the baby boomer demand.

The meeting hosted important speakers and committee meetings.

AAMA's Southeast region board met and discussed the Masonry Installation Standard Practice which it is working on with the Fenestration Manufacturers Association (FMA). SE president Bill Emley reported that AAMA has an agreement with FMA to have a combined FMA/AAMA document that will go to the floor of the Florida building code commission but clarified that the document will not have an organization's name on it.

On the fiberglass side, the fiberglass coatings review committee task group reported that there have been revisions on two standards: high performing and superior performing coatings. Jeff Miller of Comfort Line reported that the ballot was successful with a number of editorial comments. Additionally, the fiberglass door sill task group agreed to develop a new 300 standard in regard to door sills.

At Tuesday's meetings, a member of the hardware committee made a motion to start a single-sided door trim set specification; and create a new task group to reference to a multi point lock system which was approved.

In meetings of the glass materials council, AFG's Fred Wallin reported that the sloped glazing task group has been working for three years to update the sloped glazing brochure and is now making progress, and finally has an electronic version. Additionally, the marketing council is looking at a communication plan to talk about AAMA labeling to trade and code officials.

On the last day of the meeting yesterday, Julie Ruth, a code consultant for AAMA, provided an update on recent results of the International Code Council's (ICC) code development hearings.

She said AAMA had taken positions on 80 proposals; three of which were submitted on behalf of AAMA; two were approved as well as one by WDMA.

The proposals will next be out for public comment; these will be due January 24.

The new Florida building codes were also discussed. A major concern that was also discussed was the fact that energy ratings on replacement windows may soon be required.

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