Thursday, March 5, 2009

Closing Thoughts from the NFRC Chairman

The NFRC Spring Membership Meeting came to a close at the conclusion of the morning's Board Meeting. As attendees packed up to head back to their various organizations the Live Meeting Update Staff requested final thoughts from the NFRC Chair of the Board, Joe Hayden with Pella Corporation.

"As the 2009 Spring Membership Meeting comes to a close, overall I’m pleased with what’s been accomplished. Although we may not have brought a large number of items to closure, we certainly made significant progress in a number of areas:

  • There was good discussion and good direction established for advancing the rating of attachment products. I also appreciate Marc LaFrance of DOE lending his encouragement to move this forward expeditiously.

  • The completion and implementing of CPD 2.0 was good news. There will continue to be improvements and enhancements going forward, as always. However it’s always satisfying to see positive results from our efforts.

  • We continue to make incremental advancements to CMA as we proceed with the launch of the Pilot Program.

  • I’m glad that the program for Participating IG Certification Programs is now in place and the initial listing of participating programs will be posted on March 20.

  • The discussion at the Board meeting regarding illumination and, more generally, the type of ratings/information NFRC should provide in the future was very constructive and encouraging. The thoughts & comments offered will provide excellent input for the upcoming Board retreat.

  • It seems that the time between now and the Summer Meeting in Baltimore will be busy as there are plans for a number of ballots to be prepared and issued between now and then.
Overall I remain enthused and excited about the future of NFRC. We certainly have a full plate of issues to address, but the desire and energy are clearly evident in both the membership and staff to tackle these issues head-on.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the stellar job done (once again) by NFRC Staff in making these meetings run as smoothly as they did. Their efforts behind the scenes often go unnoticed, but they are greatly appreciated.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Baltimore this summer. Until then and as always … THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!!!"

Board Meeting Continues: NFRC Scope Change and Tax Credit Discussed

Dr. Ross McCluney of SunPine Consulting presented a challenge to the board of directors during the New Business Section of Thursday’s meeting. “I think it’s time for NFRC to talk about expanding the scope of the organization to include solar and daylighting systems,” he said.

McCluney addressed the board about the importance of daylighting and its proven energy savings and urged the board to take a look at expanding the group’s mission from strictly producing comparative ratings for thermal performance to a more energy focused scope. He received support from several attendees and Joe Hayden, Chair of the NFRC Board, assured him there was a strong interest in exploring this topic at the board level. Hayden went on to explain that the board had an expanded/modified mission statement on the agenda for a retreat scheduled in May.

During the Q&A section of the meeting, Marc LaFrance with the Department of Energy (DOE), approached the board stressing the importance of a timely attachment program. He urged the board to do everything within their power to expedite the process as the DOE’s priorities have been expanded to include HUD programming. This places a great emphasis on low income energy-efficient solutions –the kind the attachment program is hoping to deliver.

Richard Karney, also with the Department of Energy, ignited a whirlwind of discussion when he approached the mic to discuss the stimulus tax credit. He urged the group if they were to make any kind of plea to elected officials regarding modification to the recent bill to include the following items:
  • Add into the amending language that any numbers must be NFRC Certified.

  • Stipulate that ENERGY STAR© 2010 numbers be referenced.

The second portion of the meeting also included a financial report from Jim Benney, Executive Director of the NFRC. He presented the current state of the association’s financial well being and stated that although there was a small deficit in budget numbers the shortfall was less than expected.

Benney stated, “We are ahead of the game and in a good financial position heading into 2009.”

NFRC Board Meets Thursday Morning

Joe Hayden with Pella Corporation, NFRC’s Chairman of the Board, opened the NFRC’s Board meeting early on Friday in front of remaining meeting attendees. The group quickly moved into the first task at hand, to review and move on the many action items brought forward from the week’s committee meetings.

All items brought forward were approved with minimal discussion – a few specific items of interest include:

  • Two new members (non-voting) for the APC committee: Michael Resech of ATI-MN and Jackie Campbell of WESTLab.

  • IGC directory will be posted on the NFRC Web site on March 20, 2009.

