Client News: Knutson Construction opens office in Altoona, Wisconsin

Knutson Construction opened a new office five miles east of Eau Claire in Altoona, Wis., at 2423 Rivers Edge Drive.

Knutson_OsceolaMedCtrAfter 15 years of managing Wisconsin construction projects through its Minneapolis office, Knutson has expanded its commitment to the region with its new Altoona office. Knutson has led the construction of many projects in the surrounding community including Osceola Medical Center; Wild River Fitness Center in Osceola; Douglas-Hanson Company offices in Hammond; Marshfield Clinic; and 3M manufacturing facility in Prairie du Chien.

“We have had a presence in Wisconsin for many years and wanted to further strengthen our commitment to our clients and the community,” said David Bastyr, Knutson’s executive vice-president of Knutson.


Client News: ROCKFON stone wool acoustic ceiling solutions earn GREENGUARD Gold Certification for low-emitting products

ROCKFON_StoneWoolAcousticCeilingsROCKFON®’s extensive North American portfolio of stone wool acoustic ceiling solutions has earned UL® Environment’s GREENGUARD Gold Certification for low-emitting products. GREENGUARD is an internationally recognized product emissions certification and labeling program for manufacturers of low-emitting indoor products, furnishings and materials. Receiving certification confirms these products meet the stringent GREENGUARD Gold emission standards, contributing to healthier and safer interiors.

To achieve certification, ROCKFON voluntarily submitted its North American stone wool product line of suspended and monolithic ceilings, clouds and baffles to a series of rigorous tests as determined by UL Environment. During the strict manufacturing review, product samples from ROCKFON’s ceilings were selected for profile study testing as well as comprehensive certification testing.

ROCKFON_GREENGUARD-Gold“Fulfilling the GREENGUARD Gold Certification’s health-based criteria secures that ROCKFON’s North American portfolio helps create healthy and safe indoor environments in important facilities such as schools and hospitals,” said Cory Nevins, ROCKFON’s director of marketing for North America. “GREENGUARD Gold Certification provides customers with further assurance that our products have met stringent emissions limits, which contribute to sustainable indoor environments. This fulfills the low emission requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® v4, the Collaborative for High Performance Schools’ Criteria (CHPS) for low-emitting materials and other green guidelines.”

“People spend most of their time indoors, making it critical that materials brought inside emit the fewest possible pollutants,” said Sara Greenstein, president of UL Environment. “We are pleased to award ROCKFON’s ceiling panels with our highest certification for low chemical emissions, recognizing its efforts to make its products healthier for people in the indoor environment.”

GREENGUARD Gold Certification is only given to products that are compliant with the certification requirements, which among others, include stringent limits on emissions of more than 360 volatile organic compounds (VOCs). GREENGUARD Certification emission criteria incorporate health-based emissions requirements as denoted among others by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of California Department of Public Health’s Section 01350. More than 400 green building codes, standards, guidelines, procurements policies, and rating systems give credit for GREENGUARD Certified products.

Earning GREENGUARD Gold Certification for its complete North American stone wool portfolio marks another achievement for ROCKFON with regard to its sustainability efforts. ROCKFON products are made from stone wool, which is produced from an abundant resource, volcanic rock, and recycled material. Stone wool features unique, inherent properties to provide a number of superior performance characteristics including high sound absorption, dimensional stability, fire protection and humidity resistance.

ROCKFON North America stone wool products are audited regularly by UL Environment in order to maintain GREENGUARD Gold Certification. GREENGUARD Certified products are recognized, referenced and preferred by more than 450 federal purchasers, retailers, green building rating tools and building codes.


Association News: AAMA encourages education during National Window Safety Week, April 6-12

AAMA_KidsRoomThe American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), as a co-founder of the Window Safety Task Force, encourages everyone to recognize the importance of practicing window safety by designating one week each spring to promoting safety and education. National Window Safety Week, April 6-12, is used as a time to remind all households that open windows can be dangerous for young children who are not properly supervised. This is especially important with the arrival of warm weather when windows are opened to provide ventilation.

