Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Senators Kerry and Boxer Introduce Legislation to Fight Global Climate Change, Create Jobs

Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer have introduced the Kerry-Boxer legislation to create clean energy jobs, reduce pollution, and protect American security by enhancing domestic energy production, and staving off global climate change.

The legislation is expected to help cut carbon pollution and stimulate the economy by creating millions of jobs in the clean energy sector.

Senator Kerry said the legislation is valuable because it puts Americans back in charge of their energy future and reinvents the way America uses energy.

Senator Boxer added that clean energy is the path to strong, stable economic growth and added that America must seize this opportunity before others move ahead. Senator Boxer added that global warming and economic recovery is our generation’s challenge.

EPA and DOE Partner to Promote ENERGY STAR

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy are coming together to improve awareness of ENERGY STAR.

This combined effort will feature expanded coverage, regular updates, revitalized efforts on product testing, and the acknowledgement of super efficient products.

A Governing Council made up of the EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation and the DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will coordinate communication to outside stakeholders such as Congress, the Administration, and the public. The Governing Council will also hold stakeholder meetings twice annually.

Furthermore, DOE will support EPA by monitoring and verifying test procedure compliance and developing Federal test procedures and metrics.

EPA will serve as the brand manager when ENERGY STAR is applied to whole buildings. This includes marketing, outreach, monitoring and verification along with performance levels, which will be established according to established and consistent principles for the ENERGY STAR brand. DOE will support EPA in monitoring and verifying compliance.

Obama Administration Provides $106 Million for Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said more than $106 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is being awarded to nine states.

The money is intended to support energy efficiency and conservation. Under the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, these states will implement programs aimed at lowering energy usage, reducing carbon pollution, and creating local green jobs.

States receiving funding today include: Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

BIM Expected to Create Change

Building Information Modeling (BIM) may bring significant changes to the glass and curtain wall industries before 2015.

BIM is a process that serves as a channel to three standout areas of the fenestration industry. These include sustainable design, lean construction, and integrated project delivery.

Contract glaziers, glazing system suppliers, and consultants will need to understand the new BIM process, its tools, and how both of these may change their businesses. It’s likely that the psychology of changing a corporate culture and the processes it uses will pose more of a challenge of implementing a new software tool.

President Obama Addresses Climate Change

President Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly regarding climate change on Tuesday, September 23, 2009.

Obama thanked the leaders who participated and added that the number of people present showed the urgency of acting to reduce the threat from climate change. Obama pointed out that today's response to this challenge will be judged by by future generations and called for bold, swift action because failing to do so would expose future generations to an irreversible catastrophe.

Obama further noted that no one can escape the impact of climate changes, particularly rising sea levels, more powerful storms and floods, and more frequent drought and crop failures that threaten the prosperity, health, and safety of the entire world.

Recognizing hope in the midst of adversity, Obama said he was proud that the United States has done more to promote clean energy and reduce carbon pollution in the last eight months than at any other time in our history.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Look for the NFRC Label

Beginning October 1, 2009, either a black or red label will appear on windows, door, and skylights.

The label indicates high-efficiency fenestration products that qualify as ENERGY STAR but are less stringent than the requirements that will be implemented April 1, 2010.

Windows, doors, and skylights purchased after June 1, 2009 need to have a U-factor and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30 or less, and the ratings must be certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council.

Friday, September 18, 2009

NFRC's Executive Director says the Best is Yet to Come

An old adage explains that, “To know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been.”

When I think of where NFRC has been and where it’s going, it’s hard for me to believe we’ll be celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. It seems like just yesterday that some fenestration industry professionals and related stakeholders gathered in a hotel bar in Vancouver, British Columbia, to create an organization that addresses the need for a national, uniform fenestration energy rating system.

This group of industry professionals met because they saw the real need for credible energy ratings for windows, doors, and skylights. There were too many exaggerated claims about product performance that were misleading consumers. As this activity increased, the federal government began to investigate, and with government oversight looming, the key fenestration stakeholders moved quickly to establish the National Fenestration Rating Council.

That was in 1989, and today NFRC remains the only independent, third-party certification organization for fenestration product performance – and we’re still growing strong. Participation and interest in NFRC’s Product Certification Program continues to increase, and we see the organization playing a vital role in the sustainable building movement by providing the information required to make buildings more energy efficient.

