Monday, November 30, 2009

NFRC Accredits Lab Outside U.S.

NFRC has accredited its first laboratory outside North America

The laboratory is in Brummeria, Pretoria, South Africa, and it was accredited for thermal testing. The name of the laboratory is simply, Thermal Test Laboratory. It is managed by Gerrit Genis.

The on-site inspection occurred in July of 2009 by Bipin Shah.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Codes Updates from around the United States

These are some of the latest codes updates being reported by the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP).


The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) State Codes Advisory Committee (SCAC) 2009 IECC Task Force began meeting on November 16. The task force will review the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 with a potential adoption expected in the spring of 2010.


On June 25, the Montana Building Code Council voted to adopt the 2009 IECC with amendments. A public hearing on the new energy code, during which comments may be submitted, is scheduled for Monday, November 30.

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire State Building Code Review Board has scheduled the completion of its work leftover from its November 13 meeting for an all-day meeting on Friday, December 11 to finish the adoption of potential amendments to the new state code to be based on the 2009 IECC


A number of upcoming meetings of the Ohio energy code development community are scheduled for December:

Friday. December 4: The Codes Committee of the Ohio Board of Building Standards (BBS) will meet, but will not be reviewing a residential code proposal until January at the earliest.

Tuesday. December 8: Deadline for public comments on the Ohio Residential Codes Advisory Committee (RCAC) proposal to update the Residential Code of Ohio for One-, Two-, and Three-Family Dwellings (RCO), which is based on the 2009 IECC with several weakening amendments.
Wednesday. December 9: The RCAC will meet to debate and hear testimony on the RCO proposal.

Friday. December 11: The full BBS conference committee will meet (this is not a public hearing).


As required by the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act of 1999 (and its amendments), the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) is required to update the state’s Uniform Construction Code (UCC) by December 31 of the year of the issuance of the new ICC family of codes (I-codes).


In July, the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development voted in favor of adopting a recommendation to update the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) to reference the 2009 IECC (it currently references the 2006 IECC). A comment period on the proposed USBC will be open from September 28, 2009 to January 25, 2010. The Board will review the comments received at its meeting in March 2010, with final adoption tentatively planned for late summer 2010.

Full Details

NFRC Exhibits at 15th Annual Win-Door Show, Canada Codes Work Nears End

NFRC hosted an exhibit booth at the 15th annual Win-Door North America Show, which was held November 17-19 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The show featured several educational sessions to update attendees on code developments. One session pointed out that the Canada national building code for 2010 is drawing toward a conclusion. The 2010 code, however, must be adopted by Canada’s various provinces and will therefore likely go into effect during 2011.

Full Details

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fenestration Industry Veteran, Roland Temple, Retires

As reported at the recent NFRC Fall Meeting in San Antonio, Roland Temple has retired.

Roland was a long-time NFRC advocate, Board Member, and Certification Policy Committee (CPC) Chair; and his guidance will be sorely missed.

His departure leaves two leadership voids; namely a General Interest Category Board Seat and the CPC Chair.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Fall Meeting Is in the Books

That will do it from beautiful San Antonio. We'll see you all again next April in New Orleans.
In the meantime, be sure to check NFRC News Now at least once a day - we've gone 24/7, and this is the best place to get information about NFRC and the fenestration energy performance business!

Closing Thoughts from the Chair

Well, the 2009 Fall Membership Meeting has now come to a close, and as always I find myself amazed and appreciative of all the hard work and dedication put forth by everyone involved. As usual, many of the debates over the past week were very spirited. I know that in some ways this can be a source of frustration, but as I’ve stated in the past I take this as a sign of a truly healthy and vibrant organization in which everyone is genuinely committed to “getting it right.” If we didn’t really care about what we’re doing, these debates would be far less passionate, but where’s the fun in that? So, I again extend my appreciation and congratulations to the hardest working and most dedicated people I know … the members and staff of NFRC.

Following are specific thoughts on the past week, in no particular order:

· Clearly the major topic of interest this week was advancement on rating procedures for attachments. It’s obvious we have much more work to do, and in particular the issue of appropriate reference products needs to be settled. However, despite the challenges we faced this week, I believe we continue to make excellent progress at a rather remarkable pace.

· IG certification is also a topic of great interest as the July 1, 2010, date approaches. I want everyone to know that the Board is hearing all the comments and concerns being offered, and the Board will give each item its due consideration. However everyone also needs to know that at this time, the July 1, 2010, date is unchanged, and all participant are strongly encouraged to continue marching toward that date.

· Completion of the 901 AEP procedure is truly an historic milestone in our history and evolution. This effort has been underway for as long as I can recall. Granted we have not yet achieved the ultimate goal of a consumer-friendly AEP rating, but the approval of the revised 901 is a major step in reaching that goal.

· The CMA Program continues to make advancements. The current pilot program is providing us valuable information for final adjustments as we move into the full program in early 2010.

· I very definitely have mixed feelings about bidding farewell to Roland Temple. In one sense I’m very happy for him and wish him all the best as he enters into retirement. On the other hand, I really wonder if NFRC will ever be the same without him. Roland, you are truly one of the unique, even special, individuals who helped NFRC become the success that it is today and will be in the future. You will be sorely missed and leave behind shoes (actually boots) that are simply too big to ever fill. Best wishes to you and Neville as you enjoy your retirement. Thanks for all you’ve done, and God Bless !!!

· Lastly, I hope everyone enjoyed all the 20-year celebration festivities. Since the Thursday morning Board meeting ran a little long, we didn’t get a chance to review everyone’s responses to my “homework” assignment about sharing their favorite memories over NFRC’s first 20 years. So, here they are:

o The Alaska Board meeting that got “moosed."
o In 1992 we had 400 people in New Orleans as the first label requirements were pending. At that point we knew NFRC would work and last!
o The dinner during the Miami meeting. Great food, drink, entertainment – and cigars.
o The rotating bar at the hotel in Arlington, VA.
o The music and beautiful people and scenery in Quebec City.
o Meeting in Berkeley, CA when manufacturers threatened to lynch Nehemiah.
o Forming the NGRC – the National Gumbo Rating Council.
o The sunsets in Hawaii.
o Nehemiah, John Hogan, and Gary Curtis keeping us on our toes.
o The all you can eat snack shack in Tempe, Arizona.
o Sailing trip with whales in Hawaii (Big Island).

As you can see, most of these memories are tied into the places where we meet. Here’s hoping that many of you made new favorite memories here in San Antonio.

I look forward to seeing you all again in New Orleans next Spring. Until then, and as always … THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO !!! (And also, Happy Holidays!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Board Applauds Roland Temple's Service

At the end of the Board of Directors meeting, Chair Joe Hayden announced that NFRC Board Member Roland Temple of AZS Consulting is retiring. Hayden thanked Temple, the winner of NFRC's first NFRC Member of the Year award in 2008, for his years of dedication and service to NFRC and lamented that he can’t be replaced.

Roland asked us to share his favorite NFRC memory with everyone:

To All –

It has been a great blessing and pleasure in my life to have spent 20 years with NFRC. I know that I have not been associated with all of you for that long but “you all” are a part of my NFRC history. My prayers and best wishes are for your continued success. I love you all and will miss you. It is a difficult thing to pick one “adventure” as a favorite memory. However I still think that stepping out on our own was the best “adventure” of my NFRC involvement. As a result of this we have a great management team/staff. Keep up the good work.

God Bless You,

Good luck, Roland!

Board Hears Details of Virtual Membership Meeting

During the Board meeting, Cheryl Gendron, NFRC’s meetings manager, presented information on NFRC’s first “virtual” meeting, planned for July 19-22, 2010. The online meeting will take the place of the usual in-person Summer Membership Meeting.

The meeting will be conducted as a webinar, which can accommodate up to 1,000 participants. Business will be limited to committee and subcommittee sessions. There will be no task group meetings.

“Staff will be extensively testing this new process,” Gendron told the Board. “There will be a dry run a few weeks before the meeting with staff and a handful of registrants.”

