Association News: AAMA releases new Comparison of Condensation Ratings Systems for Fenestration document

CRS-PR-commercial-building-webThe American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has created and released a new document laying out comparisons among three different rating systems for condensation on interior surfaces of fenestration products.

While root causes vary with climate and occupancy, the formation of condensation on these surfaces in winter months is deemed problematic in almost all modern buildings. This document addresses some of the common causes and the technical issues related to condensation. It also offers a comparison of the tools available for rating fenestration systems for condensation resistance.

“This new AAMA document was developed to provide a single reference source on the three common condensation rating systems for the U.S. and Canada,” says Doug Holmberg (Apogee Enterprises, Inc./Wausau Window and Wall Systems), co-chair of the Condensation Ratings Comparison Task Group. “It also provides information on how each rating is calculated for comparing the condensation resistance of products and the differences in the rating systems.”
Steve Strawn (JELD-WEN), co-chair of the Condensation Ratings Comparison Task Group, adds that window condensation ratings can be difficult to understand, and that the question has been further complicated by the use of different methods to rate condensation resistance.

“We have attempted to summarize through this document how each of the ratings are calculated and will remind the reader that the results are not directly comparable,” says Strawn. “When comparing products side by side, specifiers should ensure that they are comparing products that have used the same condensation rating method.”

AAMA CRS-15, as well as other AAMA documents, may be purchased from AAMA’s Publication Store.


Client News: ROCKFON meets Arkansas State University’s goals for aesthetics, performance, schedule and budget

ROCKFON_AR_ASU-HSS_Pepple3603-webArkansas State University’s Humanities and Social Sciences building will greet its first students in the upcoming 2015-16 academic year. AMR Architects designed the building’s exterior to complement the campus’ historic architecture and its modern interior to offer quiet, comfortable learning spaces. Helping accomplish these goals, the new building features ROCKFON’s ceilings systems throughout its 120,000-square-foot, four-story facility.

“The new building will be at the heart of every ASU student’s experience on this campus,” said Dr. Lauri Umansky, former dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). “Our courses engage students deeply in the world around them. And we have a first-rate faculty. That we will soon be able to offer this kind of high-quality education from a spectacular, state-of-the-art facility is truly exciting.”

The HSS building serves as a centerpiece linking Historic Mall to the west, the Caraway Mall to the south, and the new Campus Commons to the north. The structure dramatically defines the edges of multiple plazas and vistas. Inside, it encompasses more than 40 classrooms, laboratories, seminar rooms and approximately 140 faculty offices plus a large atrium for groups to gather.

HSS will have 24 percent more space than offered by the building it replaces, Wilson Hall. Arkansas State University’s oldest building opening in 1932, Wilson Hall eventually will be adapted and renovated for other uses.

ROCKFON_AR_ASU-HSS_Pepple3613-webConsidered one of the largest instructional buildings on a university campus in the state of Arkansas, HSS has been constructed in four phases with an estimated budget of $36 million. The final phase was substantially completed in June 2015. This phase focused on the interior and site exterior and was completed in 16 months with Tate General Contractors. Tate worked with AMR on all four phases of the project. AMR also received architectural support from CahoonSteiling | Studio of Jonesboro, Arkansas.

In total, AMR Architects was involved for more than 10 years on the project. The initial design was bid in 2003 and shelved due to budget constraints. With financial support from the governor and state legislature, the project first broke ground in Sept. 2008.

During the continued phased construction, the university incorporated some modifications as classroom count and size changed dramatically. Budgets remained top-of-mind in continuing from one phase to the next. AMR Architects employed value engineering methodologies to ensure the construction and materials maintained the project’s performance and aesthetic requirements, as well as provided the most cost-effective selections.

In early 2014, as the fourth phase began, AMR Architects’ Jamie Borg, associate AIA, reviewed value-engineered options for the ceiling systems selections. The existing specifications called for an acoustic ceiling tile with a white finish that met the requirements for Seismic Design Categories D, E and F and the high Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.70.

“Academic buildings often equal noisy occupants. In campus-based offices, acoustic specifications typically are set to ensure privacy and a quiet work environment,” explains Borg.

