Friday, April 23, 2010

DOE: $30 Million Available for Weatherization Innovation

On April 21, 2010, The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will provide up to $30 million to fund the Weatherization Innovation Pilot Program, which is designed to accelerate innovations in whole-house weatherization technologies and services.

The new program will fund new projects that will deliver measureable improvements in the cost, scope, and energy savings of low-income weatherization programs across the country. The competitive funding opportunity is open to collaborative partnerships that can include the private sector, colleges or universities, utility companies, non-profit organizations, or existing weatherization providers.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NFRC Raises Funds for Project Home Again

During its Spring Membership Meeting in New Orleans, the NFRC raised $420 through voluntary donations for lapel pins.

NFRC contributed the money to Project Home Again. According to the organization’s Website, Project Home Again is a nonprofit, housing development organization that was created by The Leonard and Louise Riggio Foundation shortly after Hurricane Katrina. The organization's mission is to build high-quality, energy-efficient homes for low and moderate-income homeowners who were victims of Katrina.

Building Envelope Supplier Summit to Run Concurrently with AIA Expo

On Wednesday June 9, 2010, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Commercial Building Energy Alliances (CBEAs) will host the inaugural Building Envelope Supplier Summit in conjunction with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention and Design Exposition in Miami, Florida.

The daylong summit offers a platform for building owners and operators to communicate their ideas regarding energy efficiency directly to a variety of suppliers, including window suppliers.

The DOE reports that emerging technologies may be used to make existing commercial buildings 10 to 20 percent more energy efficient. Additionally, these same technologies may be able to reduce the energy consumption of new commercial buildings by 25–50 percent.

Contact Steve Scarlata for details.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hayden Provides Insight on NFRC's Spring Membership Meeting

NFRC's Board Chair, Joe Hayden, said NFRC's staff did an outstanding job of making the Spring Membership Meeting successful -- once again.

Following are Hayden's specific thoughts on last week's proceedings, in no particular order:

1.) What a pleasure to see a record attendance of 135 registrants, including 31 first-time attendees. Reports are that the economy is starting to turn around, but we all know that conditions are still tough. As such I know it can be difficult to justify the time and expense to travel to and participate in a week-long event like this. Thanks so much to everyone who attended and participated.

2.) Clearly NFRC’s major topic of interest was once again the development of rating procedures for attachment products. As is the norm for NFRC, we have many varied positions and opinions, indicated by our usual spirited debates. To say there’s much more work to be done is an obvious understatement, and in particular the issue of validation testing needs to be settled. However despite the challenges we faced this week, I believe we continue to make excellent progress at a rather remarkable pace. So once again I must commend the attachments community for the way they’ve “stepped up to the plate” to make this happen.

3.) On the other side of the coin, the minimal time we had to spend on CMA issues gave me a sense of great reward and accomplishment. Those who have been involved in NFRC for the past 5 years or more know all too well how hard we’ve worked to get to this point. It’s a great example of what NFRC can accomplish when we stay true to the consensus process. I was asked by some if it really should have taken that long, and I believe the answer is YES! Achieving true consensus is a hard thing to do, and on something as important as CMA it can’t be rushed. We must take the time to get it as “right” as we can. Once again, kudos to everyone for this great accomplishment!

4.) Congratulations to my good friend Jeff Baker for receiving the 2009 Member of the Year Award. Jeff’s unwavering dedication and tireless efforts for NFRC are an inspiration to us all. Thank you Jeff! Also, thanks to Roland Temple for coming back to present the award. It was great to see him once again.

5.) I’m looking forward to “hearing” (not seeing) everyone for the Summer virtual meeting. I’m excited about NFRC venturing into this new territory and about the potential benefits it has for us all. Please be sure to take advantage of one or both of the planned trial runs. Stay tuned for more details to come on that.

6.) Lastly, but certainly not least, I must acknowledge the outstanding job done by NFRC Staff once again in making these meetings run as smoothly as they did. Their efforts behind the scenes often go unnoticed, but they are always greatly appreciated.

Until next time, and as always (or should I say once again,) … THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO !!!

Joe Hayden

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hayden's Thoughts Forthcoming

Be sure to visit early next week. NFRC News Now will bring you Board Chair, Joe Hayden's, reflections on this week's membership meeting.

Thursday Morning's Board Meeting Features Reports, Motions, and a Touch of Levity

NFRC’s Board of Directors met on Thursday morning to consider motions and to hear various reports.

Accreditation Policy Committee

Marcia Falke reported on the week’s activities in the Accreditation Policy Committee (APC), saying one new lab was inspected in February. Additionally, Falke said all 2009 inspection reports were completed and in process with labs or APC.