Since its humble beginnings in Vancouver, I’ve seen many changes at NFRC. One of the most recent is our activity to address the needs of the commercial fenestration market through our Component Modeling Approach (CMA) program. The CMA Pilot Program is underway, and we’re motivated to engaging this industry with a product that provides credible, independent energy ratings. CMA promises to be a major step forward in NFRC’s evolution.

Another recent change is our revised strategic direction, which we unveiled during our recent Summer Membership Meeting in Baltimore, Md. The new direction more clearly defines our mission, vision, core values, and goals. You can view the specifics of the CMA Pilot Program on the NFRC Web site.

In the communications arena, NFRC is expanding its live meetings report to offer additional fenestration-related news between membership meetings. We also invested in a new, more modern exhibit booth to increase awareness of NFRC programs and to improve brand awareness.

These are just a few of the things we’re doing at NFRC to better serve our stakeholders and to enhance our relevancy in the industry. I’m truly honored to be part of this thriving organization, and as I reflect on the past and contemplate the future, I’m convinced the best is yet to come.

Jim Benney Executive Director

NFRC's Retailer Program Gaining Traction

NFRC is proud to announce that it is welcoming two new participants into its newly revised Retailer Program.

The popular program, which was on hiatus for a few years, re-launched earlier this year after NFRC reflected on its past success. At its height, the Retailer Program reached more than 4,000 people a month.

NFRC now has two participants for the renewed program – National Home Centers (NHC) and Menards. Both are home improvement chains. NHC offers a wide variety of doors and windows and has 11 locations throughout Arkansas. Menards has 252 stores in 12 states, primarily in the Midwest.

Here's how NFRC’s Retailer Program works:
NFRC provides retailers of fenestration with “tear sheets” to display in their millwork departments near the windows, doors, and skylights they have for sale. The tear sheets are free of charge.

Consumers and contractors who are browsing the aisles can grab a tear sheet as they shop, so they have the information they need to make an informed buying decision at the point of purchase. The tear sheets include information on important considerations when selecting energy-efficient windows. These include U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and Visible Transmittance.

NFRC's Retailer Program creates a truly win/win/win situation. Retailers can offer on-the-spot information on fenestration energy ratings, consumers get the information they need, and NFRC gains recognition for its independent certification and labeling program.

If you are interested in participating in the Retailer Program, please contact NFRC's Communications and Marketing Manager, Tom Herron, at 301-589-1776.

Monday, September 14, 2009

National Trust for Historic Preservation offers "Weatherization Guide"

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has implemented its "Weatherization Guide" for Older and Historic Buildings."

The guide serves as a comprehensive resource for homeowners who want to make their homes more energy efficient without spending a lot of money. One of the main goals for this guide is to provide insight on making energy efficiency improvements without compromising the historic character of one’s home.

The Weatherization Guide includes a section with advice for retrofitting old windows and answers many questions on whether it’s best to repair or replace windows.

Friday, September 11, 2009

White Paper Explains Changes in Fenestration Codes

A recently published white paper discusses changes in fenestration codes. Technoform in Twinsburg, Ohio, prepared the document, which provides insight into how fenestration codes may be able to help window and curtainwall manufacturers achieve compliance.

Technoform published the white paper to clarify proposed changes to ENERGY STAR® requirements, new ASHRAE, IECC and DOE guidelines, and the tax credit provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Webinar Discusses Impact of Fenestration on Energy Loss

The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) is offering a Webinar dedicated to how fenestration performance affects energy efficiency.

The Webinar will be held on September 15, 2009 from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. (EST).

Attendees will learn about the total U.S. energy consumption through buildings and fenestration products based on information provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Attendees will also learn what U factors, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and Visible Light Transmittance (VLT) are and what role they play in energy loss or gain.

There will also be a discussion on various energy codes with a focus on which ones becoming more stringent such as Energy star, IECC, and ASHRAE.

Further information is available from CSI.

Friday, September 4, 2009

NFRC to Hold Webinar on CMA Pilot Project

NFRC will hold a Webinar on Thursday, September 10 from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.

The Webinar will focus on updates to NFRC’s Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Pilot Program. Registration is currently open.

NFRC held a previous Webinar regarding the CMA Pilot Project on July 15. A recording, including answers to the questions posed at the end of the formal presentation, is available. All the information you need about both seminars is posted on the NFRC Website.

NFRC's Executive Director Speaks Out on Passing of Industry Giant

Jim Benney, Executive Director, of NFRC offered his thoughts on the passing of industry giant, Bill Marvin.

