Friday, July 31, 2009

Homebuilders Learn to Meet Requirements of Florida's Energy Code

This is a summary of an article that appeared in the online version of The Orlando Sentinel today:

Homebuilders at the Southeast Builders' Conference in Orlando learned about meeting Florida's new energy code requirements. The energy code was set into action this month and requires homes to be more energy efficient.

The law initially requires a 15 percent increase in energy efficiency. This is the first step towards achieving a 50 percent increase. The Sentinel reports thermal windows, programmable thermostats, radiant-barrier insulation, and sealed ductwork can help builders achieve this goal.

You can read the full article on The Orlando Sentinel Website.

Article in Online Edition of Philadelphia Inquirer Discusses Tax Credit for Fenestration Products

The following provides a synopsis of an article that appeared in the Friday, July, 31 online edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The stimulus package allows for a federal energy tax credit to homeowners, up to 30 percent of the cost of home improvements, including window and door replacement. The maximum creidt one may recieve is $1,500 for taxable years 2009 and 2010.

The tax credit doesn not include installation costs. It only covers the cost of the product. Windows must have U-factor and a Solar Heat-Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30 or less.

The U-factor measures how well a product prevents heat from escapting a home or building. The lower the U-factor, the better a product is at keeping in heat. The SHGC measures how well a product blocks heat from the sun. The lower the SHGCt, the less solar heat the door, window, or skylight transmits. This equates to greater shading

Read the full article on The Philadelphia Inquirer Website.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

NFRC Hits the Road to Promote Awareness

Part of the NFRC staff's plan to increase awareness of the organizaiton's activities and programs involves exhibiting at notable trade shows. Here is where NFRC is going:

Communications & Marketing Manager, Tom Herron, will exhibit at The Remodeling Show in Indianapolis, Indiana October 28 – 30.

The show, which will be held at the Indianapolis Convention Center, is the only national event that places serious buyers and serious sellers face-to-face for three days of serious business. The annual Remodeling Show offers an opportunity for NFRC to create new relationships and to increase awareness of its activities and programs.

NFRC will be located in booth number 2814. Be sure to visit us. More information on the Remodeling Show is available at:

NFRC’s Communications & Marketing Manager, Tom Herron, will also exhibit during the International Code Council’s (ICC) 2009 Annual Conference and Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center, November 1-3.

The conference is a uniquely efficient opportunity for NFRC to reach a large and diverse group of code officials, contractors, architects, inspectors, builders, design professionals, and engineers. NFRC will take this opportunity to promote awareness about its certification and labeling program and to field questions from attendees.

NFRC will be located in booth number 148.

More information about the ICC 2009 Annual Conference and Expo is available at:

NFRC’s Communications & Marketing Manager, Tom Herron and NFRC’s Senior Technical Services Manager, Ray McGowan, will exhibit at Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona, November 10-12.

Greenbuild is the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Thousands of building professionals from all over the world come together at Greenbuild for three days of outstanding educational sessions, renowned speakers, green building tours, special seminars, and networking events.

Herron and McGowan are teaming up to call awareness to NFRC’s role in the green building movement and to answer both general and technical questions regarding NFRC's certification and labeling system.

NFRC will be located in booth number T-5.

Be sure to stop by.

NFRC's Senior Technical Services Manager, Ray McGowan, Comments on ANSI accreditation and NFRC

NFRC is pursuing ANSI accreditation to ensure its standards development process conforms to a nationally recognized, consensus process.

ANSI has accredited numerous code developers such as ASHRAE, USGBC, NEMA, ICC, IESNA, and CRRC. Once NFRC becomes an ANSI accredited standards developer (ASD), which could occur as early as September, NFRC will pursue accreditation of NFRC 100 (U-factor) and 200 (SHGC, VT), its primary rating standards.

The ANSI process will require NFRC to allow comments from any fenestration interest, member or non member. All comments received are required to be considered by NFRC regardless of acceptance or rejection of that comment. All those who comment have an appeals process available to them to further pursue any rejected comment as well.

NFRC’s ANSI accreditation will increase its credibility in the marketplace and ensure full consideration of all fenestration interests during the standard development process.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

NFRC Successfully Concludes ANSI Executive Standard's Council on Accreditation Ballot and Move to Final ANSI Accreditation Ballot

The ANSI Executive Standards Council’s Subcommittee on Accreditation (SC-A) has completed its letter ballot review of NFRC-710-Operating Procedures Manual and returned several comments.

NFRC responded to the comments satisfactorily on July 27. ANSI will now ballot NFRC-710-Operating Policies Manual to the ANSI Executive Subcommittee for 30 days are return comments. This ballot is likely to conclude at the end of August.

Once NFRC responds satisfactorily to any ANSI Executive SC comments, it will become an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer. Immediately thereafter, NFRC will submit NFRC 100-Procedure for Determining Fenestration U-factors and NFRC 200-Procedure for Determining Fenestration SHGC and VT at Normal Incidence for full ANSI accreditation.

Check back often to see how this story devlops.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

That's All, Folks -- NFRC Bids Farewell to Charm City

The NFRC Summer Membership Meeting concluded this morning following the Board of Directors Meeting.

As the attendees went their separte ways, NFRC’s Board Chair, Joe Hayden from Pella Corporation, reflected on the events of the week.

Hayden said he was encouraged by the progress NFRC made during the meeting and added that he looks forward to conquering the challenges that still lie ahead.

Perhaps Hayden's own words sum it up best:

As the 2009 Summer Membership Meeting has now come to a close, I once again find myself very appreciative of all the hard work and dedication put forth by everyone involved. Following are specific thoughts on the past week, in no particular order:

  • I was very pleased to see the strong attendance for these meetings. With the current economic conditions, I know it can be difficult to justify the time and expense to travel to and participate in a week-long event like this. Thanks so much to everyone who attended and participated.
  • Similarly, I was very pleased to welcome 25 first-time attendees and 14 new member companies. This is truly a testament to NFRC’s past success and strong potential for the future.