Furthermore, Falke reported that four simulation and test labs are slated to be inspected in 2010. Additionally, all current NFRC Certified Simulators are required to undergo ASL training to satisfactorily model in THERM6 for modeling frame and spacer components and then import them into CMAST.

Technical Interpretations Policy Committee (TIPC)

Tom Culp provided a report on the (TIPC). Culp’s report included a motion whereby new glazing options are added to an existing matrix, clarifying that the initial SHGC / VT 0.00 and 1.00 tables shall be used for the entire certification cycle and only be updated upon recertification. The idea here is that this avoids the impractical situation of having to go back to change all previous ratings which used the initial table. The motion was approved by the Board 10-0-0.

Culp also moved to approve TI-2010-02 with the following directions to NFRC Staff, Laboratories and IA’s on how to implement this TI:

For approved frame components already in the CMAST Frame Library and marked as “Vertical Meeting Rail”: NFRC staff shall remove the frame component and notify the sim lab.

• The SIM lab shall correct the Cross Section Type to “Jamb” and resubmit the frame component.

• The IA shall approve the modified component.

For frame components that have been submitted by the lab but not yet approved:

• The IA shall reject the frame component to send it back to the sim lab.

• The sim lab shall correct the Cross Section Type to “Jamb” and resubmit the frame component.

• The IA shall continue with their normal review for approval.

Following some discussion, it was determined that it would be best to consider this more closely during a future meeting. Culp’s motion therefore failed. A subsequent motion to have TIPC develop an implementation plan passed 10-0-0.

Certification Policy Committee

Steve Johnson reported that the Certification Policy Committee (CPC) the 2009 CAP inspection reports are scheduled to be completed by the end of April. Johnson also said the 2010 CAP inspections will be scheduled.

Furthermore, the 2009 CAP workshop was held and completed in early January 2010, and the CAP workshops are scheduled and will be held 3 to 4 weeks after each membership meeting.

Johnson reminded and informed the members about the IG Certification date requirement; the extension requests to be submitted to NFRC staff; the $250 extension request fee requirement will begin on June 1st and will be reflected in the NFRC 704 (Fee scheduled). Additionally, Johnson informed the membership for those interested in NFRC recognizing 3rd party specifications, such as European specifications for IG testing, to bring forth proposals to NFRC demonstrating an equivalency or ability to exceed NFRC specification requirements.

Research Subcommittee

Werner Lichtenberger spoke for the Research Subcommittee, moving to recommend approval of the Awning Rating Research Final report and approve contractor payment. Lichtenberger also moved to extend the CMA CR Research project completion deadline until fall 2010 Membership meeting. A second motion asked to approve the NFRC 703-Research Program Manual as modified by ballot.

Lichtenberger added some levity to the meeting by addressing the Board while wearing a hat from what he called "the best donut shop in New Orleans."

A third motion asked to extend the TDD U-factor Research deadline until the Fall 2010 membership meeting. Finally, Lichtenberger moved to extend the Window 6 Therm 6 Validation Research Project deadline until summer 2010 membership meeting.

All three of Lichtenberger's motions were approved.

Lichtenberger also said Complex VT Research PMTG reported their progress and will present a final report at the Summer 2010 membership meeting. Furthermore, a Ventilation Task Group was created and will report to Research SC. A scope was created, task group members volunteered, and a chair was appointed.
Also, a motion to approve NFRC staff reviewing the NFRC 600 for any conflict and to come back to the BOD with any conflicts will be considered during the Board’s closed-door meeting later in the day Thursday.

There over-riding idea here is that NFRC staff will review all NFRC documents for variation of definitions and then report to the BOD with any conflicts. Any conflicts would be removed from the definition from the NFRC 600, and NFRC’s staff will work with the Glossary TG to resolve them.

Thermophysical Properties of Materials Subcommittee

This subcommittee moved to approve the NFRC 101-Thermophysical Properties of Materials for NFRC approved Software as modified by ballot. This was passed unanimously.

Additionally, seven thermophysical property testing labs have completed testing of the NFRC interlaboratory samples. NFRC staff will report on results at the summer membership meeting. Completion of the ILC will enable NFRC 103-Thermophysical Properties Versification Program to be enforced.
Garrett Stone reported that the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee (RAM) had no motions, but reported that it formed two new task groups to consider ventilation and daylighting ratings.

Air Leakage

Jeff Baker made a motion for the Air Leakage Subcommittee. Baker asked the Board to approve the NFR 400 Air Leakage Ballot to be implemented upon publication and to move the Air Leakage Ballot as revised by the subcommittee for Board approval to be implemented upon publication. Baker said staff will look into NFRC governing documents regarding the rounding of ratings values for Air Leakage ratings. This motioned passed, 8-0-2.