This will be the first time that NFRC will conduct an online membership meeting. Gendron invited feedback on the process and encouraged anyone who’s attended online meetings to share their thoughts.

Look for more information on the Summer 2010 VIRTUAL Committee Week on the NFRC's meetings Web page.

Board of Directors Passes Motions

The last day of the NFRC 2009 Fall Membership Meeting concluded with the Board of Directors meeting this morning. After hearing reports from the Accreditation Policy, Technical Interpretation, and Certification Policy Committees, the Board turned its attention to motions presented by several other committees.

The Research and Technology Committee, chaired by Werner Lichtenberger of TruSeal Technologies, Inc., brought forward several action items. Among the actions, the Board approved motions to:

-Extend the Window 6/THERM 6 Validation Research project to the NFRC Spring 2010 Membership Meeting.
-Extend the Condensation Resistance for CMA Research project deadline until January 31, 2010.

Then, the Board passed additional motions under the Research and Technology Committee, including ones to:

-Approve NFRC 101 as amended with implementation upon publication
-Reaffirm the NFRC 103 document as a 2010 document with implementation upon publication (January 1, 2010).

Lichtenberger also reported that the Optical Properties Subcommittee is developing an NFRC 302 ballot for the NFRC 2010 Spring Membership Meeting. Major optical property submission process changes are being considered.

Nils Petermann of the Alliance of Save Energy reported that the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing committee dropped the legislative update from Monday’s session due to time constraints, but it will be posted to the NFRC Web site.

The Board then turned its attention to the Technical Committee. Among the motions it passed, the Board:

-Reaffirmed NFRC 400-2004 as NFRC 400-2010, with implementation on January 1, 2010.
-Approved the NFRC 100 Applied Films ballot document, with implementation on January 1, 2010.
-Approved the NFRC 100 Dynamic Attachment for Swinging Door (DASD) ballot
-Reaffirmed NFRC 200-2004 as NFRC 200-2010 for approval with implementation upon publication, and sunset 200-2004 at the same time.
-Approved the NFRC 901-2010 ballot and sunset the existing 2004 document at the same time (to be implemented upon publication).

NFRC Board Chair Joe Hayden described passage of the last motion as “an historic moment.”

The Board then took action on Ratings Committee business presented by JELD-WEN’s Steve Strawn, chair of the committee. Among the motions it passed, the Board approved:

-The NFRC 700 Applied Film ballot upon which may be used upon publication and mandatory on July 1, 2010. (This motion featured an amendment to add “without film” values to each of the performance rating columns).
-That the metric labeling requirement be allowed to 2 decimal places immediately and recommend that the NFRC 700 be revised to allow those requirements and to direct the metric labeling working group (chaired by J. Baker) to develop a recommendation as soon as possible and to bring that recommendation directly to the Board for final action.
-The NFRC 700-2010 Applied Films ballot, with implementation upon publication.
-The NFRC 705-2010 ballot with implementation upon publication.

The Board also approved an implementation plan for 2010 procedure.

After that action, Strawn presented the results of the Ratings Committee’s straw poll from yesterday. The Board approved a motion to the new product guidelines that the new product ratings and labeling plans be part of the new product guidelines document and these plans be approved by the BOD prior to Technical Committee or Ratings Committee work.

Good morning!

Welcome back to NFRC News Now's coverage of the NFRC Fall Membership Meeting. The Board of Directors meeting is underway, so check back throughout the day for updates.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good night!

The third day of business at the NFRC Fall Membership Meeting is complete. NFRC News Now is signing off for the evening - coverage will continue tomorrow morning. Have a good night!

Ratings Committee Advances Numerous Items to Board

The Ratings Committee wrapped up the day’s proceedings by moving numerous ballots to the Board of Directors, holding a lengthy debate on an implementation plan for 2010 documents, and conducting an informal straw poll.

After Steve Strawn of JELD-WEN opened the meeting, John McFee of WDMA, and chair of the Labeling Subcommittee, brought forward two action items on behalf of his subcommittee:

-A motion to move NFRC 700 Applied Film Ballot to the Board of Directors for approval upon which may be used upon publication and mandatory on July 1, 2010.
-A motion that the metric labeling requirements be allowed to two (2) decimal places and recommend that the NFRC 700 be revised to allow the requirements. Direct the working group to develop a recommendation as soon as possible and to bring that recommendation directly to the Board for final action.

The Ratings Committee passed both motions. The latter issue is on a fast track due to upcoming requirements in Canada.

The Certification Subcommittee, chaired by Joe Jonely of Amsco Windows, then presented five motions to the Ratings Committee, all of which passed:

-Move the NFRC 700-2010 Applied Films Ballot to the Board of Directors for approval and to be implemented upon publication.
-Move the NFRC 700-2010 Lineal Supplier Ballot to the Board of Directors for approval and to be implemented upon publication.
-Move the NFRC 700-2010 Thermo-Physical Ballot to the Board of Directors for approval and to be implemented upon publication.
-Move the NFRC 700-2010 Private Labeler Ballot to the Board of Directors for approval and to be implemented upon publication.
-Move to establish a mandatory date of April 1, 2010, requiring highlighting or circling the correct performance value on the door label as listed in NFRC 700 Figure B-2.

Gary Curtis of ECOS Consulting, who is co-chair of the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Ratings Subcommittee, presented one action item from his subcommittee. The Ratings Committee considered and approved the subcommittee’s motion to approve the NFRC 705-2010 Ballot and forward it to the Board of Directors for approval with implementation upon publication.

Thoman Presents 2010 Procedures Plan
The agenda then turned to new business. NFRC Board Member Mike Thoman of Architectural Testing presented a recommended implementation plan for 2010 procedures. After a long debate, the Ratings Committee passed a motion to approve the following implementation plan for 2010 procedures.

Any existing certification shall be allowed to exist for the remainder of the existing certification life.

1) Certification of new products and recertification of existing products may use the 2004 ratings under the following conditions:

a) Testing and simulations shall be completed using 2004 procedures no later than 1/31/2010; and
b) The reports for testing and simulation using the 2004 procedures shall be submitted to an IA in their entirety no later than 2/28/2010; and
c) The IA may issue 2004 CARs through 6/30/2010.

2) Certification of new products and recertification of existing products may use the 2010 ratings starting 1/1/2010

3) Additions and revisions of existing certification shall be performed using the procedure of the original certification.

4) A product tested in accordance to 102-2004 prior to 2/1/2010 may be used as a validation test in conjunction with an NFRC 100 -2010 simulation until four years after the date of the thermal test.

This plan now moves to the Board of Directors for approval.

Ratings Committee Conducts Informal Poll
Strawn concluded the Ratings Committee meeting by conducting an informal straw poll on three questions:

1) To allow (encourage) that ratings and labeling plans be approved prior to technical committee work when starting on rating new products.

Straw poll result: 19 agree, 4 disagree

2) Allow sash kits in pocket windows to be considered as attachment products.

Straw poll result: 10 agree, 8 disagree

3) Allow optional bulk labeling of windows, doors, and skylights. Bulk packagers up to 20 individual like products would qualify for one bulk label.

Straw poll result: 9 agree, 8 disagree

(This article was updated on 11/19/09.)

CMA Ratings SC Moves NFRC 705 Ballot Forward

The CMA Ratings Subcommittee held what likely was its shortest meeting ever. After Co-chair Mike Manteghi of TRACO opened the subcommittee meeting, Sneh Kumar, also of TRACO, reported on the activities of the CMA Complex Products Task Group.

Kumar noted that earlier this afternoon the CMA Technical Subcommittee had passed a motion to delay the development of complex products ratings. This means that the task group now has to figure out what to do, he explained.

NFRC Chair Joe Hayden then reiterated that the negative comment from Pella/EFCO that called for shelving the ballot for a year did so because the ballot referred to all attachment products. However, he said that the negative comment did not mean to discourage individual complex products from coming forward in that period.