  • The presentation at Monday’s opening session by Sgt. Tom Morrissey of Hunter Douglas, Inc. was truly inspiring. Tom, thank you so much for taking the time to come and share your amazing story with us. We’re all truly blessed to have heroes like yourself in our midst, fighting and sacrificing to keep the freedoms we all enjoy, and too often take for granted.
  • The work on development of rating procedures for attachments continues to progress very well. I must say I’m very impressed with how well the attachments community has “stepped up to the plate” to make this all happen. They have proven very well that they are dedicated to developing a fair, accurate and credible rating system for their products and their industry.
  • Progress in development of the CMA Program continues to be steady. All the pieces seem to be coming together as we move toward the launch of the pilot program, likely in mid September. Stay tuned for more information on that.
  • Excellent progress was made on finalizing the 2010 edition of NFRC’s technical documents. We are well on track completing this task at the Fall Membership meeting in San Antonio.
  • To no surprise, the discussions during the week showed that, although we’re getting things done, we still have much work to do. There are still some unanswered questions and needed direction with regard to rating of attachment products, some “opportunities” were identified with regard to thermophysical properties of materials, as well as a in few other miscellaneous areas. Yes there is work to be done, but I have absolutely no doubt that this organization will rise to the challenge, as we’ve done so many times in our 20 year history.
  • Speaking of which, I hope everyone will plan to attend the next membership meeting this Fall is San Antonio. As always, we will roll up our sleeves and get the work done, but we will also take some time to celebrate NFRC’s 20-year anniversary. So, be there or be square !!!

For those of you who have been following the Summer Meeting on-line, I would like to invite you to offer your thoughts & feed-back on this new service. Do you find it useful and worthwhile? What could be done to make it even better? Please give this some thought and then e-mail your comments to

Lastly, and as always, I must acknowledge the stellar job done 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.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in San Antonio this Fall. Until then and as always … THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO !!!

Cienian Sees Value in Relationships

Mike Cienian of HunterDouglas addressed the Board this morning and expressed his gratitude for its recognition of the opportunies that have been spurred by growth in the attachments industry.

Cienian said he is strongly encouraged by the proceedings during the week and added that he looks forward to working with NFRC even more closely in the future and building a mutually rewarding relationship.

Cienian cited his conversations with various NFRC members as one of the primary benefits of attending the meeting. He added that networking during the week provided a unique opportunity to improve awareness of how attachment manufacturers and window manufacturers can combine their knowledge and skills to better serve consumers and the fenestration industry in general.

CMAST Demonstration During Board Meeting

Charlie Curcija of Carli, Inc. provided a live demonstration of CMAST during this morning’s Board meeting.

Curcija described and demonstrated CMAST’s ease of use and the multiple benefits it provides users. These include client-based and Web-based functionalities, including the ability to maintain libraries of component data, define projects, assemble components and to calculate whole-product ratings.

Version 1.1 of CMAST will be released by October 30, 2009. NFRC is currently putting the final touches on the CMA Pilot Project and invites all interested parties to participate.

Board Rules on CMAST, Cerfitication Labeling Deadline

Joe Hayden with Pella Corporation and NFRC’s Chairman of the Board greeted remaining attendees and opened NFRC’s Board meeting promptly at 8:00 a.m. today.

The group quickly undertook its business, which included reviewing many items brought forward from the week’s committee meetings.

All items brought forward were approved with little discussion. Especially notable items of interest include the following:

Accreditation Policy Committee: Motion to revise NFRC 701.03, 2009 was approved.

Technical Interpretations Policy: Motion to approve TI, 2009, 03 was approved.

Certification Policy Committee: Reported being on target meet all IA inspections by end of the year and is accepting questions on Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) certification.

Research and Technology Committee: A motion to extend delivery dates on five research projects, including Window 6/Therm 6 was approved.

Technical Committee: A motion to approve NFRC 100, Section 5.6 Spacer Simplification Rule ballot passed. This involves adding Spacer Grouping Path III language to be implemented and published immediately as an addendum to NFRC 100.

A motion to approve posting the results of the validation and verification study of CMAST, including Window 6/ Therm 6, for the CMA Pilot Project on the NFRC Website passed. The purpose of this action is to provide NFRC members one week to review the study and to solicit their feedback. The one-week deadline may be adjusted.

Ratings Committee: A motion calling for a change in the number of decimal points used on the NFRC label will be turned into a ballot was approved. Also, a motion to have all NFRC 700 Product line ID’s re-balloted was approved.

Finally, a motion to approve suspending the certification labeling deadline of dynamic glazing products as of March 1, 2010 and bringing the topic forth to the Board during the November meeting to determine a mandatory deadline was approved.

PAMA Hopes to Gain Recognition Through Sponsorship

The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) is confident it will gain plenty of favorable exposure by sponsoring the NFRC meeting.

John Gant of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics and Michelle Sahlin of PAMA, said they were motivated to become silver sponsors for three key reasons:

1.) To demonstrate a commitment to NFRC because it’s the right organization to develop ratings for their products

2.) To gain favorable exposure to the NFRC membership so they can become more aware of PAMA’s efforts and to invite them to learn more

3.)To gain further recognition with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other notable organizations involved with the awning industry

“We saw the opportunity to be a sponsor as a great way to boost our recognition,” Gant said. “It looks like it's working out very well for us.”

We're Back...

Welcome to the fourth and final day of NFRC's Summer Membership Meeting.

The Board of Directors will meet from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Be sure to check back often to get all the details of the proceedings -- as they happen

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Have a Good Night

Day three of NFRC's Summer Membership Meeting has concluded.

The NFRC Board of Directors will meet tomorrow morning from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Be sure to check back for the most up-to-date information available.

Ratings Committee Moves Forward on Deadline for Dynamic Attachments

A deadline regarding the consideration of attachment products in ratings figured prominently in the today's last meeting.

Currently, products with dynamic attachments can be rated without considering the attachment.