Baker also motioned to approve the NFRC 400 – TI Ballot for implemented upon publication. This passed 10-0-0.

CMA Subcommittee

Additionally, Baker motioned to approve the CMA Complex Product ballots as approved at the Technical Committee to be implemented upon publication after going back to subcommittee for further work. This motion passed 10-0-0.

Another motion from the Ratings Committee moved to have the NFRC 705 CMA-PCP ballot, as modified by the CMA Subcommittee to be forwarded to the Board for approval and to be implemented upon publication. This motion passed, 10-0-0.

Attachments Subcommittee

Furthermore, Baker made a motion to approve the adoption of the Base Case windows in the NFRC 100A ballot for use by all attachments, with the exception to applied films and DASD, in the NFRC 100A and 200A technical procedures. The motion passed 9-1-0.

Solar Heat Gain Subcommittee

Baker also motioned to approve the NFRC 200 Garage Door ballot to the Board for approval and recommendation it be implemented upon publication. There was also a Technical Committee motion to move forward the NFRC 200 Garage Door ballot to the Board for approval and recommendation it be implemented upon publication. This passed unanimously.

Technical Committee

The Technical Committee moved to proceed with the NFRC 200 TI, looking for Board approval. The motion recommended it be implemented upon publication. The motion passed by voice vote, 10-0-0.
The Technical committee also motioned to approve the modification of the language in the NFRC 200 for garage doors, section 2.2.1.B and 2.2.2.B. The proposed change would change the term ‘not covered’ to ‘covered’ products, and the change would be implemented upon publication. The Board passed this motion.

Furthermore, the Technical Committee reported that a SHGC Task Group was formed to review the entire NFRC 200.

The Technical Committee also asked that the NFRC 100 – TI be approved for implementation upon publication. The motion passed 10-0-0.

Software Subcommittee

The Software Subcommittee motioned to approve the Window 6 and Therm 6 software for CMAST. The motion passed 10-0-0.

U-factor Subcommittee

The U-factor Subcommittee brought forth a motion to approve the NFRC 100 Validation Matrix Ballot. This motion carried 10-0-0.
A motion to approve a new date, January 1, 2011, for requiring a U-factor rating for Applied Films due to the modification of the Attachment Products Directory to accommodate adding the rating was approved 10-0-0.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

NFRC Membership Meeting Closes

NFRC’s Spring Membership Meeting drew to a close this morning, but NFRC News Now will continue providing you with valuable information.

Tomorrow, we will post the details of this morning's Board meeting, including summaries of the various motions and reports.

Early next week, we will also post
Joe Hayden’s insight regarding the entire meeting and the results of the Board’s Monday night meeting regarding how to simplify NFRC’s certification process. The Board's goal is to make the process work faster without compromising its efficacy.

Be sure to come back over the next few days to get this information.

In the meantime, however, NFRC extends a special word of thanks to its sponsor China Southern Glass Holding(CSG), Co., Ltd.

CSG was established in 1984, and it is one of the leading enterprises in China’s glass industry. The company manufactures and supplies all categories of architectural glass products, and it is the first and largest low-e glass manufacturer in China.

The photo above shows Cheryl Gendron, NFRC's Meetings Manager (far left) and NFRC's Senior Technical Services Manager (far right) with NFRC's sponsors.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Third Day of Meeting Ends with Labeling Committee Business

The Labeling Committee rounded out the third day of the Spring Membership Meeting this afternoon.

The Labeling Subcommittee presented one action item to the Labeling Committee. The committee passed a motion to move the NFRC 700-2010 FMC ballot forward to the Board for approval and to implement upon publication. The Labeling Subcommittee also reported that it formed a task group to address a new label idea for tubular daylighting devices presented to them this afternoon.

Then, the CMA Certification Subcommittee brought forward one action item, the NFRC 705 CMA-PCP ballot. The subcommittee reported that it addressed negative comments concerning the definition of commercial buildings and modified the language to stay with the definitions that are currently in the NFRC 600 Glossary document. The Labeling Committee then passed a motion to move the NFRC 705 CMA-PCP ballot as revised forward to the Board for approval and to implement upon publication.

The subcommittee also reported that it formed a task group to look into the issue of expiration of ratings.

The Labeling Committee then turned its attention to new business on its agenda, forming an Annual Energy Performance Rating Task Group.

Meeting Attendees Hear Latest on ENERGY STAR

Richard Karney, with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), discussed ENERGY STAR program changes during the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing (RAM) Committee meeting.