  • All certification programs have been contacted and applications are due to the NFRC offices by March 15th.

  • Research and Technology had the largest group of motions for approval including Complex VT Rating Request for Services and an Awning Rating Feasibility RFP. It was noted that the latter will be fully funded by the Awning manufacturers.

  • The group discussed the issue of reaffirmation of existing documents when no changes are made. There are no current guidelines in the NFRC Operating polices. Documents reaffirmed at this meeting include the NFRC 703-Research Program Manual, as well as the NFRC 301, 302, & 303. The board took comments from the membership and advised that while allowed at this meeting the legal committee will come up with language for future reference on this topic.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Who's New? NFRC New Member EcoSmart

Kim Eger with EcoSmart Shutters, LLC is attending his second NFRC Meeting here in Tucson and talked to the Live Update Staff about his goals for involvement and his first impressions of the busy, hard-working gathering.

EcoSmart has pioneered the first solar-powered rolling shutter and the company’s products are reported to drastically reduce solar heat gain. Eger is looking to NFRC to find a way to credibly rate his product. “I saw a dynamic shift happening in the marketplace and realize that NFRC is key to educating the consumer about the benefis and choices available to improve energy efficiency,” said Eger.
EcoSmart became NFRC’s first new member of 2009 and Eger says he looks forward to attending future meetings. He is encouraged by the positive momentum of the attachment group’s work over the last six months. Plus, he shared the personal connections he is making through networking onsite is positive on many levels.

“The talent pool of the people here is without equal; the connections I can make in five minutes in the hallway beats a year of email and phone correspondence,” Eger said. “That is big!”

Ratings Closes Committee Meetings in Tucson

The Ratings Committee, chaired by Steve Strawn of Jeld-Wen, brought the committee meetings in Tuscon to an end with reports from the Labeling, Certification and CMA Certification subcommittees.

The committee approved ballots brought forward by subcommitees on removing Res97 language from the PCP and approving the CMA PCP (NFRC 705-2009) and sent them on the Board of Directors for review and approval.

NFRC 705-2009 Ballot Advances

The CMA Ratings Subcommittee, chaired by Mike Manteghi of TRACO, approved a ballot containing revised language for the CMA Product Certification Program (NFRC 705-2009) and sent it on to the Ratings Committee.

Certification SC Returns Ballot to Task Group

Given the large number of substantive negatives on the PCP ballot to revise NFRC 700-2009, the Certification Subcommittee, presided over by Steve Strawn of Jeld-Wen, passed a motion to return the ballot to task group for further work and review.

The motion also sent Res97 language approved by task group, including Jeld-Wen's comments relating to Appendix C, to the Ratings Committee for review and approval.

Before adjourning, the subcommittee established a task group to begin looking at certification issues related to potential new attachment ratings.

Labeling SC Suspends, Adds Task Groups

The Labeling Subcommittee retooled its task group structure during its meeting on Wednesday afternoon as follows:

-- Both the CMA Label and Permanent Labeling task groups have completed their work and have gone dormant until they have new issues to be addressed.

-- A new Attachment Labeling Task Group was formed, chaired by Michael Cienian, to begin investigating labeling issues associated with potential new attachment ratings. One of the group's first tasks will be to address whether film manufacturers, given the nature of their products, need to provide both temporary and permanent labels on their products.

RAM Discusses Codes, Criteria, Cash

Because of budget constraints brought about by a weak economy, the International Code Council (ICC) is moving to a single-cycle process for developing 2012 version of the codes.

Garrett Stone of Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts & Stone, P.C., chair of the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee, also told meeting attendees that:

-- the 2009 version of the IECC is out and the ICC claims that it represents a ten-to-fifteen percent improvement in energy efficiency

-- seven states - Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin - have adopted the 2006 IECC since NFRC last met in November in Jacksonville

Rich Karney of the U.S. Department of Energy provided an update on the development of new ENERGY STAR(R) criteria. Karney said that he intends to release new criteria for comment on March 10 with final criteria to be issued no later than April 3 for implementation on January 1, 2010. He also let attendees know that the tax credit U-factor and SHGC requirements included in the stimulus bill "will influence ENERGY STAR."

