ICC Reduces Fenestration U-Factors During
A number of code change proposals for the International Energy
Conservation Code (IECC) were presented during the recent International
Code Council Development Hearings in Baltimore, resulting in several possible
EC13, proposed by the Department of Energy (DOE) was approved, resulting
in reduced U-factors for fenestration and skylights. Shortly thereafter,
ICC passed EC34, which further reduced fenestration U-factors in the South.
This resulted in the following U-factors: “NR” (no requirement) for zone
1, 0.40 in zone 2, 0.35 in zones 3-4 and 0.32 in zones 5-8.
According to Dr. Thomas D. Culp of Birch Point Consulting LLC, “The northern
changes in U-factor were not very controversial, but there was strong
debate about southern U-factors, with the concern that these U-factors
would not allow aluminum windows in places like Florida and Texas where
they are common. On top of this, [ICC] then eliminated the allowance for
hurricane impact-resistant products with higher U-factors (approving EC35),
over strong debate about safety, structure and performance of different
products. These are just initial recommendations from the code development
committee, and these items will no doubt be controversial items at the
final action hearings, where final approval or changes are made by the
Culp notes that these were preliminary hearings, and any item can change
at the final action hearings in October 2010.
New Company Forms and Acquires Three Former Stock Locations
BlackEagle Partners LLC, a private equity firm focused on turnarounds
and special situations, and Building Industry Partners LLC, a private
equity firm focused on the U.S. building products industry, have created
an entity called US LBM Holding LLC, in partnership with L.T. Gibson,
to acquire three regional operations from Stock Building Supply LLC.
According to a November press release, the three markets in which the
Stock Building locations were purchased are Wisconsin, Central New York
and Connecticut. US LBM will operate as a holding company, re-establishing
the acquired operations as local autonomous businesses under their former
or independent trade names, Wisconsin Building Supply, Bellevue Builders
Supply and East Haven Builders Supply, respectively.
US LBM and its subsidiaries will be comprised of 13 locations and more
than 500 associates.
ProBuild Expands in Nashville
ProBuild Holdings recently announced the opening of its newest component
facility in Nashville. The facility, which features truss and wall panel
manufacturing capabilities, will initially create 20 new jobs for the
Nashville market, and serves both residential and commercial contractors,
according to the company.
In addition to the Nashville facility, ProBuild is doubling the size of
its Smyrna facility in Tennessee to support increased demand in the greater
Nashville market. The expanded facility in Smyrna will host a full-line
lumber yard, millwork manufacturing plant and a gypsum distribution operation.
Masonite Inc. Announces Acquisition of Israeli Steel Security and Safety
Entry Door Business
Masonite Inc. has acquired 7 Tech, an Israeli-based steel security and
safety door business, according to a statement from Masonite. Masonite’s
Israeli subsidiaries, Etz Karmiel Ltd. and Open Gallery Ltd., will add
the 7 Tech steel security and safety doors to the company’s interior and
exterior wood door collection.
The company says the move will create a single source of supply for Masonite
customers in Israel. In addition to its growing Israeli market position,
7 Tech currently exports its products to Europe, and Masonite intends
to expand the export opportunities throughout the Middle East and Europe.
Smitty’s Building Supply Emerges Successfully From Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Smitty’s Building Supply Inc., a distributor in the northern Virginia
and metropolitan Washington, D.C., region, has announced a successful
emergence from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. Company owners also
have disclosed their intention to consolidate operations in Manassas and
close their Alexandria location effective December 1, 2009.
In an open letter to customers, the Smith family, which owns the company,
attributed the need to close the Alexandria location to “functional obsolescence
induced by a consumer migration to so-called ‘big box’ home improvement
The owners also point out that they believe selling the Alexandria property
will work to help sustain the business and build a solid future for the
As the transition to a single location moves forward, the company says
it is committed to preserving as many jobs as possible.
Fypon to Merge With Therma-Tru Doors
Fortune Brands Home & Hardware plans to integrate the operations of
its Fypon brand into its Therma-Tru Doors business. The integration will
result in significant cost efficiencies and sales synergies in a persistently
challenging residential housing market, according to the two companies.
