Monday, March 2, 2009

Thermophysical Properties SC Returns 101 & 103 to Task Group

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

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

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

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

The Policy Committee Block Meets

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

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

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

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

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

Latest from the Validation Task Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McCluney Shows a Sustainable Path Forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NFRC Signs Up First Meeting Sponsor

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

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

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

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

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

Storm Windows and the Stimulus Package

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

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

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

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

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

PCP Review TG Continues Work

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

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

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

Attachment Groups Discuss Guidelines

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

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

The guidelines are:

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

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

We're Off and Running!

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

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

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

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

Per Friis Mortensen

New World West
Michael Carlson
Ben Mausar
Peter Valentin

Solatube Inc.
Robert Westfall

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

Heschong Mahone Group
Lisa Heschong
Mudit Saxon

Switch Materials
Caleb Willis

Emory Budzinski
Dave Koester

More to come…