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A Look from the Outside In
By: Jot Chahal

Reflections from the AIA National Convention and Design Exposition

11:02AM on Thu 09 Jun 2011
“US architecture billings index falls in April – AIA.”1 With headlines like these abounding in the marketplace, industry conventions like AIA’s provide an oasis of relief from a number of perspectives.
The first is that thousands of manufacturers, students, architects and industry influencers from around the world attended. The fact we all were there, in the face of these tough market conditions, is the first relief.
The second is that innovation is still alive and thriving in these challenging times. Kawneer itself was showcasing a number of new products and Alcoa Architectural Products, a sister company, made a big splash by launching their new EcoClean line.
Not only did Kawneer launch three new products – 1600 Ultra Thermal (UT) Curtain Wall System™, AA®250/425 Thermal Entrance Doors and Clearwall™ SB (Shear Block) Curtain Wall - at this show, we showcased products launched last year including Versoleil™ Single Blade Sunshade, Clearwall™ SS curtain wall, Trifab® 451UT (Ultra Thermal) framing, IR 501UT (Ultra Thermal)  framing, and AA®3350 IsoPort™ Horizontal Sliding window.
Another major addition to the booth was the Traco products, which were showcased for the first time along with the Alcoa brand since the former’s acquisition by Alcoa. And it was not only us: a number of other glass and system manufacturers had some really good products to showcase. I was lucky enough to look at most of the exhibitors’ products and was enthused by the spirit of this industry to keep on improving and raising the bar.
The last sense of relief I had was from the fact that the architects, for whom we were there for in the first place, are still interested in innovative products; that can do more with less, reduce a building’s energy footprint, and still look distinctive enough to prove that the practice of architecture has maintained its artistic and scientific equilibrium. As we look ahead, Kawneer, Traco and Alcoa Architectural Products will continue to bring architects and glaziers more exciting products (which are going through the development pipeline as we speak) and will raise the bar again for the industry like we’ve been doing for more than 100 years.
I would like to hear your feedback on our new products and innovations.
Best regards,
1Reuters, May 18, 2011

Image1: EcoClean web page, click to enlarge image.
  Click here to view web page 


Image 2: Kawneer Booth at AIA, click to enlarge image


Image 3: 1600SS™ Curtain Wall outfitted with Versoleil™ Single Blade SunShades (left) and Clearwall™ SS Curtain Wall (right), click to enlarge image

Image 4: AA®250 Thermal Entrance Door with 451UT (Ultra Thermal) Framing, click to enlarge image


Image 5: IR501UT (Ultra Thermal) Framing with Horizontal Versoleil™ Single Blade SunShade and InLighten® Light Shelf, click to enlarge image


Image 6: AA®900 IsoWeb® Projecting Window with actuator and AA®3350 IsoPort™ Horizontal Sliding Window, click to enlarge image


Image 7: Traco NX-3500 Series Projecting Window, NX-5000 Series Double Hung Tilt Window and NX-3700 Tilt-turn Window
, click to enlarge image 

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All Out Function

11:45AM on Wed 30 Jun 2010

Nearly one year ago we launched 1600 SS Unitwall™, a unitized version of our popular 1600 SS™ Curtain Wall, a screw spline platform,  which was designed to provide architects and glaziers with a high quality solution that could address budget constraints and tighter construction schedules. Intended for low- to mid-rise projects, simplified fabrication and rapid installation makes 1600 SS Unitwall™ ideal for new or remodel projects.  A stack horizontal allows fully pre-glazed units to be stacked on top of one another for a true unitized curtain wall option. In addition, 1600 SS Unitwall™ is available in both a fully captured and vertical SSG version. The captured version is completely dry glazed, eliminating the use of silicone.
 1600SS_Unitwall_Exterior lower right_web

Picture of 1600 SS Unitwall™
with stack horizontal shown at left.

<-- click image to enlarge


In my earlier blog post, I shared one of the newest products Kawneer introduced to the market – Clearwall™ Curtain Wall. While Clearwall™ curtain wall epitomizes the balance between form and function, 1600 SS Unitwall™ is an all-out functional product, creatively enabling an existing screw spline system to go unitized. The benefits of going unitized need no introduction, but a system that can be both ladder built and unitized not only expands the options for glazing contractors, but also minimizes training challenges and reduces the learning curve. And, when we combine this uniqueness to cater to a low- to mid-rise segment, a unitized approach starts to make sense from the perspectives of both competency and finance (time, money).

When you are working on a project, what is your primary challenge? Is it budget? Is it the construction schedule? Or, is your biggest challenge finding the right solution that will give you a strong aesthetic while being all-out functional?

Kawneer launched the product as part of the 1600 SS platform and it was created to help meet your needs. More details can be found by following this link to our product page.

Best regards,

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Balancing Form and Function

9:03AM on Tue 22 Jun 2010
By the time you read this blog, Kawneer will have announced its new Clearwall™ curtain wall -  an innovative four-sided Toggle Glazed (TG) system (with multiple patents pending) with a breakthrough glass retaining mechanism. This exciting new addition to our range of high-performance curtain wall products provides the much admired monolithic glazing appearance while keeping the overall installed costs lower when compared to incumbent four-sided approaches. Now you are wondering, “how is this possible?”  It’s possible because of the design innovations created by Kawneer’s highly experienced product development team.  Kawneer’s Clearwall™ curtain wall achieves the sleek all-glass appearance through its aforementioned toggle system. The unique toggle assembly directly captures the inside lite of the insulating glass unit, which has a recessed spacer.  This standard glazing option eliminates any use of structural silicone to glaze the curtain wall. There are other glazing options in which you can use regular one-inch insulating glass attached with a metal interface, underscoring the flexibility inherent in the product.  With the response we have received within days of launching this product from both architects and customers, the marketplace has definitely embraced Clearwall’s approach of balancing form with function. Take a look at our new Clearwall™ curtain wall and let me know what you think about it.

Clearwall™ curtain wall product sample (shown at left) with toggle assembly. The toggle assembly directly captures the inside lite of the insulating glass unit, which has a recessed spacer.

<- Click image to enlarge

As a relative newcomer to this industry, it is very exciting to manage this product line for a company like Kawneer. At a certain level it is a daunting task, but our product engineers and designers are the best in the field, and with more than a thousand man-years of experience backing me up, it actually gets to be fun.  Despite the downturn in the market our resilience as a company is reflected in our continued commitment to product innovation and development. At our core, we are a solutions provider. We talk to our audience, look at the market needs and work internally to find solutions that not only meet, but also exceed those needs.

As Kawneer continues to bring additional new curtain wall products to the market – products that continue to address the demands of the market place and critical needs – we are always looking for feedback.

What are your needs?
What do you look for in a curtain wall?

There’s more to come. In other words, stay tuned.  And, I would like to hear from you.

Best Regards,

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