A looming March 1, 2009 deadline, however, would require that any ratings consider the attachment product.

As a result of unavoidable delays in assessing the simulation software, the Window 6/Therm 6 Validation Research Project Monitoring Task Goup and the Window 6/Therm 6 Approval Task Group jointly and formally recommended to the Certification Subcommittee that the current mandatory date of March 1, 2010 be suspended. A motion calling for the suspension of any deadline pending thorough assessment of the simulation software passed, and will be forwarded to the Board.

Ratings Subcommittees Address Various Issues

Earlier in the afternoon, the subcommittees that report to the Ratings Committee got down to business. The Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Ratings Subcommittee kicked off the block with a report from Sneh Kumar, who leads the CMA Complex Products Task Group. He explained that the task was formed at the last meeting and has twice met. He encouraged people to join and participate in the task group.

The Subcommittee then posed a question, in reference to NFRC 705-2009, Section 5.1, for discussion: Should an Approved Calculation Entity (ACE) “select and contract” with an Inspection Agency (IA) that will conduct ACE calculation reviews? After the group discussed the issue, the Subcommittee recommended revision of that section of the PCP document. It directed the Task Group to handle this task (and ballot it for the November Membership Meeting), recommending that the revision reflect that the specifying authority would be responsible for contracting with IAs for those types of review discussed.

The Labeling Subcommittee followed CMA Rating Subcommittee, with reports from the CMA Label Task Group and the Attachment Label Task Group. The Subcommittee then discussed requirements for metric labeling. It was reported that Natural Resources Canada permits NFRC labels to show two decimal places for easier comparison of products between U.S. and Canadian programs. The Subcommittee decided to form a special task force to review metric ratings and labeling issues.

The Certification Subcommittee made the following motions, and all of them passed:

  • Move the NFRC 700 product line ID forward to Board for approval
  • Move the NFRC 700 Private labeler ballot forward to the Board for approval and implementation upon publication
  • Move 700 Section 6 and Appendix B fwd to Board for approval and to be implemented upon publication
  • Move the NFRC 700 Section 4&5 ballot forward to the NFRC Board for approval and to be implemented upon a date to be determined after approval of Window 6/Therm 6 software

A number of other notable motions presented during this meeting blocked passed. For example:

  • Moving the NFRC 700 W6/T6 forward for approval and to be implemented upon approval of the Window 6 and Therm 6 software
  • Changing the language in section 6.4.2 D of the NFRC 700, which currently reads, “shall include whole product ratings" to add "as applied to a reference window”
  • Applied films should only be rated over worst-case reference windows; and be consistent in type and performance values as those in the IECC window default table

Guest Speaker Biography -- Melissa Shannon

Melissa Shannon provided a legislative update during yesterday’s RAM meeting. We thought you’d like to know more about her.

Shannon joined Kountoupes Consulting after nearly a decade of service on Capitol Hill. She served as senior policy advisor for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, covering a broad range of issues, including, agriculture, education, technology, telecommunications, labor, science, small business, and veteran’s issues.

Shannon also held several legislative and political positions in Montana, including, state-wide field director for Nancy Keenan for Congress 2000, special projects coordinator for the Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction, legislative aide for the Democratic Leader of the Montana House of Representatives, and legislative campaign consultant for the Montana Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

Shannon received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Montana, Missoula in 1998, graduating with honors.

NFRC's New Exhibit Booth Prominently Displayed

NFRC hopes you’ve had a chance to get a close look at its new exhibit booth.

The booth represents a giant step forward in improving NFRC’s visibility and strengthening its brand recognition.

Please be sure to visit the booth, which is on display in the lobby, and help yourself to the literature.

The newly designed booth is more colorful than its predecessor, provides a more concise message, and features crisper pictures to depict NFRC’s mission, vision, core values, and goals. Most notably, the new booth features high-definition monitor with a built-in DVD player.

NFRC unveiled the new booth during the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) National Convention and Design Exposition in San Francisco, April 30 - May 2, where many visitors commented that it quickly caught their attention and increased NFRC’s visibility.

Technical Subcommittees Wrap Up Business

Following the U-factor and SHGC Subcommittees, four other technical subcommittees made progress on their business.

The Attachment Subcommittee heard reports from several task groups, including Dynamic Attachments for Swinging Doors, Exterior/Interior Attachment, Storm Windows, Awnings, Applied Films, and Labeling and Certification. As no new business was at-hand, the Subcommittee adjourned.

The Condensation Resistance (CR) Subcommittee followed, turning its attention to a report on the ballot to accommodate WINDOW 6 and THERM 6 software. A motion passed to approve the ballot as presented. The group also heard updates on the discussion with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) working group. A report may be available in the winter. Charlie Curcija then updated the Subcommittee on the CMA research and plans to develop a presentation on the research this fall. The Subcommittee decided to adjourn as there was no new business to discuss.

The Annual Energy Performance (AEP) Subcommittee met after the CR Subcommittee. The AEP Subcommittee is responsible for developing procedures to rate the annual energy performance of fenestration products and fenestration product attachments in homes. Its business today focused on the NFRC 901 ballot, particularly issues surrounding the reference house procedure. The Subcommittee found several negative comments to be persuasive and substantive and moved various issues back to the Task Group for review.

The Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Technical Subcommittee wrapped up the technical subcommittees’ activities, focusing on its one ballot – the NFRC 100, Section – Spacer (Path III).

Technical Committee Block Resumes Business This Morning

This morning, the Technical Committee block picked up where it left off yesterday afternoon. The subcommittees continued to make progress on their activities.

The U-factor Subcommittee resumed its business, spending much of its time discussing the NFRC 100 Attachments Ballot, which included many comments. Several comments were found to be substantive and persuasive. Among the motions passed:

  • Strike all subsections referencing permeability and all other sections referencing TBD (The reference to ASTM D737 will remain)

  • Delete Section as it is contrary to the base case window product procedure that has yet to be established

  • Direct the task group to complete the missing data for skylights

  • Remove 1/4 and 3/4 lite sizes and only require equal to or less than 1/2 lite and greater than 1/2 lite sizes as ENERGY STAR has recently recognized

After reviewing a ballot comment stating that attachments should only be rated over worse-case reference windows, the group engaged in a lengthy discussion about base case windows. The comment was found to be persuasive and substantive and a motion passed to take the issue back to the Task Group to consider this negative when determining the base case window(s).