Last fall, DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) under which EPA takes over management of the ENERGY STAR program, including windows.

Karney said that the MOU calls for all products to provide independent laboratory tests to verify results. However, this does not affect fenestration products because ENERGY STAR-qualified fenestration products have to be NFRC-certified, so they already fulfill the requirement for independent certification.

He noted that there will be some form of fenestration verification (i.e., a blind purchasing testing program), but the government’s goal is to minimize, or not even create, any additional burden for manufacturers. DOE, EPA, and NFRC are in talks about it.

Labeling Subcommittee Proactive Regarding Attachments

The Labeling Subcommittee presented its ideas regarding the proposed attachments label.

In particular, the subcommittee discussed the potential shape, color, and the specific information to be printed on the NFRC attachments label.

Leonard Greenberger of Potomac Communications Group recently conducted several focus groups, where he collected preliminary information from consumers regarding the particulars of the attachments label. The subjects of the focus groups included homeowners who had completed home improvement projects within the past year. Using this as his starting point, Greenberger ultimately shifted the conversation to NFRC and attachment products. Greenberger is still in the process of evaluating and analyzing the results of the focus groups, and he plans to use the information he gathers to guide futher efforts to refine the attachments label.

During its presentation, the Labeling Subcommittee, sought to promote awareness and to seek feedback regarding the shape, color, and specific information to be printed on the attachments label. This discussion triggered considerable dialogue.

The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) said they disapproved of the triangular shape of the proposed label because it is, at this point, simply a draft and therefore cannot be approved as it is.

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) said the information printed on the proposed attachments label is misleading because the sample values are ambiguous. AAMA also said the attachments label seems to compare attachment products to whole products, which is inconsistent with NFRC’s vision. AMSCO took a similar point of view.

Despite the negatives that arose, the subcommittee reiterated that its intention was merely to create awareness regarding the options being considered for developing the attachments label.

The subcommittee realized prior to the meeting that nothing definitive would be decided during its session. Instead, the subcommittee sought to be proactive and to introduce the proposed attachments label while informing the audience about how development of the attachments label will proceed.

RAM Committee Forms Two Task Groups

The Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee formed two new task groups today, per the recommendation of the NFRC Board of Directors. The task groups will explore whether consumers would want NFRC to develop fenestration performance ratings for daylighting and ventilation.

Attendees Hear Latest on Energy Codes

The Regulatory Affairs and Marketing (RAM) Committee kicked off the second half of the day’s business with Committee Chair Garrett Stone, of Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts, & Stone, P.C., making a presentation about energy codes.

He provided a refreshe
r on the importance of energy codes, and said that today there is substantial emphasis on energy codes to achieve national policy objectives.

Stone explained that modern national energy model codes incorporate NFRC procedures as the exclusive method for determining fenestration energy performance (SHGC and U-factor) for residential and non-residential buildings.

Then, he discussed increased residential energy efficiency requirements in the most recent International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), such as lower SHGC and U-factor in the south. The overall changes result in a 10-15 percent more efficient residential code compared to the 2006 IECC. He also noted that there are significant changes in the performance path.

Stone explained that there are increased energy efficiency requirements in current
non-residential code, too, and further increases in commercial energy efficiency requirements are expected in the near future.

He also discussed the American Recover and Reinvestment Act of 2009, noting that there is a lot more activity in energy codes at the state level, happening in a lot less time, since the stimulus package took effect.

NFRC Meeting Has a Worldwide Audience

NFRC News Now checked its analytics report this afternoon. Readers from five nations the United States, Canada, Australia, India, and Sweden are following the meeting online so far.

Technical Committee Meeting Concludes First Half of Day

The Technical Committee wrapped up the first part of the day’s business by taking action on items presented by its subcommittees, including passing motions to:
  • Move to the NFRC Board to approve the adoption of the Base Case windows in the NFRC 100A Ballot for use by all attachments, with the exception of applied films and DASD, in the NFRC 100A and 200A technical procedures.
  • Move to the Board to approve Window6/Therm 6 software for CMAST (Component Modeling Approach Software Tool).
  • Recommend that the Technical Committee chair ask the Ratings Committee chair to form a task group (under the Ratings Committee) to develop an annual energy rating.
  • Revise the scope of the Annual Energy Performance (AEP) Subcommittee (which is currently limited to homes) so that it includes other buildings.
  • Move the Air Leakage Ballot as revised by the subcommittee for Board approval to be implemented upon publication. (NFRC staff will look into NFRC governing documents regarding the rounding of values for Air Leakage ratings).
  • Move the NFRC 400 – TI Ballot for Board approval to be implemented upon publication.
  • Remove language that commercial garage doors are not allowed in the definition of Garage Doors listed in NFRC 100.
  • Forward the CMA Complex Products Ballot as modified (without Section by the CMA Technical Subcommittee for NFRC 100 CMA section 5.9 to the Board for approval.
After the Technical Committee finished addressing these and other actions items from its subcommittees, Committee Chair Jeff Baker discussed NFRC’s documents revision cycle. He encouraged anyone with thoughts on the matter to share them with him before the Board meeting.