Meeting the project’s multiple requirements, ROCKFON’s district manager Jim Frasca presented Borg with a cost-effective bid request for substitution. He elaborates, “Although well known in Europe, ROCKFON’s acoustic stone wool ceiling products were just being introduced to the North American market at this time. ROCKFON Tropic® acoustic ceiling panels achieve an NRC of 0.85 with no upcharge and have a nice, smooth, white finish. Coupled with our Chicago Metallic seismic suspension system, it was exciting to show Jamie a complete ceiling system that not only fit his aesthetic and performance needs, but his budget and schedule, too.”

ROCKFON_AR_ASU-HSS_Pepple3675-webBorg agrees and adds, “We took the ceiling tile out of the grid in our office and put the ROCKFON sample next to the product we initially specified. Appearance-wise, it was a nice match. Budget-wise it was competitively priced. The decision was made to go with ROCKFON.”

Curtis Construction, LLC installed ROCKFON Tropic 1020 stone wool acoustic ceiling into Chicago Metallic 4500 Ultraline™ heavy-duty bolt-slot suspension system. The 2-by-2-foot ceiling panels feature a square tegular narrow edge and shadow molding along the perimeter to create the desired aesthetic.

“Ultraline suspension systems are mitered for continuous flow at the intersection to minimize the grid appearance and avoid an institutional feel, achieving a high-end, monolithic look,” describes Frasca. “Contributing to the speedy installation, the Ultraline suspension system’s stab-end cross tees give an audible ‘click’ when the cross tee is inserted fully. And, as with all of ROCKFON’s stone wool ceiling panels, Tropic panels are easy to cut and are 50-75 percent lighter than other ceiling panels making them easier to install.”

ROCKFON stone wool ceiling panels are primarily made from abundantly available basalt rock and contain up to 42 percent recycled materials. These stone wool panels are inherently anti-microbial and sound absorbing, without needing to add treatments or associated costs. They also provide high light reflectance (LR 0.86) and UL® Environment’s GREENGUARD Gold Certification for low-emitting products.

The Ultraline suspension system further contributes to the ceiling systems anti-microbial performance and sustainable goals, in addition to being ICC-ES listed for seismic suspended ceiling applications. Providing low maintenance and long-term durability, these ROCKFON products supplied in North America are supported with a 30-year product warranty on the stone wool ceiling panels and a 40-year on the suspension system.

ROCKFON_AR_ASU-HSS_Pepple3738-webArkansas State’s director of planning design and construction, David Handwork, P.E., notes, “I was equally pleased with the aesthetic and installation characteristics of the ROCKFON ceiling system within the Humanities and Social Sciences building. The very clean cuts and maintainability will make a significant difference in preserving the new look and feel within the building for decades to come. The project architects at AMR made an excellent selection when choosing ROCKFON for our newest marquee building.”

AMR Architects’ Borg concludes, “Working with ROCKFON on the project has gone well. It’s exciting to be a part of Arkansas State University campus’ largest and most prominent building on campus.”

Reflecting on the new facility that the HSS and other programs would soon occupy, Umansky, added, “How fitting that this beautiful new building sits at the center of our campus, here to welcome students to both the immediate and the enduring benefits of learning in a university setting. We are deeply grateful to all who have had the faith and persistence to make the completion of this building a reality.”


Arkansas State University, Humanities and Social Sciences Buildings
2401 Aggie Road Jonesboro, Arkansas 72467


Client News: Kolbe enhances and expands its library of 3-D models

Kolbe-2015-Aug-VistaLuxe90-DegreeTo enhance the user experience, Kolbe has expanded its online Architect Library to include new and updated 3-D Revit® building information models (BIM) for Ultra Series and VistaLuxe Collection products. Amongst the new models for the VistaLuxe Collection are the 90-degree corner unit, complementary folding doors and folding windows.

“Our BIM tools allow architects to view products from different perspectives, incorporating Kolbe’s vast design options and customization within the models for their projects,” says Kolbe’s product and market manager, Lance Premeau, LEED® Green Associate. “Intelligence – such as product data and architectural details – can be incorporated into each model to assist in fully coordinated drawings and schedules. These 3-D models make it easier for design professionals to communicate a shared vision with both the builders and the homeowners.”

