Thursday, November 6, 2008

NFRC Honors Outgoing Board Members

During the NFRC Board of Directors Meeting, Executive Director Jim Benney honored outgoing Board members Marcia Falke of Keystone Certifications Inc. and Gary Curtis of the West Wall Group with the NFRC Service Award.

Both have given many years of service to the organization and their contributions as NFRC Board Members are much appreciated.

NFRC Homework

During the Opening Session of the NFRC Membership Meeting on Monday, Chair Joe Hayden assigned a “homework” task.

He extended a question to the membership, “What is NFRC’s barrier to success?”

Throughout the week, attendees have written their thoughts on easels placed throughout the meeting space.

Among the items listed were:
  • The public’s lack of interest in the effort
  • Teamwork
  • Politics
  • Too much detail
  • Too narrow perspective or vision on NFRC purpose
  • Traditional mentality
  • Unity
  • Code enforcement
  • Difficulty for new members to figure out what is going on
  • History (let the past stay in the past)
  • Overly bureaucratic process
  • Short term, narrow, defensive thinking
  • Barrier= challenge = opportunity!
  • Complexity
  • Entrenched thinking - do it the old way
  • "Expert debaters for hire"

NFRC's Very Own "Joe the Plumber"

During the NFRC Board Meeting, Executive Director Jim Benney bestowed NFRC Chair Joe Hayden with a "special gavel."

While he shares no relation with the now-famous (or infamous) Joe the Plumber, he is deeply appreciated and respected by all.

Thanks to Joe for all of his hard work and dedication this past year as NFRC Chair!

NFRC Board Meeting Begins with Committee Reports

The Board of Directors meeting began this morning.

The Accreditation Policy Committee report was first on the agenda. Chair Marcia Falke of Keystone Certifications, Inc. called a motion to approve the NFRC 701 and all its supplemental documents and asked that it be implemented upon publication. The primary change in the document is that it was reduced from about 120 pages to roughly 50. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

Technical Interpretations Committee Chair Tom Culp, of Birch Point Consulting, LLC, discussed the group’s new function as a technical arbitrator and the method TIPC will use to increase communication with the membership.

NFRC Member of the Year Roland Temple, chair of the Certification Policy Committee, said the group will review the NFRC 706-2009 based on discussion at the PCP Review Task Group. Temple asked that certain editorial changes to the document be approved, and the motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

Research and Technology Committee Chair Werner Lichtenberger of TruSeal Technologies recommended that the Complex Product VT Research project be suspended until a new proposal could be presented to the group. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

Lichtenberger also pointed out that the Exterior Awnings Research Project Summary page was approved and will be a balloted RFP for the March meeting.

Next, WESTLab’s Jeff Baker provided the Technical Committee report. Baker motioned to bring forward additional language for the NFRC 200 Frame Grouping Rules for approval with implementation and completion of the CMA program. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

Baker also brought forth a motion for the Software Subcommittee. This involved enabling the CMAST Implementation Task Group to report findings directly to the Board after completion.

NFRC Volunteers Gather in Jacksonville

NFRC staff and committee, subcommittee, and task group leaders gathered for dinner on Wednesday evening.

NFRC appreciates the hard work and dedication that its volunteer members put into their work and is very grateful for all that you do.

Thanks to all for a great night!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Applause All Around at Ratings Committee Meeting

During the Ratings Committee meeting this afternoon, the CMA PCP ballot was approved and will move forward to the NFRC Board of Directors. CMA Ratings Subcommittee Chair Gary Curtis extended thanks to NFRC staffers Jessica Ferris and Scott Hanlon for "keeping our heads above water," and to the membership for their patience over the last four years.

Additionally, the Ratings Committee approved the following:
  • the successful PCP ballot – permanent label forward for approval for implementation upon publication.

  • the PCP IG Certification ballot forward for implementation upon publication. NFRC Chair Joe Hayden also noted that while it may be published and implemented, it won’t be required until July 2010.

  • the mandatory date for labeling of dynamic products from March 1, 2009 to 6 months after two or more simulation labs are accredited to use WINDOW6/THERM6 for dynamic products, or March 1, 2010, whichever comes earlier, to the Board for approval.

