Headquartered in Maine, Wasco opens skylight manufacturing facility in Reno, Nevada

Wells, Maine / Reno, Nevada

With its headquarters in Wells, Maine, Wasco Skylight Products Inc. has opened a new manufacturing facility in Reno, Nev. The additional location is producing both standard and custom skylights for the commercial and residential market, and expanding its distribution west of the Rocky Mountains. The company expects to send its first shipment from Reno by the end of the month and is planning an open house later this summer.

Founded in Maine, Wasco has cultivated a strong reputation as an innovative, American manufacturer with nearly 80 years of industry and community leadership. Since the 2007-08 recession, the company has enjoyed more than 60% growth, and 20% growth in 2012.

Wasco leased the new 57,000-square-foot facility located at 6645 Echo Avenue in Reno. Situated within one day’s journey from every major city in the western states, this market represents about 26% of all construction spending.

“We predict significant sales in the first year at the Reno facility, based on our customers’ positive response and the strong potential for growth,” says Jeff Frank, CEO of Wasco. “We’ve created a unique, energy-efficient skylight product line that’s perfect for the western region’s desire for sustainable daylighting solutions in high-end residences and high-performance commercial buildings.”

Sara Havard, Wasco’s COO, elaborates, “Building on our success, the new manufacturing plant positions us closer to our western customers so we can deliver commercial unit skylights within one week from order and residential orders within 72 hours.” Custom unit skylights account for a significant portion Wasco’s business and typically ship less than two weeks from order receipt in Reno to delivery at the customer’s site, which represents the shortest lead times in the industry.

As part of its ongoing plan for continuous improvement, Wasco moved in 2011 from its prior facility in Sanford, Maine and leased a 100,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in Wells. Embracing just-in-time operations, the company’s leaders made multi-million dollar capital investments in high-tech, automated manufacturing equipment and estimating systems to increase efficiency and boost productivity. Its engineering staff also was doubled to work hand-in-hand with customers throughout the U.S. on developing daylighting solutions for their individual projects. Wasco has also added a dedicated research and development engineering staff.

Drawing from Wasco’s experienced East Coast team, plant manager Michael Jones and customer service representative Jeff Binette have relocated to Nevada. They will focus on maintaining the company’s emphasis on high-quality manufacturing and customer satisfaction. At this time, up to 20 employees from the Reno area also will be hired. More will be added to accommodate future production.

Additional staff also is expected to join the operations in Wells, Maine. Wasco will continue to make its own vinyl extrusions for skylight frames in Maine and ship them to Reno for assembly.

Chad Gibson, product manager with Allied Building Products’ corporate purchasing team, says that the company “is a proud distributor of quality Wasco skylights. At Allied, we strive for manufacturing partners who deliver excellence in product, industry leadership, integrity and performance. Wasco is exactly that kind of partner, and their new Reno facility will ensure their best in industry delivery!”

Steve Dean, Cardinal Glass’ plant manager and Wasco’s long-time supplier, adds, “Wasco’s expansion into Reno is very exciting for us. We’ve been doing business with Wasco since we opened our Wilkes Barre facility. To see them grow and expand to the West Coast, especially during these times, is a great sign of the quality of this company.”

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope’s Perrysburg’s sales manager, Douglas Dewar, also notes, “Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope has been a partner to Wasco for many years. Knowing the success of their business allows for continued growth is very exciting. Our team wishes Wasco Product’s all the best in this new expansion.”

James Satterwhite, global commercial manager for Cabot Corporation’s construction market, agrees, “It’s a testimony to the management and the employees of Wasco to have facilitated such growth in the recent economy. The addition of a western U.S. fabrication base will make their truly unique solutions to the current and pending ASHRAE mandates available to a region that lives and breathes the culture of sustainable practices in building design and construction.”

Satterwhite continues, “Locally fabricated Eco-sky unit and custom fabricated skylights both made with Lumira® Aerogel should be a winner in creating demand in the region by offering solutions to the daylighting dilemma around area restrictions confounded by daylighting metrics, Wasco and Lumira Aerogel is a proven winning combination already. The new regional expansion will certainly build on that.”

About Wasco’s Energy-Efficient Daylighting Solutions

  • Lumira Aerogel – This represents a major breakthrough in insulating technology. Wasco skylights with Lumira Aerogel are considered the highest performing daylighting product available on the market today. By adapting Aerogel technology to practical, everyday solutions in fenestration products, Lumira products diffuse sunlight while acting as an environmentally sound thermal insulator.
  • EcoSky – This glare-free unit skylight bathes the space in natural diffused light and provides three times the thermal performance of competitors. EcoSky3 meets IECC 2012 requirements in all climate zones.
  • The Dynamic Glazing Series:
    • SageGlass® – This electronically tintable glass can be switched from clear to a dark tint at the click of a button, or programmed to respond to changing sunlight and heat conditions. SageGlass products offer significant advantages compared to conventionally glazed products because they provide the highest possible solar control without sacrificing the view through the glass, while helping reduce energy consumption and costs.
    • SCHOTT ASI®  – This photovoltaic module is based on advanced, thin film technology that guarantees outstanding performance even with low sunlight levels.
    • Solera® – This line of translucent insulated glass units is used in architectural daylighting to provide the highest quality diffused daylight. Solera converts harsh direct beam sunlight into soft diffused daylight, while allowing the desired light level.
    • Solera with Lumira Aerogel – This daylighting strategy dramatically improves thermal performance, while providing the freedom to design to virtually any specification in standard framing.
  • Parans Solar Lighting System – This captures sunlight with Parans Solar Receivers on the outside of the building. Optical fibers transfer the sunlight through the building structure and deeply into the indoor environment.
  • Hurricane and Blast Resistant Skylights – This responds to the changing climate and security threats.
  • Composite Materials – This currently is being researched by Wasco as an alternative to aluminum framing, which will provide stronger, lighter and longer spans.

About Wasco Skylights

Headquartered in Wells, Maine, Wasco Skylights is a leader in bringing the outside in, providing a full line of commercial and residential skylight solutions for standard or customized installations. With a focus on ease of installation, Wasco is known for the most extensive green, sustainable, energy-efficient product line, innovative and customized designs with reliable long-life performance and overall value.

Wasco and its staff are active members of their professional and local communities as board members, volunteers, sponsors and supporters of:

  • American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and its Skylight Council,
  • Jobs for Maine’s Graduates mentorship program,
  • Junior Achievement of Maine’s board of directors,
  • National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC),
  • Sanford-Springdale Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors,
  • Sanford-Springdale YMCA’s capital campaign,
  • United Way of York County’s annual campaign and board of directors,
  • York County Community College’s advisory board, capital campaign and foundation,
  • York County Youth Financial Education Fund’s advisory board,
  • and more than 20 years as holiday party hosts for under-privileged children.