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Is Technological Adoption at a Standstill in the Fenestration Industry?

I was intrigued by this update about the interest and potential uptake of thin glass triples that ran in Window + Door. It recaps a recent NGA Glass conference presentation from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Robert Hart, who discussed thin triples, their potential benefits, industry concerns and more.

It’s worth a full read, and I think it shows the residential market at something of a crossroads when it comes to technological adoption. The industry has been discussing thin triples for years now, but large-scale adoption simply hasn’t happened.

Consider this development (or lack thereof) in relation to the new Energy Star 7.0 standards. Thin triples are a technology that could readily enable manufacturers to hit Energy Star 7.0 figures. Instead, many manufacturers are opting for conventional triples in their Energy Star solutions if they aren’t opting out of the program entirely.

This is in part because manufacturers have some understandable hesitation about consumer demand for Energy Star 7.0 products. The technology required—whether thin triples, conventional ones or something else—to meet the new specification inevitably drives a higher price point. Will homeowners spring for it? As we look ahead to 2024, we’re about to find out.

But despite these hesitations—over new technologies, over consumer demand for higher-performing products—window and door manufacturers can’t afford to simply rest on their laurels. Why? Because while it may not always follow a straight line, progress never stops in the fenestration industry.

Consider that energy efficiency standards never go backward (barring some unforeseen, major regulatory shake-ups). Energy Star is one example of many. Government bodies around the world are more concerned than ever with fostering greater sustainability in all areas of society. It’s happening at the municipal level all the way to the national level, too. We’ve seen the effects in North America as new building codes in major municipalities go into effect, demanding higher and higher levels of performance from all types of buildings. It's not hard to imagine a future scenario in which the criteria put forth by Energy Star 7.0 are simply table stakes.

What does it mean for the residential window and door market? I think it means that all stakeholders need to remain proactive—and a big part of that involves investing in the right technologies to establish the right business strategies today to stay ahead tomorrow.

I’d love to hear how you’re approaching the future, whether in regard to Energy Star 7.0 or otherwise. What are you doing to gauge demand for high-performance products? And how are you going to market with them? Send me your thoughts at


Eric Thompson

Eric Thompson

Eric Thompson is the national account manager for Quanex. Email him at