50 plus Housing CouncilTEMECULA, Calif., May 19, 2011 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Thanks to its SmartTouch technology, Milgard® Tuscany® Series windows and doors was named winner of a 2011 Smart Choice Award by the 50+ Housing Council, a group dedicated to helping the building industry address the needs of today’s aging population in Southern California. The prestigious award recognizes products and services that represent the 10 most innovative solutions of the year. All winners were selected by an independent panel of judges whose criteria included products and services that are innovative, green, sustainable, energy efficient, environmentally friendly and/or related to Universal Design.

Energy efficiency may be a chief consideration for anyone building or remodeling, but newer technologies that address today’s aging-in-place trend are giving trade professionals and consumers reason to broaden their view. One of these new technologies is the SmartTouch® lock from Milgard Windows & Doors, an innovation that has not only earned praise from consumers for making window and door operation easier, but also from organizations such as the Arthritis Foundation, Industrial Designers Society of America, and most recently, the 50+ Housing Council of the Building Industry Association of Southern California.

“Our 50+ Smart Choice Awards program focuses on products that enrich the daily lives of seniors,” said Brian Dawson, a member of the 50+ Housing Council and partner with Irwin Partners Architects. “The Milgard Tuscany Series with SmartTouch hardware received an Arthritis Foundation Ease-of-Use Commendation, making it a clear choice by the judges for one of our top ten winners.”

Milgard became the first window manufacturer to receive the Ease of Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation. This distinction provides assurance that the product represented has been thoroughly tested and meets stringent ease-of-use standards. Today, Milgard has received the Ease-of-Use Commendation on several products, including the Tuscany and Montecito® Series of premium vinyl windows and doors and the new Essence™ Series wood windows.

Easier by Design:
The Milgard patent-pending SmartTouch hardware is designed to engage with simple, one-touch operation when opening and closing, as well as locking and unlocking the window or door. 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 and hidden. When the window is open, the latch stays open, indicating the window is unlocked.

In addition to its contributions to Milgard earning the 2011 Smart Choice Award and Ease-of-Use Commendations, SmartTouch was also awarded the prestigious IDEA Award for innovation excellence.

“With today’s baby boomer generation retiring, products that are universally designed for ease-of-use will only grow in demand-and importance,” said Maureen Faccia, Director of Marketing for Milgard. “As an industry leader, we’re committed to developing innovative products and solutions that enable people to live independently in their own homes longer and more comfortably.”

For more information about Milgard and Milgard products featuring SmartTouch hardware, visit For information about the 2011 Smart Choice Awards, 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 or call 1.800.MILGARD.

About 50+ Housing Council:
50+ Housing Council provides networking, education and partnering prospects for Southern California professionals involved in every aspect of building housing, specifically for persons aged 50-plus. For more information, visit .

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