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AAMA Says Good Luck and Farewell to Dean Lewis, the Answers Man

Where will we go for quick references and answers, now that the great Dean Lewis has retired? He served as an incredible resource to AAMA staff during his 18 years with the association, and for that, among many other wonderful things, he will be very much missed. That said, we are thrilled Dean gets to enjoy some much-deserved time with his family, especially his grandchildren!Dean served as the AAMA Technical Manager, Training and Education, retiring at the end of 2016. We’ll miss Dean the ‘answer...

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Body Language Can Help You in the Work Place

Can something as simple as how you position yourself in a doorway change the way others perceive you at work? A body language expert at a recent AAMA event made a pretty convincing case for it. We were fortunate enough to have one of our most raved-about keynote speakers in recent years address the attendees at the AAMA 80th Annual Conference in February – Janine Driver didn’t shy away from a large group. She even managed to round up some volunteers (including staff) to the...

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Will the EPA Start Showing Signs of Moderation?

Earlier this week, the EPA’s new administrator suggested that the agency’s longtime practice of “sue and settle” may soon become a relic of the past. Senior Vice President for the Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce William Kovacs wrote to his newsletter subscribers about this new development.Kovacs writes:“In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal Scott Pruitt, newly confirmed EPA administrator, announced his plan to end the “sue and settle” process, where advocacy groups sue federal agencies seeking to...

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Some Thoughts on the Year Ahead

It's fortuitous that the International Builders Show takes place early in the year because the outcome of the show usually provides a view of the tempo of the market in the year ahead. If that holds true this year, we're in for a great 2017. Attendance at the show was estimated to approach 80,000 people who were there to see 1,500 exhibitors. I would describe the crowd as having been "on the hunt," meaning that everyone was there looking for something in particular.

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What I Learned About the EPA in 2016

AAMA Certification Manager Jason Seals told me I would be "drinking from the fire hose" during my first year at AAMA. He was right. However, I have had inspired and patient AAMA members and staff to help me absorb the avalanche of information. EPA activity was and continues to be a major contributor to my regulatory learning curve.

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New Year Sees Increased Benefits for AAMA Members

Here at AAMA, we are grateful to our amazing membership for their valued service and drive to better the association as a whole. As an industry, we've all seen highs and lows in the last decade, but the pace and volume of members work intensified.

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GlassBuild Brings Engagement, Excitement and Equipment to Vegas

The AAMA team had a great experience at GlassBuild America last week in Las Vegas. The energy on the show floor was a temperature gauge for the industry at large, and it wasn't just the desert sun heating things up. There were a few trends of particular note for the three days of the show - engagement, excitement and equipment...lots of equipment.

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JDMG Uses Teamwork to Maintain and Update the North American Fenestration Standard

This summer, I had the opportunity to attend an in-person meeting with the members of the Joint Document Management Group (JDMG), a unique group made up of representatives from three different industry associations. The JDMG is comprised of members affiliated with AAMA, the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The group was created in order to update and maintain the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS).

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Legislation Currently Being Considered Regarding Technical Education

AAMA members know it can be a struggle at times to find skilled workers in today's professional environment. However, there is legislation in the works that could help address this shortage of qualified candidates. At present, a bill called H.R. 5587 is being considered, and its terms could help mitigate this ongoing burden on employers.

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AAMA Says No to Unlimited Energy Rating Index (ERI) Trade-Offs in Florida

On Thursday, May 27, 2016 AAMA learned that the Florida Building Commission was considering the immediate adoption of unlimited onsite power generation ERI trade-offs, with no time limits for credit toward the ERI score. The adoption was for the 5th edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC), retroactively, and also to the 6th edition which is currently under development.

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Summer Conference Highlights Include EC Glass Info, Cybersecurity Tips

If you weren't at the AAMA Summer Conference this month in San Antonio, you missed some truly incredible speakers. From Larry Sjelin's keynote address on protecting your business with cybersecurity to Anna Nicholson's presentation on environmental product declarations and product category rules, a wealth of information was shared throughout the week. A presentation in particular that I enjoyed was from Dr. Helen Sanders, on the past, present and future of electrochromic glass.

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In its 14th Year, 2016 GlassBuild America is Not to be Missed

GlassBuild America planning is fully underway, and registration for the industry's biggest trade show opened in May. AAMA is once again an event partner, and we are looking forward to visiting Las Vegas once again for the October 19-21 show. Registration is now open to attendees and exhibitors, and because AAMA is a show partner, AAMA exhibiting members receive a discount on booth space.

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Proposed Silica Limits Could Harm Industry

If you've been following the story, you’ll know that recently the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released some new silica exposure standards. Dust generated by silica tends to get a lot of attention in the mining and construction industries, but our own industry could be impacted by the new ruling.