CMA Ratings Subcommittee Moves PCP Forward

Gary Curtis opened up the CMA Ratings Subcommittee this afternoon, noting that he’s hopeful the group can come to a conclusion and move forward to the Board.

A number of negative ballot responses were up for discussion.

One editorial item had to do with the language surrounding frame component simulation and whether the manufacturer “shall” or “may” submit the system assembly drawings indicating dimensions and materials.

“You do not need system assembly drawings indicating dimensions and materials to do a framed component evaluation,” explained Curtis. “This information is not needed so therefore it would be reasonable to make it optional.”

After debate, a motion passed to include this as a required item.

There was also discussion surrounding a negative from Keystone Certifications regarding the use of actual size ratings.

Roland Temple brought forward a friendly amendment to move to reword as “actual size non-certified ratings.”

NFRC CMA Program Manager Jessica Ferris explained that a non-certified rating is calculated by the software tool, so the IA will review calculations done in CMAST by the Approved Calculation Entity (ACE).

“It’s automatically generated in CMAST at the same time as the standard rating,” said Ferris.

The motion failed 11-15. A new motion was passed to make Keystone Certification’s negative substantial and persuasive.

The subcommittee resolved all ballot comments and the CMA PCP document is set to move forward.

Labeling Subcommittee Convenes

The Ratings Committee block met this afternoon, starting with the Labeling Subcommittee led by WDMA’s John McFee.

The CMA Label Task Group provided a report, and Chair Charlie Curcija recommended that the task group be disbanded because it did not have any new activities to pursue.

NFRC’s CMA Program Manager Jessica Ferris, however, recommend against this move and suggested keeping the group together. McFee supported retaining the task group as well, which was accepted by the members.

Additionally, a new task group was formed to look into the issue of the PCP language requiring film manufacturers to have permanent versus temporary labels. The task group will look into the issue and arrive at a resolution prior to the next NFRC Membership Meeting in March 2009.


ENERGY STAR® Program Manager Rich Karney gave a brief update on the status of the ENERGY STAR criteria changes during the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee meeting.

Currently, DOE is awaiting comments from stakeholders. The deadline for submission is November 14.

“We’re hoping to announce the criteria early in 2009 with the effective date being nine months later,” said Karney. “We’re estimating October 2009.”

The criteria changes are to be rolled out in two phases. According to Karney, the new criteria will contain the following elements:

• five climate zones
• minimum energy performance trade offs in the northern zones
• IGU certification recertification requirement - to go into effect when implemented by NFRC
• Separate criteria for swinging entry doors

Karney also noted that DOE is reviewing the possibility of including trade offs in the south.

Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee Begins

The Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee began at 11:00a.m. Wednesday. Chair Garrett Stone of Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts & Stone, P.C., kicked off the reports with a codes update.

Every three years, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is revised. The requirements were recently approved for the 2009 version which will be published early next year.

Stone noted the following changes from the 2006 IECC:
  • Lower SHGC in the south
  • Lower U-Factor in the south
  • Improved performance path
Overall, the changes will likely result in a 10-15% more efficient residential code.

In terms of the IECC commercial energy efficiency requirements, fenestration ratings are still determined according to NFRC procedures. Stone also noted that there were limited improvements to prescriptive window U-Factor and SHGC requirements.

Stone mentioned that other states had made significant energy improvements outside of the IECC. California adopted new 2008 California Energy Efficiency Standards in April 2008 and Florida is in the process of finalizing a 15% energy efficiency improvement to the 2007 residential code.

"There are some trade offs allowed in Florida, but I would say the new improvement will have a significant impact in pushing forward energy efficiency fenestration," said Stone.

Technical Subcommittee Meetings Continue

The Technical Committee block continued Wednesday morning with the Annual Energy Performance (AEP) Subcommittee and CMA Technical Subcommittee.

