Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Have a Good Night

NFRC's Membership Reception will be held from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the Harbor Room on second floor of the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel.

Be sure to join us beginning at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, July 22 for live updates from day three of NFRC's Summer Membership Meeting.

Attendees Hear Latest on Complex Fenestration

Steve Selkowitz, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), concluded the day’s program with a presentation on “complex” glazing, shading, and fenestration systems. Complex fenestration refers to fenestration coupled with attachments (e.g., awnings, shades, blinds).

Selkowitz, who serves on the NFRC Board of Directors, discussed a three-day workshop on complex fenestration that took place at LBNL in early June. The workshop covered the latest issues surrounding complex fenestration, including its role in annual energy performance.

The workshop also presented information on bi-directional scatter data function, or BSDF, which includes both reflectance and transmission information through complex glazing systems. BSDF provides a way to characterize all angles of solar incidence.

According to Selkowitz, getting on a pathway to developing ratings for complex fenestration systems will require:
  • Defining/redefining users and their needs.
  • Starting with existing simulation tools.
  • Adding/developing new simulation capabilities.
  • Enhancing characterization capabilities.
  • Developing target audience tool interfaces.
  • Deploying, testing, and evaluating projects.
  • Building an infrastructure.
For more information, visit windows.lbl.gov/software/cfsworkshop.

Discussions on Software, Air Leakage, U-factor,

NFRC members shared a wide range of opinions during three consecutive Subcommittee meetings this afternoon.

Software Subcommittee

Joe Hayden presented an update of Window 6/Therm 6, and shortly afterwards Charlie Curcija discused his validation and comparison study of CMAST. The study is two-thirds complete, and the final report is slated to be finished by July 31, 2009. Curcija added that documentation and intitial training for CMAST is complete.

During the meeting, a motion was presented asking the Software Subcommittee to recommend CMAST approval, including W6/T6 for use in the CMA Pilot Program contingent on Board approval of the final CMAST validation and comparison study report.

The motion was approved with 15 in favor, five not in favor and 14 abstentions.

Air Leakage Subcommittee

Chair Michael Thoman, Architectural Testing, Inc. initiated the proceedings by inviting reports. One of the primary reports came from the Air Leakage Task Group, which reported working diligently on updating NFRC 400 to eliminate duplicates and discrepencies and modifying the language to include other test standards to qualify under NFRC 400. The Air Leakage will continue in this endeavor.

U-Factor Subcommittee

Early in the meeting, Dave DeBlock reported on the Tubular Daylighting Device Task Group, and informed the group on the progress of two key projects currently underway. These are Visible Transmittance and U-factor. DeBlock anticipates having detailed reports for the next NFRC Membership Meeting.

Joe Hetzel reported that he expects the Garage/Rolling Door Task Group to dissolve once it completes its final three projects. These include finalizing the details of the simulation manual, affirming procedures within NFRC 100 and 102 (which appears to be completed), and affirming effective vertical jamb hardwares.

The Skylight Task Group has not meet since last meeting. There are some lingering questions about mounting and product ratings, and progress is pending.

A discussion regarding the maximum air gap in residential reference product was sent back to Task Group for review and recommendation.

NFRC Helps Local "Green" Charity

NFRC will give the money collected through voluntary donations in return for lapel pins to the Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit housing organization that works in partnership with families in need of housing to build simple, decent, and affordable homes.

Since 1982, the Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity has completed more than 140 homes and has housed more than 300 family members, including at least 200 children.

The lapel pins feature a colorful crab and the NFRC logo as shown above.

As of lunchtime today, NFRC has raised approximately $500 and hopes to raise more. See Cheryl Gendron or Melanie Miller at the NFRC desk just outside the main meeting room to get your pin. They also make great souvenirs and keepsakes for friends and family members. The suggested donation is just $10.

To learn more about Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity’s work, please visit

Funding for IGMA Research Project Approved

The Research and Technology Committee completed the morning meetings by approving $7500 in funding to support a research project that will be carried out by the Insulated Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA).

IGMA’s project will assist in developing an improved test method for measuring the gas loss rate from a sealed insulating glass unit (IGU) and to develop a test method using a standard size IGU.

NFRC Board member Jim Larsen offered his support for funding IGMA’s research project, saying it will produce a significant return on investment by providing important research that NFRC needs to stay current with the industry.

The motion to provide the funding to IGMA passed with one abstention.

Optical Properties Subcommittee Discusses Its Work

The Optical Properties Subcommittee met this morning, the last subcommittee to meet under today’s Research and Technology block. Subcommittee Chair Sneh Kumar brought the meeting to order. During the meeting, attendees heard a Task Group report on the implementation of the new solar spectrum ASTM G197. Following the report, the Subcommittee approved a motion to disband the spectrum NFRC 300 Task Group because its mission (consideration of ASTM G197 spectrum) is complete. Later in the meeting, Kumar presented a slide outlining 10 technical tasks the organization faces.

Research Subcommittee Reports on Status of Projects

Late this morning, the Research Subcommittee convened as part of the Research and Technology Committee block. Subcommittee Chair Bipin Shah welcomed attendees to the meeting, which included updates on several ongoing research projects.

Ray McGowan, NFRC’s Senior Research and Technology Manager, presented a financial summary of NFRC’s research program. NFRC expects to have $1.4 million available through 2014 for research.