“AAMA is proud to be an active member of the Window Safety Task Force and to educate parents and families about how to prevent accidental falls from windows,” says Rich Walker, president and CEO of AAMA. “Take time this week to walk through your home and ensure that it is a safe place for all children.”

According to a study conducted by Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Center for Injury Research & Policy in Columbus, Ohio, every year, more than 5,100 children under the age of 18 in the U.S. are treated for window fall-related injuries. According to the study, these falls can lead to more deaths and serious injuries than any other type of fall.

In order to help protect children from window falls, the Window Safety Task Force offers the following tips:
* Avoid the placement of furniture near windows to prevent children from climbing
* Do not rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall
* Keep children’s play away from open windows and doors
* Install building code-compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open or window guards with release mechanisms to help prevent a fall
* Teach your child how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency

The Window Safety Task Force works to heighten the awareness of what parents and caregivers should do to help keep their homes and families safer from the risks of accidental falls. Though National Window Safety Week is an important annual reminder, window safety education should be ongoing and should occur throughout the year.


Association News: AAMA forms Sustainability Steering Committee

AAMA-SSC_MarkSilverberg_TechnoformThe American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) board of directors voted unanimously to establish a sustainability steering committee. It will oversee the various AAMA committees and task groups involved in establishing standard practices that lead to product sustainability — from component development to structural integrity.

“This decision reflects the vital strategic importance that AAMA believes sustainability-related issues have to the fenestration and glazing industry, and to AAMA members’ businesses,” says AAMA’s sustainability steering committee co-chair, Mark Silverberg, president for Technoform North America, Inc. of Twinsburg, Ohio.

AAMA-SSC_KevinGaul_PellaThe other co-chair for the AAMA Sustainability Steering Committee is Kevin Gaul, director of legislative and regulatory affairs for Pella Corporation in Pella, Iowa. In addition to leading the committee, both Silverberg and Gaul are members of AAMA’s board of directors and participate in several other AAMA committees and task groups including the Architectural Products Group and the Residential Products Group.

Gaul adds, “Windows, doors and skylights have historically been designed and manufactured to meet and exceed sustainability and energy-efficiency requirements. We want commercial and residential builders, specifiers, architects, incentive program providers and homeowners to be fully informed of the many benefits of incorporating the technologically advanced fenestration products available today into sustainable buildings’ designs.”

The formation of this new committee builds on AAMA’s substantial past work and educational efforts, which address product-related sustainability and transparency-related issues. The pending release of the joint industry document for fenestration Product Category Rules (PCRs) will provide manufacturers with the tools needed to develop life cycle analyses on their product lines. The Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) that follow will offer individual manufacturers an opportunity to showcase their processes and commitment to sustainability.

Silverberg elaborates, “The Sustainability Steering Committee will be instrumental in monitoring industry advancements that may lead to expanding future editions of the PCR, along with conveying the well-documented advantages and energy-savings of introducing an abundance of natural daylighting and ventilation into schools, hospitals, commercial buildings and homes. This information will complement the environmental assessment of the product-specific EPDs and provide commercial and residential builders and occupants with information on the safety and energy-efficiency of using today’s fenestration products.”

Gaul continues, “This new committee also will keep the fenestration industry informed as to how these ever-evolving issues may affect their businesses. Working closely with the Marketing Steering Committee, it will contribute to a unified voice in marketing activities and messaging. All of AAMA’s committees, task groups and members are addressing sustainability in one way or another. AAMA’s collaborative approach will ensure that issues are prioritized appropriately and that the interests of the industry and its stakeholders are represented.”

The committee will begin its work immediately via monthly conference calls and will report its progress to AAMA’s membership beginning with the AAMA National Summer Conference, June 1-4 at the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis.


