Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Annual Energy Performance SC Asks, What Next?

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

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

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

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

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

U-Factor Subcommittee Addresses Ballots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Air Leakage SC Invites Participation

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

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

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

Window 6/Therm 6/CMAST Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

R&T Technology Committee Meets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NFRC Optical Documents Move Forward

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

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

Rubin Outlines OPS Priorities

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

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

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

-- resolve issues related to NFRC 300

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

-- modify 302 to better manager calculation data

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

-- remain focused on international harmonization

Research SC Approves Three Ballots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ferris Shares the Secrets of CMA

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

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

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

Glossary Goes Back to Task Group

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

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

The task group also approved two motions which:

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

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

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

Did We Mention It's 88 Degrees?

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