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State of the Market | Specialty Fenestration Products

A Bright Spot in An Uncertain Economy

The market will move cautiously in the year ahead, but a growing need for residential safety and security solutions will drive the specialty fenestration market.

Within the residential window and door landscape, the market is segmented between traditional manufacturers who produce high-quality windows and doors from a diverse base of materials, and manufacturers of specialty fenestration products who supplement traditional solutions with value-added features or size and shape configurations not offered by the broader market. 

Ballistic, fire-rated, impact-rated, privacy and acoustic glass solutions are a few of the convenience, safety and security-oriented features that continue to be a bright spot in the sector, outperforming broader product categories and experiencing strong revenue growth at attractive margins.

lock and door handles
Secular trends will drive the need for safety and security solutions across the residential and commercial construction markets in 2024.

Rising demand for safety and security-oriented solutions

Safety solutions are seeing a surge in demand as these products are increasingly becoming requested and, in some cases, mandated specifications in the build-out of residential and commercial buildings. Civil unrest, riots, looting and theft are driving demand domestically for security and safety solutions across a wide range of applications beyond residential, including schools, government buildings, retail, pharmacies, financial institutions and many other industries.

Like the build-out of ADA-compliant building features in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it is expected a similar trend will ultimately occur in safety and security applications, with increased mandates entering the market and driving building designs to include solutions that adhere to security and safety desires. Even when not mandated, architects frequently specify “above-code” products in the build process to preempt anticipated changes in building codes, and help in “hardening” homes, which helps to lower insurance rates, create favorable mortgage terms, increase tax credits and even raise a home’s resale value in some markets.

Securing homes against extreme weather

The rising occurrence of extreme weather events is also helping move specialty fenestration products to the forefront and leading to growing interest in resilient infrastructure programs such as the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s Fortified program, the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Initiative, and the “green” RELi system and National Green Building Standard. These voluntary construction programs help strengthen homes and their windows and doors against severe weather, including damage from high winds, hail, fires, flooding and more.

The number of designated Fortified homes more than doubled in the past three years, with the installation of impact-resistant windows and doors in some 50,000 homes throughout the Gulf Coast and Southeast states. “Other states have wisely taken notice,” says Roy Wright, president and CEO, IBHS. “We are turning the tide and seeing a marked shift, with more than half of all Fortified designations earned in the last three years.”

Consolidations expected to accelerate

The safety and security market is highly fragmented and we expect consolidation to accelerate in the coming years as many companies within the industry look to bolster their presence in the space to meet the rising demand across the U.S.

Pella acquired Lawson Industries in May 2023, which specializes in impact-resistant aluminum windows and doors; the expansion expands Pella’s presence in the South Florida region.

PGT Innovations acquired a remaining 25% equity interest in Eco Enterprises in May 2023. Miami-based Eco serves South Florida, offering aluminum, impact-resistant windows and doors.

Private equity sponsor Blue Ridge Construction Capital invested in Euro-Wall Systems in August 2023. The Florida-based company manufactures impact-rated folding, sliding, stacking and pivoting doors that meet Miami-Dade ratings.

Sentiment heading into 2024 in both the traditional and specialty fenestration market is strong, with many companies investing in product development and their sales organization to grow market share and expand geographically. Looking to the new year and beyond, expect specialty fenestration to continue to experience outpaced growth with less cyclicality compared to traditional products, as key secular trends will drive the need for safety and security solutions across the residential and commercial construction markets.


Andrew K. Petryk

Andrew K. Petryk

Andrew K. Petryk is a managing director and leads the Industrials practice at Brown Gibbons Lang & Company, an independent investment bank serving the middle market. BGL publishes the Building Products Insider, a nationally recognized research publication which discusses critical industry trends and perspectives from leading executives. Contact Petryk at 216/920-6613 or