Jordan at the Jeld-Wen Builder Architect Symposium

 In Design, Sustainable Design

by Jordan Crawford

This past month I was able to attend the Jeld-Wen Architect and Builder Symposium in Bend, Oregon. The symposium centered around educating builders and architects on Jeld-Wen window and door products, while building relationships with the sales team and professionals in our area. Our group consisted of a handful of builders from the Front Range and Summit County area, as well as a group of builders from the San Diego area. I was the only person on the trip from an architectural firm, so it was great to talk to the builders one-on-one and hear their perspective. For someone who is still in the early stages of their architectural career, this was a great opportunity for me to gain a further understanding of various products, and to build networking skills.

On the first full day of the symposium, we were split into two groups and set out on a tour of Jeld-Wen’s manufacturing facility. The tour centered on unique Jeld-Wed processes that set them apart from other window manufacturers.

First, we saw their anti-wood rot treatment process called AuraLast. Most window manufacturers submerge their wood into a chemical bath to prevent wood rot. The issue with this process is that it only applies the protection to the outer surface of the wood. So, once the coating gets scratched or wears off after a few years the window is susceptible to water intrusion and rot. The AuraLast process places the wood into a pressure vacuum that actually compresses the solution deep into the core of the wood. This means that the wood is completely resistant throughout, even if the outer surface starts to wear. This makes the wood product useable in hot, humid, and water susceptible areas like a shower.

We then toured their window assembly process, from seeing the raw wood enter the factory, to watching the fully assembled window loaded onto the delivery truck. I was amazed at how much of the process was being done by hand. More and more architects/designers are asking for custom products and it really takes a ton of attention to detail to make sure everything is in place for the window to fit on-site. Watching the craftsmen assemble the window frames and sashes was just like watching a piece of custom furniture come together.

After the factory tour, a seminar session offered a comprehensive rundown of available Jeld-Wed products, from their all-wood windows to their wood-clad Epic Vue line.

The rest of the symposium was centered on building relationships between the builders, architects, and the sales team. Karen, our Jeld-Wen sales representative did an absolutely fantastic job showing us around Bend and making sure that we were enjoying ourselves. The Jeld-Wen team took us out onto the Deschutes River for a fly-fishing excursion. It was a real treat to be able to go fly-fishing in a part of the country that I have never explored before. It was a completely different environment than what I was used to. The fishing was slow, but it was still great to be on the water and connect with a group of builders from the San Diego area.

In all, the symposium was a great experience. I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the products that we currently put into our projects, and I was introduced to new products for future projects. At Gettliffe Architecture we love to collaborate and bounce new ideas around with our builders and sales representatives. This trip opened up many future opportunities for collaboration.

Gettliffe Architecture is a Boulder, Colorado architecture firm offering green design services from straw-bale homes to eco lodges around the globe. We believe that beautiful modern architectural design begins with careful consideration of earth, culture and community. Working with your ideas and vision, our team of green architects brings inspiring spaces to life that are kind to the planet and a pleasure to be in.

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