Marc Lafrance, also of DOE, told attendees that new funding has become available for fenestration research, development and demonstration projects as a result of the stimulus package. He encouraged interested parties to visit to keep track of solicitations going forward.

Still Time To Get Your Pin!

NFRC attendees have once again stepped up to support the local community's green efforts at the Spring Meeting. The collectible lapel pins are selling like hot cakes – with proceeds going to support Tucson’s local Habitat for Humanity Chapter.

Additional information on Habitat for Humanity and specifically Tucson’s green efforts can be found on the organization’s Web site.

Technical Committee Convenes

The Technical Committee, led by Vice Chair Steve Johnson from Andersen, closed out activities on Wednesday morning with a quick meeting featuring reports from its various task groups and subcommittees.

Highlights include:

-- Joe Hayden of Pella took the opportunity to once again remind members that his intention is to bring forward THERM 6 and WINDOW 6 for approval at the Summer Meeting in Baltimore.

-- During the report by Attachment Subcommittee interim chair Michael Cienian of Hunter Douglas, the group passed a motion recommending that Board appoint Cienian to the position permanently.

-- U-factor Subcommittee Chair Mike Thoman of ATI reported no action items but indicated that the subcommittee will have several ballots to bring forward at the Summer Meeting in Baltimore.

Can't Get Enough of That CMA

Mike Manteghi of TRACO steered the CMA Technical Subcommittee through discussions of ballots on CMA Non-Standard Products - NFRC 100 and 200 and CMA Validation Testing.

After finding a number of negatives persuasive, the subcommittee refered all three ballots back to task group for further work and review.

Caution: Fenestrators at Play

The warm weather beckoned to the hard working volunteers at the NFRC's Spring Membership Meeting in Tucson. The membership reception began immediately after the meetings on Tuesday with fellowship, food and spirits:

Wednesday Brings Attachments

The third full day of meetings in Tucson kicked off with the Attachments Subcommittee, chaired by Michael Cienian of Hunter Douglas.

The group briefly reviewed negatives submitted in response to the NFRC 100/200 Attachment ballot. Cienian said that the ballot was sent out in large part to educate the membership about the subcommittee's work rather than as an attempt to move them forward to the Technical Committee.

In that spirit, Joe Hayden praised the subcommittee's work and moved to send the ballot back to task group to address the negatives. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.

The subcommittee also approved a new scope: The Attachments Subcommittee will coordinate the development of NFRC processes and procedures for attachment products per the NFRC Board of Directors.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Annual Energy Performance SC Asks, What Next?

Tom Culp with Birch Point Consulting, Chair of the Annual Energy Performance Subcommittee, briefed the membership on the current status of NFRC’s efforts to create an Annual Energy Performance Rating. Past balloting cycles brought a 90% consensus and resulted with the approved NFRC 901 (approved in June 08) document with specific (default) house parameters.

He challenged the group to dive back into the work of moving forward with the total reference house – taking a look at key issues with how to account for variable operational parameters for the reference home such as temperature set points, interior shading and dynamic windows.

Culp proposes to put a ballot forward before the Summer 09 meeting and opened up a discussion to receive feedback on accounting for variability. Several members agreed that heating and cooling energy use be reported separately. However the room was divided on the issues of doing research to determine an average home use versus using a determined value with an error/disclaimer bar.

A specific request for awning industry participation was made as the emerging technology should be considered in future endeavors.

An email interest sheet was circulated throughout the room to participate actively with group. Members may also contact NFRC Staff to add their name to the list or follow along on-line at the Annual Energy Performance SC Web page to participate in the discussion between meetings.

U-Factor Subcommittee Addresses Ballots

The U-factor Subcommittee began with a spirited discussion regarding simplification, largely centered around the issue of whether changes of 0.01 are significant enough to report.

“I think many of us would rather see effort go to towards code compliance than towards whether they’re a 0.32 or a 0.33 window,” said Jim Larsen of Cardinal.