The subcommittee then proceeded to act on the NFRC 705-2010 Ballot. After the subcommittee found the single comment on the NFRC 705-2010 ballot to be editorial and persuasive, it passed a motion to approve the NFRC 705 -2010 Ballot and forward it to the Ratings Committee for approval with implementation upon publication.

Labeling Subcommittee Passes Two Motions

The Labeling Subcommittee, chaired by John McFee of the Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), took action on two motions this afternoon.

Before it did so, the subcommittee heard reports from task groups. Charlie Curcija of CARLI, Inc., reported that the CMA Label Task Group doesn’t have any further work. “We developed a label, we finished a label, it is being used,” he said. McFee said that even though the task group has been suspended, any action items that come through in the future will be directed to it.

Mike Cienian of Hunter Douglas, chair of the Attachment Label Task Group, reported on its activities, and read a statement from Co-Chair Thomas Morrissey. The task group’s first official conference call will be held in mid-December, and Morrissey, also of Hunter Douglas, has drafted a proposed scope statement that Cienian shared with the subcommittee.

The subcommittee then passed a motion that metric labeling requirements be allowed to two (2) decimal places and that the NFRC 700 be revised to allow the requirements. The motion also directs the working group to develop a recommendation as soon as possible and to bring that recommendation directly to the Board for final action.

Business then turned to the NFRC 700-2010 Applied Films Ballot. After all negative comments were withdrawn, the subcommittee passed a motion to move the ballot to the Ratings Committee for approval and implementation upon publication.

Sponsor Spotlight: PAMA

The Professional Awnings Manufacturers Association (PAMA) is the silver-level sponsor of the NFRC 2009 Fall Membership Meeting. With more than 300 manufacturing members, PAMA is the only international trade association that supports the awning industry.

This afternoon NFRC News Now spoke with John Gant, of Glen Raven, Inc., who serves on PAMA’s Board of Directors and is a member of NFRC. He is actively involved in about a half dozen attachment task groups.

In early 2008, PAMA joined NFRC, before the Spring Membership Meeting in Nashville. “Glen Raven and PAMA joined to pursue energy ratings for window awnings,” explained Gant.

PAMA has sponsored NFRC meetings because it’s a good opportunity to get its name and mission in front of the NFRC membership, said Gant.

He noted that awnings fell out of favor in the 1960s as air conditioning became common in the United States, but these products are making a comeback. They become a lot of more popular especially when energy prices rise, he explained.

The green building movement is drawing attention to attachment products as well, said Gant. He explained that green building and energy efficiency programs should have technical information on the energy performance of attachment products.

Gant said that other manufacturers are interested in developing attachment ratings and are getting involved in the NFRC process. “There is broad industry support for this work.”

Certification SC Moves Four Ballots

The Certification Subcommittee, chaired by Joe Jonely of Amsco Windows, moved four ballots forward to the Ratings Committee, including the:

  • NFRC 700-2010 Private Labeler Ballot

  • NFRC 700-2010 Thermo-Physical Ballot, but only after vigorous discussion of a negative, submitted and withdrawn by Jim Krahn of Marvin Windows & Doors regarding Appendix B of NFRC 101

  • NFRC 700-2010 Applied Films (U-Factor) Ballot

  • NFRC 700-2010 Lineal Supplier Ballot

The subcommittee concluded its business by passing a motion that the Certification Subcommittee establish a mandatory date of April 1, 2010, requiring the highlighting of the door matrix label as listed in the NFRC 700 Figure B.2.

Technical Committee Moves 11 Ballots

Wrapping up an extended Technical Committee Block that spanned two days and 10 hours, the Technical Committee - under the leadership of Vice Chair Steve Johnson of Andersen Corporation - passed 11 motions on to the NFRC Board of Directors for review and approval. These motions included:

From the AEP Subcommittee, to approve changes to NFRC 901-2004, to move it to the Board of Directors for approval as NFRC 901-2010 to be implemented upon publication, and to sunset NFRC 901-2004.

From the Air Leakage Subcommittee, to reaffirm NFRC 400-2004 as NFRC 400-2010 and to forward it to the Board of Directors for approval and implementation on 1/1/2010.

From the U-factor Subcommittee, to approve the NFRC 100 Applied Films Ballot and to forward it to the Board of Directors for approval and implementation on 1/1/2010.

From the U-factor Subcommittee, to approve NFRC 102-2010 and to forward it to the Board of Directors for approval and implementation on 1/1/2010.

From the U-factor Subcommittee, to approve the NFRC 100-DASD Ballot and to forward it to the Board of Directors for approval and publication into the NFRC 100-2004 and NFRC 100-2010 documents, with implementation of the revised NFRC 100-2004 immediately upon publication and implementation of NFRC 100-2010 on 1/1/2010.

From the U-factor Subcommittee, to approve NFRC 100-2010, the NFRC 100 Garage-Rolling Door Ballot, and the NFRC 100 Validation Matrix Ballot and to forward them to the Board of Directors for approval and implementation on 1/1/2010.

From the SHGC Subcommittee, to reaffirm NFRC 200-2004, with approved changes, as NFRC 200-2010, to forward it to the Board of Directors for approval and implementation upon publication, and to sunset NFRC 200-2004 at same time.

From the SHGC Subcommittee, to reaffirm NFRC 201-2004, with approved changes, as NFRC 201-2010, to forward it to the Board of Directors for approval and implementation upon publication, and to sunset NFRC 201-2004 at same time.

From the SHGC Subcommittee, to approve the NFRC 200 Applied Films Ballot, to forward it to the Board of Directors for approval and insertion into NFRC 200-2010 and implementation upon publication.

From the SHGC Subcommittee, to approve NFRC 200 DASD, to forward it to the Board of Directors for approval into the NFRC 200-2004 and NFRC 200-2010 documents and implementation upon publication.

From the CMA Subcommittee (Technical), to approve the NFRC 100 Section 5.9 Ballot and forward it to the NFRC Board of Directors for approval and implementation upon publication with the entire 2010 documents.

Proposed Implementation Plan and New Task Group
Mike Thoman offered an implementation plan for all the new 2010 documents, and agreed to bring it forward for formal review and approval during the Ratings Committee block on Wednesday afternoon.

The committee also formed a TDD Testing Task Group under the SHGC Subcommittee.

CMA Tech SC Advances NFRC 100 Sec. 5.9

Among its business this morning, the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Technical Subcommittee advanced NFRC 100 Section 5.9 and delayed development of a rating procedure for complex products.

TRACO’s Mike Manteghi, chair of the CMA Technical Subcommittee, opened the meeting, followed by a report from the subcommittee’s CMA Technical Task Group.

Sneh Kumar of TRACO gave an update on behalf of the task group noting that it had balloted NFRC 100 Section 5.6 language and decided to move CMA to a new Section 5.9.

The task group is working to clean up the document and make it more consistent with what’s been approved so far, he said. Later in the meeting, the subcommittee passed a motion to move NFRC 100 Section 5.9 to the Technical Committee for approval.

Complex Products Ballot Delayed
The subcommittee then focused on the CMA Complex Products – NFRC 100, Section 5.9.6 ballot. The ballot involved the development of a rating procedure for all complex products.

The subcommittee discussed the first negative, from Birch Point Consulting, LLC. Its negative said that corner products should be removed, due to the level of complexity it would add to the CMA at such an early stage of the program. The subcommittee passed a motion finding the negative comment to be persuasive and substantive.

Next, the group discussed Pella/EFCO’s recommendation to shelve this ballot for at least one year to allow the industry to focus on getting CMA up and running with simple product configurations. The negative comment went on to state that after “CMA is established...we can regroup and draw on a year's experience with CMAST to determine how best to tackle complex products.” The subcommittee passed a motion finding the comment to be persuasive and substantive.

NNN's Global Reach

After Peter Lyons mentioned that some of his colleagues are following the Fall Membership Meeting through NFRC News Now (NNN), we decided to check Google to see if people in any other countries are checking in.

