Around seven decades ago, the only window frame choices for residential infrastructures were wood and mill-finish. The Aluminum Window Manufacturers Association established the first industry standard for aluminum alloys in 1947 for the structural strength of double-hung aluminum windows.
Today, the North American Fenestration Standard covers 10 window materials and 45 window types. Whether you’re planning on investing in new casement windows or sliding doors, it would help to learn how the standards for these products are developed.
AAMA Certification Program
The American Architectural Manufacturer’s Association (AAMA), formed in 1962, is the original third-party window performance program, which has provided manufacturers the ability to demonstrate the performance of their products to consumers.
The AAMA certification allows customers to determine products that have undergone independent laboratory testing and follow-up on-site inspection of the manufacturing. You can determine if your contractor’s bay windows are authorized by looking up at AAMA’s online Certified Products Directory (CPD).
The AAMA develops standards in an open consensus process outlined in AAMA 120, Procedural Guide for Creation, Publication and Maintenance of American Architectural Manufacturer’s Association Technical Development, found in the AAMA online store.
There are four levels of groups included in the standard development for replacement doors and windows. Material councils or product groups assign committees to take care of issues concerning the industry. These committees often split up the work into specific tasks and appoint them to task groups. The issue at the task group, committee or council level can be addressed by drafting a standard.
A broad-based consensus is achieved through balloting. A draft that’s complete or at certain stages of development is sent out for ballot to every member of the original developing group. After it’s been approved, the draft is balloted upstream to the committee and the council the original group reports to.
The draft often goes through multiple modifications before reaching its final version. It is then sent to the responsible product group, which can either be the architectural, residential or both. Sequentially, the document is published on the AAMA website so members can comment. All comments need to be addressed before the development of windows or patio doors can move forward.
The members’ technical expertise makes them capable of reviewing the ballots. Though a member isn’t a major part of the drafting, balloting allows them to voice out their concerns regarding how the industry represents its products and application. All comments are valued.
According to the monthly Technical Ballot Status Report by AAMA staff, different task groups and committees are developing more than 60 new or updated documents, including around 20 specifications. They are guidelines for various subjects, such as skylight selection and daylighting design, engineering analysis of fastener systems, organic coating quality control and water penetration resistance of door hardware.
Why It Matters to Consumers
Window or door replacement isn’t something that you do every few years. You’d want your new sliding windows to last for many years. Certifications ensure the safety and quality of the products you’re buying. They also indicate that the products are sold and distributed fairly among manufacturers, customers and middlemen.
As a consumer, you should be wary of the products you’re buying as they will affect everyone in your household. Only purchase items that have undergone product certification. Moreover, certifications let customers buy quality goods for the right price. It also encourages manufacturers to improve the quality of their products.
Invest in high-quality custom windows from Renewal by Andersen Knoxville. We offer some of the most energy-efficient windows and patio doors in the industry, all backed by a comprehensive limited warranty. Call us at (865) 221-7970 or complete our online form to schedule a free in-home consultation. We serve homeowners in Oak Ridge and Maryville, TN, and areas around Tennessee.