Monday, July 20, 2009

Have a Good Night

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

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

Policy Block Concludes Day's Business

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

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

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

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

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

Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Meeting Provides Wealth of Information

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

Building Codes

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

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

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

Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC)

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

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

Department of Energy (DOE)

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

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

International Efforts

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


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

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

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

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

CMA Update

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

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

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

Shannon Provides Legislative Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

-One in the Fenestration Industry category

-One in the Laboratory category

-Two in the General Interest category

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

NFRC Acknowledges First-Time Attendees, New Members

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

Earlene Shillingford: Airgas, Inc.

Dave Deshaies McMahon: Air-Ins, Inc.

Paul Bostrom: Alliance to Save Energy

Fred Clark: Alkenz USA

Gene Demestre: Alkenz USA

Mike Palin: Australian Fenestration Rating Council (AFRC)

Peter Cinquegrani: The Burch Company

Richard Watkins: Comfortex

Alice Dasek: D&R International

Emily Zachery: D&R International

Joseph Holmes: EFCO Corp.

Jose Sanchez: Fenestration Testing Laboratory

John Millhone: Global Energy Metrics and Mosaics

John Srygley, AIA: JRS Architects Inc.

Melissa Shannon: Kountoupes Consulting

Jan Berman: Mecho Shade Corp.

Steve Hebeisen: Mecho Shade Corp.

Martin Fuller: Natural Light Energy Systems

Gregg Vincent: Natural Light Energy Systems

Graham Parker: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Margaret Cook: Professional Awning Manufacturers Assoc.

Andrew Caldwell: Phifer, Inc.

Walter Konrad: Rollac Shutter of Texas, Inc.

Stefan Poetsch: Rollac Shutter of Texas, Inc.

Carlos McEntire: Solatube, International, Inc.

Danny George: Simonton Windows

Ken Miller: Soft-Lite Windows

Susan Manwaring: Speyer Door and Window, Inc.

Robert Martensson: Sunair Awnings & Solar Screens

Jeff Register: Twitchell Corporation

Sam Taylor: U.S. Department of Energy

Stewart Nicholas: Window and Door Manufacturer's Association

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

Alkenz USA – Richmond, Va.

Building Physics – Dowerglen, South Africa

Mecho Shade Corp, Long Island, N.Y.

Natural Light Energy Systems, Phoenix, Arizona

Phifer Incorporated – Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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

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

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

SWITCH Materials – Burnby, B.C.

Twitchell Corporation – Dothan, Ala.

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

Retired Master Sergeant Thomas Morrissey Speaks of Higher Callings

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

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

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

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

Joe Hayden Announces NFRC's New Strategic Initiative

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

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

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


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


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

Core Values

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

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

Respect all input from stakeholders

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


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

Deliver a successful energy rating program to the commercial fenestration industry

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

Deliver new rating procedures and programs for existing and emerging technologies

Hayden Poses a Challenge

Joe Hayden concluded his opening remarks today with a challenge.

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

Hayden asked the audience to complete the following sentence:

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

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

Color Guard Opens NFRC Meeting With Spirit, Pride

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

TDD Task Group Hears Latest on U-Factor Research

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

Validation Testing Task Group Brings Morning Meetings to a Close

The morning task group meetings have just concluded.

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

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

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

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

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

Attachments Task Groups Finish Early

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

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

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

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

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

NFRC Summer Membership Meeting Underway in Baltimore

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

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

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