Enhancing the existing models, Kolbe combined many model attributes from separate models into one comprehensive family, while reducing the file size. “The smaller file size and the improved flexibility within each model makes them easier to use,” adds Premeau. “Users will experience expanded metadata in the models for designing their windows and doors to perfectly fit and enhance their projects.”

Premeau explains, “Each Revit product family has been built to eliminate guess-work; built-in parameters ensure the maximum dimensions cannot be exceeded. These Revit families have all the metadata built right in, to schedule powerfully within Revit, right out-of-the-box. Data and resources – like product literature, specifications, energy data, sustainability information and much more – are accessed with a few clicks of the mouse.”

He continues, “All of this built-in data at your fingertips means your models will have all the information necessary to make takeoff and parts lists, generate window and door schedules, installation requirements, estimated costs, and readily provide interior elevations and other details as needed. Our goal is to streamline your workflow, allowing you to work more efficiently.”

The Architect Library on Kolbe’s website provides links to its individual product files in 3-D models, as well as compressed bulk files for Ultra Series and VistaLuxe Collection window and door families.


Client News: Rochester Community and Technical College and Knutson Construction break ground on the CTECH/STEM center

Knutson_MN_RCTC-CTECH-STEM_GroundBreak_webOn Aug. 18, Knutson Construction participated in ground-breaking event for the Career Technical Education Center at Heintz (CTECH). Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) selected Knutson to provide construction management services for the 22,350-square-foot, $6.5 million CTECH and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) facility addition at the University Center Rochester campus.

Designed by HGA Architects, the new CTECH/STEM 19,000-square-foot building will be adjacent to the Heintz Center and is scheduled to be complete by July 2016. Knutson also recently completed a STEM Center renovation within the existing Heintz Center building.

The CTECH/STEM project is a partnership of MnSCU with RCTC as the primary institution and Winona State University and the Independent School District 535 of Rochester Public Schools as partners. The CTECH/STEM will connect high schools and their students to potential career and education paths. Funding for this project is provided by the City of Rochester through the Local Option Sales Tax for development of key facilities in the City of Rochester.

Expected to serve 400 students per year, the new CTECH/STEM building will offer classroom and laboratory spaces for career, technical education and training, and administrative and faculty support spaces. It also will include relocated and new programs for students of the Rochester Public School district, such as hospitality, manufacturing and construction technology, plus a Health Science Careers Center.

“Students, educators, and the community want expanded educational opportunities in a space that is thoughtfully designed and features state of the art technology. Knutson Construction is proud to be constructing this new facility, which will optimize the learning environment for many in and around the Rochester community, while expanding programs and giving students of all ages the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Tom Leimer, general manager of Knutson Construction in Rochester.

design by HGA


Client News: Kolbe launches inSight blog

Offering insight into the world of window and doors, Kolbe has launched “inSight.” This new blog will feature weekly posts on industry trends, Kolbe’s new product updates, and project examples showcasing Kolbe’s unique windows and doors.Kolbe_Blog1_web

Kolbe’s new inSight blog is featured on its website’s home page at and presents readers with the option of an RSS subscription. Previous posts will be archived for easy reference. Each blog post, like every page of the website, also offers one-click connections to Kolbe’s social media channels including YouTube, Houzz and Architizer.

“inSight gives customers one more avenue to connect with us, to stay up-to-date on new products and options, and to inspire a customized expression for their own project,” says Kolbe’s vice president of marketing, Cindy Bremer. “The blog and our many other communications tools allow customers to use Kolbe as a resource, discovering what’s most relevant to them at their convenience.”


Association News: AAMA releases updated requirements for coatings on steel hardware components in window, door and skylight applications

AAMA-907-PR2-webThe American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has updated and released a document specifying requirements for corrosion resistant coatings on carbon steels used for hardware components in window, door and skylight applications. The document previously was updated in 2012.

According to Jeff Dorsch (AmesburyTruth), chair of the AAMA 907 Update Task Group, Voluntary Specification for Corrosion Resistant Coatings on Carbon Steel Components Used in Windows, Doors and Skylights recently was updated with a new test report section, and a clarified scope.