AEP Chair Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting, LLC, explained that earlier this year the group passed NFRC 901, which is a calculation procedure for analyzing the fenestration products in private homes. Although it’s available for use, implementing it will require further refinements such as a Web tool to make it easy for consumers.

“As it stands right now this is something that has limited usefulness,” said NFRC Chair Joe Hayden. “Nevertheless, it’s a step in the right direction.”

Certain members expressed concern with creating a viable plan for moving forward on developing a single set of parameters to develop a single set of numbers for NFRC 901.

Culp responded saying there are only a few key issues standing in the way of accomplishing this, and he believes they can be overcome relatively easily.

During the CMA Subcommittee meeting, four ballots were up for discussion, including Validation Testing, Frame Grouping, and Non-Standard Products for NFRC 100 and 200. The CMA Validation Testing ballot negatives were addressed and several motions were brought forth. Curcija motioned to remove the upper limit of U-Factor of .35 for an insulated glazing unit.

“Because of the timing, we should get something in the document now rather than waiting until next March,” said Culp, speaking against the motion.

The motion did not carry.

After much debate, the Validation Testing and Frame Grouping ballots were resolved and moved forward to the Technical Committee. The Non-Standard Products – NFRC 100 and 200 ballots were sent back to the task group.

Members Meet Poolside for Reception

NFRC members gathered Tuesday evening for an election-themed membership reception poolside at the Crowne Plaza Jacksonville. Televisions were tuned to CNN and a local cigar roller was on hand.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NFRC Holds CPD 2.0 Forum

NFRC held an open forum on the new version of the Certified Products Directory, CPD 2.0, following the technical subcommittee meetings Tuesday afternoon. CPD 2.0 launched yesterday and NFRC implemented a CPD issue form for anyone having issues using the new database.

“With any new software, you’re going to have some bumps and we prioritize any issues that come in by high, medium and low and fix those issues,” said NFRC Senior Programs Manager Scott Hanlon.

Hanlon explained that on the priority scale, high priority items are something that prevents you from doing your job and any kinks, bugs or recommendations for future improvements are classified as medium or low.

WDMA’s John McFee explained that he had some concerns from a process standpoint and mentioned that it is important to really educate the programmers from the perspective of the end user.

Marcia Falke asked that NFRC consult with the users on the level of priority given to issues.

“We’re having a lot of similar issues and we’re grouping the problems together and taking care of them,” said Hanlon.

Brad Schultz of Associated Laboratories, Inc. said that the single biggest problem is that they are unable to recertify existing products in the database because the status can’t be changed.

Architectural Sizes in CMA Debated

During the U-Factor Subcommittee meeting, there was discussion surrounding the negatives received on the NFRC 100 - Architectural Sizes Ballot that was distributed to the membership prior to the meeting. The ballot would create two model sizes in the Component Modeling Approach program.

The majority of ballot responses had to do with the fact that the parties did not want two sizes in the document. Many of the negatives mentioned that two sizes would add complexity and confusion to the CMA program. Others pointed out that it could lead to incorrect rating comparisons.

Following the discussion, a motion was brought forth to make all negatives persuasive and substantive – essentially killing the ballot. The motion passed.

“I do believe as an organization we need to consider what prompted the ballot and that’s really a disparity in the information we’re putting on products,” said Chair Mike Thoman of Architectural Testing, Inc. ““We should think long and hard about how we want to provide real, true energy numbers.”

Two New Attachment Task Groups Formed

During the Attachment Subcommittee, two new task groups were formed. The first deals with rating attachment products in the context of the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) program and the second an awnings task group.

Charlie Curcija of Carli Inc., the firm developing the CMA software, volunteered to chair the CMA attachment task group. The following members agreed to serve on the task group:
  • Michael Cienian, Hunter Douglas, Inc.
  • John Gant, Glen Raven, Inc.
  • Ross McCluney, Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Tom Morrissey, Hunter Douglas, Inc.
The members of the new awnings group include:
  • John Gant, Glen Raven, Inc. - chair
  • Darrell Smith, International Window Film Association
  • Willie du Pont, Sunergy Consulting
  • Ross McCluney, Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Roland Temple, AZS Consulting, Inc.