Client News: Tubelite facility expands extrusion capacity, offers larger and more complex shapes

At its facility in Reed City, Mich., Tubelite Inc. has increased production capacity, as well as its aluminum extrusion capabilities, offering larger and more complex shapes for storefront, curtainwall, entrance and daylighting systems. These improvements were accomplished with the addition of a third aluminum extrusion press and the application of Lean manufacturing principles.

Tubelite_MI_Capacity1“The successful integration of Press 3 required a company-wide effort – from equipment acquisition in late 2012 through production-capable operations as of March 1, 2014,” says Tubelite’s vice president of operations, Glen Barfknecht. “This is a great example of the dramatic results that can be achieved using Lean to drive continuous improvement year-over-year.”

Leading these continuous improvement efforts in Reed City, Barfknecht recognizes an entire team effort, but identifies four key Tubelite associates:
* Eric Ziegler, Process Engineer
* Bill Martin, Process Engineer III
* Dave Carr, Maintenance Technician
* David Smith, Maintenance Supervisor

“Working with the four walls of our 245,000-square-foot facility, we reclaimed underused storage space to house Press 3. This not only has allowed us to be productive, but also more efficient. We are maximizing our use of materials and space, and minimizing waste,” says Martin.

Barfknecht agrees and adds, “Our production throughput has doubled and our aluminum billet recovery has improved. We regularly invest in technological automation, upgrades and training. We are optimizing our employees’ time and efforts by building upon our existing best practices for safety, quality and delivery. We remain dedicated to providing customers with the industry’s most dependable, on-time delivery and personalize customer service. Supporting our success and growth, we anticipate increased employment opportunities in Reed City and throughout our company.”


Client News: Technoform Glass Insulation expands service in western Canada

Expanding to serve customers throughout western Canada, Technoform Glass Insulation North America, Inc. (TGI NA) has partnered with Coniston Products Ltd., based in Delta, British Columbia. TGI® Products enhance performance for commercial and residential insulating glass (IG) products, such as windows, entrance systems and curtainwalls.

Serving North America with an emphasis on western Canada, Coniston is wholesale supplier of glass, mirrors, IG spacer bars and screen components, as well as related window and door components.

“We’re looking forward to working with Coniston to reach more Canadian customers,” says Brian Stephens, TGI NA’s market team member. “We see significant opportunity for our TGI-Spacers in both residential and commercial buildings.”

TGI-Spacers’ patented design combines the benefits of high-performance polymers and thin stainless steel. Contributing to building occupants’ comfort, these spacers not only optimize thermal performance and condensation resistance, but also enhance acoustic performance.

“Along with our commitment to customer satisfaction, we are dedicated to providing superior service and high quality products at the best price. We’re excited that TGI-Spacers are now a part of our offering,” said Tony Scigliano, Coniston’s international sales director.


Client News: Kolbe’s Jeff De Lonay promoted to company president, joins board of directors

Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., Inc. has named Jeff De Lonay as company president and appointed him to the board of directors, reporting to Judy Gorski, CEO. Michael Salsieder retired from this position at the beginning of April.
De Lonay has served as executive vice president for the last four years, as president of Kolbe’s subsidiary Point Five Windows & Doors for the last six years, and as vice president of manufacturing for 13 years. In his new role as president, he will oversee all of Kolbe’s facilities, divisions and operations. He will continue to work closely with Kolbe’s executive leadership, which includes:

* Jeff De Lonay, president
* Bob Kasten, vice president of sales
* Mike Tomsyck, vice president of finance
* Donnie Huehnerfuss, vice president of K-K Way transportation and technical services
* George Waldvogel, vice president of quality and service
* Keith Koenig, vice president of manufacturing
* Cindy Bremer, vice president of marketing
* Ann Micholic, vice president of human resources
* Hank Hosler, vice president of information technology

“Jeff’s market-driven focus will build upon Kolbe’s 68-year history and our success across North America as a leading manufacturer of windows and doors for both residential and commercial markets,” says Gorski.

