Fenestration Canada: December 2011
By Yves Houle
A new name and a fresh start
By Yves Houle
The Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association (CWDMA) has now
officially become Fenestration Canada and there was no better place to
launch the name and unveil a new logo than at its flagship event,
The Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association (CWDMA) has now officially become Fenestration Canada and there was no better place to launch the name and unveil a new logo than at its flagship event, Win-door 2011. The show is the ideal location and focal point where all things related to fenestration come together. We are extremely grateful to our dedicated show committee led by Matt Kottke of Truth Hardware and to all of the company sponsors who help make this show the success that it is.
The quest for information and updates on current issues and challenges facing the industry was very telling as evidenced by the overflowing crowd and even by the quality educational and technical seminars offered during the show. FC’s technical advisor, Jeff Baker was the featured speaker in most of the seminars, and as an engineer and renowned expert in fenestration rating he provided those in attendance with a timely overview and highlights of the new code changes, including factual information on code compliance with implications that could dramatically affect your business.
The Canadian Standards Association closed out the seminar series by bringing attendees up to date on the Fenestration Installation Technician personnel certification program. The proposed standard is currently in draft form and both Fenestration Canada and the Siding and Window Dealers Association of Canada are involved in determining the market need for a training program to prepare persons who will be required to obtain Fenestration Installation Technician (FIT) certification. Those in the industry know that fenestration products can be designed and built to meet the highest standards for quality, integrity and energy efficiency, but if they are not properly installed the purpose is defeated. Improper window installation challenges the integrity of the building envelope, resulting in unwanted air or water leakage, significant energy waste and sound pollution. This can then lead to a lack of consumer confidence in our products.
A FIT Scheme Committee has been struck and its members represent a broad base of interests.
They have now defined the requirements for and the scope of the certification program. It is designed to be used by individuals installing factory-assembled windows, exterior doors and unit skylights in residential buildings of three stories or less. It outlines the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to accurately and competently perform the tasks required for this work.
The FIT program will dentify those installers who have demonstrated proficiency in understanding and applying manufacturer installation instructions and general building principles, including their knowledge of the CSA A440.4 window installation standard as well as other industry standards and best practices.
Initially, it was determined that FIT level one, would only be used to cover installers in residential structures up to three stories. The scheme committee has now identified other possible areas for future program consideration, including a FIT level two for residential structures above three stories and a FIT level three for commercial and institutional applications.
Before the certification exam can be offered, it must be beta-tested to provide valuable feedback to assist in establishing the final exam questions and the pass/fail score for certification. The beta testing phase has begun, and the CSA is still actively seeking candidates to get involved. They require an additional 30 completed beta exams in order to finalize the test.
The test items have also been translated into French and Fenestration Canada is currently involved in the process of coordinating an exam session for the French beta test. For those interested, more details are available on the Fenestration Canada website.
Finally, we wish to advise readers that the next annual meeting of the association will be held at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello on June 7-9, 2012. We look forward to a large turnout.
Yves Houle is president of Fenestration Canada.Fenestration Canada’s mission is to represent and support all aspects of the window and door manufacturing industry.