Technical Committee Meetings Underway

The Technical Committee block meetings began this afternoon following lunch. The following subcommittees are scheduled to meet today:
  • Software
  • Condensation Resistance
  • Attachment
  • Air Leakage
  • U-Factor
  • Solar Heat Gain
The Software Subcommittee, led by Brian Crooks of Cardinal Glass, was first on the agenda. CMAST Approval Task Group Chair Dan Wacek gave a brief report and proposed that the subcommittee reports its findings directly to the Board and recommend implementation. The motion passed by hand vote.

Next, Condensation Resistance Subcommittee Chair Kevin Vilhauer opened up discussion on the ballots, the NFRC 500-2009 and 501-2009. Both ballots were quickly approved and the final item on the agenda was the request for a subcommittee vice chair. Vilhauer extended a request to the membership for a volunteer.

The technical subcommittee meetings will continue this afternoon.

Stay tuned!

Optical Properties Subcommittee Convenes

During the Optical Properties Subcommittee, led by Sneh Kumar of Traco, Inc., the discussion turned to whether the NFRC 300/301 should be edited to include an ASTM standard.

Following a discussion of the pros and cons of the ASTM standard, NFRC Chair Joe Hayden explained that the potential adoption could raise NFRC’s Solar Heat Gain standards by as much as 10%. This created a fair amount of concern among those who opposed the move.

One of the primary reasons is the uncertainty of whether DOE and ENERGY STAR are prepared to make adjustments accordingly.

“It’s obviously a very big jump,” said Hayden. “This is something we need to look at closely and carefully before we make any decisions.”

Hayden recommended delaying implementation of the revised NFRC 300 until at least April of 2009. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

Awning Rating Research Proposed

Another topic slated for discussion during the Research Subcommittee meeting involved establishing goals for an awnings rating system.

John Gant of Glen Raven, Inc. and Dr. Ross McCluney of the Florida Solar Energy Center delivered a presentation to the group and a motion was brought to the floor to create a rating standard strictly for attached shading devices which physically adhere to a window, rather than detached shading devices.

Two of the suggested standards to be considered in developing such a ratings system involve view obstruction and glare reduction. The primary issue is developing a rating system for shading effectiveness only.

The motion, which passed unanimously, requested nothing from NFRC other than its willingness to maintain an open mind toward the subject.

“We’ll always be here to listen and offer any input that might help in this process,” said NFRC Chair Joe Hayden.

New Motion System Implemented

One of the most recognizable items on display during any given NFRC subcommittee meeting is the pink motion form. This is the platform that NFRC members use to formalize a motion for vote on the floor.

In an effort to streamline the motion process, NFRC has bid farewell to the pink motion form and instead, staff is working directly with meeting attendees to type motions as they are spoken. The motions are then displayed on the screen for all to see.

In the spirit of election day, we took a straw poll to find out what NFRC meeting attendees thought of the new motion process. Early feedback has been very positive, with everyone expressing very favorable opinions. Some noted that it was "a lot easier," and others said "they liked it very much."

Complex Product VT Research Put on Hold

The Research Subcommittee continued with a report on the Complex Product VT Research Project. The group has been developing a test method for developing a visible transmittance rating for complex products that can’t be simulated, such as a tubular daylighting device.

After considerable discussion among the members, NFRC Chairman, Joe Hayden, motioned that the project be suspended, pending the presentation of a revised proposal from the Project Monitoring Task Group (PMTG).

“Clearly from the discussion taking place, it’s obvious we don’t want to commit a lot of funds to this for the time being,” said Hayden. “What we need to do it take a step back and rethink this.”

The motion passed and PMTG Chair Paul Jaster of Solatube International Inc. will follow up with the committee and map out the next steps.

Research Subcommittee Meets this Morning

Research and Technology Committee Chair Werner Lichtenberger of TruSeal Technologies took to the podium this morning and called the Research Subcommittee to order.

NFRC Technical Services Manager Ray McGowan began by giving an update on the research budget and the status of active and potential future projects. Project task group chairs then gave a more detailed report of ongoing research.

