Dallas-based Atrium Cos. Inc. is planning to close its 207,000-square-foot vinyl and aluminum window and door fabrication facility in Tolleson, Ariz.
The company intends to shutter the facility in September. About 185 workers will lose their jobs.
Citing historically high aluminum prices and dwindling demand, Atrium plans to abandon the aluminum window business altogether in that region, said Mark Gallant, vice president of marketing, in an April 22 telephone interview.
``There is continual pressure from energy codes and building codes that will continue over time to favor PVC extrusion over aluminum,'' Gallant said.
Atrium will relocate the vinyl operations to a 127,000-square-foot plant in Anaheim, Calif., he said.
The company also plans to redistribute the aluminum capacity to another plant.
It makes sense that a company like Atrium, whose business is closely tied with new home construction, would have to find ways to trim costs in order to stay competitive, particularly in markets most affected by the burst real estate bubble, said Josiah Waxman, an industry analyst for building and construction for Ducker Research Co. Inc.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Ducker just completed its annual ``Study of the Market for Windows and Doors.''
As a building products category, windows going into new construction were down about 20 percent in 2007 from 2006, Waxman said by phone.
Only one of about 60 window manufacturers was able to report flat sales; nearly every window maker experienced a decline, according to the study.
Virtually every region of the country experienced massive drops in window demand during 2007, to the tune of 30-50 percent. The Pacific Northwest and Texas were the healthiest regions, and they still dropped by double digits.
Atrium operates 27 window and door plants, including extrusion facilities in Welcome, N.C., and St. Thomas, Ontario.
The company acquired the 233,000-square-foot St. Thomas facility about a year ago when it bought North Star Windows & Doors in a deal designed to open up new sales opportunities throughout Canada and the northern United States.
Privately held Atrium's majority shareholder is New York-based investment firm Kenner & Co. Inc.
Since acquiring Atrium in 2003, Kenner has been aggressively adding window makers under the Atrium umbrella.
In addition to the Atrium and North Star brands, the company makes windows and doors under the Superior, Thermal Industries, Danvid, HR windows, Champion and Darby brand names.