“The AAMA 907 standard for acceptable coatings for mild steel components and assemblies was re-worked to become more performance based and less prescriptive,” says Dorsch. “In addition, specific references to cadmium plating were removed due to the material’s inclusion on many of the green industry’s red lists. A manufacturer can utilize any number of plating or material options as long as the results after neutral salt spray testing are in accordance with the 907-15 standard.”

The requirements in AAMA 907-15 are functional and are not intended to address aesthetics. Due to the diversity of corrosive environments that windows and doors are exposed to, this specification does not imply a specific service life. Fasteners are not included in the scope of this specification.

AAMA 907-15, as well as other AAMA documents, may be purchased from AAMA’s Publication Store.


Event News: Hamilton Ink Spot’s gallery hosts monthly poster exhibitions with Bill Moran in Aug., Jim Sherraden in Sept., “Scary Ink” in Oct.

Saint Paul’s premier printmaking resource and gallery presents exhibitions, special events

Hamilton Ink Spot, Saint Paul’s premier printmaking resource and gallery, presents thematic monthly exhibitions. “Letterbugs” by master printer Bill Moran will be on display Aug. 10-31. From Sept. 1 to 30, the Ink Spot’s gallery will welcome personal “Woodcuts” printed BillMoran_Letterbug006_webby Jim Sherraden, who also curates Nashville’s Hatch Show Print. A closing reception and artist talk with Sherraden will be held Sept. 29, 6-10 p.m., at Amsterdam Bar & Hall, a few doors down from Ink Spot. In Oct., the gallery will feature “Scary Ink,” Halloween-inspired prints with a Dark Art theme.

Moran and Monica Edwards Larson, oversee Ink Spot’s initiatives and its 2,200-square-foot location at 375 N. Wabasha Street. “Hundreds of people from all backgrounds have turned out for our monthly special events and exhibitions. We’ve reconnected with long-time fans of Twin Cities’ design and letterpress, and instilled a new appreciation for the type and technique to those who are curious enough to stop inside and learn more,” says Moran.

Aug. 10-31, Letterbugs
Bill Moran hand-prints each Letterbug™ using type from the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum’s collection of more than 1.5 million pieces of wood type. The fine details completing each print come from much smaller metal type or hand-inking, creating unique effects on every print. Moran’s Letterbugs have been exhibited throughout the U.S. and Europe, and are included in the permanent collection of the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany, and the Tipoteca Italiana in Cornuda, Italy.

Sept. 1-30, Personal Woodcuts by Jim SherradenJimSherraden_Art_web
Sept. 29, 6-10 p.m., closing reception and artist talk, in conjunction with AIGA Minnesota, Amsterdam Bar & Hall, 6 W. 6th St., Saint Paul, MN 55102
Jim Sherraden is a master printer and archivist at Hatch Show Print, a working letterpress print shop since 1879 and today, as an historical property of the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville. In 1992, Sherraden began creating one of-a-kind pieces from the shop’s hand-cut, historic blocks. Called “monoprints,” these are collected by individuals and institutions worldwide. In 2005, Sherraden returned to carving his own woodcuts, developing a new body of work that includes cutting up his own printed pieces, and mixing and matching the patchwork imagery, resulting in quilt-like compositions.

Oct. 1-31, “Scary Ink”
Oct. 29, 6-10 p.m., closing reception, Hamilton Ink Spot
Artists inspired by classic monsters and modern frights present a selection of Twin Cities-based printmakers to celebrate Halloween. This year’s theme will be “Dark Art,” featuring screen-printed and letterpress prints.

The special events are in addition to Ink Spot’s classes, a drop-in studio for families and individuals, a print cooperative for artists, internships, a mentorship program for high school-age artists, and exhibitions of local, regional and national printmaking artists.

Making printmaking an accessible art form, Hamilton Ink Spot creates access for artists and others of all skill levels and backgrounds, enriches the public’s connection with direct arts experiences, and contributes to the community’s cultural vitality. The Saint Paul storefront offers Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum’s merchandise for sale, as well as a co-op space for Twin Cities’ artists to create and exhibit their original posters, cards, and other printed works. Hamilton Ink Spot is the first venture to which Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum lends its name.