The Subcommittee, chaired by Mike Thoman of ATI, then considered a number of ballots:

-- Though the NFRC Attachment Ballot appeared on the subcommittee's agenda, the group agreed to defer discussion until the Attachments Subcommittee meeting on Wednesday morning.

-- The group passed a motion offered by Dave BeBlock of ODL to approve the NFRC 100 Swinging Door ballot and bring it forward to the Technical Committee.

-- After finding several negatives persuasive, the subcommittee sent the NFRC Thermal-Break Definition Ballot back to task group for further work and review.

-- Once numerous negatives and approvals with comments were addressed, the subcommittee moved to approve the NFRC 100-2009 Document and take it to the Technical Committee.

The subcommittee also heard reports from a variety of task groups and work groups, including on tubular daylighting devices, garage/rolling doors, spacers and grids.

Air Leakage SC Invites Participation

John Lewis with AAMA reported to the Air Leakage Subcommittee on the progress of the Air Leakage Task Group reworking of NFRC 400. He explained the goal was to preserve the NFRC 400 as a relevant document while providing for increased flexibility.
Lewis said the task group will hold a conference call in approximately three weeks to develop a draft/revised document, and he urged manufacturers to get involved.

Michael Thoman with ATI, chair of the subcommittee, told subcommittee members to expect a ballot before the July meeting. He also encouraged any interested members to volunteer for this project by contacting Dennis Anderson or Scott Hanlon, NFRC’s technical liaisons.

Before adjourning, the group approved a scope that will be added to the Air Leakage Subcommittee's page within the next few weeks.

Window 6/Therm 6/CMAST Update

The Software Subcommittee kicked off the Technical Committee block on Tuesday afternoon with an update from Joe Hayden of Pella on the development of WINDOW 6 and THERM 6.

Hayden said that the goal is to obtain approval of the new software at the July meeting in Baltimore, and that completion of the validation research project now underway is a big part of getting them approved.

According to Hayden, the task group is working through a list of nine criteria that must be met to approve new NFRC software. These include:

1) Satisfying NFRC requirements
2) Conducting a cost/benefit analysis, which is 80 percent complete
3) Ensuring accuracy, which involves nine subtasks of which three are complete, with the remainder largely dependent on the validation research project
4) Conducting comparisons, which Hayden said is combined with #3
5) Assessing availability and reliability
6) Addressing documentation
7) Providing training and technical support, which will happen after final approval is achieved
8) Addressing availability, which will be same as WINDOW 5 and THERM 5 (free of charge, on the Web, etc.)
9) Upgrading/withdrawing existing software, and Hayden said that the task group will develop a proposal for the Baltimore meeting.

“We guess we’re about 50 percent of the way through the overall process, and we’re on a downhill slide now,” Hayden said.

The subcommittee also heard an update from Dan Wacek of Viracon on the CMAST Approval Task Group. Wacek said that the goal is to achieve tentative approval of project in April and to complete a pilot project by the fall.

R&T Technology Committee Meets

Following meetings of its subcommittees, the Research & Technology Committee, chaired by Werner Lichtenberger of TruSeal Technologies, Inc., met to address numerous issues and ballots. During the meeting, the committee approved motions to:

-- reapprove the NFRC research manual as a 2009 document, pending a decision on whether documents can be reapproved without going out for ballot (forwarded by the Research Subcommittee)

-- extend peer review paper completion associated with the TDD U-factor research project completion by August 31, 2009 (forwarded by the Research Subcommittee)

-- extend the due date for the CMA condensation resistance research project to six months from February 2, 2009 (forwarded by the Research Subcommittee)

-- move forward approval of an awning research project (forwarded by the Research Subcommittee)

-- approve the Complex Product VT Research RFP as amended to read as a request for services (forwarded by the Research Subcommittee)

-- approve the summary page, as amended, and develop a full RFP consistent with the comments on funding (forwarded by the Research Subcommittee)

-- reapprove NFRC 301, 302, 303 and 304 for the 2009 document cycle with implementation upon publication, pending a decision on whether documents can be reapproved without going out for ballot (forwarded by the Optical Properties Subcommittee)

-- approve the amended NFRC 300 for the 2009 document cycle with implementation upon publication (forwarded by the Optical Properties Subcommittee)

-- recommend that all subcommittees and committees migrate all CMA definitions in the respective documents to NFRC 600, provide the committee structure with leniency to use their best-faith judgement to leave definitions in their documents if appropriate, and ensure that no duplication exists between NFRC 600 and other documents.