"I have many fond memories of the Marvin family from my days with the National Window and Door Association and want to express my condolences to them and my appreciation for their contribution to the fenestration industry.

I had my first opportunity this past week to actually visit the Marvin facility in Warroad, Minnesota. It reminded me of the important ties that the window industry has always had with their communities and how generations of families have worked hard to produce quality products and to provide a quality of life to their environs.

It was great to experience the pride that so many people expressed in their town and in the state, and I am sure this pride is duplicated in so many of the communities across this country where window and door businesses have existed for generations. It makes me extremely proud to be associated with this industry.”

Marvin died at his home on Monday morning, August 31. He was 92.

NFRC Lists Certified Approved Calculation Entities

NFRC has posted the first listing of certified Approved Calculation Entities (ACE) on the NFRC Website.

Green Fire Station Under Construction

Sarasota County has broken ground on its first green fire station.

The facility will use recycled materials, a high-performance roof system that reflects a great deal of solar energy, and high performance windows with glass that reduces solar heat gain.

This is the first fire station of its kind to be built green in Sarasota County but not the last. County officials say newly firehouses will be constructed to help protect the environment.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

NFRC's John Lewis Completes CMA Demonstration at GANA

Earlier today, NFRC's John Lewis spoke about the merits of the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) during the Glass Association of North America's (GANA) Fall Conference in Kansas City.

John's presentation included the rationale for implementing CMA and an explanation of CMAST, the software tool that drives CMA.

The demonstration also touched on NFRC's Pilot Program, and John encouraged anyone who is interested to get involved.

"The opportunity to use the fully functional version of CMAST is available, and there will be financial incentives for early adopters" Lewis concluded.

John Lewis Speaks about CMA

John Lewis is speaking about NFRC's Component Modeling Approach (CMA) program right now.

You can watch live here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

BCAP Speaks about its New Website

This summer, the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) launched a beta version of its new Website known as the Online Code Environment & Advocacy Network (OCEAN).

OCEAN is interactive, and it is designed for sharing best practices, educational resources, and notable facts about building energy code adoption and implementation.

Designers, builders, manufacturers, regulators, advocates, and various other organizations involved in building energy codes will find that OCEAN provides valuable information based on the experience of its users.

Visit OCEAN at

NFRC to Demonstrate CMA Tomorrow -- Watch Live on the Web

Watch NFRC in action as it happens.

NFRC's John Lewis will demonstrate the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) program tomorrow, Thursday, September 3 at The Glass Association of North America's (GANA) Fall Conference in Kansas City.

The demonstration will begin 8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) and will be broadcast live on the Web.

Be sure to tune in for valuable information on the CMA Pilot Program and NFRC's plans for its future.

Join NFRC in San Antoinio

Register Now for NFRC's Fall Membership Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, November 16-19, 2009

Online Registration Now Open -

PLUS – please mention the hotel room cutoff date (at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel) is October 20, and reservations can be made online at or via phone at 888-999-2089.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

IGMA Document Offers Guidlines on Achieving Long-Term Performance of IGU's

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) has announced the publication of its technical document, TM-3100-09.

The publication is entitled, "Voluntary Guidelines for the Identification of Visual Obstructions in the Air Space of Insulating Glass Units," (IGU's). The document's purpose is to help achieve long-term performance of sealed insulating glass units.

These guidelines are intended for those who design, specify, manufacture, and install insulating glass units.

Full Story

GlassBuild Poised for Dynamic Show

GlassBuild 2009, slated for September 20 - October 2, 2009 in Atlanta will provide some first-time events.

The show will provide a Glass Innovation Pavilion to showcase new technologies and other advances in the glass industry. These include advancements in energy conservation, design innovations, and green technologies.

Another separate session will focus solely on energy efficiency, and it will include a comprehensive discussion on windows. Expert panelists representing the fenestration industry and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will be on hand.

Additionally, economist Jeff Dietrich of EcoTrends will provide an economic forecast for the nation as a whole and offer his thoughts for the North American glass industry. He will also provide insight on the window and door retail market.

Full Story

Incentives Help Finance Energy-Efficient Window Replacements

Various states and utility companies are providing incentives to help finance energy-efficient window replacements. These incentives include loans and low-income assistance.

The Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC), along with the Department of Energy (DOE), have assembled a list of the incentive aimed at helping residents, owners, and contractors weigh their options.

The incentives are listed by state and by the specific energy supply companies that administer the programs.

Full Story