Ecker Windows Corp. has been lucky enough to have three generations of business.minded leaders to continue the company to this day. What started as a sign in a storefront in New York 60 years ago, today is a successful window installer specializing in highprofile projects.
Founder Arthur Ecker understood that producing a quality product backed by exceptional service was the only way to build a tradition. Today, his grandson, Robert Ecker, is president and continues the legacy of service and craftsmanship. Headquartered in Yonkers, N.Y., Ecker Windows outsources its window manufacturing to a select group of window manufacturers including Wausau, Universal, Crystal, All Seasons, Fulton, Apline and Graham.
Ecker Windows’ fulltime installation crews excel at many types of window installation jobs including landmark preservation projects and highrise new construction. Each crew has been tested and validated by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association through its Installation Masters program.
Ecker Windows serves the greater New York/New Jersey/Connecticut metropolitan area. Ecker Windows has installed more than 5 million windows in commercial and residential buildings. “We are truly a serviceoriented company in that we guarantee our work and provide the service to fix whatever needs to be fixed over time, “Ecker says. “We’ve been doing business with big developers in New York for many decades and get a lot of repeat business because customers know no matter what happens we stand behind our work.”
Ecker says most of its installers have been with the company for 10 to 15 years. “We retain those workers because we pay well with great benefits — we want them to stay with us.
Technical training is just the beginning, according to Ecker. The personal touch once an installer steps foot inside of someone’s home is just as critical.
Ecker Windows is completing window installation work for a luxury condo tower, New York’s Park Avenue Place. It was a design/build project where the architect was looking for an allglass curtain wall look, but the windows had to be operational. “It’s a sleek glass tower with no breaks,” Ecker says. “We designed a system with Wausau. We installed it like a window wall from the inside to look like a curtain wall from the outside. We brought this in for a lot less money than if it was a straight curtain wall.
The company is also working with Graham Architectural in York, Pa., for South Nassau Hospital in Long Island. “We changed all windows including the operating rooms, so we had to work in a sterile environment,” Ecker explains. “We could only work there on Sundays when there were no operations. We had to bring in sterile glass and the crew had to install the windows wearing surgeon gowns.”
Graham provided the window systems, which were weather tight to keep out the elements and germs.
Ecker Windows recently installed windows at site 1 9B in Battery Park City under green environmentalfriendly statutes, according to Ecker. The windows had to meet highenergy guidelines and the glass and frames had to be manufactured without the use of certain chemicals.
“They also have to be efficient by reducing energy usage of the building,” Ecker explains.
Ecker windows also replaced a whole wall of windows for Manhattan’s Gateway Plaza, which was badly damaged by the 9/11 attaches. It had to be completed efficiently under a tight schedule. “People had to move back into their homes as soon as possible,” Ecker says. “We gave it a brandnew look.”
The company is also investigating new blast ordinances that will be required for federal and state buildings. “We’re getting certified to retrofit blastproof windows as this demand increases,” he says.
In addition Ecker Windows and a consultant are testing its windows for Trump Village III, a Brooklynbased development high wind loads. “We’re installing 15,000 windows for this project, “Ecker says. “We have completed the first round of testing, which includes thermal cycling, air and water tests.”
One of Ecker Windows’ biggest challenges, according to Ecker, is the skyrocketing price of raw materials, such as glass and aluminum. “The owner/developers have budgets, which force us to be squeezed between costs and what the owner wants to pay — it forces us to be creative and efficient,” Ecker says. “We can’t just do things status quo anymore.”
Value engineering, as well as new types of paint, hardware and glass, all help ease the pain of rising prices. “Our goal is to continue being successful at closing deals that meet the owners’ budgets and keep us going another 60 years,” Ecker says.
The company says its curtain wall work is really taking of and is a “bigger ticket item,” Ecker says. “In order to keep up, we’ve been adding manpower — especially in engineering — to our staff. We’ve invested in CAD operators and a computerized system that digitizes drawings so we can email them to out suppliers. Time savings is always so critical.”¤