Lichtenberger will bring all of these motions forward to the Board of Directors for approval at its Thursday meeting.

The committee also heard a report from Charlie Curcija of Carli, Inc., on developments at the Thermophysical Properties Subcommittee. Curcija did not bring any motions forward because negatives must be addressed by task groups on NFRC 101 and 103 and the NFRC Glossary.

NFRC Optical Documents Move Forward

After a great deal of discussion the NFRC Optical Properties subcommittee approved the NFRC 300 -2009 without the adoption of ASTM G197. The subcommittee then passed an additional motion directing the task group to develop an implementation plan taking into consideration the negatives related to ASTM G197 that the members had submitted for the NFRC 300 ballot.

The subcommittee then quickly moved to approve the 302 document. Lastly, Bipin Shah, of WinBuild, Inc. moved to reaffirm the NFRC 301, 303, and 304 for the 2009 document cycle pending a clarification on whether unchanged documents can be reaffirmed without being sent out for ballot.

Rubin Outlines OPS Priorities

During the Optical Properties Subcommittee (OPS) meeting, Mike Rubin of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shared a list of priorities that the OPS hopes to address in the months and years to come.

Rubin indicated that these priorities are essential if NFRC is to keep up with the latest technological developments and the needs of NFRC members and participants.

When it comes to NFRC's documents, Rubin indicated that the subcommittee's priorities will be to:

-- resolve issues related to NFRC 300

-- ready a new FTIR-based standard to replace NFRC 301

-- modify 302 to better manager calculation data

-- leave 303 & 304 alone for now as they are probably okay if they are referenced by an improved 302 document

-- remain focused on international harmonization

Research SC Approves Three Ballots

The Research Subcommittee led by Bipin Shah, WinBuild, Inc., had a full agenda Tuesday morning, beginning with reporting on current projects and priorities and discussions on resource management and concluding with passage of three motions to move forward with research on fenestration attachment products and complex product VT.

NFRC Staff opened the meeting with a micro snapshot of projects, priorities and funding currently in front of the Research Subcommittee. Dave De Block of ODL and Kevin Vilhauer of Milgard Manufacturing then received approval to extend projects and Willie Dupont of Sunergy Consulting gave a presentation on the status of his research project on the validation of WINDOW 6 and THERM 6.

After addressing numerous negatives, the subcommittee approved the following motions:

-- to develop and issue an exterior awning research RFP. The project will help to determine if NFRC can develop fair, accurate, and credible rating and labeling procedures for exterior awnings. NFRC Chair Joe Hayden of Pella commented that while he welcomed the funding for this research project offered by the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, he urged PAMA and others to remember that “by conducting this research project, it does not guarantee that a rating procedure will be developed.”

-- to approve a fenestration attachment rating research summary ballot put forward by Willie DuPont. However, the motion contains new direction from the subcommittee to the Research & Technology Committee and the Board of Directors that the attachment industry should provide cost-sharing for this relatively expensive project.

-- to approve a request for services to conduct complex product VT research.

The three motions will be taken to the R&T Committee for approval, and then on to the Board of Directors.

Ferris Shares the Secrets of CMA

In one of many side-bar conversations that take place throughout NFRC meetings, Jessica Ferris, CMA Program Manager, brings first-timers Michael Carlson and Ben Mausar of new member New World West, Inc., up to speed on the intricacies of the Component Modeling Approach.

New World West, based in Las Vegas, specializes in storefront construction.

The subcommittees of the Research & Technology Committee continue to meet this morning. Check back soon for a full report.

Glossary Goes Back to Task Group

The Glossary and Terminology Task Group, chaired by Charlie Curcija of Carli, Inc., found several negatives and approves with comments persuasive and sent the NFRC Glossary back to task group for further review.