Bipin Shah Leads Discussion on Solar Heat Gain

Bipin Shah of WinBuild led the Solar Heat Gain Subcommittee through a discussion regarding the language to be used to discuss the solar heat gain of garage (vehicular access) doors.

New language for garage doors was initially balloted in the Fall 2009. Although no negatives were received, comment feedback was substantive enough to warrant refinement to the proposed language. One change in the NFRC 200 involved the removal the wording, “edge-of-glazing parameter.” The motion passed and will be implemented upon publication

An editorial negative brought forward regarding the removal of parenthesis was withdrawn in the NFRC 200 TI, and the motion passed.

In the NFRC 201 – 2010 TI, a ballot was intended to add currently approved Technical Interpretation language from the 2001/2004 Technical Interpretations Manual (EOA30).

One negative in this ballot called for the removal any language currently used in the NFRC 201. The motion was recommended to be sent to TIPC for further work. Sending the motion to TIPC passed by voice vote.

In closing, the subcommittee recommended the formation of a SHGC task group, but there were no volunteers for a chair for the group. Jeff Baker and Bipin Shah agreed to review the subject offline.

U-factor Subcommittee Review Ballots, Forms New Task Group

Jeff Baker, WESTLab, welcomed attendees to the U-factor Subcommittee meeting. After hearing reports from its task groups, the subcommittee turned its attention to a number of ballots:

  • After a lengthy discussion about on the NFRC 100 Casement – Awning Ballot, the subcommittee found the negative comment from Anderson Corporation to be persuasive and substantive and moved to return the ballot to task group to further investigate and justify any size changes.
  • The single negative comment on the NFRC 100 Validation Matrix Ballot was withdrawn and the subcommittee passed a motion to approve this ballot (as balloted) and move forward it to the Technical Committee with implementation upon publication.
  • The subcommittee found the one negative on the NFRC 100 Garage (Vehicular Access) Door Ballot to be persuasive and substantive and sent it back to task group. The negative comment on the NFRC 100 TI Ballot was withdrawn and the subcommittee passed a motion to move the document forward to the Technical Committee for implementation upon publication.
  • The subcommittee then reviewed comments on the NFRC 102 TI Ballot which is intended to roll in a currently approved Technical Interpretation language from the 2001/2004 Technical Interpretations Manual (E0A30). The subcommittee found the negative comment about Section to be persuasive and moved to revert back to the original document.
  • Then, the subcommittee turned its attention to updating a section in the NFRC 100 Garage (Vehicular Access) Door document to reflect that a commercial garage door methodology now exists. The subcommittee passed a motion to recommend to the Technical Committee and the Board of Directors that the language in the definition of Garage Doors in 100 be stricken by NFRC staff action.
  • Finally, the subcommittee passed a motion to recommend to the Technical Committee and Board that a footnote for sliding glass doors be re-instated to Table 4-3 of NFRC 100 per NFRC staff recommendation.
The subcommittee concluded with the formation of a Sightline Grouping Task Group.

Technical Block Continues with Air Leakage Subcommittee Meeting

The Air Leakage Subcommittee got down to business this morning under the Technical block.

The sole negative comment on the NFRC 400-2010 TI ballot was withdrawn, and the subcommittee passed a motion to move the ballot forward to the Technical Committee to be implemented upon publication.

The subcommittee then reviewed comments on the NFRC 400-2010 ballot. One of those comments, about Section 4.E (“measure to one decimal point”), suggested the use of two decimal points for air leakage instead of one. After discussing the issue, the subcommittee passed a motion finding this negative comment to be non-persuasive.

Then, the subcommittee voted to move the ballot forward as revised to the Technical Committee to be implemented upon publication.

NFRC Members Unwind in New Orleans

Good Morning from New Orleans

It's the dawn of day three of NFRC's Spring Membership Meeting. Our coverage will begin at 8:00 a.m. (CT). Be sure to check back often for the latest news on the proceedings.
The meeting will begin with part two of the Technical Committee Block, which is slated for 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Subcommittees scheduled to meet include Condensation Resistance, Air Leakage, U-factor, Solar Heat Gain, and CMA.
Join us for what promises to be yet another lively day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Good Night from the Big Easy

Day two of NFRC’s Spring Membership Meeting has drawn to a close. Have a good night, and come back to see us beginning at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.

