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Strategic plan, sustainable products and codes top agenda at AAMA summer meeting

Post Time:Jun 10,2010Classify:Industry NewsView:121

Topping the agenda at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association Summer Conference 2010, June 6-9, were talks about the association’s strategic plan, work on the green products certification, and codes and standards discussion.

Strategic planIn January, the AAMA board met to review the 2009 strategic plan for the association, and update the objectives and priorities based on changes in the industry, economy and regulatory arenas. Membership met for a strategic plan report on June 7 during a members-only session.

Legislative action, professional training, and code and standard promotion were among the topics discussed, according to Angela Dickson, AAMA marketing manager. On the legislative front, “AAMA has been actively involved in legislative action and advancement. To enable members to stay up to date on both federal and state regulations, AAMA is formalizing online regulatory tools that will launch July 15 for member use,” Dickson said.

The group will make several moves on the code and standards front, including a move toward more proactive promotion and protection of AAMA standards. Additionally, the code committees will be restructured to provide a balance between the architectural and residential viewpoints. Within AAMA structurally, “the Building Energy Code Committee will monitor and develop code positions; Regulatory Affairs Committee will serve as a reporting session to keep members up to date on issues such as [California Air Resources Board] and [Environmental Protection Agency], including LEED requirements,” Dickson said. The strategic plan also includes the launch of professional training at GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo, Sept. 14-16, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

On the organization side, the group aims to evaluate and streamline committee and task group administration, improve schedule management and diversify programming of national conferences.

Green and sustainabilityDuring the Green and Sustainability Committee meeting, June 7, members voted to make a recommendation to the AAMA board to disband the committee. The committee’s “goals have been subsumed by other task groups,” said Steve Fronek, vice president, Wausau Window and Wall Systems, Wausau, Wis., and committee co-chair. “There are eight green task groups in AAMA. … When the committee was created in 2007, only vinyl had a task group.” Eliminating the committee will reduce redundancies, while continuing to move forward in AAMA’s green activities, Fronek said.

During the well-attended Green and Sustainability Specification Development Task Group meeting on June 8, members went through ballot comments for the AAMA Green and Sustainable Products Certification Program. The certification program will apply to window, door, curtain wall and storefront products, and will cover all aspects of green building, including energy performance. The skylight division is developing a related green product certification program.

The group was responding to comments on a balloted version of the program. The new version reflects several changes from the previous draft. Some changes in the new version:

Skylights and sloped glazing were removed from the document altogether U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient values were made more stringent Changes were made to the order of durability of finishes The recycled content section was finalized, following a resolution between the various materials councils

The group discussed and resolved several negative comments during the meeting, including a motion to provide dual reference for NFRC 100 and AAMA 1503 in the heating energy efficiency category that passed unanimously. A motion also passed, based on a negative comment, to return to the task group to consider tightening the U-factors even more. The group will meet during a conference call to continue to resolve negative comments.

Code committeeDuring the Architectural and Residential Codes Working Group, Julie Ruth, consultant for AAMA, provided a brief update on activities at the International Code Council. The ICC held the final action hearings for Group A in May (ICC split code change proposals into two groups: Group A includes changes to the International Building Code and International Residential Code; Group B includes changes to the International Energy Conservation Code, IRC-Energy and update to existing referenced standards of I-codes).

On the skylight side, proposals to require guards on skylights that could resist an 800-foot-pound load were disapproved. Additional proposals about how skylights were tested were also disapproved. And proposals regarding sunrooms, smoke vents and tubular daylighting devices, were disapproved.

One disappointment included a minimum sill height discussion that will mostly affect high-rise apartments. At the 2009 meetings in Baltimore, the minimum sill height requirement of 36 inches — up from 24 inches — was passed. That decision was upheld in Dallas; however, the IRC still has a 24-inch minimum sill height. “That was our biggest disappointment, that we weren’t able to get that back down to 24 inches,” Ruth said.

Final action hearings for Group B will take place at the end of October in Charlotte, N.C., with several proposals that could affect the industry. A couple of the proposals involve changes to the climate zones and their requirements, including one that would lower the U-factor requirements in zones 2 and 3. Another proposal would bring back an option to create a trade-off between mechanical equipment and the building envelope. The largest proposal to affect the industry is the lowered window to wall ratio — from 40 percent to 30 percent (the same reduction likely to appear in the new ASHRAE 90.1).

On the final day of meetings June 9, the North American Fenestration Standard Committee and the Codes and Regulatory Affairs Committee met. Visit www.WindowandDoor.com for additional coverage.

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