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Why Your Customers Need to Know About Window Safety

Spring is here! Now that a milder-than-usual winter has passed, temperatures are beginning to rise again. Soon it will be time to enjoy our homes with our windows open, letting some fresh air in for the first time in a few months. However, it's important to do so safely in order to prevent window falls this spring, and year round.

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Western Region Summit Talked Safety First

If you didn't get a chance to attend the Western Region Summit after the AAMA Annual Conference this month, the name of the game was safety. There's nothing more important in our industry, and we heard from several speakers on how to best implement safety practices for all.

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Annual Conference to Showcase Important Industry Topics

I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming AAMA 79th Annual Conference in February -- a good time of year to visit sunny, Huntington Beach, CA. We have an excellent array of speakers, which include a keynote address about selling across generations that I think will be of interest to all in the industry. And of course, I always look forward to the Annual Banquet, when we recognize and thank some of our best members for their hard work and dedication to the association.

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AAMA Looks Back in 2015, Prepares for a New Year

2015 was a big year at AAMA, with new staff appointments and new members joining the association. We hope it was a prosperous one for your business, and that the close of 2015 finds you and those near you well. Let's take a look back on what happened with the association in the last 12 months.

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Can a New Clear Solar Panel be a Game Changer?

Up until now, several research teams have been touting nearly clear glass that can also generate solar energy. While promising, these lab products have transparency and efficiency drawbacks – not clear enough and low conversion efficiencies. However, a Michigan State University Research team has emerged with a very promising fully transparent solar cell.

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AAMA Assists in Industry Publication of New Window Product Category Rule

Along with IGMA, GANA and WDMA, AAMA developed the Window Product Category Rule (PCR), which provides the rules and guidelines for our industry to produce business-to-business (B-to-B) Environmental Product Declarations (EPD). In turn, the EPDs provide for informed and objective sustainable purchasing of windows. This concludes four years of work on the project and serves as an excellent example of teamwork within the industry.

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Congrats to Florence Nicolici for 30 Years of Service at AAMA

30 years ago, gas cost $1.09 a gallon, the Kansas City Royals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series and the Chicago Bears walloped the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl 46-10. While many things have changed during the last 30 years at AAMA, one thing has remained the same: Florence Nicolici is the most skilled meeting and events planner in all of Chicago.

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Patent Trolls- An Industry Crisis, as Told By Expert Chip Gentry, Call and Gentry Law Group

Every once in a while the stars align, and I'm able to pop out of the office to attend an industry event. This is a welcome break from my regular routine and a great opportunity to learn what's new in the industry. During Fenestration Day this past spring, I learned that there is an industry crisis - patent trolls. They're looking for low-hanging fruit, and you may be their next victim.

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Use the AAMA App to Get the Most Out of October's Fall #AAMAconf

We just opened registration for the AAMA National Fall Conference October 18-21 and I'm already making my plans for that week. In case you missed our free AAMA webinar about the event, there are a several new and exciting things on schedule, including a new game centered around the AAMA app and built-in 30-minute coffee breaks during the conference, which are intended to help you maximize networking opportunities with potential customers and suppliers.

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Trade Secrets: AAMA Plant Safety Forum to Share Best Practices, Safety Program Ideas

With recent events in the industry in mind, AAMA leaders convened a new AAMA Manufacturing Safety Forum at our Summer Conference in Seattle. This forum is intended to facilitate discussion of how AAMA can add value to your plant safety program by creating a membership forum where safety ideas and best practices are shared. The goal is to help prevent injuries within our industry by learning from each other’s experiences, and the focus will be on common manufacturing activities that occur at our plants such...

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AAMA Plant Safety Forum to Share Best Practices, Safety Program Ideas

With recent events in the industry in mind, AAMA leaders convened a new AAMA Manufacturing Safety Forum at our Summer Conference in Seattle. This forum is intended to facilitate discussion of how AAMA can add value to your plant safety program by creating a membership forum where safety ideas and best practices are shared. The goal is to help prevent injuries within our industry by learning from each other's experiences.

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Will the Federal Reserve Kill the Home Construction Rally?

As reported in new Commerce Department data, permits for construction of new homes in the US rose 11.8 percent to an annualized rate of 1.28 million units in May, the highest level since 2007.

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Maximizing and Controlling Daylighting

During a recent visit to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), I caught up on quite a few of the projects managed by the Windows and Envelope Materials Group. I was there with Steve Selkowitz, Charlie Curcija and Eleanor Lee of that group, and one of the subjects that kept coming up was daylighting -- more specifically, how to maximize and control this natural resource.

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AAMA Webinar Program Continues To Grow

The most recent AAMA webinar boasted record-level registration, with nearly 300 participants. The subject matter was field testing and forensic evaluation, a very popular topic. The 60-minute presentation included AAMA specifications and ASTM test methods, defined the appropriate air and water test pressures, test durations and water application, and also spelled out what procedure to use for forensic water testing.