NFRC thanks its sponsor China Southern Glass Holding (CSG), Co., Ltd. Established in 1984, CSG is one of the leading enterprises in China’s glass industry. The company manufactures and supplies all categories of architectural glass products, and it is the first and largest low-e glass manufacturer in China.

100A and 200A Return to Task Group

The Attachments Subcommittee brought the second day of NFRC’s Spring Membership Meeting to a close by discussing comments on the 100A ballot, which the Interior and Exterior Attachments Task Group presented to the membership this spring.

The subcommittee passed a motion to use six base case windows as directed by the Board of Directors. The 100A document will now return to the
Interior and Exterior Attachments Task Group for future work. Furthermore, the subcommittee proceeded to pass a motion sending NFRC 200A back to the task group to resolve issues in the same fashion as with NFRC 100A (with the exception of validation testing which does not need to be included in 200A).

NFRC Uses Animation to Educate Consumers About Label

Today, NFRC posted an interactive animation explaining the NFRC Label to consumers on its home page. NFRC's own Cheryl Gendron lent her voice to the animation. You can access it at

Technical Block Underway

The Technical Committee block started with the Software and the Annual Energy Performance Subcommittee meetings.

The Software Subcommittee heard reports from NFRC staff on the CMAST Approval Task Group and Window6/Therm6 (W6/T6) Approval Task Group, then approved a motion to approve W6/T6 for CMAST (Component Modeling Approach Software Tool).

During the Annu
al Energy Performance (AEP) Subcommittee meeting, Chair Tom Culp posed the question, “Where do we want to go next?” After a discussion about the future direction of NFRC 901 and AEP, the subcommittee passed two motions.

The first recommends to t
he Technical Committee and the Board that a Task Group be formed under the Ratings Committee to develop an annual energy performance rating. The second motion called for revising the scope of the AEP Subcommittee, expanding it beyond just homes to include other buildings.

Research Committee Passes Numerous Motions

The Research Committee concluded the first half of the day by passing the following motions to:
  • Extend the project completion deadline for the CMA Condensation Research project to the NFRC Fall 2010 Membership Meeting

  • Extend the deadline for the TDD U-factor Research project to the NFRC Fall 2010 Membership Meeting

  • Accept the Attached Awning Rating Research project and approve payment for the project to the contractor

  • Approve NFRC 703 – Research Program Manual as edited with implementation upon publication

  • Extend the Window6/Therm6 Validation Research project deadline to the NFRC Summer 2010 Membership Meeting

  • Affirm the Research Subcommittee action on the Improved Algorithms for CMA Research RFP and return it to the author for revision per the comments received

  • Approve NFRC 101 as edited and recommend implementation upon publication

  • Approve NFRC 600 and recommend implementation upon publication (modified terms will be recommended for change in all relevant documents)
The committee then turned to the business of creating two new task groups – Daylighting Ratings and Ventilation Ratings – per the request of the NFRC Board of Directors.

Research Subcommittee Continues Business

The Research Subcommittee continued its business by presenting a number of reports on ongoing research. It then turned its attention to new business, including two ballots.

The subcommittee passed a motion to move the NFRC 703-Research Program Manual ballot as edited to the Research and Technology Committee and recommends implementation upon publication. After that motion, the subcommittee dissolved the NFRC 703-Research Program Manual Task Group because its work was complete.

Then, the subcommittee focused on a ballot calling for the issuance of a RFP for developing improved algorithms for increasing the accuracy of CMA methodology. After discussing the ballot comments, the Subcommittee rejected the ballot.

Willlie duPont spoke during the Research Subcommittee's block during the Research and Technology Committee's portion of NFRC's meeting. duPont discussed the status of a project concerning WINDOW 6 and THERM 6.

duPont spoke extensively about tests that are currently under development with the intention of developing new capabilities. In particular, duPont said there is an effort underway to calculate the U-factor and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of woven shades, venetian blinds, and fitted glass.

Moreover, duPont explained that Carli, Inc is performing NFRC 100 and NFRC 200 simulations. Carli, Inc. has studied approximately 64 issues.

Additionally, duPont said there are four main project tasks aimed at coordinating the data involved in this effort. These include the following:

1. Searching literature
2. Compiling and evaluating existing test results for U-factor and SHGC
3. Performing tests and simulations and comparing and evaluating results
4. Studying status reports and papers

This portion of the meeting concluded with Jeff Baker stressing the importance of getting this work done to keep WINDOW 6 and THERM 6 moving forward.

