KAW FAQsWhat Is KAW? Does it Really Matter to Me?
Building and construction represents over 30% of the demand for aluminum extrusions in the U.S and Canada. That's about 1.3 billion pounds per year, or $2.6 billion. Most of this market is subject to regulations imposed by government agencies and building code officials. KAW focuses its resources on monitoring these areas and educating officials. Without KAW, and without AEC's leadership in this area, aluminum could well be regulated out of this most important of all markets. Even extruders and suppliers who are not directly involved in the B&C market would be hurt by losses to competing materials.
How Did KAW Get Started?
In 2002, the KAW campaign was started in response to member concerns that a revision to the U.S. Department of Energy's residential Energy Star program was about to create a set of criteria that would harm – perhaps kill – the market for aluminum windows and doors. These members also knew that the program could be improved for consumers and for energy saving, while still "keeping aluminum windows" as a choice in the market. But this was possible only if AEC members organized an effort to educate and change the Energy Star proposal. After an 18-month effort, an AEC-led coalition succeeded in this initial goal. KAW had achieved its first major victory.
Why Has KAW Continued After That First Victory?
The initial Energy Star battle was the tip of the iceberg. AEC learned that competitive materials and opposing interests were consistently engaged in these regulatory and code discussions. To avoid another "near miss", aluminum must be too. AEC engaged a consultant who would be both our monitor and advocate. Since 2005, Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting has been involved at all the right levels and a beacon of aluminum advocacy. It was Tom that first noticed this "battle of materials" moving from the residential to the commercial arenas.
What About Recent Activities and Future Plans?
In the past three years, KAW representatives – both paid staff and AEC member/volunteers – have been actively involved advocating within the following organizations:
How is KAW Supported and Funded?
Originally, the KAW program was overseen by AEC's B&C Marketing Subcommittee. However, as activities grew, the KAW program spawned a separate committee, which includes participation by non-AEC companies, e.g. aluminum window manufacturers. In establishing the AEC Window Manufacturers Advisory Subcommittee, AEC President Rand Baldwin said, "Manufacturers in the aluminum fenestration niche have no entity looking out solely for their interests. With this Subcommittee we are now creating a place for their concerns to be heard and actions taken." About 5% of AEC's annual budget is allocated to KAW. In addition, another 5% comes from separate contributions by AEC members and others.
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...it's not just a residential issue anymore!