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Fenestration Canada Spring Conference opens a window on the industry


May 21, 2021
By Patrick Flannery


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Fenestration Canada’s online Spring Conference was a welcome chance to connect with familiar faces from the industry and meet a few new ones. The event took place through the middle of three days, May 18 to 20. Attendees got two education sessions each day, a presentation from an event sponsor, a chance to visit Marketplace exhibitors, and two fun social events. Everything was well organized, on-time and technically fairly seamless – kudos to executive director, Stephane Labelle, and event organizer, Laine Atkins.

Main takeaways:

Free trial memberships

Labelle announced right off the top of the event that Fenestration Canada will be extending full membership benefits to any Canadian window and door business that registers with them and waiving dues through at least the end of 2021. Great chance to take a look at the association and see if it’s for you.

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Experts on tap

Al Jaugelis was re-introduced to membership as director of regulatory affairs with Terry Adamson taking on the title of technical director for the association. Looks like Fenestration Canada members will be well taken care of if they need advice on codes, standards, regulations and building science generally.

Looking a little flat

All the great content aside, what people really seemed to appreciate was the chance to interact with all their friends in the association, even if only in two-dimensional form. The World 2.0 panel started out talking about COVID but veered into a general discussion about just about everything concerning the industry, with steady input from the audience. Lots of laughs during the Trivia Night, and some boos as Claudio Sacilotto of Sunview Patio Doors dominated the field for the second straight year. Conspiracy theories swirled about the tech-savvy Sacilotto’s ability to hack the game software. Event sponsor Screenco hosted a wine-tasting event where Mission Hill Wineries in the Okanagan region of B.C. gave a very informative presentation that distracted attendees from joking around in the chat for whole minutes at a time. #freelaine The social events never ended when the event ended but went on for some hours afterwards to allow attendees to finish their drinks. Mercifully, the live YouTube feeds were cut off as some stories were told out of school.

Learning

The education sessions were really well done and worthwhile. Attendees heard about a potential conflict coming to the National Building Code 2020 between requirements for fire egress and requirements for fall protection in windows. No one is sure how manufacturers can supply a system that both restricts windows from opening far enough for children to climb out while also being easy enough to open all the way in the event of a fire. An all-star panel of dealers discussed after-sales service and ways it can be improved – possibly something we don’t think enough about. The battle against climate change has opened a new front in the form of concerns around embodied carbon, that is, the carbon dioxide emissions created not just in the heating and cooling of a home but also in the manufacture, maintenance and disposal of building materials throughout their life. Gord Cooke of Building Knowledge got raves for his presentation on this that also suggested Net Zero homes can be built for the same or less cost as regular buildings. Finally, a panel of builders and architects discussed the trend toward ever-larger windows and doors looking at the esthetic demands and the challenges for structural design, energy efficiency, manufacturing and installing. As with so much these days, it seems like our industry’s “challenges” are nice problems to have.

Recordings of the sessions will be available with free registration in the Marketplace.

Supplier support

As always, Fenestration Canada benefitted from the support of key industry suppliers. Screenco was the presenting sponsor, with Quanex, Everlast and Fenestration Review on board as well. Other companies supported the event with sponsorship for specific sessions and showcases.

While everyone had fun, the desire to get together again in person was palpable. Fenestration Canada is planning to host WinDoor live in Mississauga, Ont., Nov. 16 to 18, pandemic permitting.