Task Group Discusses Terms and Definitions

The Research and Technology Committee block continued as the NFRC 600-Glossary and Terminology Task Group convened.

Task Group Chair Charlie Curcija opened the meeting, followed by Ray McGowan, NFRC’s senior program manager, who reported that NFRC is working to make sure that NFRC 100 and 200 are in good shape for ANSI accreditation.

Then, McGowan presented a report on NFRC 600 definitions being added back to all NFRC documents hosting NFRC 600 included definitions. McGowan said it will take some time to accomplish this task, but NFRC recently hired a technical documents coordinator, Robin Merrifield, to focus on maintaining NFRC’s technical and program documents.

The task group then turned its attention to the NFRC 600 Glossary Ballot. Where appropriate the NFRC 600 task group modified this document to harmonize it with AAMA’s AG-08, but kept some NFRC definitions as is.

After reviewing and discussing a handful of comments on the ballot, the task group passed a motion to move the document as edited to the Research and Technology Committee, which meets later this morning.

Discussion on Section 4.1 of NFRC 100 Starts Second Day of Meeting

The Research and Technical Committee Block kicked off the second day of NFRC’s Spring Membership Meeting this morning, with the Thermophysical Property of Materials subcommittee meeting to discuss two key negatives in the ballots regarding Section 4.1 of NFRC’s 101.

First, the meeting got underway when Joe Hayden of Pella Corporation provided a comment on disapproving the changing of the wording “highest” to “arithmetic average” in Section 4.1. Hayden said he believes it is in NFRC’s best interest to keep word “highest” to maintain a conservative approach.

Hayden’s point was found to be persuasive and substantive, and the motion passed 16-3.

Secondly, Willie duPont of Sunergy asked that NFRC staff edit Section 4.1 of NFRC’s 100 to ensure that the use of numbering is consistent. The issue here is that duPont believes the entire document needs to have each major paragraph numbered, the same way it is in other NFRC documents. This motion passed unanimously. Shortly afterwards, the meeting adjourned.

Welcome back!

Good morning, and welcome to the second day of the NFRC Spring Membership Meeting. Yesterday, the color guard started off the meeting in the right direction, and we expect today to be busy and productive as well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Good Night From New Orleans

Good Night From New Orleans

Day one of NFRC’s Spring Membership Meeting has come to a close. Have a good night, and come back to see us beginning at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.

NFRC thanks its sponsor China Southern Glass Holding (CSG), Co., Ltd. Established in 1984, CSG is one of the leading enterprises in China’s glass industry. The company manufactures and supplies all categories of architectural glass products, and it is the first and largest low-e glass manufacturer in China.

McCluney Presents Results of Awning Study

The Attached Awning Rating Feasibility Research Project Monitoring Task Group gave a presentation to close the first day of NFRC’s Spring Membership Meeting. The presentation focused on the Project Awnings Shading Rating Strategies Feasibility Study by Ross McCluney, Ph.D. and Willie duPont. The study was funded by the Professional Awnings Manufacturers Association (PAMA).

During the presentation, Dr. McCluney discussed several aspects of rating the energy efficiency performance of awnings.

One of those considerations involved opaque awnings. McCluney said only shadowing calculations are needed. He added that this produces an important metric called the un-shaded fractional area and its complement, which is called the shaded fractional area.

McCluney added that because attachments would be rated in NFRC by reference to any of several base case windows, there will be a different pair of SHGC (w) and SHGC (aw) for each direction of incident flux and for each base case window.

Additionally, McCluney said rating awning energy performance only makes sense if multiple directions of solar incidence are considered in addition to any strong spectral selectivity effects.

Finally, McCluney explained that there is much strategic work that needs to be done to effectively rate the energy efficiency of awnings. Among the points that need to be addressed are the following:

• Asking NFRC to include projecting awnings in rating program
• Writing more detailed descriptions of research projects
• Determining how much of this work is Lawrence Berkeley National Labs (LBNL) is planning and doing.
• Get estimates of when the LBNL may be ready to take on this kind of work
• Eliminating the choices one does not want, thereby narrowing NFRC’s scope of work
• Determining how much of the ratings work be done by the awning industry
• Finding funding for additional research and engineering work needed to complete the ratings.

The study recommends the following future research and engineering work:

• Develop awning shadow protection projection algorithms based on existing papers on the subject plus extra work
• Investigate awning cover materials optical properties
• Investigate new optical equipment investigation
• Organize a project to put this all together (i.e., to develop an awning rating methodology)

TIPC Answers Lingering Questions

NFRC’s Policy Committee just finished meeting. The Technical Interpretations Policy Committee (TIPC) provided answers to two key questions that they had been considering.