The next order of business involved reviewing comments to the NFRC 100 Ballot to accommodate WINDOW 6/THERM 6 software. The negative comments were found to be persuasive and substantive, and it was decided to send it back to the Task Group.

The Subcommittee concluded its business with the NFRC 100 – 2010 ballot. A motion passed to approve all the sections balloted with the exception of 5.2.5 and Tables 5-1 and 5-2 and move them forward to Technical Committee for approval.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) Subcommittee

Following the U-factor discussions, the SHGC Subcommittee conducted its business. With no reports and no unfinished business, the discussion quickly turned to ballots.

One ballot addressed the possibility of changing certain digit calculation requirements (from 3 to 6) to match current CPD 2.0 database requirements. The concern here was that the requirements should apply to all products, not just to products with applied films.

After considerable review and analysis, the members agreed to table the ballot and have it rolled into the ballot for the next round of NFRC documents.

Finally, the SHGC Subcommittee also deemed it prudent to encourage the formation of a working group to refine language addressing ratings for garage doors.

Thank You NFRC Sponsors

NFRC offers a special thank you to its gold-level sponsor, HunterDouglas.

Headquartered in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, HunterDouglas is the leading manufacturer of custom-made window fashions in North America and has been in business for over 60 years.

One of the reasons the company chose to become a gold-level sponsor for the NFRC meeting is to call further attention to how attachment manufacturers and window manufacturers can work together to create innovative solutions that benefit consumers.

Another reason HunterDouglas chose to be a sponsor is the company's motivation to create a process for having its products become ENERGY STAR qualified. HunterDouglas views closer involvement with NFRC as a stepping stone to accomplishing this.

Staff members of HunterDouglas attending the NFRC meeting:

Mike Cienian

Tom Morrissey

Rob Simons

Sanjiv Malkan


NFRC also thanks the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) for being a silver-level sponsor for the membership meeting. PAMA has several members in attendance including John Gant with Glen Raven, Inc.

NFRC Membership Reception Fosters Camaraderie

Last night's NFRC Membership Reception provided an ideal opportunity for members and staff to mix and mingle.

Good Morning and Welcome Back

The meetings will resume in about 30 minutes.

Be sure to come back for updates as they happen.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Have a Good Night

NFRC's Membership Reception will be held from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the Harbor Room on second floor of the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel.

Be sure to join us beginning at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, July 22 for live updates from day three of NFRC's Summer Membership Meeting.

Attendees Hear Latest on Complex Fenestration

Steve Selkowitz, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), concluded the day’s program with a presentation on “complex” glazing, shading, and fenestration systems. Complex fenestration refers to fenestration coupled with attachments (e.g., awnings, shades, blinds).

Selkowitz, who serves on the NFRC Board of Directors, discussed a three-day workshop on complex fenestration that took place at LBNL in early June. The workshop covered the latest issues surrounding complex fenestration, including its role in annual energy performance.

The workshop also presented information on bi-directional scatter data function, or BSDF, which includes both reflectance and transmission information through complex glazing systems. BSDF provides a way to characterize all angles of solar incidence.

According to Selkowitz, getting on a pathway to developing ratings for complex fenestration systems will require:
  • Defining/redefining users and their needs.
  • Starting with existing simulation tools.
  • Adding/developing new simulation capabilities.
  • Enhancing characterization capabilities.
  • Developing target audience tool interfaces.
  • Deploying, testing, and evaluating projects.
  • Building an infrastructure.
For more information, visit

Discussions on Software, Air Leakage, U-factor,

NFRC members shared a wide range of opinions during three consecutive Subcommittee meetings this afternoon.

Software Subcommittee

Joe Hayden presented an update of Window 6/Therm 6, and shortly afterwards Charlie Curcija discused his validation and comparison study of CMAST. The study is two-thirds complete, and the final report is slated to be finished by July 31, 2009. Curcija added that documentation and intitial training for CMAST is complete.

During the meeting, a motion was presented asking the Software Subcommittee to recommend CMAST approval, including W6/T6 for use in the CMA Pilot Program contingent on Board approval of the final CMAST validation and comparison study report.

The motion was approved with 15 in favor, five not in favor and 14 abstentions.

Air Leakage Subcommittee

Chair Michael Thoman, Architectural Testing, Inc. initiated the proceedings by inviting reports. One of the primary reports came from the Air Leakage Task Group, which reported working diligently on updating NFRC 400 to eliminate duplicates and discrepencies and modifying the language to include other test standards to qualify under NFRC 400. The Air Leakage will continue in this endeavor.

U-Factor Subcommittee

Early in the meeting, Dave DeBlock reported on the Tubular Daylighting Device Task Group, and informed the group on the progress of two key projects currently underway. These are Visible Transmittance and U-factor. DeBlock anticipates having detailed reports for the next NFRC Membership Meeting.

Joe Hetzel reported that he expects the Garage/Rolling Door Task Group to dissolve once it completes its final three projects. These include finalizing the details of the simulation manual, affirming procedures within NFRC 100 and 102 (which appears to be completed), and affirming effective vertical jamb hardwares.

The Skylight Task Group has not meet since last meeting. There are some lingering questions about mounting and product ratings, and progress is pending.

A discussion regarding the maximum air gap in residential reference product was sent back to Task Group for review and recommendation.

NFRC Helps Local "Green" Charity

NFRC will give the money collected through voluntary donations in return for lapel pins to the Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit housing organization that works in partnership with families in need of housing to build simple, decent, and affordable homes.

Since 1982, the Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity has completed more than 140 homes and has housed more than 300 family members, including at least 200 children.