Willie du Pont of Sunergy Consulting gave a full report of on the status of the Window 6/Therm 6 Validation research project, for use in determinging the solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC) and U-factors of complex glazing.

The new Window 6/Therm 6 software Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released has new features that can calculate the SHGC and U-factor of woven shades, venetian blinds and fritted glass.

According to DuPont, the group has completed the literature search and is in the middle of performing tests for SHGC and U-Factor and is about to begin the simulations.

“I’m very grateful to the NFRC membership," said du Pont. “Many of you gave test specimens and actual windows, and we’re very appreciative for the manufacturers' donation to this project.”

Willy mentioned there is one layer of glazing still needed, one with properties of shade.

Monday, November 3, 2008

TIPC Adds One to Roster

The NFRC Policy Committee block convened Monday afternoon with the Accreditation, Technical Interpretations, and Certification Policy Committee.

An announcement was made during the Technical Interpretations Policy Committee (TIPC) that Brad Schultz of Associated Laboratories, Inc. has joined the group.

The Board of Directors recently changed TIPC’s mission, adding to their scope the role of technical arbitration.

“We felt we needed the viewpoint of an IA,” said TIPC Chair Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting. “TIPC decisions are binding, so we needed to ensure that the IAs view was represented on the committee.”

The other TIPC members include:
  • Randal Van Voorst, Quality Testing, Inc. (vice chair)
  • Jeff Baker, WESTLab
  • Charlie Curcija, Carli, Inc.
  • Joe Jonely, AMSCO Windows
  • Steve Strawn, Jeld-Wen
  • Michael J. Thoman, Architectural Testing, Inc.

NFRC Members Elect Five to Board of Directors

NFRC announced the election results for its 2008-2009 Board of Directors during the Opening Session of the Fall Membership Meeting today.

This month, the following members will assume or continue their positions on the Board of Directors

  • Jim Larsen, Cardinal Glass Industries, Inc. – Fenestration Industry Category
  • Steve Strawn, Jeld-Wen, Inc. – Fenestration Industry Category
  • Tony Rygg, independent consultantGeneral Interest Category
  • Nelson Peña, California Energy CommissionGeneral Interest Category
  • Nils Petermann, Alliance to Save EnergyGeneral Interest Category

"We are pleased to see a greater participation rate for this year's election, which demonstrates our members' dedication to supporting the mission of the NFRC," said Jim Benney, NFRC's executive director.

According to Survey & Ballot Systems, an independent firm that managed the voting process, the annual election had a participation rate of just over 54 percent, an increase from last year's rate of 51 percent. Voting took place online from September 29, 2008, through October 24, 2008.

Larsen, Strawn, Rygg, and Peña will serve three-year terms. Petermann, who is filling a vacated seat, will serve one year (the remainder of the term).

These members will join Joe Hayden, chair; Kerry Haglund, treasurer; Steve Farrar; Mike Manteghi; Steve Rosenstock; Steve Selkowitz; and Michael Thoman on the Board of Directors.

BIM Discussed During Opening Session

Deke Smith, executive director of the buildingSMART alliance, addressed the NFRC membership during the Opening Session today.

The buildingSMART alliance is a council of the National Institute of Building Science and was originally started by the federal government.

Smith spoke about Building Information Modeling (BIM), a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. BIM serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its lifecycle – from inception onward. In short, it involves building something electronically before it is built physically.

Anyone can purchase BIM software and probably be reasonably successful, but Smith believes the true key to success is learning more about what NFRC does and then implementing that into BIM.

According to Smith, there is 57 percent waste in the current construction industry – amounting to nearly $400 billion annually. This is the result of people doing things that simply don’t need to be done.

BIM software can find potential conflicts before any building actually starts, saving time and money. The alliance’s goal is to get the businesses processes in place to support this software. Smith noted a situation where a project was slated to take 15 months but was completed in as few as seven months using BIM.

