Thursday, July 31, 2008

Q&A with NFRC Chairman Joe Hayden

We sat down with Board Chairman Joe Hayden after the Board meeting to get his thoughts on everything that took place this week in Chicago.

What are your thoughts on the action taken on IG Certification?
I think we are where we want to be. The important thing is to get this program wrapped up. I think it is good that we established an implementation date that we can march towards. The first thing now is to get the procedures in place so that everyone knows what the rules are. Once we have a list of programs, then participants can begin to apply for participation in one of them.

Do you feel that any progress was made on the Component Modeling Approach program during the meeting?
I believe we are still making progress. There weren't as many negatives as there have been in the past. But as you can see, the consensus process can be slow and painful but it’s the right thing to do. We’re still working towards the mid-late 2009 goal.

There was a large focus on attachment products this week and these task groups seem to have already made a lot of progress in the short amount of time they’re been in existence. Will the Board be making any changes to way these groups work within the NFRC structure?
I am very encouraged by the increased interest in NFRC, it’s a positive thing. The Board will certainly take the issues raised during the meeting under advisement, but in the meantime work is continuing on storm windows and other attachments. We also approved adding the Dynamic Attachments for Swinging Doors. The language should be published shortly and those products will be rated and labeled.

We heard many voices speak up regarding the possibility of reducing the number of NFRC membership meetings to two per year beginning in 2010. What is your take on it?

There are certainly other options out there. I think people are interested in reducing travel and taking advantages of the electronic tools out there today. You can meet over the phone and the computer and it is a viable alternative.

You delivered a presentation during the Opening Session earlier this week and you also shared a few thoughts with meeting attendees at the close of the Board meeting. Anything else you want to let the membership know?
I have a tremendous amount of faith in this organization. It is one of the most hard working and dedicated organizations out there and I’m happy to be a part of it.

Board Meeting Comes to a Close with Q&A

During the Board meeting’s Q&A session, Ray Garries with Jeld-Wen, Inc. brought forth a concern with after-market attachments.

”Rating attachments is absolutely the right thing to do, the issue is how we rate them,” said Garries. “Products are being compared out there with the generic claim that they are NFRC rated.”

Garries noted that the Board questionnaire is a good first step, but also recommended the Board consider a few other items:

· Employ a model to segregate attachment products into a separate council
· Create a fenestration attachment rating brand by NFRC
· Allow for an overarching committee to control how attachment products are compared

The Board agreed to take the issue under advisement.

NFRC Considers Reducing Meeting Schedule

As the Board meeting continued, Chair Joe Hayden opened the floor for discussion on an item stemming from the Meetings Committee. Starting 2010, NFRC is considering going to two full membership meetings rather than the current set of three.

Explaining the methodology behind the committee’s thoughts on this matter, Meetings Committee Chair Jeff Baker of WESTLab explained that NFRC can take advantage of webinars and other forms of electronic technology to take care of business.

“I applaud reducing travel whenever we can,” said Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting, LLC. “It would require a change to our bylaws, but if we had a provision to assemble a Web committee meeting, we could move a ballot all the way through.”

Executive Director Jim Benney noted that NFRC’s operating policies allow subcommittee and committee meetings to take place via conference call or Web.

While most supported the concept, others questioned whether or not NFRC would be sacrificing the personal relationships built at a face-to-face meeting.

"As a newcomer to NFRC, we appreciate how the task group has been working via conference call,” said Michael Cienian of Hunter Douglas, Inc. “But as I see the process, I think it is important to have face-to-face contact and establish relationships with everyone. We are coming into a new phase with attachments.”

Attachment Subcommittee Chair Fred Higgins of Wayne-Dalton, Corp. echoed Cienian’s remarks. “I like the idea of two meetings for the cost factor but I have so many interruptions when I’m in my office.”

NFRC Reports on Financial State

The Board meeting continued Thursday morning with a financial report from NFRC Executive Director Jim Benney.

Benney noted the 2007 audit was completed and NFRC received excellent remarks from the auditor.

Benney also touched on the 2008 financials. “A big portion of our revenues are PCP fees and we have more manufacturers participating in our program,” said Benney. “However, with the down housing market there are less labels being sold.”

NFRC forecasts a balanced budget through the remainder of 2008.

The full report will also be posted on the NFRC Web site.

Board Meeting Begins with Committee Reports

The final day of the NFRC Summer Membership Meeting began with the Board of Directors Meeting. First on the agenda were reports from each committee chair.

Technical Interpretations Policy Committee Chair Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting LLC, made a motion to approve nine interpretations:
  • Modeling Tape/Caming on Glass
  • Define Exterior
  • Rating Non-Standard TDD
  • Door Core Modeling
  • Apply Boundary Conditions to Door
  • Sill Frame Members Extends Beyond Rough Opening
  • Non-Operating Type Products
  • Default Door Lite-Frame
  • Minor Revisions

The motion carried by unanimous voice vote. Additionally, Culp noted that the NFRC 601-2008 was approved and will be published upon implementation of the Certified Products Directory, version 2.0. NFRC Laboratory Accreditation Program Manager Scott Hanlon added that labs already have this information dealing with the CPD 2.0.

Next, Roland Temple of AZS Consulting, Inc. delivered the report from the Certification Policy Committee. Three action items moved forward and were approved.

There was also discussion of the revised concept for IG Certification requirements. Temple motioned that the revised document be approved in concept so the CPC can move forward on developing a document for review and comment. NFRC Board Chair Joe Hayden of Pella Corporation asked to have CPC complete something for the Board to review on its August 26 conference call.

Finally, the Board approved a motion that IG Certification implementation be effective upon publication of all necessary documents, but that it be mandatory on July 1, 2010.

Technical Committee Chair Jeff Baker of WESTLab moved several items forward to the Board. From the CMA Subcommittee:

  • The Board approved the motion to incorporate the NFRC 100 CMA spacer groupings and frame grouping language into the NFRC 100.
  • Agreed to provide guidance and binding direction regarding the generic frame language from the NFRC 100 and NFRC 200. The Board will make a decision on this matter before the next meeting.

Closing out the committee reports, Ratings Committee Chair Steve Strawn of Jeld-Wen, Inc. introduced two items to the Board. There was some discussion surrounding the request to approve the CMA labeling certificate.

Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Chair Garrett Stone motioned to table the label certificate for further discussion. “The new label certificate retains a third page that has a whole set of non-certified values,” said Stone. “Do we want to have a label with numerous non-certified NFRC values?”

The Board will take this issue up and discuss at its September meeting.