To learn more about Hamilton Ink Spot’s special events, featured guests, co-op memberships, workshops, internships, merchandise and exhibition gallery, please visit online at,; or in person Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., at 375 N. Wabasha Street, Saint Paul, MN  55102.


Client News: Knutson Construction promotes Micah Vainikka to assistant project manager

Knutson promoted Micah VaiKnutson_MicahVainikka_webnikka to assistant project manager. For more than two years, he has worked at Knutson as a project engineer.

“Micah has proven to be a valuable member of the Knutson team and I am confident in his ability to take on this increased role,” stated Dave Bastyr, executive vice president of Knutson Construction.

Vainikka has played an integral role on the recently completed Roseville Park projects, part of the Roseville Parks and Recreation Renewal Program. The project consists of demolishing and reconstructing six park buildings, remodeling three picnic shelters, and completing site work at all nine Roseville parks.

“Micah was instrumental in the successful completion of the Roseville Park projects. He worked closely with the Park Board and community to ensure open communication was achieved allowing all projects to be delivered on-time and on-budget,” said Mark Custer, project manager for the projects.

Custer also worked closely with Vainikka on the Hennepin County Human Services North Hub facility, located in North Minneapolis, one of Finance and Commerce’s Top Projects of 2014. The team met and exceeded the owner’s 19 percent minority and six percent women contracting goals with participant actuals of 29 percent minority and 11 percent women. Knutson also exceeded the minority workforce goals reaching 36 percent with a goal of 19 percent and were able to hire three percent of its workforce from the North Minneapolis community.

“Micah worked closely with the Knutson team — including Ramona Wilson, Knutson’s full-time diversity manager — to ensure all goals were met and properly tracked. This project was a huge success and represents Knutson’s commitment to diversity on all of our projects,” praised Bastyr.

Currently, Vainikka working on the recently awarded Airport T2 Gate expansion at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, in addition to assisting with LEED® coordination on the Ames Water Treatment Plant project in Iowa and the startup of the Prairie Winds Middle School project in Mankato.


Client News: ROCKFON’s ceiling systems simplify seismic requirements

Simplifying compliance with building codes’ seismic requirements, ROCKFON® Chicago Metallic® ceiling suspension systems are tested to meet or exceed industry standards. These ceiling systems are engineered to reduce installation time, to save associated material and labor costs, and to support life safety and the property preservation during an earthquake. Assisting with proper product selection and specification, ROCKFON shares a new, comprehensive brochure titled, Seismic Relief, available free for download at (PDF).
According to the International Building Code (IBC), every construction project must meet a Seismic Design Category (SDC) regardless of geography. The IBC outlines six SDCs, A through F, ranging from the least to the most stringent. ROCKFON offers ceiling products to address all SDCs.

Most ROCKFON Chicago Metallic suspension systems provide intermediate-duty and heavy-duty performance per ASTM C 635 to satisfy the requirements of all seismic code constructions. The exposed tee construction permits direct upward access to mechanical systems and is a cost-effective solution to seismic requirements. Stab-in cross tees cantilever during installation and will not fall out, making for an easier installation and protecting against lateral pull-out. When utilized with the 1494 Seismic Separation Clip (SSC™), the clip sits on top of the grid members, hidden from view, maintaining sleek ceiling design in seismic installations.

“Because ceiling panel performance and non-tee bar suspension systems are not well defined in the IBC requirements, we also worked with an independent, internationally renowned structural engineering firm to test both standard and non-standard ceiling systems for seismic performance,” says Mark Taylor, ROCKFON’s North American marketing manager for ceiling systems. “The results of these full-scale seismic tests offer proven safety and performance support for standard and non-standard ceilings, flexible design options, and more efficient installation designs.”

