Case Studies

Marvin Windows and Doors

Built around customers and efficiency

Marvin Windows and Doors (Marvin) was one of the first companies in the U.S. to manufacture built-to-order windows and doors. Instead of stocking ahead, the company changed the face of the industry by building exactly to specifications as an order came in. This core philosophy remains the Marvin difference today.

As a premier manufacturer of made-to-order windows and doors, Marvin offers unparalleled value backed by quality craftsman construction and energy-saving design that pushes the envelope in thermal efficiency. Windows, doors, shades, cladding, wood options and interior finishes and hardware – Marvin has one of the most extensive selections of shapes, styles, sizes and options in the industry.

Marvin has manufacturing facilities nationwide and close to 4,700 employees serving a range of commercial contractors, residential builders and homeowners alike, it’s hard to believe Marvin started in small-town Warroad, Minn.

On a cold January day in 1904, the Canadian Northern Railroad pulled into Warroad, carrying passenger George. G. Marvin. “In 1904 my great-grandfather moved to Warroad to manage a grain elevator company,” recounts Christine Marvin, director of marketing for Marvin, and one of 11 fourth-generation Marvin family members active in the business today.

An unexpected success

Located just 6 miles from the Canadian border, Warroad was a booming lumber center for many years, providing pulpwood for paper mills. Recognizing this opportunity George established Marvin Lumber & Cedar Company in 1912. “In the beginning, the company wasn’t focused on windows and doors at all,” reveals Christine. “It wasn’t until the late 1930s, when my grandfather, William “Bill” S. Marvin, joined the company that things started to change.”

While the effects of the Great Depression rippled through Warroad, George, a savvy businessman, found ways to keep his lumberyard workers busy by designing a machine that turned scrap lumber into wooden stakes, which he sold to the state highway department. George called son Bill to join him and help run the business and soon he too found an innovative way to keep business moving by making door frames and barn sashes.

In an effort to create jobs for returning World War II veterans, Bill began producing more barn sashes and windows, launching what is now known as Marvin. “My grandfather purchased the equipment to make barn sashes without my great-grandfather knowing while he was gone on a trip,” recalls Christine. “When he returned, he wasn’t happy to see such an investment had been made without his permission, but it actually turned out to be what evolved the company.”

Oh, the possibilities

Marvin is now recognized as a national leader by providing endless options to meet any building specifications. When customers need something totally unique and customized, Marvin is called. The company manufactures innovative specialty products, such as the Inswing Casement, 90-degree Corner Window, the OXXO Glider and the Push-out Casement Round Top Window. However, Marvin doesn’t just limit the possibilities to tailor-fit design; the company also delivers some of the most reputable energy-efficient door and window products in the industry.

“We create door and window products that push the boundaries in thermal efficiencies by using advanced glazing technology, triple-pane glass and much more,” shares Christine. “We’re seeing very attractive performance ratings, setting us up well for now, and in the long-term as building codes continue to change. We’re exploring solutions that aren’t even seen in the U.S. market yet, such as automated exterior shades, and producing products that truly are industry-leading.”

In fact, Marvin has been going green since long before it was mainstream. “Marvin has been focused on sustainability long before green was a thing,” shares Breanna Welke, public relations manager for Marvin. “It’s embedded in the unique efficiency of our products and in our philosophy as a company.”

Not-so-passive about energy savings

Marvin is leading the industry in satisfying Passive House Institute U.S. criteria. “Now architects, builders and homeowners, seeking solutions that meet these stringent requirements, can turn to a trusted name for an American-made product,” reveals Welke.

Designing a passive building requires certain building performance thresholds and inclusion of key design principles. At its core is a focus on insulation and energy conservation based on super-insulating and virtually airtight building envelopes. A few of Marvin’s passive products include Ultimate Casement with Tripane and Direct Glaze with Tripane glazing.

A first for the window industry, Marvin now offers an automated exterior shading system that’s fully integrated, fully retractable and fully concealed for both passive and non-passive product selections. Automated Exterior Shades offers convenience and energy efficiency benefits of a motorized shading system. Unlike current exterior shading systems, Marvin’s new patent-pending shading solution uses no bulky add-ons that ruin the line of the windows from outside and block the view from inside.

Customers can choose from a retractable louvered screen for solar control and natural ventilation, or the more traditional shade with slats to match desires for solar control, performance and privacy. “This system is one we’re excited to showcase at Greenbuild 2014, along with other products that really highlight our expertise in energy efficiency,” reveals Welke.

Marvin’s story is one of constant innovation and improvement, building specifically to suit customers’ needs and an ever-changing building industry. Marvin Windows and Doors has been pioneering these energy-critical components that make buildings truly perform.

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Spring 2018



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