They are! As of Tuesday, visitors had come to NNN this week from 10 countries outside the United States:
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

The power of the World Wide Web!

SHGC Subcommittee Addresses Several Ballots

The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient Subcommittee convened Wednesday morning under the leadership of Vice Chair Bipin Shah, WinBuild, Inc., and addressed several ballots.

First up was the NFRC 200 Dynamic Attachments for Swinging Doors ballot, which received no negatives or approvals with comment and which was approved and moved forward to the Technical Committee for approval into the 200-2004 and 200-2010 documents, with implementation upon publication.

After disposing of several negatives and approvals with comment, the subcommittee next approved the NFRC 200 Applied Film Ballot and moved it forward to Technical Committee for approval into the 200-2010 document, with implementation upon publication.

The NFRC 200 WINDOW6/THERM6 Software ballot did not fare so well, as multiple negatives were ruled persuasive and the subcommittee voted to return the document to task group for further review. The group did the same with the NFRC 200 Garage Door Ballot.

Subcommittee Reaffirms NFRC 200, 201 for 2010
As its final actions, the subcommittee reaffirmed the NFRC 200-2004 and NFRC 201-2004 documents with approved changes as NFRC 200-2010 and NFRC 201-2010, and forwarded them to the Technical Committee for approval, with implementation upon publication and direction to sunset the 2004 documents at the same time.

U-Factor SC Passes Motions, Forms Task Group

The third day of the NFRC Fall Membership Meeting got underway with the U-Factor Subcommittee passing a handful of motions.

After the subcommittee’s chair, Michael Thoman of Architectural Testing, Inc., opened the subcommittee meeting, attendees heard reports from task groups, including updates from the Garage Rolling/Door Task Group and the Door Task Group.

Joe Hetzel of DASMA reported on the Garage/Rolling Door Task Group, noting progress is being made on the research project and that it’s in its final phase. He said the task group may look into presenting a ballot in the future about developing a standardized spreadsheet for simulation of rolling doors and garage doors.

Dave DeBlock of ODL Incorporated updated the subcommittee on the Door Task Group’s activities. He reported that the task group efforts to try to coordinate simulation for doors, including looking to create a universal spreadsheet for simulators.

The subcommittee then turned it attention to ballots. It passed several motions, including:

· To forward the NFRC 100 Garage/Rolling Door ballot to the Technical Committee for approval into the NFRC 100-2010 document with implementation upon publication.

· To forward the NFRC 100 Dynamic Attachments for Swinging Doors (DASD) ballot to the Technical Committee for approval into the NFRC 100-2004 document and NFRC 100-2010 document with implementation upon publication.

· To find the negative comment from Architectural Testing, Inc., on the NFRC 100 Window 6/THERM 6 Software ballot (i.e., can’t approve without having the results of the Window 6/THERM 6 project) to be persuasive.

· To find the negative comment on section 4.3.1.C.ii in the NFRC 100 Window 6/THERM 6 Software ballot to be persuasive and return the ballot to task group.

· To move forward the NFRC 100 Validation Matrix ballot to the Technical Committee for approval into the NFRC 100-2010 document with implementation upon publication.

· To approve the NFRC 102-2010 ballot and move forward for publication.

· To find the one “approved with comment” on the NFRC 100-2010 ballot to be non-persuasive and change the ¼ lite size designation to include everything up to but less than 410 sq. in.

· To move the NFRC 100-2010 ballot to the Technical Committee for approval with implementation upon publication.

The subcommittee then reviewed negative comments to the NFRC 100 Applied Films ballot, and after finding them to be non-persuasive, passed a motion to move forward the NFRC 100 Applied Films ballot to the Technical Committee for approval into the NFRC 100-2010 document with implementation upon publication.

New Task Group Will Look at Test Sizes
The subcommittee concluded its business by forming a new task group, to be chaired by Mike Manteghi of TRACO, to focus primarily on testing sizes for casement windows and awnings. Some members expressed concern that the way these products are currently tested provides misleading ratings to consumers who compare different product types such as double-hung and casement.

Technical Committee Reconvenes

We're back up and running on Wednesday morning, with the U-Factor Subcommittee, chaired by Mike Thoman of ATI, leading us off.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

AEP: Could It Be True?

After nearly 20 years of development, an NFRC subcommittee has approved an annual energy performance procedure. At 9:06 p.m. Central Standard Time, by unanimous voice vote, the AEP Subcommittee, chaired by Jim Larsen (with an "e") of Cardinal Glass Corporation, sent NFRC 901 to the Technical Committee for review.

And with that, the NFRC meeting mercifully came to a close. The Technical Committee will reconvene at 7:30 on Wednesday morning.

Air Leakage Subcommittee Continues Evening Session

NFRC continued to burn the midnight oil as the Air Leakage Subcommittee focused on its business this evening.

Michael Thoman of Architectural Testing, Inc., chair of the subcommittee, opened the meeting, followed by a report from Chris Nolt of ProVia Door, Inc., on the Air Leakage Task Group’s activities.

The subcommittee then turned its attention to the NFRC 400-2010 ballot review, which drew four negatives and two approved with comments.

Several motions were presented and approved by the subcommittee. It passed a motion that found Andersen Corporation’s first negative comment on the ballot persuasive and substantive, sending it take back to Task Group to revise the language. The subcommittee addressed Andersen’s second comment, regarding how reporting differences are to be reconciled, by passing a motion to find the negative substantive and persuasive and allow the report to follow the NAFS requirements if following the NAFS test method and follow NFRC 400 requirements if following the NFRC test method.

After the ballot’s third negative comment was withdrawn, the subcommittee voted on its third motion of the evening: to find VELUX’s negative persuasive and substantive and include language to allow the manufacturer to supply the largest production size if it is less than the minimum size of the NAFS table.

The subcommittee meeting concluded after it passed a motion to reaffirm NFRC 400-2004 as an interim document.

Results from the Attachments SC Straw Polls

Results from the non-binding base case window straw polls taken after the Attachments Subcommittee reconvened for a rare late-night session are available on the Attachments Subcommittee page on the NFRC Web site.

Attendees Take Break from NFRC Business

After two busy days of program business, attendees took a well deserved break at the NFRC's 20th Anniversary Membership Reception this evening. The event featured authentic Tex-Mex cuisine, a mariachi band, and a champagne toast to celebrate NFRC's special milestone.

Attachment SC Meeting to Reconvene Tonight

Members of the Attachment Subcommittee engaged in a spirited debate over the base case window products included in NFRC 100-A (or, possibly, NFRC 104, but more on that later).

With some members arguing that the time had come to move forward and others cautioning that the approach NFRC takes has to ensure a level playing field and deliver information that customers for attachment ratings need and want, the group ultimately decided to withdraw the ballot and conduct a series of straw votes to provide the task group with better direction on the issue.

But not before the subcommittee decided to break for the NFRC Membership Reception. The subcommittee will reconvene at 7:30 this evening.

Wish You Were Here?

NFRC served up a field of colorful cupcakes for the Tuesday afternoon break. Delicious!

W6/T6, CMAST Approval Task Groups Report Progress

The Technical Committee Block got underway with two reports from the Software Subcommittee, one from the WINDOW 6/THERM 6 Approval Task Group and another from the CMAST Approval Task Group. Both groups are making progress on their respective tasks.

Joe Hayden of Pella reported that the W6/T6 Approval Task Group is managing the process of obtaining NFRC approval of W6/T6 per NFRC Software Approval Guidelines. About 80 percent of the work under the approval process is complete, including the cost-benefit analysis. The task group’s goal is to obtain approval of W6/T6 at the NFRC 2010 Spring Membership Meeting in New Orleans.

The committee then heard the latest on the CMAST Approval Task Group’s work. Jessica Ferris, NFRC’s CMA program manager, reported that the only outstanding task from the Summer Membership Meeting was the verification study. Since that meeting, the task group completed that task, and NFRC posted the report to its Web site and announced its availability to the membership for review. (Members had two weeks to review the report.) At its September meeting, the Board of Director reviewed the members’ comments, and then approved CMAST for the pilot program, along with W6/T6. The Board also moved forward to approve CMAST for the full implementation of CMA in January 2010.