The lapel pins feature a colorful crab and the NFRC logo as shown above.

As of lunchtime today, NFRC has raised approximately $500 and hopes to raise more. See Cheryl Gendron or Melanie Miller at the NFRC desk just outside the main meeting room to get your pin. They also make great souvenirs and keepsakes for friends and family members. The suggested donation is just $10.

To learn more about Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity’s work, please visit

Funding for IGMA Research Project Approved

The Research and Technology Committee completed the morning meetings by approving $7500 in funding to support a research project that will be carried out by the Insulated Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA).

IGMA’s project will assist in developing an improved test method for measuring the gas loss rate from a sealed insulating glass unit (IGU) and to develop a test method using a standard size IGU.

NFRC Board member Jim Larsen offered his support for funding IGMA’s research project, saying it will produce a significant return on investment by providing important research that NFRC needs to stay current with the industry.

The motion to provide the funding to IGMA passed with one abstention.

Optical Properties Subcommittee Discusses Its Work

The Optical Properties Subcommittee met this morning, the last subcommittee to meet under today’s Research and Technology block. Subcommittee Chair Sneh Kumar brought the meeting to order. During the meeting, attendees heard a Task Group report on the implementation of the new solar spectrum ASTM G197. Following the report, the Subcommittee approved a motion to disband the spectrum NFRC 300 Task Group because its mission (consideration of ASTM G197 spectrum) is complete. Later in the meeting, Kumar presented a slide outlining 10 technical tasks the organization faces.

Research Subcommittee Reports on Status of Projects

Late this morning, the Research Subcommittee convened as part of the Research and Technology Committee block. Subcommittee Chair Bipin Shah welcomed attendees to the meeting, which included updates on several ongoing research projects.

Ray McGowan, NFRC’s Senior Research and Technology Manager, presented a financial summary of NFRC’s research program. NFRC expects to have $1.4 million available through 2014 for research.

The subcommittee also heard updates on several projects:
  • Charlie Curcija discussed the Condensation Resistance Procedure for CMA research project; he reported that the Task Group will meet to discuss the final report. The Subcommittee then passed a motion to extend the deadline for this research project until the Fall Membership Meeting.

  • Dave De Block reported that the Tubular Daylighting Devices U-factor Rating Task Group recently received the updated report and is aiming to have the revised report for the Fall 2009 Membership Meeting. The Subcommittee passed a motion to extend the research project’s deadline until the end of the year.
  • NFRC Chair Joe Hayden and Willie Dupont discussed the WINDOW 6/THERM 6 Validation Research project. The first task – a literature search that identified existing SHGC and U-factor calculation methodologies – is complete. Most of the second task is completed, with 25 of 26 SHGC tests finished and 19 of 20 U-factor tests complete. The project’s current tasks include identifying exact shade locations, slat spacing, and orientation. The subcommittee passed a motion to extend the research project deadline until Fall 2009 Membership Meeting.

  • Ross McCluney and Christian Kohler updated the Subcommittee on the Complex VT Rating Research Project. The sensors have been recalibrated and measurements will begin. The project is expected to produce data before the next NFRC meeting and some of it will be shared with the group. McCluney felt that the research is progressing, though some parts are proceeding slower than expected. He wants to meet with the project participants this week before the Summer Meeting adjourns.

  • John Gant provided an update on the Attached Awning Ratings Research. This research project was put out for bid after the NFRC Spring 2009 Membership Meeting. NFRC received one proposal, submitted by Sunpine Consulting. Gant reported that the Task Group voiced support for the Sunpine proposal. The Subcommittee subsequently passed a motion to award the work to Sunpine Consulting.
The Subcommittee then moved on to unfinished business. Hayden suggested that NFRC resurrect the Research Manual Task Group to address ways to reduce turn-around time on future research projects.

The Subcommittee meeting concluded with a presentation, conducted via conference call, from Margaret Webb, CHRP, executive director of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA). The presentation addressed an IGMA research project focusing on the development of a test protocol for argon permeability through insulating glass units (IGUs). Webb said that the objective is to develop an improved test method for measuring the gas loss rate from a sealed insulating glass unit and to develop a test method using standard size IGU. After the presentation, the Subcommittee recommended to move the request forward to be considered for approval. One stipulation of approval is that IGMA report the project status to the Research Subcommittee at each NFRC membership meeting and forward the same information to the Research and Technology Committee and the NFRC Board of Directors.

New Member Spotlight on Speyer Doors & Windows

Susan Manwaring is one of the newest members of the NFRC family. Her company, Speyer Doors & Windows, located in Boca Raton, Florida became an NFRC member early this year. This is her first membership meeting.

Manwaring was impressed by what she called a “whirlwind” of information engulfing her during the first day of the meeting. As a result, she collected the kind information she needs to start moving her company away from research and development and towards manufacturing.

One of the things Manwaring wanted to learn more about was the critical nature of energy codes, and she feels yesterday's RAM session provided her with many answers to her questions.

Manwaring learned of the membership meeting from NFRC’s Website when she was conducting research about the NFRC labeling and ratings system.

“In less than two days I’ve met a lot of people and made some strong connections,” Manwaring concluded. “This has given me a better grasp of how to gather research and use it to help transform my company.”

NFRC hopes all of its new members and first-time attendees have an equally positive experience.

Glossary and Terminology Task Group Seeks Clarity

Members of the Glossary and Terminology Task Group exchanged ideas on how to improve some of NFRC’s written materials by altering the definitions of various terms.

One of the key points of clarity the group sought was assuring a clear distinction in the definitions for “commercial buildings” and “commercial fenestration.”

The definition of the term “double sash product” also came into question during the discussion. A motion that passed unanimously called for reconsideration of the definition as used in section 5.6 of NFRC 100.

Soon afterwards, the definition of cellular shades arose for review. The discussion centered on whether various images should be included with the definition. Some felt the images created confusion, while others believed the images were useful for differentiating products. A motion put forth to add terminology identifying the images merely as examples of certain kinds of products passed unanimously.

