Milgard® Recognized for Making Everyday Living Easier

New Essence™ Series earns praise from Arthritis Foundation, raises bar on function and style
Milgard Windows & Doors
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* Windows
* Milgard
* Arthritis
* Essence
* SmartTouch

* Home
* Manufacturing

* Tacoma - Washington - US

July 20, 2011 - PRLog -- TACOMA, Wash.– At a time when nothing seems to come easy,  Milgard Windows & Doors is doing its part to make life’s little ‘ups and downs’ a bit smoother. The company’s innovative approach to window and door design includes a family of products that make opening, closing and locking easier—an accomplishment that has earned recognition from the Arthritis Foundation for addressing a growing universal design trend. Now, thanks to the introduction of the Essence™ Series, is taking easy to a new level.    

Milgard Essence Series represents the latest in window design. Its natural wood interior and fiberglass exterior combine to make it the most durable wood window on the market. Its base package meets ENERGY STAR requirements, making it one of the most energy efficient wood windows available.  And, based on its recent Ease-of-Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation, Essence Series windows are also among the easiest to operate.

The Essence Series marks the third product line from Milgard to receive the Ease-of-Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation—a program that recognizes manufacturers who design user-friendly products that are easily accessible for people with functional limitations due to the effects of arthritis. In addition to its Essence Series Windows, Milgard has received the Ease-of-Use Commendation on its Tuscany® Series and Montecito® Series of premium vinyl windows and doors.

With the first wave of more than 75 million baby boomers retiring this year, the Arthritis Foundation believes that products such as Milgard Essence windows are helping to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s homeowners.

“Arthritis remains the nation’s most common cause of physical disability, limiting daily activities for over 50 million people,” said Rick Bell, the Arthritis Foundation’s managing director of cause development. “This is why the Arthritis Foundation awards the Ease-of-Use Commendation to products like the Essence Series window that make it easier for people to live independently in their homes.”

Changing the game with SmartTouch® technology

The patent-pending Milgard SmartTouch technology is an innovation in window and door design that enables simple, one-touch operation when opening and closing as well as locking and unlocking. It applies to the SmartTouch lock and SmartTouch handle, signature features on the Milgard family of Ease-of-Use Commendation products.

How does it work? Unlike conventional cam-style locks mounted atop window sashes, the SmartTouch lock has an integrated, low-profile design.  The lock mechanism is recessed into the window frame, providing a clean, sleek look that complements any type of architecture or interior design.  When the window is closed and locked, the latch is down.  When the window is open, the latch stays open, indicating the window is unlocked.

Similar in design, the patent-pending SmartTouch handle is designed for simple, one-motion operation, whether closing and locking or unlocking and opening the door.

Adding style with ease

With the demand for universally designed products that are both easy to use and aesthetically pleasing, Milgard redesigned its SmartTouch lock on the Essence Series to feature a new sleek and stylish profile that includes five hardware finish options—white, clay, satin nickel, brushed chrome, and oil-rubbed bronze. The evolution in design not only matches the product’s upscale look, it also complements today’s hardware styles and finishes.

Milgard also added new ease-of-use functionality to the Essence Series windows via a patent-pending tilt-latch system. This innovation makes cleaning the inside of the window easier and eliminates the potential for damage. Unlike conventional latch systems, the Milgard tilt-latch configuration offers push button operation that ensures protruding hardware remains compressed until the window sash is pushed back into an upright position. Once upright, the latches automatically engage, eliminating the need to pinch the latches again to close the window. And like the SmartTouch lock, the tilt-latch system is available on Essence Series windows in the same five hardware finish options.

New and growing demand for ease-of-use products

•The 50+ population now make up 24 percent of the population; 89 percent of which wish to remain in their own homes indefinitely. (AARP)

•The majority of people over 50 are concerned about their housing options as they age. Many say they’d prefer to stay where they are, but recognize their current home is ill equipped for future needs. (AARP)

•Many of today’s established homes were built for an imaginary “average” person – a healthy, fit, young man of average height. (Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging)

•In just the past two years alone, the number of intergenerational households in the U.S. has increased 15 percent—from 6.2 million in 2008 (5.3 percent of all households) to  7.1 million households in 2010 (6.1 percent of all households). (AARP)

•About half of arthritis sufferers are under age 50. (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons)

•Nearly 294,000 children under the age of 18 are affected by juvenile arthritis. (Arthritis Foundation)

“Ease-of-use no longer applies to just one demographic—it’s quickly becoming the standard for home design and remodeling as a whole,” said Maureen Faccia, Director of Marketing for Milgard. “As an industry leader, we’re committed to developing innovative products and solutions that make everyday living easier and more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities.”

In addition to the Arthritis Foundation Ease-of-Use Commendation, the Milgard SmartTouch technology has been honored with the Smart Choice Award from the 50+ Housing Council of the Building Industry Association and a 2008 International Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America and BusinessWeek.  

For more information about Milgard Essence Series windows and doors or SmartTouch hardware, visit

About Milgard Windows & Doors
Milgard Windows & Doors, a Masco company based in Tacoma, Wash., offers a full line of wood, aluminum, vinyl and fiberglass windows and patio doors for builders, dealers and homeowners. The company has been recognized for manufacturing the nation’s highest quality vinyl windows six times in a yearly survey sponsored by Hanley-Wood Inc., publishers of Builder magazine. Milgard employs approximately 3,500 people nationwide. For more information, visit

About Masco Corporation
Headquartered in Taylor, Mich., Masco Corporation  is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of brand-name consumer products for the home and family.  Masco is also a leading provider of services that include the installation of insulation and other building products.  For more information, visit

About the Arthritis Foundation® Ease-of-Use Program
The Arthritis Foundation created a program to encourage manufacturers to design user-friendly products and packaging.  Manufacturers submit their product for testing by an independent lab experienced in the design and evaluation of products that are accessible to people with functional limitations due to the effects of arthritis.  More information is available at
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Tags:Windows, Milgard, Arthritis, Essence, SmartTouch
Industry:Home, Manufacturing
Location:Tacoma - Washington - United States
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