De Lonay adds, “Kolbe has earned a strong reputation for our customer service, quality craftsmanship and customization. We will continue to support these strengths with ongoing investments in our people, our product innovations and our continuous improvement processes.”

Sharing his knowledge of continuous improvement and Lean manufacturing, De Lonay has presented at conferences and meetings throughout the U.S. and Canada. His tenure at Kolbe spans three decades and a breadth of responsibilities ranging from his start in doorframe production, to his move into sales and estimating, and eventually to his rise in managerial and leadership positions. In 1997, he was promoted to vice president of customer relations, before accepting the role as vice president of manufacturing.

Along with De Lonay’s professional leadership, he is an active community leader. As a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, he had progressed from a local Cub Scout leader to serving as the Rib Mountain District chairman, part of the Samoset Council. He also is a member of the Marathon County Historical Society and the Northcentral Technical College advisory board’s wood program in Antigo, Wis.

During his free time, De Lonay enjoys spending time with his family and in his workshop woodworking, cabinetmaking and collecting related woodworking tools. He and his wife, Lori, reside in Wausau, where they have raised three sons.


Client News: ROCKFON + Chicago Metallic = Complete ceiling solutions

RF+CMC=CompleteCeilingSystems“ROCKFON® + Chicago Metallic® = Complete ceiling solutions” will be among the most memorable messages during the Ceilings & Interior Systems Construction Association (CISCA) annual convention and INTEX EXPO, March 30-April 3 in Las Vegas.

Chicago Metallic was acquired in Oct. 2013 by the ROCKWOOL Group, on behalf of ROCKFON, its ceiling solutions division. Founded in 1893, Chicago Metallic grew to become a global provider of architectural building products and services, including specialty metal panels and suspension systems. Prior to the acquisition, ROCKFON and Chicago Metallic previously had combined their expertise to collaborate on projects in Europe and the U.S.

ROCKFON stone wool ceilings were introduced to North American customers during the 2013 CISCA/INTEX EXPO. Drawing from more than 50 years of success in Europe, ROCKFON products are known for their aesthetics and ease of installation coupled with their key performance features of, among others, superior acoustic control, fire protection, humidity resistance and optimum light reflectance.

“ROCKFON and Chicago Metallic have aligned their knowledge, personnel and products to deliver a comprehensive solution for North America’s acoustic ceiling solutions and suspension systems, coupled with top-notch customer service,” said Jim Moynihan, ROCKFON’s vice president of North America. “Now fully integrated within ROCKFON, the Chicago Metallic name will live on as a brand name synonymous with high-quality ceiling suspension systems.”

Throughout the convention and expo, ROCKFON will showcase its unified brand and supporting messages, such as: “Create and protect is what we do and it’s inspired by you.” “Our best-in-class ceiling systems combine outstanding performances with endless design possibilities.”

A Platinum Sponsor of CISCA, ROCKFON also sponsors the annual convention’s reception on Tues., April 1, 6:30 p.m., at the Mandalay Resort & Casino’s Beach Casino in Las Vegas. The company also supports the CISCA Construction Excellence Awards as sponsor of the People’s Choice Award, which will be presented during the President’s Reception and Dinner on Wed., April 2.

A dozen company representatives also will be participating in the CISCA convention’s sessions and committee meetings. Cory Nevins, ROCKFON’s director of marketing for North America, and Chris Marshall, director of architectural sales for North America, will be among the representatives available.

The integrated ROCKFON team will be exhibiting in booth #634 at the concurrent INTEX EXPO. The exposition is managed by the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI) and co-sponsored by CISCA. On display will be ROCKFON’s complete line of stone wool and metal ceiling products, including its Chicago Metallic brand of ceiling suspension systems.