"We are returning the Glossary back to the task group with instructions and we will come back with a new ballot," Curcija said.

The task group also approved two motions which:

-- recommend that all subcommittees and committees migrate all CMA definitions in the respective documents to NFRC 600, provide the committee structure with leniency to use their best-faith judgement to leave definitions in their documents if appropriate, and ensure that no duplication exists between NFRC 600 and other documents.

-- ensure that new CMA terminology does not hold up the 2009 document cycle by calling for the next ballot of NFRC 600 to be restricted to the terms addressed in this ballot review and any new terms including the migration of CMA terms will be balloted separately.

Curcija will bring the motions forward to the Research & Technology Committee and the Board of Directors.

Did We Mention It's 88 Degrees?

Though NFRC is spending most of its time indoors working hard on dozens of policies and procedures, the group did get to enjoy the warmth and sunshine at lunch yesterday.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Thermophysical Properties SC Returns 101 & 103 to Task Group

After finding negatives persuasive on both ballots, the Thermophysical Properties Subcommittee, chaired by Charlie Curcija with Carli, Inc, decided to return the 101 and 103 documents to task group for further work.

The 101 & 103 task group, led by Peter Lyons with Peter Lyons Consulting, hopes to have the documents back in front of the subcommittee for approval by the Summer meeting in Baltimore.

Summary of the negatives can be reviewed on the NFRC Web site.

The subcommittee also agreed to form a work group to put forward a proposal on the creation of an NFRC 101 Electronic Database.

The Policy Committee Block Meets

The NFRC policy committee block took place Monday afternoon. The Accreditation Policy Committee (APC), chaired by Marcia Falke of Keystone Certifications, led off with a presentation by NFRC staff member Dennis Anderson on the latest lab inspections and round robin tests.

Falke then told the membership that the CAP, now also known as NFRC 701-2009, has been updated and all documents published on the NFRC Web site, and that the APC has made changes to the CEAP, which is the functional equivalent of the LAP for the CMA Program and is also known as NFRC 708-2009. Falke will present those changes to the Board on Thursday.

Technical Interpretations Policy Committee (TIPC) Chair Tom Culp of Birch Consulting described one technical interpretation involving screens. The request asked that since screens are removed prior to screening, which in turns required the removal of the trim and/or stop, is the simulator required to model the trim/stop that covers/holds the screen. TIPC determined that no product offered without a screen shall be used to represent this product and minor frame changes to accommodate the screen system are permitted.

The Certification Policy Committee, chaired by Roland Temple of AZS Consulting, closed out the policy committee block. Items of interest include:

-- NFRC 702-2009 was approved by Board in November and staff is working on introducing language and requirements for hosting online workshops.
-- NFRC 706-2009 (the 2009 IG Update), has been posted to the NFRC Web site.
-- The Initial IGC Directory will be posted on the NFRC Web site on March 20, 2009.
-- Certification programs interested in the NFRC IGC program need to have their applications in to NFRC by March 15, 2009.

Latest from the Validation Task Group

The Live Update staff caught up with Validation Task Group Chair, Sneh Kumar with TRACO, to find out what went on within the Validation Task Group earlier this morning.

The Task Group’s mission is to reexamine current validation testing requirements and propose modifications to the Technical Committee. The group’s goals include streamlining and creating smarter testing requirements in the current program through both short term solutions and longer –term program adjustments.

This morning’s discussion started off with the group reviewing the proposal to change section 4.2.6 of the NFRC 100 to do a validation test with a center of glass U-Factor of 0.30 or less. Current rules require an additional validation test for any product (which was added to the simulation matrix) which has U-factor less than 0.1 or 20% better than the validated product.

Attendees of the task group quickly began to explore the options to move the goals of the group forward. Michael Thoman, Architectural Testing, Inc. argued that the best products should go through the validation test. Bipin Shah of Win Build suggested using same center of glass used during the calibration test of hot box to be used as the standard center of glass for validation testing. Frank Fisher from Arcadia stated that if the frame validates at a certain center of glass, then it should be good for all other center of glass.

