AIA 2006: Curtainwall and Window Products Offer Architects Performance, Looks and More

Thousands of architects traveled to the annual AIA Show and Convention, which took place June 8-10 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The show offered a look at some of the latest products for all ranges of architecture, from commercial to residential, interiors to landscape and more. Curtainwall and window systems was one area that offered a wide selection of new products, and from the exhibitors on hand, architects were able to learn about the many benefits and possibilities such products can afford.

As part of its 100th anniversary celebrations, Kawneer exhibited at the show with a brand-new booth-an 800-square-foot exhibit that displayed the company's variety of products. One of Kawneer's newest products, of particular interest to architects, was its line of pre-glazing/assembly products that are designed to eliminate field labor and installation costs.

"The pre-glaze products have been an interest to architects because time is an issue for them, too," said Henry Taylor, a member of the company's architectural service team who was on hand specifically to talk with architects. "They are cognizant of [the time factor] when they spec a product," he said. According to Taylor, other products of interest were impact/protective glazing products, as well as those with a high thermal performance.

Doug Penn with YKK AP said his company was introducing a new screw spline curtainwall system that is designed to lower installation time and cost.

"The complete fabrication and assembly is done in the shop," he said. Other trends in which architects expressed interest included blast mitigation and hurricane resistant products, sound transmission and energy performance, he added.

LEED certification was another hot topic at the show. Tim Nass, a regional sales manager for Wausau Window and Wall Systems, said that about 85 percent of the architects they talk to ask about LEED. "Architects are not just looking at the product," he said, "but the organization as a whole and how you produce the product."

Nass also said the big push for Wausau this year has been toward windows and window wall systems for multi-family/hotel construction. The company recently introduced a new terrace door as well as additions to its Visuline windows series, designed for residential high rises/hotels. Nass said the products are not only competitively priced, but also offer aesthetics, versatility and thermal performance.

Vistawall Architectural Products displayed an assortment of products as well. According to Fred Grunewald one area that is becoming increasingly important to architects is sustainability. He said not only are curtainwall products being offered with high thermal performance abilities, but also are now incorporating photovoltaics. Another area he said architects are interested in is impact-resistant glazing.

Another big draw for architects when it comes to curtainwall/glazing systems is continuing education. Though, they were not necessarily providing courses on site, Kawneer, YKK AP, Wausau Window and Wall Systems and Vistawall are all AIA accredited providers.

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