Association News: AAMA updates testing options within flashing specification

AAMA_Pella-Residential-Beauty-ShotThe American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has published an updated standard for flashing. AAMA 712-14, Voluntary Specification for Mechanically Attached Flexible Flashing establishes minimum performance criteria to allow the user to evaluate and select mechanically attached flexible flashing products intended for use around the exterior perimeter of fenestration products.

As a basic component for integrating a fenestration product with a building’s water resistant barrier (WRB), appropriate material specifications for flashing play an important role in planning for effective and reliable installation. Accordingly, AAMA publishes consensus standards for self-adhesive flashing (AAMA 711), mechanically attached flashing (AAMA 712) and liquid-applied flashing (AAMA 714).

AAMA 712 calls for laboratory testing per ASTM methods to verify several performance parameters of mechanically attached flashing:
* Tensile strength
* Water resistance
* Low-temperature flexibility
* Puncture resistance
* Tear resistance
* Accelerated UV aging
The changes to AAMA 712 were instituted primarily to coincide with those made to the similar AAMA 711, which was published in July 2013 by the Flashing Task Group.

“The test method for accelerated UV aging is the focus of the most significant change made to both AAMA 712 and the earlier release of AAMA 711,” says Jim Katsaros (DuPont Laminating Solutions), chair of the Flashing Task Group. “The change adds a modified version of the ASTM G155 Xenon Arc Test as an alternative to the ASTM G154 test method. This provides manufacturers and test laboratories with more flexibility in conducting the required test and, according to AAMA approved component labs, results in a better representation of actual sunlight exposure.”

ASTM G154-12a, Standard Practice for Operating Fluorescent Ultraviolet [UV] Lamp Apparatus for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials and ASTM G155-13, Standard Practice for Operating Xenon Arc Light Apparatus for Exposure of Non-Metallic Materials are intended to induce changes in the material brought on by simulated and accelerated exposure to end use conditions, including the effects of solar UV light, moisture and heat.

They are not intended to simulate the deterioration caused by localized weather phenomena, such as atmospheric pollution, biological attack and saltwater exposure. The difference, as their titles indicate, is that G154 is based on the use of UV light from one of several listed fluorescent sources, while G155 utilizes a filtered xenon arc lamp source with different filter combinations as described.

With the update of AAMA 712 complete, the Flashing Task Group has initiated the process for updating AAMA 714-11 with the purpose of administering a much broader revision.

AAMA 712-14, Voluntary Specification for Mechanically Attached Flexible Flashing“ is available in AAMA’s Online Publication Store.

Client News: Tubelite names Mike Peters and Kelly Townsend as client development managers

Tubelite_MikePetersTubelite Inc. adds Mike Peters and Kelly Townsend as client development managers. Both have been hired to replace their recently retired predecessors and will be working closely with Tubelite customers and architects to provide assistance with storefront, curtainwall, entrance and daylighting systems. Peters replaces Steve Seeling in serving clients in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Townsend assumes the responsibilities of Don Walker for clients in Oklahoma and northern Texas.

Peters joins Tubelite following nine years of owning and operating his own business as an independent sales representative serving EFCO’s customers in Oklahoma and Kansas. He began his career in 1989 with EFCO as a field service technician and progressed to become a field service manager.

To gain additional industry knowledge, Peters left EFCO after 13 years and accepted a position with a glazing contractor in Ohio where he led their service division. He trTubelite_KellyTownsendansitioned to Vistawall Architectural Products (now Oldcastle Building Envelope) to become the company’s sales representative in Ohio, before starting his own firm.

Townsend draws from more than three decades of experience in the commercial glazing and architectural products industries, as well as a lifetime of connections in Texas. He most recently worked as a Wausau Window and Wall Systems’ Texas-based architectural sales representative.

Prior to joining Wausau, he held the position of national sales director of Columbia Commercial Building Products in Rockwall, Texas. Previous positions include working as an estimating manager and as a senior project manager for Vistawall Architectural, as vice president of field operations at Alco Glass in Mesquite, Texas; and as a project foreman at Haley-Greer, Inc.