Friday, September 18, 2009

NFRC's Executive Director says the Best is Yet to Come

An old adage explains that, “To know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been.”

When I think of where NFRC has been and where it’s going, it’s hard for me to believe we’ll be celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. It seems like just yesterday that some fenestration industry professionals and related stakeholders gathered in a hotel bar in Vancouver, British Columbia, to create an organization that addresses the need for a national, uniform fenestration energy rating system.

This group of industry professionals met because they saw the real need for credible energy ratings for windows, doors, and skylights. There were too many exaggerated claims about product performance that were misleading consumers. As this activity increased, the federal government began to investigate, and with government oversight looming, the key fenestration stakeholders moved quickly to establish the National Fenestration Rating Council.

That was in 1989, and today NFRC remains the only independent, third-party certification organization for fenestration product performance – and we’re still growing strong. Participation and interest in NFRC’s Product Certification Program continues to increase, and we see the organization playing a vital role in the sustainable building movement by providing the information required to make buildings more energy efficient.

Since its humble beginnings in Vancouver, I’ve seen many changes at NFRC. One of the most recent is our activity to address the needs of the commercial fenestration market through our Component Modeling Approach (CMA) program. The CMA Pilot Program is underway, and we’re motivated to engaging this industry with a product that provides credible, independent energy ratings. CMA promises to be a major step forward in NFRC’s evolution.

Another recent change is our revised strategic direction, which we unveiled during our recent Summer Membership Meeting in Baltimore, Md. The new direction more clearly defines our mission, vision, core values, and goals. You can view the specifics of the CMA Pilot Program on the NFRC Web site.

In the communications arena, NFRC is expanding its live meetings report to offer additional fenestration-related news between membership meetings. We also invested in a new, more modern exhibit booth to increase awareness of NFRC programs and to improve brand awareness.

These are just a few of the things we’re doing at NFRC to better serve our stakeholders and to enhance our relevancy in the industry. I’m truly honored to be part of this thriving organization, and as I reflect on the past and contemplate the future, I’m convinced the best is yet to come.

Jim Benney Executive Director

NFRC's Retailer Program Gaining Traction

NFRC is proud to announce that it is welcoming two new participants into its newly revised Retailer Program.

The popular program, which was on hiatus for a few years, re-launched earlier this year after NFRC reflected on its past success. At its height, the Retailer Program reached more than 4,000 people a month.

NFRC now has two participants for the renewed program – National Home Centers (NHC) and Menards. Both are home improvement chains. NHC offers a wide variety of doors and windows and has 11 locations throughout Arkansas. Menards has 252 stores in 12 states, primarily in the Midwest.

Here's how NFRC’s Retailer Program works:
NFRC provides retailers of fenestration with “tear sheets” to display in their millwork departments near the windows, doors, and skylights they have for sale. The tear sheets are free of charge.

Consumers and contractors who are browsing the aisles can grab a tear sheet as they shop, so they have the information they need to make an informed buying decision at the point of purchase. The tear sheets include information on important considerations when selecting energy-efficient windows. These include U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and Visible Transmittance.

NFRC's Retailer Program creates a truly win/win/win situation. Retailers can offer on-the-spot information on fenestration energy ratings, consumers get the information they need, and NFRC gains recognition for its independent certification and labeling program.

If you are interested in participating in the Retailer Program, please contact NFRC's Communications and Marketing Manager, Tom Herron, at 301-589-1776.