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Get Window Safety Tips To Your Customers

It's getting warmer out, which means soon it will be time to enjoy our homes with our windows open. While this can be a wonderful thing to experience, especially after a tough winter, be sure to do so safely in order to prevent window falls this spring, and year round.

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Well-attended AAMA Conference Boasts Excellent Speakers

The 78th AAMA Annual Conference began with deep sea fishing, everglades airboat tours and golf in gorgeous (and warm) Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. During the next four days, an impressive array of speakers provided insights, forecasts and a whole host of fenestration related subjects of interest to the manufacturers, suppliers and service providers in attendance.

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Manufacturing Developments and Jobs Matter in America

I read a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago about how, despite all that has happened in recent years, manufacturing jobs still make up the backbone of middle-class America. James R. Hagerty writes, "The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employers in manufacturing, mining and construction pay an average of $36.37 an hour in wages and benefits, compared with $31.46 paid by stores, restaurants and other service companies."

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Industry Outlook for 2015

As 2015 begins, it's worth reviewing an industry outlook as we make plans to move forward in the coming year. The recovery is, of course, well established and ongoing in the window and door industry. At this time of year, many groups make predictions about the year ahead and which segments will be of greatest interest. With an industry the size of the building products industry, it is never possible to predict with certainty what will be the growth of a given segment.

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No Secrets This Time

It's no secret that there are many people less fortunate than us who could use a helping hand. In the Chicagoland area 1.3 million people are living below the poverty line. That's 14 percent of the Chicago population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Sadly, it's more pronounced among children, where one in five lives in poverty.

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Western Region Fall Summit Focuses on the Future of Housing

At the AAMA Western Region Fall Summit, I was pleased to hear a great presentation from friends of AAMA, Brad Golba and Nick Lehert, discuss choices in fenestration and the future of housing. The pair from KTGY Group showed off a searchable project map, which showed that while many of the KTGY projects are found in California, they are nationwide in scope. They have offices in Colorado, Virginia and even India.

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As Summer Ends, AAMA and Member Company Philanthropy Continue

While AAMA conferences are widely known for a demanding three-day schedule with a full slate of marketing and technical output, there are frequent opportunities to participate in team-building philanthropy and networking. AAMA's 2014 Fall Conference in Denver, CO, proved this to be true, as we heard from many members who have been busy donating their time and resources to make positive changes around them.

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Attending Sapa Profile Academy

The Sapa Profile Academy is a two-day learning and networking forum that is growing in popularity and covers a very wide range of market segments for aluminum extrusion applications. The event centers around aluminum principles, tooling designs, current applications and the latest technologies. I had the privilege of attending and speaking at the Academy held in Portland, OR in early August.

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Bring Your Child to Work Day Transforms AAMA Office

This year, AAMA held its first-ever "Bring Your Child To Work Day" on Wednesday, July 9. There were crafts and games for the more than a dozen kids who came to spend the day at AAMA, as well as snacks, a movie viewing and a magician.

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2014 AIA Convention Recap

I had the pleasure in late June of attending our first American Institute of Architects (AIA) convention, which was held in Chicago. The initial impression of the AIA convention is that of a mini-International Builders Show with a greater emphasis on the commercial market.

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What Is It Going To Take To Break Free?

For the last two years, sustainable, substantial growth has been held back by a whole host of factors: Growth is sluggish; uneven; and not consistent across the country or different housing types (is it ever?). According to the National Association of Home Builders, single family housing permits remain at only 43 percent of their last normal market in the early 2000s. NAHB also reports that the pending homes sales index is down 14 percent from over a year ago.

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Why PTDs Matter

At the 2014 AAMA Summer Conference, attendees heard an interesting presentation by William Freeman of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute about PTDs. For those of you unaware of the acronym, you may wonder: What's a PTD?

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Was EPA overzealous in its pursuit of Lowe's?

We've all heard reports of local renovation contractors being fined for various Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) infractions. However, the EPA found an even bigger target this month: home improvement giant, Lowe's Home Centers. Last week, many publications reported on a record-breaking civil penalty of $500,000, aimed at Lowe's, for hiring contractors who allegedly violated the federal RRP rule.

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The Guru of Economics and Western Region Forecasts

Dr. Esmael Adibi is a perennial and much anticipated presenter at AAMA events. As the Director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research and Anderson Chair of Economic Analysis at Chapman University in Orange, CA, Dr. Adibi has forecasted state, regional and national economic trends with precision accuracy.