Optical Properties SC Hears Task Group Reports

The Optical Properties Subcommittee met Tuesday morning and heard reports from several task group chairs.

Ray McGowan, NFRC’s senior research and technology manager, encouraged members to get involved with the NFRC 302 Task Group “because the whole document is being reviewed and there could be significant changes.”

Charlie Curcija of Carli, Inc. told the subcommittee that the Non-planar Simulation Task Group is working on a one-page research summary page and plans to submit it at the next meeting.

The subcommittee also heard reports from the Attachment Optical Properties Task Group and a brief update on ISO activity.

Research SC Approves Numerous Motions

The Research Subcommittee, chaired by Bipin Shah of WinBuild, Inc., approved five motions during its Tuesday morning meeting. These approvals included motions by:

- Kevin Vilhauer of Milgard Manufacturing, seconded by Dave De Block of ODL Incorporated, to extend the completion date for the Condensation Resistance Procedure for CMA research project to January 31, 2010;

- Joe Hayden of Pella Corporation, seconded by Charlie Curcija of Carli, Inc., to extend the completion date for the WINDOW 6/THERM 6 Validation research project to the Spring 2010 membership meeting;

- Hayden, seconded by Steve Harp of Associated Materials, Inc., to recommend to the Research & Technology Committee that it approve a $5,200 increase in funding for the WINDOW 6/THERM 6 project;

- Sneh Kumar of TRACO, seconded by Tracy Rogers of Edgetech I.G., to recommend to the Research & Technology Committee that it approve a “CMA methodology” summary page for RFP development; and

- Peter Lyons of Peter Lyons & Associates, seconded by Roland Temple of AZS Consulting, to recommend to the Research & Technology Committee that it approve a “spandrel system performance validation” summary page for RFP development.

Research Funding Is Available
NFRC Senior Research and Technology Manager Ray McGowan told the subcommittee that approximately $1.1 million is available to fund research projects through 2014 (though three proposed projects would use up approximately $250,000 of that amount, if approved).

“There are funds available, and I encourage members to submit summary sheets,” McGowan said.

Thoughts Shared on Improved Project Management
John Gant of Glen Raven presented four ideas, developed by the NFRC 703-Research Program Manual Task Group, intended to minimize delays and cancellations and prevent negligent behaviors by all participants. Subcommittee members discussed the possibility of:

- including more regimented delivery dates in contracts, with payments tied into those dates;
- imposing financial penalties for late deliverables that are not justified;
- retaining a portion of projects’ budgets until entire the projects are complete; and
- assigning greater responsibility for PMTGs to meet frequently and respond and manage the process and communicate issues.

Also during the Research Subcommittee meeting, Ross McCluney presented reports on the Complex VT Rating and Attached Awning Ratings research projects.

Research & Technology Committee Passes Four Motions

After Chair Werner Lichtenberger of TruSeal Technologies welcomed members of the Research and Technology Committee, the group wrapped up the morning’s business by passing four motions presented by its subcommittees.

Bipin Shah of WinBuild, Inc., who chairs the Research Subcommittee, presented three motions to the committee to:

·Extend the Window 6/Therm 6 Validation research project deadline to NFRC Spring 2010 Membership Meeting
·Extend the deadline for the Condensation Resistance for the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) project to January 31, 2010
·Increase funding by $5,200 for the Window 6/THERM 6 Validation research project

He also noted that the Research Subcommittee appointed Peter Lyons of Peter Lyons & Associates as its vice chair after Rich Biscoe of Architectural Testing, Inc., resigned. Shah welcomed Lyons to the position and thanked Biscoe “for all the support he’s given us.” Bipin also mentioned that the subcommittee is seeking a task group chair for long-term research activities.
Sneh Kumar of TRACO Inc., who serves as the chair of the Optical Properties Subcommittee, reported that his committee had no motions to present. He requested that more NFRC members participate in the subcommittee’s activities.

Charlie Curcija of CARLI, Inc., who chairs the Thermophysical Properties of Materials Subcommittee brought forward the fourth motion to the subcommittee:

·To move NFRC 101 forward to the Board of Directors, except for items sent back to the Task Group, with implementation upon publication of the 2010 documents.

Curcija, who also chairs the Glossary and Terminology Subcommittee, noted it had no action items for the subcommittee.

With the passage of the motions, the Research & Technology Committee moved these actions items to the Board for final approval.

CMA/Title 24 Brochure Available in Registration Area

Meeting attendees are encouraged to pick up a copy of the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) brochure focusing on the new provision in California’s Title 24 2008 energy standards for site-built fenestration in non-residential buildings. It is available in the registration area outside the Crystal Ballroom.

The brochure outlines the CMA process and provides information on using CMA for Title 24 energy compliance. An insert provides additional details on the:

·CMA Software Tool (CMAST)
·CMA Label Certificate
·Certificate of Compliance (ENV-1C)
·Certificate of Acceptance (ENV-2A)
·Acceptance Requirements (NA7.4.1)

A sample CMA Label Certificate is also included.

NFRC is offering education opportunities that focus on CMA and Title 24. On December 3, 2009, and January 28, 2010, NFRC will present a free educational webinar designed for building officials and energy consultants in California, conducted by the Heschong Mahone Group. More information is available online.

Meeting Presentations Available on the Web

If you would like to review the presentations given during the meetings that took place on Monday, Nov. 16, NFRC staff has uploaded them to the NFRC Web site.

Glossary TG Reviews 600 Ballot

After briefly discussing ways to improve the navigability of NFRC’s ever-growing glossary of terms, Chair Charlie Curcija steered the Glossary and Terminology Task Group through discussion of numerous negatives and approvals with comment on the NFRC 600-Glossary and Terminology Ballot.

The group found two negatives, submitted by Joe Hayden of Pella Corporation and Jim Larsen of Cardinal respectively, to be persuasive.

On a unanimous voice vote, the group approved a motion – made by Hayden and seconded by Steve Johnson of Andersen Corporation – to find Hayden’s negative to be editorial and substantive. As a result of this motion, NFRC 600 will need to be re-balloted.

By a vote of 18-7, the group approved the following motion – made by Les Condit of Entech Solar and seconded by Sneh Kumar of TRACO – in response to Larsen’s negative:

"Definitions remain in NFRC 600 and be added into their respective documents. Staff will inform membership if specific document definitions and NFRC 600 do not match or if any new definition conflicts with existing definitions."
Check Spelling
“We will take these negatives into account, and come back with a new ballot,” Curcija said, closing the meeting.

R&T Subcommittees Busy This Morning

The Research & Technology Committee Block got underway with the Thermophysical Properties of Materials Subcommittee, chaired by Charlie Curcija of CARLI, Inc.

Ray McGowan, NFRC’s senior research and technology manager, provided an update on the Thermophysical Properties Peer Review. He reported that nine new physical properties have been received for addition to NFRC 101.

Then, he provided an update on the status of the Thermophysical Properties Interlaboratory Comparison (ILC), reporting that the last laboratory is finishing up the test, and hopefully a report will be ready for members by the 2010 Spring Membership Meeting.

McGowan also talked about the development of an electronic database for Thermophysical properties, hoping that it will be put into THERM and that NFRC can post it on the Web site for members to make comments.

The subcommittee then turned its attention to NFRC 101 (Procedure for Determining Thermophysical Properties of Materials For Use in NFRC-Approved Software Programs). The single ballot being considered involved significant changes to various wood properties and procedures governing their inclusion for simulations. (NFRC 700-Product Certification Program Manual has also been balloted to accommodate the changes shown in NFRC 101).

After review and discussion of the ballot's comments, the subcommittee passed a motion to approve NFRC 101 as amended and implement upon publication of the 2010 documents.