Another key topic during this meeting was the definition of “Roman shade.” Some members argued the existing definition was not comprehensive enough. Others believed it should remain as it is. Ultimately, a motion brought forth asking for elaboration of the existing definition passed unanimously.

NFRC Members Show Passion in Morning’s First Meeting

NFRC's members have always shown tremendous passion for the organization’s activities and programs. That passion was clearly evident in the spirited and lengthy discussions during the Thermophysical Properties of Materials Subcommittee meeting.

Chair Charlie Curcija opened the discussion, which quickly focused heavily on the language found in Appendix B of NFRC 101. The pivotal issue was that some of the information was conflicting and therefore unclear in its meaning and scope.

A motion passed that sends NFRC 101 to the Task Group for review and to develop one appendix from existing Appendices A and B. Soon thereafter, a second motion passed unanimously to direct the Task Group to reconsider the approach/concept of Appendix C, manufacturer-specific materials, and return a recommendation to the membership.

Curcija urged members who voted negative to participate in the Task Group.

NFRC Meeting -- Day Two Off to an Early Start

NFRC's Summer Membership Meeting moved into its second day, starting off with the Thermophysical Properties of Materials Subcommittee. Chair, Charlie Curcija, called the meeting to order just moments ago, and the first presentation is already underway.

Other meetings taking place this morning include the Glossary and Terminology Task Group, the Research Subcommittee, the Optical Properties Subcommittee, and the Research and Technology Committee.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Have a Good Night

The first day of NFRC's Summer Membership Meeting has come to a close.

The meeting will resume tomorrow, Tuesday, July 21, at 7:30 a.m.

Policy Block Concludes Day's Business

The final business of the day concluded with the Policy block, featuring three committee meetings.

Marcia Falke, chair of the Accreditation Policy Committee, started the track. The APC oversees NFRC’s Laboratory Accreditation Program (LAP). NFRC LAP Manager Dennis Anderson provided the staff report and noted that he and Bipin Shah are reviewing the South African laboratory inspection report now. Hopefully, they will become an NFRC-accredited by the fall.

The APC moved into unfinished business, which included a discussion on whether to keep the reporting requirements in NFRC 701 or to re-locate them within each technical (i.e., test method) document.

Business then turned to the Technical Interpretation Policy Committee. Committee Chair Tom Culp opened the meeting and explained its mission to new attendees. Culp solicited feedback from the group about the situation of testing a skylight that can be either a single pane or double-pane product.

The Policy block concluded with the Certification Policy Committee meeting, which included discussions about Insulated Glass (IG) certification and other issues.

Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Meeting Provides Wealth of Information

The Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee (RAM) provided a broad scope of information during its two-hour-long session this afternoon.

Building Codes

RAM Chair Garrett Stone spoke about the strong impact building codes have on the fenestration industry.

Stone said this is because states and local jurisdictions adopt them to meet minimum standards and added that the Federal government is now evaluating energy codes and their role since energy efficiency has become an important issue in our society, especially over the past several months.

Accordingly, Stone predicted the proliferation of energy-efficient windows in all the climate zones of the U.S.

Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC)

John Carmody, professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota, reported that EWC’s membership has climbed to over 90.

Carmody says EWC provides everything from basic research to market transformation tools. Between 25,000 and 40,000 people per month visit the EWC Web site. One of the unique tools EWC offers is its “Window Selection Tool.” This provides specific information on the energy efficiency properties of windows, doors, and skylights according to state.

Department of Energy (DOE)

Alice Dasek, who works with fenestration products on behalf of ENERGY STAR, spoke about the revised criteria that residential fenestration products will need to meet to qualify for the ENERGY STAR label. The revised criteria is designed to save approximately nine trillion BTU of energy compared to the current ENERGY STAR criteria for residential windows, doors, and skylights.

Furthermore, the new criteria are also designed to improve payback periods for purchases of efficient fenestration products and encourage more technology options. The revised criteria will be phased in and is slated to be completed by March 2010.
As part of this change, ENERGY STAR windows, doors, and skylights partners will need to submit "re-qualification" paperwork.

International Efforts

Ray McGowan, NFRC’s technical services manager, spoke about the organization’s international efforts. He pointed out that Bipin Shah has travelled to Jordan, India, China, and South Africa to evaluate opportunities. Although Shah sees potential with regard to the whole building envelope, he is focusing on windows and intends to help create an infrastructure in these countries and hopefully others. NFRC’s Executive Director, Jim Benney, recently travelled to Finland to create awareness of NFRC activities and programs.


Leonard Greenberger, Partner with Potomac Communications Group (PCG) and member of NFRC's communications and marketing team discussed the organization's communications and promotional initiatives.

Greenberger pointed out that the communications and marketing team has worked together to improve NFRC's brand recognition and reinforced its reputation as an industry expert by updating existing fact sheets to address changes in the external environment and creating new fact sheets to address emerging issues.

The communications and marketing team has also undertaken an initiative to reinstate its Retailer Program, whereby retailers provide information (via "tear sheets") on the energy efficiency of windows at the point of purchase. The advantage to this program is that it helps retailers sell more products, and it provides NFRC with additional recognition.

Finally, members of NFRC's communications team worked together closely to create a new exhibit booth that features a video monitor, which plays an endless loop DVD that provides an overview of NFRC’s mission and vision.

CMA Update

John Lewis, senior manager of business and outreach for NFRC, provided a progress report on the Component Modeling Approach (CMA).

Two of the key improvements CMA offers over the Site Built Program are that 1.) Approved components do not require re-certification, and 2.) A single label certificate per project takes the place of multiple certificates.

Beta testing of CMA is complete, and release of CMAST V 1.0.00 took place on July 6, 2009. Testing and evaluation continues as technical details are fine tuned. Several organizations have volunteered to take part of the pilot program, and the Heschong-Mahone Group in California will provide promotional efforts mainly in California. Ongoing promotional efforts, however, will seek to expand the CMA program beyond California.