“We just need to get smarter so we can hold on to all the information we collect and best use it to our advantage,” said Smith. “The key element to solving this problem is entering data once. So much waste in our industry comes from people having to go out and collect the same information multiple times,”

For more information on Deke Smith and the buildingSMART alliance visit

Task Groups Get to Work

A series of task group meetings kicked off day one of the Fall Membership Meeting. Some groups resolved ballot issues and others got together to map out their course of action. 

The Interior Attachments and Exterior Attachments task groups joined combined forces to accomplish two shared goals. Specifically, the groups are working together to establish the base case window and to get the NFRC 100 and NFRC 200 language written. To accomplish these goals, task group members have been meeting every two weeks via conference call.

According to NFRC's Laboratory Accreditation Program Associate Dennis Anderson, the interior and exterior attachment groups hope to have a ballot out for the next membership meeting in March 2009. 

Additionally, the Garage/Rolling Door Task Group met and addressed the negatives received from the ballots distributed to the membership. The NFRC 100 - Garage Door ballot is a rewritten version of the garage door provisions currently in the NFRC 100 and also includes proposed rolling door provisions. 

Secondly, the NFRC 102 - Garage Door ballot proposes changes to clarify the provisions applying to sectional garage doors and rolling steel doors. The next step is to bring it to the U-Factor Subcommittee and move on in hopes of obtaining a product rating.

The Product Line ID Task Group led by John McFee of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association also met this morning. The group is drafting language for the PCP to allow for manufacturers to obtain their product identification number in NFRC's Certified Products Directory (CPD) prior to the release of the Certification Authorization Report (CAR) report. According to McFee, manufacturers will benefit from receiving the CPD number early in the process in terms of logistics, producing labels and marketing materials. 

Member of the Year Announced

NFRC Chair Joe Hayden awarded the first-ever NFRC Member of the Year Award during the Opening Session of the Fall Membership Meeting this afternoon to long-time member Roland Temple.

Watch now!

New Members Recognized at Opening Session

NFRC Chair Joe Hayden of Pella Corp. began the Opening Session this afternoon by welcoming new members. 

In 2008, 12 new companies joined NFRC:
  • Cascade Windows
  • Enclade, Inc.
  • Glen Raven, Inc.
  • MariTech Windows
  • National Glass Association
  • Professional Awning Manufacturers Association
  • Regal Windows & Door Systems Inc.
  • Royal Window and Door Profiles
  • Springs Window Fashions, LLC
  • Superior Window Systems
  • Viracon, Inc.
  • Westech Building Products

NFRC Supports HabiJax for Fall Meeting

A new tradition has been born. For the Fall Membership Meeting, NFRC is offering lapel pins for purchase. All proceeds are going directly to HabiJax, the local Habitat for Humanity chapter in Jacksonville, to support sustainability and energy efficiency efforts.

The NFRC lapel pin features the NFRC logo and the meeting location and date, along with an image that represents Jacksonville - a palm tree. NFRC will carry on this tradition in future meetings and work with other efficiency organizations.

HabiJax has been providing affordable housing for the citizens of Jacksonville since 1988. They have built more than 1,500 homes, surpassing any other local affordable housing provider and any Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the U.S. HabiJax is committed to building sustainable housing and taking on energy efficiency projects. 

NFRC suggests a $10 donation for any attendees interested in supporting HabiJax. 

For more information on Habijax, visit

By the Numbers

It's going to be another busy meeting for NFRC members and participants. For the Fall Meeting, we have:
  • 99 registered attendees
  • 8 first-time participants
  • 12 new member companies (year-to-date)
  • 5 newly-elected Board members
  • 1 U.S. presidential election 

Fall Meeting Underway

Welcome to Jacksonville! 

The NFRC Fall Meeting officially kicks off this morning with a series of task group meetings. On schedule are the following:
  • CMA Technical 
  • NFRC 300-301
  • Storm Window
  • Solar Optical Properties of Non Planar Transparent Systems
  • Interior Attachments
  • Tubular Daylighting Devices
  • Exterior Attachments
  • Validation Testing
  • Applied Films
  • Product Line ID
  • PCP
  • Garage/Rolling Door
We'll be back with the task group reports this afternoon!

Check back soon for more NFRC News.