June 11, 2012 – Fenestration Canada held its Annual Meeting at Chateau Montebello in Montebello, Que., June 7 to 9. Approximately 160 window and door fabricators and suppliers attended. The event was a gold mine of in-depth technical information, quality business education and business-to-business networking, as well as fun and camaraderie in a beautiful setting. Mike Bruno, Fenestration Canada director and president of Everlast Windows and Doors commented, "Anyone who is not at this thing just does not get it."
June 11, 2012 – Fenestration Canada held its Annual Meeting at Chateau
Montebello in Montebello, Que., June 7 to 9. Approximately 160 window
and door fabricators and suppliers attended. The event was a gold mine
of in-depth technical information, quality business education and
business-to-business networking, as well as fun and camaraderie in a
beautiful setting. Mike Bruno, Fenestration Canada director and
president of Everlast Windows and Doors commented, "Anyone who is not at
this thing just does not get it."
|Chateau Montebello is a four-storey log cabin with a huge
stone fireplace in the centre. The opening night reception
was held on one of the balconies ringing the main lobby.
The first day, June 6, was about settling into the historic Chateau
Montebello, a rustic, four-storey, log hotel situated amongst lush
forest in the hills of western Quebec on the Ottawa river. The board of
directors met during the day as the rest of the delegates arrived, then
everyone gathered for the first of several delicious meals. Dinner was
followed by Kevin Pelley's favourite part of the conference: karaoke.
There was some very good singing and some that was, well, not so good.
| The triumph of enthusiasm over lack of talent.
The first full day of the conference started with Jeff Baker's update on
codes and standards from across the country. Many provinces have now
implemented energy efficiency standards as part of their building codes,
and Baker gave an overview of how fabricators can prove compliance with
these standards, usually by affixing labels to their products
confirming compliance with CSA A440.2 or NFRC 100. He also discussed
developments in the North American Fenestration Standard for water
ingress in entry doors and warned again that building inspectors will be
enforcing this standard much more than they have in the past. He
predicted that in 18 to 24 months NAFS will be the standard across the
country. Baker said the definition of a permanent label is not strictly
defined, but related anecdotes about cleaners removing the labels after a
house is built but before it gains its occupancy permit. He said there
is an "ugly learning curve" going on in Ontario right now as
fabricators, builders and inspectors adjust to the new SB12 energy
standard. The standard is being enforced unevenly across the province.
Baker warned that the province may come to require energy ratings on
components to be identified at the building permit stage, which would
probably force window fabricators to include them in their quotes.
Baker's talk drew the usual storm of interested questions.
|It was often standing room only at the seminars.
Fenestration Canada provided a nice mix of technical
information and general business intelligence.
J.F. Kogovsek of Maxam Marketing then told delegates about Fenestration
Canada's efforts to educate building inspectors across the country about
the new energy codes. The Education and Government Relations committees
have worked together to create a two- to three-hour course that will
guide inspectors in interpreting the new provisions in the National
Building Code and NAFS. For instance, the course will explain what the
NBC means by "rough" and "open" terrain, what comprises a permanent
label and which parts of the codes contain errors that should actually
be ignored by inspectors. There was a discussion of whether it was wise
to build windows that are code compliant but not NAFS compliant, and the
point was made that this can be dangerous as a fabricator can rarely be
certain of where his product will be used. Robert Jutras of Air-Ins
pointed out that, in Quebec, everyone involved in a construction project
from the component manufacturers right up to the general contractor can
be held liable in lawsuits over breaches of the building code. Kogovsek
said the Education Committee would be taking the course across the
country with presentations and webinars all summer.
Next, Andrew Thornicroft of Habitat for Humanity showed a video
chronicling the 911 Build Fenestration Canada sponsored in Toronto and
thanking the association for its help in providing 200 windows and doors
for low-income people. AGC, Masonite and Vestech all donated material
for the build, and Allweather Windows was a sponsor. Henry Banman of
Allweather was a recognized for spearheading Fenestration Canada's
involvement with the charity.
The packed seminar schedule continued with Tracy Rogers of Quanex
discussing green construction products and standards. He delivered the
alarming news to delegates that the U.S. Green Building Council, the
architects of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program,
were considering designating PVC vinyl a non-environmentally friendly
product that should be avoided in green construction projects. Rogers
said the proposal has been so controversial that the USGBC has deferred
its regular standards update to collect more information. He then
reviewed some other U.S. green building standards, including Green
Globes, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and
Air-Conditioning Engineers', the National Green Building Standard and
the Insulating Glass Certification Council's. Some standards use points
in a similar fashion to LEED, some are prescriptive, some are meant to
be followed voluntarily, some are designed for integration into building
codes, some are aimed at commercial construction and others
residential. Rogers then discussed the American Architectural
Manufacturers Association's initiative to develop a green fenestration
standard, saying it hopes to define green fenestration before it is
defined by others. The standard relies mainly on performance-based
metrics with performance and features addressed separately. Its
residential portion is approved; AAMA is still working on the commercial
side. It uses International Energy Conservation Code climate zones and
looks at four feature attributes: recycled, renewable, volatile
off-gassing and environmental management.
The seminar presenters were not done yet. Mike Burk of Quanex Building
Products was supposed to discuss preventing glass handling injuries, but
he was was having surgery. He is scheduled to present the talk at
Win-door instead. Conference organizers did a good job of filling the
hole in the schedule, however, with Michael Burt of the Conference Board
of Canada. Burt presented a fascinating overview of the national
economic scene with several well-supported predictions for the housing
market over the next year or two. He said the Canadian economy is still
doing well, but three risks are visible at this time: a major recession
in the European Union due to fiscal crises in Greece, Spain, Ireland and
Italy; a hard landing for the Chinese economy and a slide back into
recession in the U.S. Of the three, he felt the European scenario was
the most likely and would keep global markets restrained for the
foreseeable future. He said Canada is still a net exporter of windows
and doors to the tune of $1 billion per year. Looking ahead, Burt sees
potential for good export growth if the U.S. continues even its slow
recovery, but a fairly flat market at home. He called for housing price
corrections in Toronto and Vancouver, but didn't see a nationwide
bubble. "The West is the best," Burt concluded.
|Delegates had a chance to chat with suppliers at tabletop
displays. Association services manager Robert Rivard
commented on the high level of sponsorship this year's
Day 1 concluded with a tabletop showcase featuring some of the best
suppliers in Canada, and the sumptuous President's dinner where the C.P.
Loewen award for lifetime achievement in the industry was awarded to
Jean-Louis Tourikian of Tourig Consulting. Tourikian said he was deeply
moved by the honour. Drinks and dancing to a live band followed the
|Jean-Louis Tourikian said receiving the C.P. Loewen award
was a high point in his career. Fenestration Canada president
Yvan Houle honoured Tourikian with a speech and
PowerPoint presentation in French and English.
Fairmont Chateau Montebello
Canadian Standards Association
National Fenestration Rating Council
U.S. Green Building Council
Habitat for Humanity
Conference Board of Canada
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