NFRC Booth Takes Center Stage in Hotel's Lobby

The new NFRC exhibit asked for some coverage in NFRC News Now. The editors could not turn it down. "I would like attendees to check out the prime real estate I scored in the lobby," the booth reported.
The new booth, unveiled earlier this year, features a dynamic design and an updated message. "I communicate much better to all audiences now. Thank you, NFRC!" the booth said.

Day Starts with Certification Policy Business

Today’s committee meetings started with the final business of the NFRC Policy Committee Block that began yesterday afternoon. During the Certification Policy Committee meeting, Scott Hanlon, NFRC’s senior programs manager, reported on the status of IA inspections, noting that only one remains for 2009.

The committee then turned its attention to Insulating Glass (IG) certification. Effective July 2010, insulating glass units used in NFRC certified and labeled products must be certified by a third-party IG certification program listed in the Participating IG Certification Program Directory prior to those products obtaining NFRC certification authorization.

Hanlon said that NFRC plans to distribute a bulletin providing details of each entities role and directed attendees to the IG Certification section of the NFRC Web site for more information. He also noted that NFRC 706 details the certification requirements for IG Certification Programs.

Committee Chair Roland Temple requested that technical questions about the IG program be directed to one’s IG program manager/representative.

Temple also encouraged participants to send any issues on IG certification to staff in writing, and closed the meeting by reminding everyone to keep in mind the upcoming July 2010 deadline.

Welcome Back!

Good morning, and welcome to the second day of the NFRC 2009 Fall Membership Meeting!

If you missed the Opening Session yesterday, be sure to watch this video of Brad Normandeau, of the Texas Living History Association, singing the national anthem:

(Video taken by Kaz Sephton, of Sturchio Entertainment).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good Night from San Antonio

The first day of the Fall Membership Meeting has drawn to a close, and we'll bid you good night with this image of the banner that greets everyone in the lobby of the Sheraton Gunter Hotel.

Presentation Explores Relationship Between BIM and NFRC

The first day of the NFRC Fall Membership Meeting wrapped up with a presentation on Building Information Modeling (BIM) interoperability, fenestration, and the NFRC process.

“BIM is becoming more common,” explained Charlie Curcija, of CARLI, Inc., “but we need to understand how we can benefit from that.”

At this time, NFRC doesn’t have any BIM–enabled processes, said Curcija. “We are at the beginning,” he said, “we need to define how we want to fit into that system.”

Efforts to create linkages between tools are a good first step, explained Curcija. For example, CMAST reads WINDOW, OPTICS, and THERM new xml files and runs WINDOW and THERM in the background. And, the CMA Software Tool (CMAST) produces EnergyPlus report file and provides it as a part of label certificate, accessible on the Web.

Among the potential linkages between BIM and NFRC: fenestration manufacturers would benefit from the ability to export custom in-house configuration and bidding systems to NFRC rating tools.

Justin Wong, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New South Wales, in Australia, joined the presentation via conference call. He noted that you can get a lot of information about a window in BIM. As 3-D object-oriented software, BIM can provide information on location, dimension, materials, performance characteristics, quality, and interrelationships.

Dr. Peter Lyons, of Peter Lyons and Associates, wrapped up the presentation by encouraging attendees to think of BIM as a platform or vehicle for exchanging information.

Curcija then asked the audience to think about how NFRC can start incorporating BIM into its processes and to provide feedback on the matter.

CPC Meeting Postponed Until Tuesday Morning

The Certification Policy Committee will meet at 7:00 Tuesday morning in the Crystal Ballroom.

Sponsor Spotlight: Hunter Douglas

Hunter Douglas is the gold-level sponsor of the NFRC 2009 Fall Membership Meeting. The company, based in Upper Saddle River, N.J., is the leading manufacturer of custom-made window fashions in North America and has been in business for more than 60 years.

Earlier today, NFRC News Now spoke with Mike Cienian, vice president, Quality Assurance, of Hunter Douglas North America, and Tom Marusak, President of Comfortex Window Fashions, a manufacturer and fabricator of window treatment products, owned by the same parent company as Hunter Douglas.

“We’re trying to figure out how to work with the NFRC to produce fair, accurate attachment ratings,” said Cienian. He noted that many other companies in the industry are also interested in achieving this goal, and are joining and participating in the NFRC process.

Marusak said that attachment products can improve energy performance, and they have products tested independently.

Cienian serves as chair of the NFRC Attachment Products Subcommittee, which will meet on Tuesday, during the Technical Committee Block. He says that several key ballots are on the agenda, including those for interior/exterior attachments, applied films, and Dynamic Attachments for Swinging Doors.

He noted that the industry eventually would like to see ENERGY STAR® ratings for its attachment products.

APC Reports on New Labs, Round Robins

NFRC added four new simulation labs in 2009, as well as the first-ever thermal test lab outside North America, according to Dennis Anderson, NFRC’s Laboratory Accreditation Program manager. The new test lab is located in South Africa.

Anderson also reported that he inspected one test lab and eight sim labs in 2009, and is due to conduct two additional inspections before the end of the year. He also told the committee that:

- reports for the 2006 and 2007 sim lab interlaboratory comparison (ILC), as well as a report for the 2008 test lab ILC, are forthcoming;
- the 2009 sim lab ILC was distributed on July 10 and completed on October 16;
- results of the 2009 test lab ILC that shipped in August will be summarized by the end of December;
- all labs that have expressed interest in CMA accreditation have gone through;
- 21 certified simulators have been approved, representing 13 sim labs;
- one more CMA training session will be held, probably in January;
- NFRC 701-2010 has been updated and approved by APC, and includes new requirements for attendance at workshops and the time line for inspection report turnaround; and
- NFRC 701.03-2010 has been updated and sent to labs for review and input.

The committee also discussed how to provide the information and support that labs will need to produce reports under the CMA program.

CMA Program Continues its Progress

John Lewis, NFRC’s senior manager of business development and outreach, provided an update this afternoon on the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Product Certification Program. CMA, which enables whole product energy performance ratings for non-residential projects, currently is in a pilot phase.

Lewis noted that testing and evaluation of the CMA Software tool (CMAST) continues and that Version 1.1.00 is about to be released. It will include financial functionality, he reported.

His presentation also highlighted CMA marketing outreach activities in California. Heschong Mahone Group, the firm selected by NFRC to conduct this work, is educating the building code community on the CMA provision in the latest version of the state’s buildings energy codes (Title 24). That version will take effect in January 2010. During the presentation, Lewis invited NFRC Board Member Nelson Pena, with the California Energy Commission, to offer details on CMA and Title 24 to the audience. Pena noted that the enforcement community is being made aware of energy requirements including review and acceptance of the CMA Label Certificate.

Lewis also highlighted free webinars on CMA and Title 24 that are scheduled for December 3, 2009, and January 28, 2010. More information is available online.

More information on CMA generally can be found on the NFRC Web site.

DOE Update at RAM

Funding for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), as well as for the Building Envelope and Window R&D programs, has more than doubled over the last two years, according to DOE program manager Marc Lafrance.

Lafrance told members of the NFRC Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee that EERE budget is now $2.2 billion, while that of the two programs is $16 million (not counting $35 million in stimulus funding).

With this new funding, Lafrance said that he will push forward on a number of fronts, including:

- moving towards zero-energy residential buildings by 2020 and zero-energy commercial buildings by 2025;
- implementing the existing highly insulating R5 window production engineering project once the solicitation process is complete;
- the ongoing volume purchase program; and
- continued investigation of a possible ENERGY STAR® Commercial Windows program.

Even as activities ramp up, Lafrance encouraged NFRC and its members to support the following policies to help ensure that the fenestration industry takes advantage of the available opportunities:

- programs designed to retrofit existing buildings;
- extension of the existing tax credit;
- utility rebate programs that incorporate fenestration; and
- requiring low U-Factor (0.20-0.24) with any solar heat gain coefficient.

