November 14, 2017

Ahead of WinDoor 2017 Ottawa Considering Code Changes

by Guest Blogger

It’s November—and that means many in the Canadian window and door market are gearing up for WinDoor 2017, one of the country’s most prominent industry shows. And with some recent news out of Ottawa, some might be attending the show with a greater sense of urgency.

According to the Financial Post, officials in Ottawa are working on stricter building codes as part of the country’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. “Natural Resources Canada is currently in consultations to implement stricter building models to meet significantly higher energy efficiency standards—a change that could force homeowners to use costlier materials during renovations, and raise the average price of new homes overall,” according to the news outlet.

The usual conversations are being had—proponents of stricter codes say total lifetime costs of homes decline due to heightened efficiency and lower energy bills, while opponents contend that additional costs around building and retrofitting using higher performing components and materials put affordability at risk.

Per the FP:

Business associations and some homebuilding companies have cautioned against phasing in the changes too quickly, which would force people to install expensive new technologies before they are part of the mainstream. The changes would make federal building guidelines much more focused on energy efficiency, marking a significant shift from past models that focused more exclusively on safety and cost.

Regardless, I think it’s a safe bet we’ll continue seeing the Canadian government pursuing goals like these as it pursues further greenhouse gas cuts. How quickly they’re adopted remains to be seen, but window and door manufacturers must be ready to meet an increased demand for high efficiency products.

And as we’ve tracked recently, the ability to produce efficiently, consistently and at higher volumes has become increasingly challenging in the face of new industry hurdles. Labor shortages have forced manufacturers to do more with less. Many are turning to new automated equipment—be it semi-automation or full, high-speed lines—to grow their businesses and allocate workers in the most effective manner possible.

Within just the past few weeks I’ve spoken with numerous customers about their intentions to invest in their business. One example: robotic removal of insulating glass units from the end of the line to reduce manpower. Another has spoken to me about the use of special carts to bring residential IG units to the glazing area without excessive manual handling.

This is how forward-thinking window and door manufacturers are tackling the future. And I’m sure there will be plenty more to see and talk about at WinDoor 2017. I’ll be at the show—stop by the Quanex booth #170. I’d love to hear more about how your business is looking to meet its toughest challenges, and how Quanex can help.

Questions or comments? Contact me directly at

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Posted: November 14, 2017 by Guest Blogger Filed under: building, codes, energy, WinDoor