Shannon Provides Legislative Update

Melissa Shannon, legislative affairs coordinator to NFRC, spoke about the value of the government’s formation of the Green Building Caucus. Shannon called the caucus an ideal platform to address issues regarding energy efficiency.

Shannon also spoke about the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), which was passed on June 26, 2009. The ACES contains two especially important key energy efficiency provisions. One establishes a national energy efficiency building code for residential and commercial buildings. Another facilitates retrofitting initiatives throughout the country to achieve maximum cost effective energy efficiency improvements.

Nominations Being Accepted for Member of the Year Award and Board Seats

NFRC Chair Joe Hayden with Pella reminded attendees during the opening session to nominate a fellow NFRC member for the Member of the Year Award. Nomination forms are being accepted now through August 31. Any member in good standing is eligible, except for voting Board members.

The award will be presented during the Fall Membership Meeting in San Antonio. The winner will receive a commemorative plaque and free registration for the next meeting, as well as up to $1,500 for airfare and lodging for that meeting.

Hayden also pointed out that four seats will become available this fall on the Board of Directors:

-One in the Fenestration Industry category

-One in the Laboratory category

-Two in the General Interest category

Nomination Forms for both the 2010 NFRC Board of Directors as well as the Member of the Year for 2009 are available at the registration area as well as online at the NFRC Website:

NFRC Acknowledges First-Time Attendees, New Members

The highest attendance for an NFRC Membership Meeting (125) in more than five years was fueled by the following 25 first-time attendees.

Earlene Shillingford: Airgas, Inc.

Dave Deshaies McMahon: Air-Ins, Inc.

Paul Bostrom: Alliance to Save Energy

Fred Clark: Alkenz USA

Gene Demestre: Alkenz USA

Mike Palin: Australian Fenestration Rating Council (AFRC)

Peter Cinquegrani: The Burch Company

Richard Watkins: Comfortex

Alice Dasek: D&R International

Emily Zachery: D&R International

Joseph Holmes: EFCO Corp.

Jose Sanchez: Fenestration Testing Laboratory

John Millhone: Global Energy Metrics and Mosaics

John Srygley, AIA: JRS Architects Inc.

Melissa Shannon: Kountoupes Consulting

Jan Berman: Mecho Shade Corp.

Steve Hebeisen: Mecho Shade Corp.

Martin Fuller: Natural Light Energy Systems

Gregg Vincent: Natural Light Energy Systems

Graham Parker: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Margaret Cook: Professional Awning Manufacturers Assoc.

Andrew Caldwell: Phifer, Inc.

Walter Konrad: Rollac Shutter of Texas, Inc.

Stefan Poetsch: Rollac Shutter of Texas, Inc.

Carlos McEntire: Solatube, International, Inc.

Danny George: Simonton Windows

Ken Miller: Soft-Lite Windows

Susan Manwaring: Speyer Door and Window, Inc.

Robert Martensson: Sunair Awnings & Solar Screens

Jeff Register: Twitchell Corporation

Sam Taylor: U.S. Department of Energy

Stewart Nicholas: Window and Door Manufacturer's Association

NFRC is also proud to present the following 14 new members, who joined since its last membership meeting, which was held in Tucson, Arizona:

Alkenz USA – Richmond, Va.

Building Physics – Dowerglen, South Africa

Mecho Shade Corp, Long Island, N.Y.

Natural Light Energy Systems, Phoenix, Arizona

Phifer Incorporated – Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Speyer Door and Window, Inc. – Boca Raton, Fla.

Southern Window Manufacturing, Inc. – Liberty, S.C.

Superior Metal Products Company, Inc. – Birmingham, Ala.

SWITCH Materials – Burnby, B.C.

Twitchell Corporation – Dothan, Ala.

As well the following company switches but familiar faces:
• William Rygg, Consultant– Sacramento, Calif. (Tony Rygg)
• ECOS Consulting, Portland, Ore. (Gary Curtis)
• Sun Pine Consulting (Dr. McCluney)
• Hurricane Test Laboratory, Hillsboro, Tenn. (Lucas Turner)

Retired Master Sergeant Thomas Morrissey Speaks of Higher Callings

During the opening session attendees heard a message of hope and commitment from NFRC member and veteran Thomas Morrissey, who retired from the military after 30 years of service. After being wounded while serving in Afghanistan he endured three years of surgeries and rehabilitation.

This NFRC volunteer and vice president with Hunter Douglas, Inc., graciously shared his inspirational story. He credits collective training and experience to helping him survive that day.

Morrissey returned to the civilian sector after his lengthy rehabilitation. He reminded attendees that higher callings aren’t restricted to military service. He said that serving NFRC is a higher calling because the organization’s work benefits consumers.

He offered to share more about his experience on a one-on-one basis with meeting attendees throughout the conference.

Joe Hayden Announces NFRC's New Strategic Initiative

Joe Hayden announced that the NFRC Board of Directors retreat yielded a new strategic initiative for the organization.

Hayden sees the new initiative as an update and refinement to NFRC's previous strategic initiative.
He praised the new version as being progressive and more responsive to the current needs of the public and the fenestration industry.

The National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) Strategic Initiative is as follows:


NFRC is the recognized leader in energy performance rating and certification programs for fenestration products.


NFRC develops and administers energy-related rating and certification programs that serve the public by providing fair, accurate and credible information on fenestration performance.

Core Values

Commitment to the public interest by providing fair, accurate and credible ratings

Consensus driven process - Varied interests working together crafting a balanced approach to our work

Respect all input from stakeholders

Protect and preserve the integrity of the NFRC and its programs and ratings


Deliver valid, usable data to all customers (public/building industry/ code officials/government)

Deliver a successful energy rating program to the commercial fenestration industry

Deliver an improved and simplified rating program for the residential fenestration industry

Deliver new rating procedures and programs for existing and emerging technologies

Hayden Poses a Challenge

Joe Hayden concluded his opening remarks today with a challenge.