Fypon, a supplier of urethane millwork, is based in Archbold, Ohio. Therma-Tru
Doors, supplier of residential entry doors, is headquartered in Maumee,
As a result of the merger, many of the Fypon corporate departments in
Archbold will be integrated within Therma-Tru and relocate to either Maumee
or Therma-Tru’s manufacturing facility in Butler, Ind. The full integration
is planned to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2010.
The Fypon brand will remain and the Archbold facility will continue to
operate and the brand’s customer service team will remain in Archbold.
All distribution, fabrication, quick-rail and column wrap activities will
continue to operate at the Archbold facility.
Fypon will relocate the small percentage of polyurethane (PUR) production
performed in Archbold to the company’s location in Yantai, China. This
decision will result in approximately 30 salaried positions and 19 hourly
jobs being eliminated, according to the company.
Bradco Acquires Premier Supply
Bradco Supply Corp., a national distributor of doors and windows and other
exterior building materials, has acquired Denver-based Premier Supply
Co. The business will retain the Premier Supply name, and Steve Neil,
David Suer and Greg Gieed will remain on under the new Bradco ownership.
MI Windows and Doors to Close Salisbury, N.C. Facility
MI Windows and Doors announced in November that it would close its Salisbury,
N.C., window fabrication plant. The plant has 110 employees.
“Our decision to idle the Salisbury facility has been extremely difficult,”
says Stan Sullivan, president Eastern Division of MI Windows and Doors.
“Anytime we affect team members and their families by eliminating jobs
it comes with much anxiety. The decision is not a reflection of how our
team in Salisbury has per formed but rather a strategic reallocation of
our manufacturing resources.”
Hurd Opens Hong Kong Office
Hurd has announced the opening of an office in Hong Kong, which the company
says can be attributed to the “brand’s successful 15-year partnership
with Asia wood window and door importers.” The office provides Hurd with
an Asia home base that centralizes and streamlines operations, marketing,
sales and support needs.
Hurd’s Asia office opened in July.
Dominic Truniger, president of HWD Acquisition (which now owns Hurd),
attributes this growth opportunity to HWD’s parent company, Longroad Asset
“We’ve been able to draw on our new ownership’s global expertise and ties
to local Hong Kong resources to open this location as our first-ever international
sales center,” he says.
Hutting Building Products Institutes Temporary Salary Reductions
In connection with its ongoing cost containment initiatives, Huttig Building
Products Inc. has instituted a temporary 10-percent reduction in the annual
base salaries of certain employees, including each of its executive officers,
according to a report filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on September 25. The cuts became effective September 28.
The company cites “the continued prolonged decline in housing market activity
and [an attempt] to mitigate the impact of seasonal decreases in construction
activity, which generally adversely affect the company’s first and fourth
Gorell Reports Record Sales in October
Gorell Windows and Doors has announced that October 2009 was its best
sales month in its 15-year history. The company also reported that the
three-month period from August to October was up 25 percent over the same
time period in 2008.
President and chief executive officer Wayne Gorell attributed the sales
record and growth to a number of factors, including improvement in the
U.S. economy, the federal tax credit program, and pent-up demand for replacement
doors and windows.
“Sales volume from new accounts that joined Gorell this year is already
75 percent higher than sales volume from new accounts in 2008, which itself
was a record year for new accounts,” said Gorell.
DWM and Sister Publication Shelter Merge
DWM’s sister publication, Shelter magazine, which served the door and window
distribution, moulding and millwork industries, has merged with DWM, beginning
with this issue.
“We all know that the distribution lines in the door and window industry
are becoming increasingly blurred,” says DWM publisher/editor Tara Taffera.
“We’ve always said when we purchased Shelter seven years ago that when the
lines blurred to the point that they were unrecognizable as separate industries
that we would merge the two and that time has come.”
“We’re excited about the fact that DWM/Shelter will serve as the one-stop
source for news and information regarding the entire door and window supply
chain including mouldings and millwork,” adds Brian Welsh, associate publisher.
(For more information about the merger, see page
Sierra Pacific Industries and Equator Announce U.S. Forest Carbon Transaction
Sierra Pacific Industries and Equator LLC, a natural resources asset management
firm, announced on September 30 that they have entered into the nation’s
single largest pre-compliance forest carbon transaction to date, according
to Sierra Pacific. The transaction will consist of a series of projects
focused on developing compliance-ready carbon offsets registered under
the recently approved Climate Action Reserve (CAR) forestry protocol Version
3.0. These offsets would be used to comply with emissions reduction goals
under California’s Assembly Bill 32, a bill passed in 2006 with the goal
on cutting down greenhouse gas emissions statewide.
