|Opening Thoughts from the Southeast Region Board of Directors|
|Eric Thompson, Quanex Building Products
Southeast Region Board President
The AAMA Southeast Region Spring Meeting couldn’t have been a better opportunity for members, first-time attendees and industry experts to network and engage in discussion on topics relevant to not only our region, but the fenestration industry as a whole. I would like to thank all attendees for joining us in Austin, TX, as well as for your continued support of the Southeast Region.
Thermal Lab Tour
The highlight of the meeting was a tour of the new University of Texas Thermal Lab. The University of Texas at Austin is home to the first university-based energy-efficiency testing facility for buildings in the U.S. Located within the School of Architecture complex, the lab is used to conduct performance experiments on a variety of building materials and design, which include glazing, window treatments, shading and façade design.
In addition to touring the new thermal lab, Southeast Region attendees visited architecture students presenting innovative building design concepts to local architects. Highlighting the thermal lab’s potential as a tool for design and experimentation, a student presented his design of a shading device (or sunshade). The design set out to achieve a shading structure which would maximize efficiency as well as internal comfort, daylight and view. In addition to the phenomenological aspects, the project aimed at high standards in regards to low energy use by limiting cooling loads and demands for artificial lighting while avoiding glare and winter heat loss.
Both the Southeast Region and AAMA did a tremendous job of securing an expert lineup of speakers. One presentation worth noting was the in-depth overview of the Texas hurricane zone product approval process, given by Dr. Paul Bove, TDI Engineering Services Program Engineer. This presentation couldn’t have been timelier as we head into the 2012 hurricane season.
Bove noted that to be eligible for windstorm and hail insurance coverage through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, new construction, alterations, repairs and additions must be located in a designated catastrophe area (14 counties that are immediately adjacent to the Texas Gulf Coast and portions of Houston) and constructed and inspected for compliance with the adopted building specifications.
Meeting attendees also received an update from Michael Collins on the current and future state of the U.S. economy, with a focus on the fenestration industry. Collins, Managing Director of the Building Products Group of the investment banking firm Jordan, Knauff & Company, pointed to some positive economic indicators for the Southeast Region: continued rise in energy-efficiency remodeling, strong forecasts for building in the manufacturing sector and job creation reaching near-record levels. Still, Collins reminded attendees that economic recovery is a long, slow process.
If you would like to learn more about Southeast Region activities, visit the Southeast Region News web page. AAMA members may also view the Southeast Region 2012 Spring Meeting presentations in their entirety in the Members Only portion of the AAMA website.
I look forward to the continued success of our industry, as well as future networking and continuing education opportunities for our Southeast Region members. Make sure to join us for the Southeast Region Fall Meeting to be held August 14-16 in St. Augustine, FL.
June 20th, 2012
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