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WDMA Environmental Stewardship

One of the fastest growing areas of interest to consumers, builders, architects and product manufacturers is the concept of environmental stewardship, sustainable buildings and "green” products – friendly to the environment as well as durable and cost effective. Various programs, certifications and codes have been created to specify and recognize products, materials and practices that deliver above-average performance in these areas. Below is information relating to how some of the major organizations involved address windows, doors and skylights.

Statement of Beliefs
WDMA Environmental Stewardship Committee
What is "Green"?
NAHB National Green Building Standard™
Environmental Certification and Ratings Programs
State Summaries
Product Information
Material Information

Statement of Beliefs

The membership of the Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) supports the intent of environmental stewardship aimed at protecting the earth’s resources including sound environmental practices to protect our air, water, land and the human, animal and plant life of our planet.

WDMA encourages our members to make the most efficient use of materials and resources, to recycle or reuse materials where economically feasible, and to conduct business in a manner that supports environmental stewardship.

WDMA supports and defines sustainable forest management as the stewardship of forests that promotes the health, productivity and potential to fulfill relevant ecological, economic and social functions at the local, national and global levels, both today and for future generations. We support programs that promote the use of best forestry management practices and sustainable forestry activity.

We encourage and support our members to improve their practice of environmental stewardship and will work to assist them and the broader community in the implementation of sound environmental practices.

Approved by the WDMA Board of Directors May 16, 2006

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WDMA Environmental Stewardship Committee

Mission: Raise the level of awareness and educate WDMA members on environmental activities that impact the membership and to develop the vision to demonstrate WDMA’s leadership role and commitment to environmental stewardship and to influence organizations and programs that impact member companies

Scope: Act as a clearing house for environmental issues via associations, programs, governmental (and Non-Government Organization (NGO)) or regulatory agencies. Analyze, participate in, respond to, and influence these programs in order to represent the WDMA membership.

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What is "Green"?

The word "Green” is so often used in the context of "environmental responsibility” and "sustainability” yet is hard to quantify definitively. Green to an environmentalist may be drastically different than that of a manufacturer. The challenge is finding common ground that promotes and rewards environmental responsibility as well as product design and performance that is balanced with the rigors and challenges of manufacturing products that need to be competitive in the marketplace.

Defining "Green” and "Sustainability”

Practice sustainability by conserving today’s resources for tomorrow’s children.

"Green Design” is design and construction that significantly reduces or eliminates the negative impact of buildings on the environment and occupants in five broad areas:

  • Sustainable site planning
  • Safeguarding water and efficient water use
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy use
  • Conservation of materials and resources
  • Indoor environmental quality.
    Source: US Green Building Council

Design products using sustainable, renewable and recycled materials.

Establish an environmental management system.

Conserve resources with environmentally sound manufacturing practices.

  • Reduce material use
  • Reuse materials
  • Recycle materials
  • Reduce solid and hazardous waste
  • Conserve water
  • Control, reduce and eliminate emissions
  • Use environmentally sound preservatives, adhesives and coatings

Produce products that benefit the environment.

  • Sustainable materials
  • Energy efficiency
  • Durability
  • Long product life

Use Life Cycle Analysis to analyze product design and performance.

Participate in environmental and energy efficiency programs and credible certification and ratings programs.

  • National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)
  • Energy Star
  • US Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) programs (examples: LEED-NC for New Commercial Construction and Major Renovation projects, and LEED-H for Homes)
  • GreenBuilding Initiative (GBI) Commercial: Green Globes; Residential: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green BuildingGuidelines.
  • Wood certification programs: (examples: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI))

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Environmental Certification and Ratings Programs

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State Summaries

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Product Information

  • Windows
  • Skylights
    A skylight transmits 30% more usable light (on average) than a similarly-built vertical window.
    • A skylight brings full-spectrum natural light deeper into a space than wall-mounted windows, providing the following:
      • Safer occupancy
      • True color rendering
      • Circadian rhythm enhancement
      • Documented improved performance of students and better retail sales result from internal daylight
    • A skylight with clear views helps satisfy the human need to feel "connected” to the environment, even in densely-built areas, with no loss of privacy.
    • A venting skylight helps cleanse the indoor air of contamination, excess moisture and heat.
    In short, the users are physically, emotionally and psychologically better off, and should save energy and money in the process. Beyond the "norm” Certain skylights and TDD’s can be even greener than the above, if they have:
    • Achieved Energy Star qualification
    • Been built for durability (ie. glass vs. plastic glazing)
    • Been made in a manufacturing plant that is ISO 14001 registered
    • Replacement parts available, to extend their normal life, from a long-standing source
    • Been used to replace an older, single-glazed, aluminum-framed design
  • Exterior Doors
    Green schemes (e.g., USGBC, GBI, NAHB) are not prescriptive for exterior doors. However, all schemes have a heavily weighted toward "Energy Efficiency" in their respective point ratings. ICC and IECC have prescriptive minimum U values for the 4 US Climate Zones.
    The ICC is working in conjunction with both USGBC and NAHB in developing green schemes. The NAHB/ICC scheme is less restrictive of "forestry certification programs" relative to USGBC. The NAHB/ICC is more receptive to resin options in wood composites (used in some exterior door products).
    California Air Resources Board in their Regulation 93120 in section .7 "an exemption has been added for exterior doors".
  • Interior Doors

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Material Infomation

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Information: This site contains summarized information about current programs related to green or sustainable building construction and building products. The information was collected by WDMA Staff and members, and has not been reviewed by the referenced organization. The list is not exhaustive, and will remain a work in progress. WDMA has taken precautions to ensure the accuracy and timelyness of the information presented. However, users are encouraged to contact referenced organizations directly for their most current information.

Links: This site contains links to Internet resource sites collected by WDMA staff and members to educate the public about sustainability and green building research. This list is not exhaustive and will remain a work in progress. WDMA is not liable for the contents of the referenced websites nor the inclusion or omission of websites in this list.

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