Published by:
November 12, 2020

The Great Outdoors Challenge

The heart of Fall is upon us—literally. After a surprisingly fair Halloween, the next day in the Chicago area was brutal, as temps plummeted under a vicious November wind. The following day the branchy leaves of a “Tree of Heaven” over my deck dropped in its best imitation of a Ginkgo. Then, bizarrely, it was really nice again… This totally unexpected bit of Indian Summer reminded me just how much I love my deck space and will miss it this winter. That said, as we continue our exile in COVID—for our national sanity—I believe creating outdoor spaces where social activities can continue to occur—such as dining—is a critical. I ask the community to really think about how we can do so. In the meantime, following are some outstanding tools for creating great transitions between the inside and out.

New & Noteworthy


Guardian SunGuard SNE 50/25 HT coated glass

New Guardian SunGuard SNE 50/25 HT coated glass offers high visible light transmission and low solar heat gain with mid reflectivity and a subtle, blue-gray color that minimizes the green look of standard glass. Architect focus groups reported the crispness of mid reflectivity paired with high performance delivers great design flexibility. The product has a visible light transmission of 50% and solar heat gain coefficient of 0.25 on clear glass. Guardian SunGuard SNE 50/25 coated glass is available in jumbo and split jumbo sizes, in 6, 8 and 10mm.

More product info

Congrats to our Best of LaCantina 2020 winners

LaCantina hosts an annual competition in search of the most innovative uses of LaCantina products in a variety of architectural designs across both residential and commercial projects. This year, Nathan Fell Architecture was awarded Best in Show for their Bienville House in New Orleans. Lee Maughan, General Manager for LaCantina, said, "[It's] innovative use of our products along with the architectural detail… embodies the LaCantina philosophy: to design innovative products that enhance people’s lives.”

To view the Bienville House and the seven other 2020 winners, click the link below.

More product info

NanaWall re-designed what a bi-fold door is with the SL84.

The result is the slimmest, most energy efficient bi-fold door available (the intersection of two folding panels is a mere 3 7/8”). Panels are capable of heights up to 11’ 6”. A newly designed Gothic Arch roller system with only the sides of the roller touching the track. This allows for easy operation regardless of panel size or weight. The patented TwinX enables the system to meet higher wind loads but also conceals the hinges. Panels can move in stacks of 4 or 6, unattached to the side jamb and with the ability to stack to either side of the opening, enabling unlimited widths—something never achieved in a bi-fold door.

More product info

Power and Wire Management Solutions

Whether working from home or returning to the office, Doug Mockett & Company has the power and wire management solutions you need to reconfigure your work space to optimize efficiency. Plus, enjoy antimicrobial finishes and new privacy screens and sneeze guards to safeguard your work environment. Mockett specializes in providing "Fine Architectural Hardware for Your Fine Furniture". A timeless blend of classic and contemporary style, creating beautiful complementary accents that add function and value to your furniture.

More product info

Metal Panels Offer a Value Solution

With the introduction of EN-V by Dri-Design, the company aims to restore the true meaning of “value" in value engineering. Without cheapening the metal panel system, the company has optimized its processes to deliver cost savings without sacrificing performance or longevity. EN-V is a surprisingly economical and tested, architectural, dry-joint, pressure-equalized rainscreen system. The product doesn’t compromise on aesthetics either, as it is available in dozens of standard colors as well as custom color-matching capabilities that make the possibilities nearly endless.

More product info

Color That’s Over the Top

Durapon 70 is a unique resin blend that incorporates our proprietary acrylic and 70% polyvinylidine fluoride (PVDF). It was designed as a premium finish to provide outstanding color stability and gloss retention, exceptional abrasion and chemical resistance, and great film flexibility.

Durapon 70 High Performance Spray PVDF extrusion coating utilizes the same proprietary acrylic and PVDF resins that our coil coating. This unique resin blend is optimized for use in spray factory applied applications to meet AAMA 2605 specifications. With its proven performance record, Durapon 70 High Performance Spray is the ideal choice for monumental projects large or small.

Both Durapon 70 for coil and extrusion coating can be formulated using “cool” pigments to comply with industry energy conservation initiatives such as LEED, Title 24, Energy Star, and ASHARE.

More product info

Structural Thermal Barriers Save Energy

While Azon does not make windows, the company does offer turnkey technology for the manufacture of polyurethane polymer thermal barrier aluminum fenestration. Using thermal barriers to improve energy savings in the window assembly helps manufacturers meet strict energy codes and standards worldwide, ranging from monumental architectural to residential aluminum window classes. The newest ultra-performance Azo-Core high-density foam thermal barrier by Azon contains the best combination of energy efficiency and the highest shear strength of all thermal barriers used in the most demanding climates and conditions.

More product info