Chicago Metallic suspension systems are tested to ASTM E580/E580M Standard Practice for Installation of Ceiling Systems for Acoustical Tile and Lay-in Panels in Areas Subject to Earthquake Ground Motions. In addition, Chicago Metallic suspension systems, including the 1496 Seismic Perimeter Clip, 1494 SSC Clip and 1493 Unopposed Tee Clip, also have been successfully and rigorously tested at the Structural Engineering Earthquake Simulation Laboratory at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

ROCKFON products also are listed under evaluation report ICC-ESR 2631. ICC-ES is the industry leader in performing technical evaluations for code compliance, providing regulators and construction professionals with clear evidence that products comply with codes and standards.

Along with the evaluation details, ICC-ESR 2631 provides proper installation requirements for the following Chicago Metallic suspension systems:
* 200 and 250 Snap-Grid™
* 640, 650, 660 and 670 Drywall
* 660 Wide Face
* 730 All Stainless Steel
* 830 All Aluminum
* 1200 and 1250 Seismic™
* 1260 and 1280 Aluminum Cap
* 1493 Unopposed Tee Clip
* 1494 Seismic Separation Clip
* 1496 Seismic Perimeter Clip
* 1830 Environmental
* 4000 and 4050 Tempra™
* 4500, 4550 and 4600 Ultraline™


Association News: AAMA offers chance to win discounts toward FenestrationMasters

Schaumburg, Illinois — The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) will host an online contest on both LinkedIn and Twitter every Monday and Wednesday, respectively, at 12:30 p.m. EDT from Aug. 10 through Sept. 9, as well as during the GlassBuild America show (Sept. 16-18 in Atlanta). The contest will feature quiz questions from AAMA’s FenestrationMasters® program — the industry resource for comprehensive professional education and certification.

Brenda Breighner, Jim Snyder, and Wayne Breighner played in the booth's live demo of the game, "Are You Smarter Than a FenestrationMaster?" at GlassBuild America in Las Vegas in 2014.

Brenda Breighner, Jim Snyder, and Wayne Breighner played in the booth’s live demo of the game, “Are You Smarter Than a FenestrationMaster?” at GlassBuild America in Las Vegas in 2014.

Each Monday, one quiz question will be asked in AAMA’s LinkedIn group and a different quiz question will be posted on AAMA’s Twitter account two days later, each Wednesday. The first five respondents with the correct answer will receive a 5 percent discount each week for up to 25 percent off FenestrationMasters courses and exams. To participate in the online contest, follow AAMA on Twitter (@AAMAInfo) or search for the contest hashtag, #RUsmarter. Also, join the association’s LinkedIn group to play.

Additionally, each day of GlassBuild America in booth #2707, AAMA will be hosting the game show, Are You Smarter than a FenestrationMaster, where participants will be awarded a 5 percent discount on FenestrationMasters courses and exams for each quiz question they answer correctly. Participants have the chance to win up to a 25 percent discount during GlassBuild.

However, by competing during the online contest and at the show, participants could earn up to a 50 percent discount toward courses and exams.

What is FenestrationMasters?
FenestrationMasters was developed to help companies differentiate their business and increase their credibility by offering their customers the benefit of employees who have pursued a well-rounded education in the fenestration industry.

“FenestrationMasters is a cost-effective way to train new employees, especially those in sales and marketing capacities, as well as seasoned technical staff. Both will be well versed in industry standards and best practices across all facets of the industry,” says Angela Dickson, AAMA’s marketing manager.

There are two different credentials available through the program, both requiring successful completion of the applicable coursework and the certification exam: FenestrationMaster and FenestrationAssociate. There are no prerequisites to qualify for the FenestrationAssociate (entry-level) certification. To qualify for the FenestrationMaster (advanced-level) certification, one of the following prerequisites must be met:
* Four-year degree in engineering, architecture or applied sciences and four years fenestration product-related experience
* Six years fenestration product-related experience
For more information, visit

Online Contest/Game Show Terms
* Discounts apply only to individual FenestrationMaster® or FenestrationAssociate® course subscriptions and exams.
* Discounts cannot be applied to previous orders.
* Discounts may be transferred to another individual within the same company as the winner.
* During the online contest, an individual may only win on one social media platform (Twitter or LinkedIn) each week for a maximum online discount of 25 percent.
* Redemption of discounted courses and exams must be handled through AAMA staff by contacting