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Windows and Doors Manufacturer Thermal Industries Marks 50th Anniversary

2010 marks Thermal Industries’ 50th anniversary as a leader and innovator in the design and manufacturing of energy-saving vinyl replacement windows and patio doors. Environmentally conscious before it was popular to be ‘green,’ Thermal Industries’ focus has always been to develop products that improve the energy efficiency of American homes and reduce maintenance, thus improving Americans’ comfort and quality of life.

According to the AAMA, Pittsburgh-area Thermal Industries invented and manufactured the first vinyl replacement window. Celebrating its 50 year anniversary, Thermal Industries' philosophy has remained the same through the years

An industry pioneer, today with two manufacturing facilities with total peak seasonal employment of approximately 500 and a year round employee base over 400, with average tenure of 12 years, 20 branch locations and distribution in 31 states, as well as being a part of the national family of Atrium brands, Thermal Industries’ history began back in 1957. It all started when founder, David H. Weis, a salesman for an aluminum extrusion company, walked into a remodeling contractor’s office and made a discovery that would eventually revolutionize the window industry.

“The object Mr. Weis saw was a small vinyl extrusion for a storm door frame,” says David Rascoe, president of Thermal Industries today. “But what David Weis envisioned that day was to be the birth of a new kind of window that would revolutionize the way windows are manufactured to this day.”

“It was also a vision of ingenuity, value and performance. Like today’s green-tech companies, enterprising visionaries such as Weis have always looked to the application of modern technology to deliver better performance. In this case, the energy efficient windows and doors we’ve manufactured for the last 50 years continue to be a positive contributing factor in delivering the dream of comfortable, low maintenance and affordable housing for millions of Americans,” added Rascoe.

Three years later, in 1960, Mr. Weis was to open the Modern White Manufacturing Company, a vinyl storm window fabricator. Weis’ ultimate goal was to create a completely new product to help homeowners deal with the problems of energy loss and exterior maintenance. This dream became a reality in 1964, when he introduced America’s first custom vinyl replacement window, as recognized by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association Vinyl Materials Council.

Fifty years later, Thermal Industries’ philosophy is the same: provide customers with high-performance, energy efficient and maintenance-free products that help to lower their energy bills. Thermal Industries’ efforts over the years have been recognized by the ENERGY STAR® Qualified Products Program as a ‘Retail Partner of the Year’; Door and Window Manufacturer Magazine as a ‘Green Award’ nominee; Window & Door Magazine, ‘Crystal Achievement’ award winner; and by Building Green, Inc as a GreenSpec® listed designation for the Super Peak PerformanceTM Triple Pane Insulating Glass.

Due to Thermal Industries’ intense focus on high-quality, energy saving products, many of their high-efficiency windows and doors already meet the proposed 2013 ENERGY STAR program qualification criteria. Most recently, the company has applied for the U.S. Department of Energy's Building Technologies Program’s R-5 Volume Purchase Program, scheduled to launch in Spring 2010.

To celebrate the success of its 50th year in business, Thermal Industries is planning commemorative events including customer and employee appreciation. For more details in the coming weeks and months, please check our website.

Innovation through the years

In 1968, after an initial public offering to fuel expansion of branch networks, the Modern White Manufacturing Company was renamed Thermal Industries. Under this name it would continue to lead the industry with innovations such as;

  • the first vinyl dual-pane insulating, glass tilting replacement window in 1968
  • custom-sized bay and bow windows in 1977
  • custom casement windows with fusion-welded frames in 1979
  • custom awning windows in 1987
  • custom wood/vinyl windows in 1993

In the mid-1990s, Thermal Industries would incorporate their custom vinyl window and door systems into an insulating, polystyrene wall system to create the DreamspacE® Patio Enclosure.

In 1994, the company launched its Super Peak Performance Glass, a high performance triple pane insulating glass package enhanced with krypton gas that achieves a center of glass R-Value of 9.0. The first company to add energy-efficient krypton gas to windows, Thermal Industries was also the first company to reclaim the krypton gas.

Also during the mid- to late-1990s, as a solution to the excess vinyl from their extrusion facilities, Thermal Industries created a new product, vinyl decking and railing, by combining recycled vinyl with virgin vinyl.

The 2000s brought along the development of the company’s private label, Park Avenue Window Collection. This exclusive window system features the E3-MAX® triple pane insulating glass system featuring two lites of Low-E glass and Krypton gas. Window frames and sashes are enhanced with Dow® Blue foam for added energy efficiency. Performing at 0.18, this super insulating window has one of the lowest U-values in the industry.


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