The subcommittee also heard updates on several projects:
  • Charlie Curcija discussed the Condensation Resistance Procedure for CMA research project; he reported that the Task Group will meet to discuss the final report. The Subcommittee then passed a motion to extend the deadline for this research project until the Fall Membership Meeting.

  • Dave De Block reported that the Tubular Daylighting Devices U-factor Rating Task Group recently received the updated report and is aiming to have the revised report for the Fall 2009 Membership Meeting. The Subcommittee passed a motion to extend the research project’s deadline until the end of the year.
  • NFRC Chair Joe Hayden and Willie Dupont discussed the WINDOW 6/THERM 6 Validation Research project. The first task – a literature search that identified existing SHGC and U-factor calculation methodologies – is complete. Most of the second task is completed, with 25 of 26 SHGC tests finished and 19 of 20 U-factor tests complete. The project’s current tasks include identifying exact shade locations, slat spacing, and orientation. The subcommittee passed a motion to extend the research project deadline until Fall 2009 Membership Meeting.

  • Ross McCluney and Christian Kohler updated the Subcommittee on the Complex VT Rating Research Project. The sensors have been recalibrated and measurements will begin. The project is expected to produce data before the next NFRC meeting and some of it will be shared with the group. McCluney felt that the research is progressing, though some parts are proceeding slower than expected. He wants to meet with the project participants this week before the Summer Meeting adjourns.

  • John Gant provided an update on the Attached Awning Ratings Research. This research project was put out for bid after the NFRC Spring 2009 Membership Meeting. NFRC received one proposal, submitted by Sunpine Consulting. Gant reported that the Task Group voiced support for the Sunpine proposal. The Subcommittee subsequently passed a motion to award the work to Sunpine Consulting.
The Subcommittee then moved on to unfinished business. Hayden suggested that NFRC resurrect the Research Manual Task Group to address ways to reduce turn-around time on future research projects.

The Subcommittee meeting concluded with a presentation, conducted via conference call, from Margaret Webb, CHRP, executive director of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA). The presentation addressed an IGMA research project focusing on the development of a test protocol for argon permeability through insulating glass units (IGUs). Webb said that the objective is to develop an improved test method for measuring the gas loss rate from a sealed insulating glass unit and to develop a test method using standard size IGU. After the presentation, the Subcommittee recommended to move the request forward to be considered for approval. One stipulation of approval is that IGMA report the project status to the Research Subcommittee at each NFRC membership meeting and forward the same information to the Research and Technology Committee and the NFRC Board of Directors.

New Member Spotlight on Speyer Doors & Windows

Susan Manwaring is one of the newest members of the NFRC family. Her company, Speyer Doors & Windows, located in Boca Raton, Florida became an NFRC member early this year. This is her first membership meeting.

Manwaring was impressed by what she called a “whirlwind” of information engulfing her during the first day of the meeting. As a result, she collected the kind information she needs to start moving her company away from research and development and towards manufacturing.

One of the things Manwaring wanted to learn more about was the critical nature of energy codes, and she feels yesterday's RAM session provided her with many answers to her questions.

Manwaring learned of the membership meeting from NFRC’s Website when she was conducting research about the NFRC labeling and ratings system.

“In less than two days I’ve met a lot of people and made some strong connections,” Manwaring concluded. “This has given me a better grasp of how to gather research and use it to help transform my company.”

NFRC hopes all of its new members and first-time attendees have an equally positive experience.

Glossary and Terminology Task Group Seeks Clarity

Members of the Glossary and Terminology Task Group exchanged ideas on how to improve some of NFRC’s written materials by altering the definitions of various terms.

One of the key points of clarity the group sought was assuring a clear distinction in the definitions for “commercial buildings” and “commercial fenestration.”

The definition of the term “double sash product” also came into question during the discussion. A motion that passed unanimously called for reconsideration of the definition as used in section 5.6 of NFRC 100.

Soon afterwards, the definition of cellular shades arose for review. The discussion centered on whether various images should be included with the definition. Some felt the images created confusion, while others believed the images were useful for differentiating products. A motion put forth to add terminology identifying the images merely as examples of certain kinds of products passed unanimously.

Another key topic during this meeting was the definition of “Roman shade.” Some members argued the existing definition was not comprehensive enough. Others believed it should remain as it is. Ultimately, a motion brought forth asking for elaboration of the existing definition passed unanimously.

NFRC Members Show Passion in Morning’s First Meeting

NFRC's members have always shown tremendous passion for the organization’s activities and programs. That passion was clearly evident in the spirited and lengthy discussions during the Thermophysical Properties of Materials Subcommittee meeting.

Chair Charlie Curcija opened the discussion, which quickly focused heavily on the language found in Appendix B of NFRC 101. The pivotal issue was that some of the information was conflicting and therefore unclear in its meaning and scope.

A motion passed that sends NFRC 101 to the Task Group for review and to develop one appendix from existing Appendices A and B. Soon thereafter, a second motion passed unanimously to direct the Task Group to reconsider the approach/concept of Appendix C, manufacturer-specific materials, and return a recommendation to the membership.

Curcija urged members who voted negative to participate in the Task Group.

NFRC Meeting -- Day Two Off to an Early Start

NFRC's Summer Membership Meeting moved into its second day, starting off with the Thermophysical Properties of Materials Subcommittee. Chair, Charlie Curcija, called the meeting to order just moments ago, and the first presentation is already underway.

Other meetings taking place this morning include the Glossary and Terminology Task Group, the Research Subcommittee, the Optical Properties Subcommittee, and the Research and Technology Committee.