Standards and Tests

For more than 50 years, P.H. Tech has been designing windows and patio doors that satisfy every industry standard. Our goal: to meet and exceed every possible standard in order to ensure your total satisfaction… and comfort!

Below are the performance standards and tests P.H. Tech abides by.

Standards

In terms of fenestration, a single standard for North America was implemented in 2010: NAFS AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-08. In Canada, this standard was amended (CSA A440S1-09) to ensure that fenestration products comply with the country's specific climatic conditions. This adjusted standard is the reference for all North-American door and window manufacturers.

Did you know?

In Canada, the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) sets the minimum performance standards required for doors and windows used in construction. Some provinces have adopted the Canadian Code, while others (namely Quebec, Ontario and Alberta) created their own. Despite the fact that there are several provincial Codes and one Canadian Code, in terms of fenestration, they all use the same fenestration standard; only the year of instatement will differ.

In the United States, the International Building Code governs the performance standards in effect in each state, county or city.

Door and window performance tests

Doors and windows must be subjected to various tests to ensure that they meet the industry's regulations as well as the market's expectations. Passing these tests will confirm that the products can handle the climatic conditions they will be exposed to.

After P.H. Tech conducts a battery of tests in its on-site lab, independent certified labs are then asked to confirm the findings. Each step and every result is scrutinized in an effort to continually improve our products and ensure that they perfectly satisfy both our own and our clients' requirements.

These are the three main tests:

Air Leakage
The unabated movement of air into (penetration) and out of (escape) a home increases energy bills and reduces comfort. To test the air tightness of our windows and patio doors, we simulate winds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph) and measure air penetration/escape. Please note that in the United States, only air penetration tests are required.

Water Penetration
During rainstorms, water can penetrate the home through windows and patio doors, which can lead to damages and create ideal conditions for mold. Testing a product's water tightness is therefore essential. Resistance to water is measured by projecting 200 mm (8 in) of water per hour onto a window or patio door. External pressure is also applied by simulating wind speeds that vary between 55 and 125 km/h (35 and 77 mph). The product's rating is based on the highest external pressure at which water penetration is prevented. Please note there is a special provision for doors.

Wind Resistance
Windows and patio doors are also tested for their ability to withstand breaking or warping from the wind. To achieve this, they are subjected to hurricane-force winds.

Performance Grades
Following these tests, products are given a performance grade or PG (formerly A, B and C ratings). The higher the value, the better the performance… for a given size! This is an important specification because not so long ago, the results obtained by a product were automatically applied to all similar manufactured products, as long as these products were not 25% larger than the one tested. Since labels didn't include test size, it was very difficult for consumers to validate the information. This was unacceptable because the bigger the window, the more limitations it has. Today, only windows and doors that are equal or smaller in size than the one tested can obtain the same rating, and the size of the tested product is clearly printed on the label.

P.H. Tech not only has its standard-sized products tested, it has its large-sized products tested as well. This is a monumental task that is a testament to the superior quality of the windows and doors developed by P.H. Tech!

Find out more about performance grades in our Expert Advice section: « In addition to energy performance, how else can the performance of a window or door be evaluated? »

PVC-extrusion expertise certification

As a high-quality extruder, P.H. Tech is eager to have its extrusions certified. For us, this is the best way to guarantee that our products remain solid and durable throughout their lifespan.

This is why we adhere to the certification program of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the organization responsible for overseeing the window and door industry in the U.S. To determine a producer's eligibility, the AAMA certifies that the rigid PVC profiles respect the minimum levels required in terms of:

  • Dimensional stability
  • Impact resistance
  • Weight tolerance
  • Heat resistance
  • Color fastness (aging from exposure to sunlight)
  • Lead (absence of or composite material)

To be AAMA certified, P.H. Tech implemented, more than 15 years ago, a very strict quality control process comprised of:

  • Daily audits at each change of shift and each change of PVC color
  • Regularly updated documentation and processes
  • Data analysis, compilation and archiving
  • Systematic rejection of all unacceptable parts

The AAMA also systematically monitors our procedures and results in order to evaluate and confirm our technical competency. Auditors from the ALI Lab (Associated Laboratories Inc.), the authorized lab of the AAMA, conduct audits twice a year to check:

  • Employee skill
  • The testing and measuring methods used that year
  • Measuring tools: appropriate equipment, in good working condition and correctly calibrated

The auditors randomly select profiles in the warehouse and subject them to 2 years of testing in Arizona at the only authorized lab. Detailed results are then published after 6 months, 12 months and 24 months. If the 12-month results are deemed conclusive, the producer is automatically added to the list of Certified Profile Licensees, like us.

When it's all said and done, P.H. Tech's results rise far above the minimum requirements, and our certification proves that our profiles are able to resist impacts, storms, UV rays and warping.

Tip:

A producer claims to be AAMA certified? Consider the following:

  • How long has the company been certified? P.H. Tech has been AAMA certified for several years. 
  • An AAMA certification is valid for 4 years: when was the company last certified?
  • Updated standards are always stricter: what version is the company certified for? Is it the most recent one (AAMA-303-12)?

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