The transaction will sequester an additional 1,500,000 tons of carbon
dioxide over the next five years in excess of what would have otherwise
occurred. The investment in the projects will be made through the Eco
Products Fund LP (EPF)—a private equity vehicle co-managed by Equator
and New Forests Inc.
Sierra Pacific chief financial officer Mark Emmerson says SPI is pleased
to be able to participate in California’s carbon market with Equator.
“This project demonstrates the utility of California’s new forestry protocol,
and recognizes the value of working forests in meeting the state’s climate
change goals and ecosystem sustainability,” he says.
Overall, some 60,000 acres of SPI’s private timberland in California will
be dedicated to this transaction. The projects will be submitted to the
Climate Action Reserve for registration in the Reserve’s registry of carbon
offset credits consistent with CAR’s recently approved forest protocol;
Georgia Gulf Restructures Debt; Positions Royal Group for Growth
Royal Group Inc. anticipates disciplined growth across its building products
divisions following the successful debt-for-equity exchange by parent
Georgia Gulf Corp., according to a company press release. The new capital
structure reduces Georgia Gulf’s long-term debt by $736 million, also
reducing its annual interest expense by $69.7 million.
“We are immediately positioned to be a stronger competitor and to achieve
strategic growth,” says Mark J. Orcutt, Georgia Gulf executive vice president
– Building Products. “We are refocused on what we do best – innovating
and providing the highest levels of service to our customers. Royal Group
Inc. has been fortunate that even in the market’s downturn, we have introduced
new products that are very well-received and that meet the needs of our
customers. It’s an exciting time to move forward, expanding into new markets
and growing in existing markets.”
Quanex Reports That Seasonal Demand Was Better Than Expected, But Saw
Loss of $137.1 Million
Quanex Building Products Corp. has reported its fiscal fourth-quarter
2009 and full-year fiscal 2009 results for the period ending October 31.
With fourth quarter net sales of $194.9 million, Quanex reported income
from continuing operations of $15.3 million. The company reported seasonal
demand was better than expected at its two operating segments—Engineered
Products and Aluminum Sheet Products. Also, fourth-quarter results benefitted
from a better-than-anticipated aluminum spread.
For the fiscal year, the company’s net sales were $585.0 million. The
loss from continuing operations was $137.1 million.
Capital expenditures were $3.3 million and $16.2 million for the quarter
and year, respectively. Cash provided by operating activities was $60.5
million for the year.
Cash and equivalents totaled $123.6 million.
Edgetech I.G. Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Edgetech I.G. celebrated its 20th anniversary in December at its headquarters
in Cambridge, Ohio. Among the company’s “pioneers” in attendance were
Michael Glover, the founder of Edgetech; Dale Lauren Foland, founder of
Lauren International; Kevin Gray, chief executive officer of Lauren International
and Edgetech’s first president; and Mike Hovan, Edgetech’s current president.
Hovan opened the ceremony with a quote from Gandhi: “A small body of determined
spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the
course of history.”
“I think the reason we are here more than anything to is to celebrate
those who were that original small body of spirits,” Hovan said as he
recognized and thanked many of the founding members of the Edgetech team.
Glover, an inventor and visionary behind Edgetech and the Super Spacer®
product, said that in creating the product his “thinking was that as low-E
coatings grabbed market share there would be a need for low-conductive
The product was invented in 1985 and in 1989 Edgetech became a fully owned
subsidiary of Lauren Manufacturing.
“Lauren was an incredible company to work for and they opened their doors
to us and were incredibly supportive,” said Glover. “Dale [Foland] has
a huge entrepreneurial spirit and, without any elaborate business plan
or market study, accepted our ideas that warm-edge technology was a billion
Gray also recalled much of what the early days of the company were like,
and attributed much of the success and growth to creative thinking.
“There have been a lot of visionaries and a lot of people thinking and
coming up with great ideas over the years,” Gray said. “Now, with 20 years
behind us, we have to keep our eyes focused on the future.”
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