It was pointed out that as per section 4.2.8, manufacturer would be required to validate only one product line with better glazing performance (which improves product U-Factor by 0.1 or 20%) instead of validating each and every product line.

The second proposal explored was to add an option in section (Muti-purpose product line) to allow inclusion of products with the same base frame profiles as a validated product, in the same validation test matrix. Sneh showed examples of such cases which would allow different products with similar frame profiles of those that are available in multiple product types to be included in the same matrix for validation matrix. The task group agreed that it was reasonable to include such products in one validation test matrix.

Frank Fisher stated that if multiple products are grouped with frame additions then products using a flipped frame and sash (interior to exterior) should be able to be within a validation matrix.

The Chair asked people to come up with other cases for which changes in the product line or within multiple product line validation testing was not required, and where current rules do not include such cases. These will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Validation Task Group.

Willie DuPont with Sunergy Consulting updated the task group on the Quality Assurance validation test program that this group is starting to work on and considering options for the validation requirements.

The Task Group's Web page on the NFRC site lists current members and will have meeting notes posted a few weeks after the Spring Meeting.

McCluney Shows a Sustainable Path Forward

After painting a very bleak picture of humanity’s fate if mankind continues to “take” from the world in an unsustainable way, Dr. Ross McCluney used his presentation during the Opening Session of the NFRC Spring Membership Meeting to describe changes that society must make to achieve lasting global balance and sustainability.

According to McCluney, the problem began about 10,000 years ago when humans stopped being “leavers” who lived in balance with the land’s ability to support them and began to act like “takers” who consumed more than nature could provide.

Though the emergence of humans as takers led to the establishment of civilization and an unprecedented period of advancement in every aspect of society, McCluney said that the Earth’s ability to provide the resources necessary to support an ever-growing, more affluent population is reaching a tipping point.

“If we do not take measures to bring us back into balance, we are heading for an environmental catastrophe,” McCluney said.

Fortunately, McCluney said, mankind has one unique attribute that distinguishes us from all other life: intelligence. Though intelligence doesn’t guarantee success, McCluney said that if we apply it properly we can achieve a sustainable future through:

-- personal reform, in which we as individuals lead by example and make simple changes in our lives that reduce our consumption of resources and cause us to live a more sustainable lifestyle;
-- organizational reform, in which we all lobby for the groups and entities to which we belong to act more sustainably; and
-- political reform, in which we write to and converse frequently with our elected leaders so that they understand that we as a society consider sustainability to be an all-important goal.

McCluney also said that NFRC has a role to play by encouraging its members to continue to “green” their products by ensuring that those products get credit for good energy performance. “NFRC operates in the public interest and hence in the Earth’s interest,” he said.

McCluney closed on a hopeful note. “We can change the world, or at least improve humanity’s chances of living sustainably and well, far into the future,” he said.

NFRC's Opening Sessions Asks "What Can You Do?"

NFRC’s Chairman of the board, Joe Hayden officially opened the NFRC’s Spring Membership Meeting with a warm greeting and laughter but quickly turned his presentation to the business at hand. After an introduction of the board’s executive committee (feel free to contact with questions or issues) he went over the ambitious goals & objectives facing the organization in 2009 – which include the following:

• Complete CPD 2.0
• Implement CMA
• IG Certification
• AEP Continued Development
• International Partnerships
• RFID / BIM opportunities
• Simplification
• Validation Testing
• ANSI Accreditation

He ended the presentation giving the NFRC attendees a home work assignment: Stating that the organization relies on the hard working volunteers to move all goals forward. All attendees and members, both onsite and following along here at the Live Meeting Update, are invited and encouraged to finish this statement: “I Can Best Help NFRC be Successful By…..” There are easels to collect attendees input or feel free to drop the board or staff a note or email.

NFRC Signs Up First Meeting Sponsor

NFRC is pleased to announce that it has signed up its first official meeting sponsor as part of the new Sponsorship Program.

The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) is the organization’s initial Silver Sponsor, and will participate in the meetings in Baltimore in July and San Antonio in November.

