Fenestration Canada: It’s an agenda full of important priorities right now
By Jennifer Small
The agenda is full of important projects these days.
By Jennifer Small
In recent months, we have been involved in many activities, including energy regulations, building codes, tariffs, WinDoor planning, membership recruitment and installation certification.
With lots of enthusiasm coming out of our June board of directors and annual general meetings in Calgary, we continue to increase awareness and engagement among fenestration stakeholders, build our partnerships with key decision makers for regulations, standards and codes and to ensure high standards of professionalism in our activities.
WinDoor 2018 is fast approaching. In an effort to engage Quebec fabricators, we will be holding the show in Quebec City from Dec. 3 to 5. New this year, we are expanding the show to include a commercial fenestration component, with suppliers and education sessions tailored to this sector of our industry including sessions on glass fabrication technology and fire-rated glazing. We have updates on codes and standards affecting our industry, sessions on automation and lean manufacturing and presentations about new technologies in commercial applications.
Throughout the summer, Fenestration Canada consulted with affiliate organizations the Siding and Window Dealers Association of Canada (SAWDAC), the Quebec fenestration association (AVFQ), Fenestration Manitoba and the Fenestration Association of B.C. to develop a joint message to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to Canadian tariffs on imported aluminum window and door products into Canada. Representing the entire country and its fabricators, we made recommendations at the federal level and voiced our objections to the tariffs. We will also support our members by providing a webinar on navigating the tariffs.
In August 2018, at the Energy and Mines Ministers Conference, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) presented a roadmap for national regulation of residential windows sold in Canada. FenCan’s NRCan task group provided key feedback on the roadmap, which took into consideration both technical and market challenges in achieving proposed targets. Proposed targets in the short term (by 2020) are that all residential windows for sale in Canada meet an average U-factor of 1.6 (or an ER of 25). Medium term (by 2025) targets are a U-factor of 1.2 (ER of 34) and long term (by 2030) demand a U-factor of 0.8 (ER of 44). One of the first initiatives NRCan is trying to determine is which performance metric to use – U-Factor or ER – as they want to standardize this across the industry. Also in consideration outside the roadmap, but highlighted in the report, is the need for a nationwide compliance system, which forms part of the federal government’s efforts to regulate residential windows.
Fenestration Canada will be consulted in the key decisions above which will directly affect our members and the products they manufacture. Our fabricator members will also have the opportunity to participate in research and development projects and possibly receive funding to complete these. As we continue to work closely with NRCan, we will communicate and seek input from our member companies to help support and shape the roadmap to ensure the viability of our Canadian fenestration manufacturing industry.
As part of the nationwide compliance efforts of fenestration products, Fenestration Canada is in the process of re-launching its fenestration installation certification (FIT) exam. This exam can be taken online or at a proctored centre by appointment. We are also working on a training program to support the exam content, based on current standards and codes. Through training and certification, we are on the way to standardizing installation across the country.
Jennifer Small is president of Fenestration Canada and of Screenco, a Concord, Ont.,-based manufacturer of window and patio screen products.