AAMA stands for American Architectural Manufacturers Association. An AAMA rating for fenestration has now become the standard for replacement windows in Chicago and doors by which the product performance is held up to. The AAMA rating uses “Performance Grade” to measure the rating. There are a number of factors that are taken into consideration when measuring the performance grade of a door or window. Some of them include:
1. Structural Loading Requirement
2. Air Infiltration Resistance
3. Water Penetration Resistance
4. Ease of Operation
5. Resistance to Forced Entry
Products that are AAMA certified would mean that it has been tested to one of the highest standards of performance in the fenestration industry. Reputable and credible window companies in Chicago almost always provide AAMA certified products.
Here is an overview of the Entry-level (“gateway”) Performance Grades of different types of doors and windows as given in the AAMA website. This will give you an idea of the different performance classes and the specifications for each:
- 15 psf (720 Pa) for R class (commonly used in one- and two-family dwellings)
- 25 psf (1200 Pa) for LC class (commonly used for low- and mid-rise multifamily dwellings and other buildings where larger sizes and higher loading requirements are expected)
- 30 psf (1,440 Pa) for the new CW class (commonly used in low- and mid-rise buildings where larger sizes, higher loading requirements, limits on deflection and heavier use are expected)
- 40 psf (1,920 Pa) for the AW class (commonly used in high-rise and mid-rise buildings to meet increased loading requirements and limits on deflection and in buildings where frequent and extreme use of the fenestration products is expected)
Reputed windows and doors like Chicago Windows & Doors service providers ensure that these specifications are met to the very last detail. The doors and windows are tested rigorously to meet the high standards of the AAMA and are certified for it.