Cheryl Gendron, NFRC’s Senior Manager of Membership, conceived the program to help defray the costs of organizing and facilitating NFRC meetings and to offer a creative marketing tool to NFRC stakeholders by increasing opportunities for visibility.

“Every time NFRC meets, it’s the premiere gathering of the nation’s foremost experts on fenestration design and engineering,” Gendron said. “We’re thrilled that PAMA recognizes the advantages of connecting with these industry professionals and we look forward to welcoming many other sponsors in the months to come.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring a future NFRC meeting can contact Cheryl via email or phone at 301-589-1776.

Storm Windows and the Stimulus Package

During the Storm Window Task Group meeting, Thom Zaremba of Roetzel & Andress discussed tax credits for storm windows in light of passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

According to Zaremba, when it comes to tax credits storm windows fall into a different category than windows, doors and skylights. For one, in order to qualify for tax credits storm windows are not subject to the 0.30/0.30 requirements for U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient.

Instead, eligibility is assessed over a base window and must comply with either the 2001 supplement of the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) or the 2004 supplement of the 2003 IECC.

To determine eligibility, storm window manufacturers are directed to provide certified “statements of compliance” for classes of products that meet IRS requirements and make them available on their Web sites. Consumers would then download these statements and use them to show compliance when filing their tax returns.

Zaremba emphasized that different people have different interpretations of how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act affects storm window tax credits. “We don’t have the final word on this yet,” Zaremba said.

PCP Review TG Continues Work

The PCP Review Task Group reviewed ballot comments and agreed to bring forward a recommendation to remove Res97 language from the PCP. The recommendation will be made at the Certification Subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, March 4.

According to Steve Strawn of Jeld-Wen, Inc., who substituted for task group Chair Tina Jenkins of Simonton Windows, the task group will continue to work on other issues included in the ballot related to validation testing and private labelers.

"We need to go back to the task group on validation testing and private labelers for additional work, taking into account the comments made on the ballot and discussed here today," Strawn said.

Attachment Groups Discuss Guidelines

The attachments task group track began with a presentation by Jim Benney on the guiding principles for attachment ratings established by the NFRC Board of Directors.

The Board developed the guidelines to help attachment manufacturers as they seek to navigate the process for developing new ratings and procedures, and to ensure that NFRC continues to provide technically accurate ratings of value to its various stakeholders.

The guidelines are:

1. All attachment products are to be evaluated (on a case by case basis) per the New Product Rating Guidelines.
2. Attachment products should use the existing NFRC standards system – require all attachments to come through Attachments Subcommittee that report to existing Technical and Ratings committees.
3. Create a new trademark representing NFRC ATTACHMENTS (to differentiate from whole window product rating).
4. Allow attachments to have different ratings depending upon their business need.
5. That a separate NFRC technical document (covering NFRC 100, 200, etc.) be developed with separate sections pertaining to individual attachment types (storm windows, awnings, blinds, etc.).
6. That a separate Attachments PCP document also be developed with sections related to various attachment types as appropriate.

The attachment task groups meeting in Tucson are applied films, storm windows, and awnings.

We're Off and Running!

NFRC’s 2009 Spring Membership Meeting has begun in beautiful Tucson, Ariz. It’s sunny and warm here, with an expected high of 85 degrees!

Today begins with 14 task group meetings on a wide variety of topics split into three tracks. Check back later for reports on key developments from these hard-working sessions, as well as from all the subcommittee and committee meetings and special gatherings to come.

A total of 102 people registered for the meeting. Jim Benney, NFRC’s Executive Director, called the attendance “incredible, especially given the difficult times in the fenestration industry and the economy as a whole. It just shows how dedicated NFRC members are to fulfilling the organization’s mission.”

The Board of Directors also wants to welcome and thank the following first-time meeting attendees:

Per Friis Mortensen

New World West
Michael Carlson
Ben Mausar
Peter Valentin

Solatube Inc.
Robert Westfall

Silver State Specialties, LLC
Dale De Mann
H. W. (Bill) Ickes

Heschong Mahone Group
Lisa Heschong
Mudit Saxon

Switch Materials
Caleb Willis

Emory Budzinski
Dave Koester

More to come…