Thermal Industries, Inc. ‘Greens’ Up its Products and Facilities
June 01, 2007 08:00
Company's efforts include recycled materials, energy-saving technology and education
PITTSBURGH, PA - As part of the company's ongoing efforts to implement environmentally-friendly measures at its facilities, Thermal Industries, Inc. now incorporates significant amounts of recycled content into many of its products, utilizes ENERGY STAR ® qualified fixtures in its plants and educates its employees as to the company's "green" practices.
"I'm really proud of the green measures Thermal Industries has undertaken," states Todd Rascoe, VP of Manufacturing. "Adjusting our practices to be more environmentally responsible is simply the right thing to do. But beyond that, it's making a big difference in our products. Now, they're better products also more affordable to homeowners."
Using More Recycled Materials
One element of Thermal Industries' plan was to incorporate high amounts of recycled content in the production of its products. To accomplish this, the Pittsburgh-based company in 2006 purchased 1.1 million tons of recycled material - approximately one-third from a Pennsylvania company - for incorporation into its production processes. Benefiting from this move are several product lines, including Dream®Deck composite planks, which are composed of 100 percent recycled materials, and Dream®Deck vinyl planks and Dream®Rail vinyl rail pickets, which contain 80 percent recycled post-industrial regrind vinyl. Each line is 100 percent recyclable. In addition to using more recycled materials, Thermal Industries took the step of making much of its waste available to other companies for their use, selling 978 million tons of post-industrial recycled glass, aluminum and vinyl in 2006 to industrial recyclers.
Less Extrusion Brings Energy Savings
Thermal Industries' Dream®Deck and Dream®Rail products play another role in the company's green efforts via reduced energy consumption. By producing products that are 80 percent recycled vinyl, the company significantly cut its energy consumption as it now extrudes far less new vinyl. This reduction in power usage results in cost savings to the company, which it passes on to the consumer with lower prices for the same high-quality products.
Also included in the company's efforts to make it more environmentally responsible are upgrades to the equipment used to produce glass in its door and window products. A new glass oven using infrared heating elements reduces energy consumption by 75 percent, resulting in added savings for the company and the consumer.
Lighting the Way to Efficiency
Thermal Industries is also conscious of the environmental benefits that come from using low-wattage lighting in its manufacturing facilities. Company locations now predominantly use metal halide lighting fixtures, which are 61 percent more efficient than fluorescent fixtures. Facilities with older fluorescent fixtures are being upgraded and converted to use the newer, energy-efficient ballasts.
Education is Key
In addition to taking steps to make the company's production processes and facilities more environmentally-friendly, Thermal Industries also educates company employees about its efforts. As a result, company employees are more informed of the company's green practices and take pride in knowing they're contributing to the process. Company VP Manufacturing Todd Rascoe notes, "Energy-responsible products and employee ‘green' awareness are now everyday practices at Thermal Industries."
About Thermal Industries - In business for more than 47 years, Thermal Industries, Inc. (www.thermalindustries.com), a division of Atrium Companies, manufactures custom-made vinyl windows, doors, patio enclosures, vinyl and composite deck planks and vinyl railing systems. Based in Pittsburgh, PA., the company maintains distribution through 18 branch locations east of the Mississippi. For more information on other Thermal Industries products, call (800) 245-1540, Ext. 1941.
About Atrium Companies, Inc. - For more than 50 years, Atrium Companies, Inc. (www.atrium.com) has offered the highest quality window and door products to meet the demands of builders, contractors and distributors in the residential construction industry. Dedicated to meeting the needs of its customers, the Atrium family of brands provides a versatile range of window and patio door products, including vinyl and aluminum models, as well as replacement and new construction product lines. A variety of window styles is also available through the Atrium family including single and double-hung, horizontal slider, casement, tilt-and-turn and architectural shapes. Specialty products range from hurricane impact solutions with Atrium's Safe Harbor® Impact-Resistant windows, patio doors and hurricane window shutters, to innovative soundproofing Silent Guard™ Sound Suppression Windows. The company's portfolio of brands includes its flagship Atrium Windows and Doors brand, Superior Windows, Thermal Industries, Danvid Door and Window, HR Windows, Champion Window, Darby Door and North Star Vinyl Windows and Doors.