One of the things Hayden stressed during his presentation was the need to continually seek creative new ideas rather than doing the same things the same way they have always been done without really knowing why.

Hayden asked the audience to complete the following sentence:

"The one paradigm that NFRC most needs to challenge is…"

NFRC invites our online readers to also submit their answers to staff at headquarters.

Color Guard Opens NFRC Meeting With Spirit, Pride

NFRC’s opening session began promptly at 12:30 p.m. with the Presentation of Colors by the Coast Guard Honor Guard from Alexandria, Virginia.

TDD Task Group Hears Latest on U-Factor Research

The Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDD) Task Group was among the task groups that convened this morning. Task Group Chair Dave DeBlock welcomed attendees and brought the task group meeting to order, which focuses on using recognized science and NFRC-published procedures to rate and label the thermal performance of TDDs. During the meeting Mike Thoman, of Architectural Testing Inc., presented the revised, final technical report for the U-factor research project. (The report is formally called “Experimental U-factor Research to Validate the NFRC Simulation Procedure for Tubular Daylight Devices.”) The revised paper was recently distributed to the task group. DeBlock asked the task group members to review the revised paper, with the hope of having it ready for the NFRC Fall Membership Meeting in San Antonio.

Validation Testing Task Group Brings Morning Meetings to a Close

The morning task group meetings have just concluded.

The Validation Testing Task Group, chaired by Sneh Kumar from TRACO considered proposed changes to Section 5.6 of the PCP regarding validation testing until a quality control program.

Randy Van Voorst raised a concern about this task group’s ability to review quality control programs for IAs because it is now within its scope.

At one point, Sneh proposed changing language found in the Same Product Type section. Currently, to be considered the same product type, the U-factor must be no more than .01. Sneh thought amount this might be too stringent and proposed re-wording the document, changing the difference in U-factor to .02 or five percent, whichever is higher.

Joe Hayden, however, raised a concern over whether this was an arbitrary criterion and suggested using more carefully researched and quantifiable.

The meeting adjourned after agreeing to assess the language more carefully to determine how to best proceed.

Attachments Task Groups Finish Early

Some of the first task group meetings of the morning completed their work ahead of schedule.

One of the first topics to emerge during the meeting was the formation of two new groups as part of the Interior and Exterior Attachments Task Group.

The first new task group is the PCP Language group, and the second is the Optical Properties Task Group, which already has a handful of existing members but is still seeking more.

Later in the meeting, the Awnings Task Group reviewed a research report from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs (LBNL) on complex attachments.

The Attachments block of task group meetings concluded with a discussion of U-factor being the most important topic in preparing technical specifications for various attachment products. Several attachment manufacturers stressed the need to focus on rating attachments, not windows. Several people in attendance also mentioned the importance of attachment product manufacturers being fully aware of how NFRC 100 and NFRC 200 apply to their products.

NFRC Summer Membership Meeting Underway in Baltimore

NFRC's 2009 Summer Membership Meeting kicked off at 7:30 this morning with a series of task group meetings.

Attendance for the meeting is the highest it's been in the last five years. There are 125 attendees, including 25 first-timers.

The Attachments, PCP, and Product Line I.D. Task Groups were the first to get down to business. The Tubular Daylighting Devices, Air Leakage, Garage/Rolling Door U-factor, and Validation Task Groups will commence their work later this morning.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Earn 4.5 Learning Units During NFRC's Summer Membership Meeting

NFRC will offer a program during its Summer Membership Meeting. The course is called NFRC99.

The learning units you earn are for Health, Safety, and Welfare and Sustainable Design. You can earn them by participating in the program below:

NFRC's Luncheon & Allied Interest Information Block
When: Monday, July 20, 2009, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel
300 S. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 962-8300

To help make your job a little easier, we invite you to spend some time with the finest minds in the fenestration energy business as they gather for the National Fenestration Rating Council's Summer Meeting.

At no charge, you are welcome to join us for all or part of the following activities:
· A Buffet Lunch with all meeting participants
· The Meeting's Opening Session, which will include greetings from the Chairman of the

Board and Executive Director, and a special presentation by veteran and NFRC Member Tom Morrissey.

· The Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee Meeting, which will feature reports on the ENERGY STAR® Windows Program and other U.S. Department of Energy fenestration initiatives, the latest in national codes, the Component Modeling Approach (NFRC's new commercial rating program), and more.

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a non-profit organization that administers the only uniform, independent rating and labeling system for the energy performance of windows, doors, skylights, and attachment products.

The work we do at NFRC provides fair, accurate, and reliable energy performance ratings to serve the public. The group works diligently to improve and grow the NFRC's non-biased rating program and improve the standards created by the organization and referenced throughout the country in various codes and in the ENERGY STAR program.

The NFRC's ratings and codes are everywhere – come learn about how we can work together to serve our shared stakeholders.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Please contact Cheryl Gendron, NFRC's Sr. Manager of Member Services via e-mail or phone (240) 821-9501, for more information. Your RSVP is required.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) will hold its Summer Membership Meeting for 2009 on Monday, July 20 – July 23, 2009, in Baltimore, Maryland at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel.

Those unable to make the trip to the meeting alike can get a jump on the week’s activities by reviewing/downloading meeting materials online at the NFRC Meeting Page.

The meeting’s detailed program booklet will be available on site but is also available for download. The booklet includes meetings agendas, draft meeting minutes from the Spring meeting, committee rosters, pre-registration listings, and much more.

Please note: Registration and prepayment are required for everyone planning to attend the meeting. Those who will decide whether to attend the meeting at the last-minute may check-in at the registration table – opening at 6:30 am on Monday.

All NFRC stakeholders are encouraged to continue to check this LIVE meeting update during the week for updates on the meeting’s progress.Safe travels to all who are headed to Baltimore. We look forward to seeing you for what promises to be a lively and productive meeting.

If you have any questions on the meeting please feel free to contact the NFRC staff: at your service!