WDMA Technical Conference kicks off in Minnesota
Members of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association gathered, June 26, for the start of the WDMA 14th Technical Conference, running through June 28 in Bloomington, Minn. About 110 attendees were preregistered for the event.
The conference began with the Hallmark Certification Committee Meeting and continued with a general session presentation by Joe Lstiburek of the Building Science Corp. In his presentation, titled "Don't Do Stupid Things," Lstiburek offered technical discussion of maintaining water, air, vapor and thermal barriers in window and wall systems.
While window products continue to improve, a poor connection to the wall can lead to failures. "It's all about the window-to-wall connection," Lstiburek said. "The product is phenomenal, but the building enclosure industry is hurting because we're not focused on the window-to-wall connection. This is important in order for you to protect your own liability, so you don't get blamed for [failures] that aren't your fault."
In addition to ensuring that the barriers line up between the windows and walls, Lstiburek emphasized the importance of drainage. "Everything moves, everything leaks, so drain everything," he said. He added that the inner seal of the window system is more important than the outer seal.
In the second general session presentation, "Driving Market Transformation in Forest Products," Corey Brinkema, president of the Forest Stewardship Council, discussed the developments of green rating programs in terms of forest products. "The FSC works to bring responsible forest products to the end user," Brinkema said. The U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program and the Home Depot are driving use of responsible forest products in building materials, he said.
"FSC is the only major certification recognized in the Responsible Extraction of Raw Materials credit," Brinkema said. "We have seen a positive improvement, some progression in that section, especially as to not disadvantage wood," he reported.
Brinkema also addressed the role Life Cycle Assessment might have on responsible forest management. "LCA often doesn't include sourcing," he said. "FSC is focused on the extraction phase. ... Combine FSC with a robust LCA to get a much more comprehensive and robust analysis."
Steve Waltman, vice president of sales and marketing, Stiles Machinery Inc., closed the first day of meetings with his presentation, "A Look Behind the Curtain: European Technologies Revealed." The presentation recapped a recent benchmarking tour, sponsored by WDMA and Stiles Machinery, of window and door manufacturers in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Some of facilities were highly automated, while other factories offered highly hand-crafted and -fabricated products, he said.
"The emphasis on education and apprenticeship was highly developed at each factory," Waltman said.
For live Twitter updates from the conference, follow @KDevlinGlass.