Fenestration Canada addresses energy-savings and building code changes with education and information dissemination
Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer
The national association for Canada’s window and door industry is at the forefront of education and information-sharing as new provincial building codes and voluntary programs raise energy efficiency standards to the highest levels in history.
Skip MacLean of True Tech Doors, Fenestration Canada’s first vice-president, says the association looks forward to continued enthusiasm the national WINDOOR 2013 show and conference in November in Toronto.
“The enthusiasm is certainly there so we want to keep that momentum going, set programs sooner and advertise earlier.”
MacLean says a members’ poll indicates a strong interest in the industry’s technical aspects so the show will continue its strong focus on education, code dissemination and energy savings and marketing programs such as Energy Star.
The association’s annual general meeting takes place May 30 in St. Johns, Newfoundland.
Building codes are evolving to make what had been advanced voluntary energy efficiency levels mandatory, while voluntary programs such as Energy Star have raised their minimums to new, higher levels. The concept of “Net Zero” — buildings able to produce as much energy as they consume (combining effective insulation with thermal and solar energy generation) – is now a realistic vision. However, the building codes are complex, setting out many variables and conditions related to the heat loss through window and doors – creating both challenges and opportunities for manufacturers and distributors.
This has created a rapidly-growing demand for information and insights, new products and innovations – resulting in increasing WINDOOR exhibit space interest. MacLean says sales are higher so far this year than at this time in 2012.
He says one of his focuses moving forward will be growing and diversifying Fenestration Canada’ membership, with fees structured to support fabricators and the inclusion of regional and sister associations at the national board level.
MacLean says while there is a strong regional interest in the industry now, in the broader sense national codes affect everyone and he hopes to see more regional members involved at the national level.
“There are new changes to the building code in Canada now that are just months away from becoming reality,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of education already and will continue to provide members with information to help them better understand codes and the impact these changes will have on their business.”
He says Fenestration Canada’s technical advisor, Jeff Baker, and his committee have been involved from the beginning, working with government to ensure the changes make sense. The new codes will result in better products and better monitoring, but will take time and money and require some adaptations.
“While most of our members are aware of the changes, there is still education to be provided to the wider fenestration community, including architects, specifiers and government officials,” he said. “We need to make sure that all the stakeholders understand and apply the codes properly.”
“Fenestration Canada is a valuable source of information for anyone working in the window and door industry,” MacLean said. “The benefits of membership are untold, opening doors and making the work of doing business a lot easier.”
For more information, visit fenestrationcanada.ca.