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.