“The United States has made an unprecedented investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy,” Lafrance said. “The fenestration industry can play a major role in implementation and new product development.”

Local Green Building Leader Kicks Off RAM

The committees’ portion of the Fall Membership Meeting got underway this afternoon with the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing (RAM) Committee block. The afternoon’s session featured a special presentation by Anita Ledbetter, executive director of Build San Antonio Green™, a local residential sustainable building program that focuses on energy efficiency, water efficiency, sustainable materials, and more.

Ledbetter discussed the development of the organization’s program, which is performance-based. She explained that the organization focused on reaching production builders to reach the masses. She also noted that “green building is something achievable for all builders, at all price points.”

In December 2008, Build San Antonio Green launched a retrofit program for existing homes. “We’re moving into a whole new area,” said Ledbetter.

Among its activities, Build San Antonio Green provides technical workshops on energy efficiency, conservation, renewable energy, and green building. The organization has won several awards for its efforts, including the 2009 National Association of Home Builder’s National Green Building Award.

Mathis on “The Past as Precedent”

Chris Mathis, NFRC’s first administrator and a long-time member and participant in the organization, took attendees at the Fall Membership Meeting on a walk down memory lane Monday afternoon – and then used that perspective to peer into the future.

Speaking at the Opening Session, Mathis described the cycle of “crisis-codes-regulation” that began with a fight over the right way to rate insulation in the 1970s and led to the formation of NFRC to provide fair, accurate, and credible fenestration energy performance ratings.

According to Mathis, NFRC has been a tremendous success. It has allowed the industry to fend off federal regulation of its products’ energy performance, and NFRC has been instrumental in the establishment and success of the ENERGY STAR Windows Program “because it showed what the industry could do.”

NFRC: "More Important" Over Next 20 Years
If anything, Mathis said that he believes NFRC will only become more important as rising demand for electricity leads to stronger efforts to improve energy efficiency. This will lead policymakers to pay more attention to the nation’s existing building stock, he said, which dwarfs new construction but incorporate old, outdated technologies – particularly when it comes to the building envelope.

“People like new buildings because they’re easy – but the 800-pound gorillas are the existing homes,” Mathis said. “We build between one and two million new homes every year, but there are 100 million existing homes – that’s where we have to go to ‘fix’ things.” Ratings like those provided by NFRC will be essential to success, he said.

While Mathis sees several short-term issues that NFRC should address - such as whether the organization can provide ratings with a margin of error better than the accepted “+/- 10 percent” and working with the industry to find ways to rate and label gas-filled products accurately - he is ultimately optimistic about NFRC’s long-term future.
He specifically encouraged members to continue to develop smarter, simpler, and more cost-effective procedures; develop ratings procedures for more products (plastics, fritts, etc.); and invest more in QA/QC.

“I’m not really concerned about where NFRC will be in 20 years,” he said.

Board Announces Topic for Special Discussion

The NFRC Board of Directors will continue its tradition of discussing one high-level concept at each membership meetings. At the end of today’s Opening Session, Chair Joe Hayden announced the topic that the Board will consider in San Antonio: “Does NFRC need enhanced manufacturer Quality Assurance (QA) to ensure on-going credibility?”

NFRC Board Member Jim Larsen, of Cardinal Industries, Inc., elaborated on the reasons why the Board chose this topic, which it will discuss tonight. Hayden then opened the floor to comments from attendees.

The Board will present the results of that discussion on Thursday morning, during the open Board Meeting.

Opening Session Starts with a Look to the Past

The opening session of the NFRC Fall Membership Meeting started with some special guests – the color guard from the San Antonio Living History Association, with one member of the group giving a live performance of the national anthem.

NFRC Chairman Joe Hayden then warmly welcomed attendees to the meeting, saying that it’s time again to “roll up our sleeves and get some work done.”

Hayden noted that this years mark’s NFRC’s 20th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, he created a special quiz for attendees covering other notable sports events that happened 20 years ago.

He also welcomed new member companies that joined NFRC since the Summer Membership Meeting in Baltimore:

-Heschong Mahone Group
-Madison Window Products
-Seashell Awnings
-Stork Twin City Testing
-THV Compozit Windows and Doors

After he discussed NFRC’s core mission, core values, and goals, Hayden reminded attendees of the requirement for IG certification that will begin on July 1, 2010.

Hayden also pointed out that the NFRC 2010 Spring Meeting will take place in New Orleans, followed by the 2010 Summer Meeting, which will be NFRC’s first virtual meeting. He asked for everyone’s patience as NFRC implements its first online meeting and said “we’ll look for constructive input.”

Continuing a tradition, Hayden wrapped up his presentation with his “homework assignment” for attendees, albeit one that’s more fun than usual. He asked attendees to share their favorite memories over NFRC’s past 20 years on one of the easels set up inside and outside the meeting room. The answers will be presented at Thursday’s Board meeting.

Hayden then concluded by thanking the members for all they do, this time in Spanish, “Gracias para todos ustedes hacen.”

Product Line ID Advances

Members answered the final question necessary before NFRC staff can provide a protocol to its database vendor that will add product line IDs prior to the issuance of certification authorization reports (CARs).

The final question, regarding whether members wanted the setting of the product line name precedence to the upload spreadsheet or to the name provided during reservations/modifications of the product line ID. Based on comments from the group, Scott Hanlon, NFRC’s Senior Program Manager, said he will move forward with the latter.

Hanlon said the protocol should be written and available for review by the Alpha Team and the task group by the end of the year, with possible deployment in the second quarter of 2010 depending on the nature of issues that are raised during the review process.

NFRC Pins Support Build San Antonio Green

NFRC is continuing the tradition of giving back to its meetings’ host cities. This time, meeting attendees can make voluntary donations (suggested amount: $10) to support Build San Antonio Green® in return for special Texas-themed lapel pin souvenirs featuring the NFRC logo.

Build San Antonio Green is a partnership of local governments, utilities, and other community stakeholders focusing on sustainable building in the residential sector. Its activities include technical workshops on green building and renewable energy, certifying green residences, and more.

Please be sure to stop by the registration desk to get your pin and support this wonderful cause!

PCP Review Task Group Does Its Job

The PCP Review Task Group, chaired temporarily by Joe Jonely from Amsco Windows, reviewed a number of negatives to multiple NFRC 700 ballots at its Monday morning meeting. The task group is charged with maintaining the PCP document, now known as NFRC 700.

Though the task group took no action, members discussed negatives submitted in response to separate ballots on applied film, lineal suppliers, private labelers, thermophysical properties and film labels. The negatives will be resolved during the Certification Subcommittee meeting on the afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Attachment Ratings: Numbers, Stars or Bars?

Prompted by feedback from the Board of Directors indicating that attachment manufacturers should consider communicating traditional numeric ratings (U-Factor, SHGC, etc.) in another form, the NFRC membership kicked off Monday morning’s Attachment Block with a spirited discussion of alternative attachment ratings.

What form those ratings would take remains unclear, but two of the options discussed included a star or bar system and an annual energy performance number.

Members raised a number of issues that need to be addressed before a path forward can be identified. NFRC Chair Joe Hayden, from Pella Corporation, pointed out that while he believes it would be advantageous to make it clear to the public that fenestration products and attachment products are rated differently, NFRC is already certifying two attachment products with numeric ratings.

“If we move to a different way of communicating attachment ratings, those manufacturers need a reasonable amount of time to shift to the new scheme,” Hayden said.

Several members said that no matter what, they always will need the numeric ratings to do business. “The film industry hasn’t been working all these years to get a ‘star,” said Lisa Winckler from Solutia, Inc. “We need real numbers.”

Ultimately, the group agreed that NFRC serves many different customers who need many different kinds of information.

“There’s a place for very simple numbers and a place for third-decimal point ratings,” said Steve Selkowitz from LBNL. “We ought to define what it is we do and what it is we don’t do and perhaps partner with other organizations to fill gaps. We don’t necessarily need to provide all the data to all the publics.”