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What You Didn't Know about our Winners

We have great members! Among the best in the industry, we had the opportunity to honor and recognize a few key members and their unique contributions during the AAMA 77th Annual Conference. But, these award winners are more than just hard working association members, they lead colorful lives outside of AAMA committee and task group meetings.

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Let's Have Some Competition in Green Rating Systems

The bottom line: As with most types of businesses, we need competition in the marketplace to spur innovation and keep costs down. LEED broke the green certification "ice" and is therefore better known. But there are limitations. Green Globes is at least worth a look as an alternative.

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Economic Uncertainty Continues

In his recent <i>Trade Secrets</i> guest blog post - <a href="http://www.aamanet.org/blogpost/1/27/0/all/124/industry-forecast-for-2014"><i>Industry Forecast for 2014</i></a>, Michael Collins presented a generally upbeat prognostication for both the commercial and residential markets. As has become commonplace and more influential in recent years, federal government inaction and interference are lurking in the shadows.

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Industry Forecast for 2014

This is the time of year when our thoughts turn to predictions for the industry in the year ahead. When the country faces its next fiscal cliff this February or March, the previous debt crisis will be nearly five months past. In order to bring the debate over fiscal policy back to the forefront, it is likely that both sides will again dig into their positions on the debt ceiling and various funding policies, creating another shutdown scenario.

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A Time for Giving Thanks

As 2013 draws to a close and the Thanksgiving season is upon us, now is a good time as any to give thanks for those--both past and present--who have significantly influenced my life over the years.

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My Fenestration Australia Experience

Earlier this month, I had the tremendous experience of traveling to the land Down Under to attend and present at Fenestration Australia, October 3-5, in Canberra. Fenestration Australia brings together more than 350 delegates from the entire Australian fenestration industry value chain to network and address key market issues, and is organized by not just one, but four of the most prominent industry associations.

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Fenestration Featured During Solar Decathlon

Thankfully, the government shutdown didn't affect this year's Solar Decathlon in Irvine, CA, as sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Students work for two years on homes that are less than 1,000 square feet to showcase innovative ways to reduce energy consumption.

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The Keystone Pipeline, a Means to Energy Stability and Job Growth

Every day, the U.S. consumes 15 million barrels of oil of which 60 percent is internationally imported, causing the U.S. to be the top oil importer in the world. But, as instability occurs in key oil-producing countries (see "The 2011 Oil Shock"), the oil market becomes volatile and U.S. security is undermined.

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Test Your Fenestration Knowledge during GlassBuild

Last year at GlassBuild America, AAMA announced the launch of a new online platform for our FenestrationMasters program, making education and professional certification available to anyone with an Internet connection. Now, just a year later, AAMA is excited to announce the completion of the FenestrationMasters curriculum with the availability of the professional certification exams--the last step in the development of the program.

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The Cost of Energy Efficiency

According to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) latest consumer survey, home buyers do care about energy efficiency and are willing to pay for it. From a list of 120 different home features, the most popular (rated essential or desirable by the most buyers) was ENERGY STAR rated appliances, and the third most popular was an ENERGY STAR rating for the whole home. In the section on windows, the three most popular features all had to do with energy efficiency.

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Daylighting's Positive Attributes Extend Beyond Energy Conservation

Evidence continues to mount regarding the positive psychological and physiological effects of daylighting that speak to improvements in business productivity, improved educational and healthcare outcomes, as well as retail success. Additionally, many building owners increasingly look to daylighting to provide natural interior illumination, while saving money on energy costs and reducing a building’s impact on the environment.

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Review of Market Recovery Data

Building industry recovery is finally palpable enough to silence even the most cynical industry commentators. In the midst of an ongoing recovery, though, it is sometimes difficult to sort through the multitude of industry information that can be gathered with just a few internet searches. There are several key areas that deserve attention as the economy and the building industry continue to trek toward greater prosperity.

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AAMA's Regional Meetings Provide Education and Networking for Nearly Three Decades

AAMA has been hosting meetings for our Southeast Region and Western Region members since the mid-1980s. Whether it was the Southeast Region Meeting in 1988 in Miami, FL, or the Western Region Spring Summit in 2013 in Tempe, AZ, these meetings have always been an excellent opportunity for our members to come together to discuss topics of specific interest to window producers and suppliers operating in the states in those two regions.

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More Than a Gold Label

This year, AAMA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their Gold Label Certification. Highly recognized, the Gold Label is a go-to resource for code enforcement, architects, builders, many manufacturers and even consumers. This simple, permanent label verifies performance requirements for the product and even provides manufacturer identification should parts or service be needed.

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AAMA's Day of Service at World Vision

Last week, the entire AAMA staff had the unique experience of participating in a day of service at World Vision's Chicago office. This team building event coincides with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of AAMA's Gold Label Certification Program. We were honored to share the occasion of this milestone with an organization that is also in the business of building—building a better world for children.

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