Also during the Attachment Block, presided over by Michael Cienian from Hunter Douglas, several task groups provided reports on their efforts to develop ratings for interior/exterior attachments, awnings, door attachments, storm windows and applied film. For example, Willie DuPont from Sunergy Consulting discussed a series of residential and non-residential window and skylight and sloped glazing base case products that have gone out for ballot.

Door Task Group Discusses Standardization
At the Door Task Group meeting, held concurrently with the Attachments Block, participants discussed the NFRC door label and the possibility of standardizing simulation methods for doors. “Everybody does it a little differently, and it would be nice to be able to standardize the spreadsheet,” said Dave De Block, the task group’s vice chair.

The Door Task Group will report on its meeting at the U-Factor and Labeling subcommittees, as appropriate.

NFRC Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

The National Fenestration Rating Council is celebrating 20 years of trusted, independent energy performance ratings for fenestration!

Now is a good time to reflect on how far we’ve come since 1989, when some two dozen industry stakeholders attending an ASHRAE meeting in Vancouver, convened to discuss the need for a national organization to administer a uniform fenestration energy rating system. With no official meeting space available, they met in the hotel’s bar and unanimously decided to form the NFRC.

Since that humble beginning – the original logo was sketched on a napkin – NFRC has become a leader for credible energy performance rating and certification programs for fenestration. The rating and certification system has advanced over the years to include both residential and commercial applications as well as glazing products and window films.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating our 20th anniversary with our valued members and staff,” said NFRC Executive Director Jim Benney. “We continue to take pride in providing fair, accurate, and reliable energy performance.”

For those in attendance in San Antonio, look for a special slideshow presentation celebrating the NFRC’s 20th Anniversary during the Membership Reception on Tuesday evening, as well as a champagne toast to mark this milestone.

NFRC Fall Membership Meeting Begins!

NFRC's 2009 Fall Membership Meeting kicked off bright and early this morning in San Antonio with the NFRC New Member Orientation.

First-time attendees, new members and others heard about the NFRC’s programs and processes.

“If I have one piece of advice for first-timers, it’s don’t be shy,” said Joe Hayden, chair of the NFRC Board of Directors. “Speak your mind, say your piece, and ask your questions.”

The meeting continues with concurrent tracks of task group sessions. One track features eight task groups that report to the Attachments Subcommitttee, while the second track comprises the Door Task Group and the Garage/Rolling Door U-factor Task Group. Those sessions will be followed by four other task group meetings, also split into two tracks.

Check back with NFRC News Now regularly for reports on key developments during the meeting and more news.

A Full House
Nearly 120 people registered for the meeting. NFRC’s Board of Directors extends a warm welcome to all attendees, particularly those joining us for their first NFRC membership meeting:

· Brian Amberg, Stork Twin City Testing
· Lynn Bingham, Phoenix Window Technologies
· Ken Brenden, American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA)
· Korey Gearhart, EMCO Enterprises
· Martin Goss, Champion Window and Patio Room Company
· Andrew Hayes, Madico, Inc.
· Michael Krontz, Oldcastle Glass, Inc.
· Terry Mapes, Battelle Northwest
· Thomas Marusak, Comfortex
· Ed Peterson, Stork Twin City Testing
· Myrna Pula, Canadian Thermo Windows/Magic Window
· Dean Ruark, PGT Industries, Inc.
· Clayton Vigent, National Certified Testing Laboratories
· Gena Webb, Twitchell Corporation
· Daniel Zeiders, National Certified Testing Laboratories

Thursday, November 12, 2009

PAMA Also set to Sponsor NFRC Membership Meeting

The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) is also set to serve as one of the sponsor for NFRC's Fall Membership Meeting, which will be held in San Antonio, Texas from November 16 through November 19.

According to PAMA's Website, awnings can be made to almost any size or shape. With the use of modern metal fabrication equipment and techniques coupled with many new fabric seaming and attachment methods, design options are literally limitless.

Gallery of awnings

NFRC Membership Meeting Looms, Hunter Douglas to Sponsor

The NFRC Fall Membership Meeting kicks off in San Antonio, Texas next week. It begins November 16 and runs through November 19.

NFRC is proud to have Hunter Douglas as one of its sponsors.

According to the company's Website, Hunter Douglas got started in 1946 by offering consumers an exceptionally durable and stylish window covering solution, Hunter Douglas developed the first lightweight aluminum venetian blind.

By 2007, Hunter Douglas was focusing on a remote control system that offered consumers a powerful new motorization system to control both individual and groups of windows throughout the home with the touch of a button.

Learn more about how Hunter Douglas has grown over the years

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NFRC Offers two Free Webinars on CMA, Title 24

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved the use of a new method called NFRC ‘Component Modeling Approach’ or ‘CMA’ in its 2008 update to Title 24.

This new provision generates more precise performance ratings for nonresidential site-built fenestration, providing a better alternative to the current CEC Default Tables.

How does this effect you? CMA provides the following benefits:

  • Model envelope/fenestration products to maximize energy efficiency
  • Obtain credit for high performance fenestration products in energy compliance
  • Compare energy performance of fenestration components and products
  • Eliminate the requirement for lab-testing of site-built fenestration products
Create label certificates from a virtual library of existing fenestration products

Want to Learn More? Join us on one of the following dates:

December 3rd, 2009

January 28th, 2010

This Webinar will qualify for 2 Nonresidential Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) from CABEC (California Association of Building Energy Consultants)

Register at:
Contact: Mudit Saxena or Sophia Hartkopf at HMG, 916-962-7001.

NFRC CMA website:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rating Only the Center of Glass has Drawbacks

Glazed framing systems have improved over the years and left metal-framed, single-paned windows obsolete.

Dual glazed insulating units, low-emissivity coating, and thermally improve frames now provide significant energy savings.

Industry professionals didn’t pay much attention to the energy performance of glazed framing systems until recently. For many years, most of the U.S. was satisfied with using the Center of Glass U-factor for determining the energy-performance calculations of buildings.

The framing around the glazing, however, can be one of the biggest contributors to a system’s energy performance. An insulating glazing unit with a U-value of 0.29 glazed into a poorly performing framing system can result in an overall U-value of 0.60.

Therefore, an energy calculation done for a building using only the Center of Glass U-factor does not produce an honest or realistic result.

This is where the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) comes in.


Executive Director, Jim Benney Speaks out on NFRC and Energy Star® Windows

NFRC, its members and program participants were justifiable surprised by the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

NFRC has had a strong, long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with DOE. This relationship goes all the way back to NFRC founding (funding NFRC) to very successful Energy Star® Windows Program.

The recent meeting between EPA, DOE and Energy Star® program participants was intended to shed light upon the aforementioned MOE; especially with regard to the impact on the fenestration industry. A few significant ideas, issues and overarching goals were expressed at the meeting, including:
  • That the current administration recognizes the impact of building (and building envelope) performance on the energy security of the United States.
  • That the MOU is a commitment between DOE and EPA to help the Energy Star® Program “jump forward.” It is expected to expedite the process and provide more program transparency.
  • That the Energy Star® Program will be viewed as one program; with one budget and one management plan.
  • That Building Energy Star® Programs and Building Labeling Programs will be managed and supported by DOE. Products (including fenestration) will be managed by EPA and supported by DOE.
  • That the proposed “SuperStar” program will be dedicated to top tier products (5% of the market).
  • To inform the stakeholders that the “Governing Body” described in the MOU consists of Kathy Zoi (DOE Assistant Secretary) and Gina McCarthy (EPA Assistant Administrator).
  • To re-assure partners that “if a current process is in place; it is the process that will be used in the future; they do not intend to re-invent the wheel.

This last item should re-assure our members and participants that NFRC standards will remain as the yardstick to be used in evaluating product performance; and that the NFRC Product Certification Program will remain as the recognized third party verification program.

Please note that NFRC has taken steps to develop and grow this new and important relationship with EPA.

If there are any questions regarding this development, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Jim Benney, CAE
NFRC Executive Director