TIPC is an NFRC Board appointed committee. The committee’s role is to provide a technical interpretation when items found in NFRC’s technical documents cause questions and the answer is not clear.

The first question TIPC addressed was whether or not only one material type of sealant on both the sides and the bottom of a spacer would be considered by the simulation and the test lab to be a single sealed or a dual sealed spacer system.

TIPC reported that in the simulation manual, section 2.7, states that there is a primary seal (edge of spacer to glass) that helps to hold the unit together and to prevent moisture intrusion. The same section also reports that a secondary seal (below spacer) is used to provide structural strength.

TIPC pointed out that section 2.7 does not state that the sealant needs to be two different materials in order to be considered a dual-sealed spacer. Thus, if a spacer is sealed both on the sides and below, it should be reported as a dual-sealed spacer.

A second question TIPC discussed was whether or not revising a report to add a new glass option to an existing matrix with a better center of glass U-factor is required to report using an additional Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)/Visible Transmittance (VT) 0.0 and 1.0 table for the new options.

TIPC reported that this is not the case. Instead the initial SHGC/VT of 0.00 and 1.00 tables shall be used for the entire certification cycle and will be modified upon recertification.

NFRC Honors Outgoing Board Member

NFRC Joe Hayden presented Mike Manteghi with an Outgoing Board Member Award during today’s opening session. The award honors Manteghi’s service to the organization during his Board term.

Attendees Hear Results of Attachments Focus Groups

During the opening session, attendees heard the results of three focus groups conducted recently to learn what consumers and design professionals think of the concept of attachment ratings and labels.

Leonard Greenberger, of Potomac Communications Group, explained that focus groups were held with homeowners in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., and interior designers and architects in Chicago.

First, the focus groups confirmed that consumers want NFRC ratings, said Greenberger, but they want context for the label, such as the definitions of U-factor or SHGC. Consumers also want NFRC to:

•use plain language

•provide ratings in multiple places

•make the label stand out (e.g., use a bright color)

•include ratings for reference window alone and with the attachment

•make the Web site prominent

•invest in education

Greenberger then presented a label design that reflected the feedback of consumers. Meeting attendees provided feedback on the label design which generated “some good discussion,” said NFRC CEO Jim Benney.

NFRC Prepares for its First Virtual Meeting

NFRC will hold its first virtual membership meeting July 19-21, which will take the place of the in-person summer meeting.
It’s nothing to be afraid of,” joked Cheryl Gendron, NFRC’s meetings manager. Gendron then presented a comprehensive overview of what to expect with a virtual meeting, explaining that it’s the same agenda, just a different process.

Attendees will register for the virtual meeting just as they have for past meetings. The meeting will be hosted virtually through the Web software tool GO-TO Webinar by Citrix. All participants need is a computer and VoIP (Voice over-Internet Protocol) or their telephone.

The meeting service provides secure access and professional technical support will be available.

Committees and subcommittees will conduct their normal activities during the virtual meeting. (There will be no task groups during the online meeting.)

All callers will be muted during the meeting. Attendees will virtually “raise their hands” to enter a queue to speak. They may speak after the Chair recognizes them. Votes will also be conducted using the raise your hand feature.

NFRC recommends using a USB headset for the meeting. Attendees also are encouraged to participate in two live rehearsals NFRC will conduct before the meeting to verify that their equipment and software is working.

To learn more about the NFRC virtual meeting week, please see the FAQs document and recommended equipment list posted on the NFRC Meetings Web page.

Door Task Group Advances Benchmark Spreadsheets

At its meeting Monday morning, the Door Task Group moved forward with the development of standard door simulation spreadsheets. "It's an attempt to provide all simulators with a single, uniform method for simulating doors," said Chair Dave De Block.

The task group worked on two spreadsheets, one for steel and fiberglass doors and one for wood doors. De Block said that the task group will discuss the new versions of the spreadsheets during its next conference call.

De Block said that the task group also discussed developing accurate definitions for terms relating to how doors are made, and that the group plans to reach out to four door manufacturers to get their input.

TDD Task Group Plans Dinner

To continue its discussion of how best to provide fair, accurate and credible visible transmittance ratings for tubular daylighting (TDD) devices, the TDD Task Group will meet tonight over dinner. For more details, check with task group Chair Dave De Block.

Chair Presents Homework Assignment to Attendees

During the opening session, NFRC Chair Joe Hayden presented his traditional “homework” question to the group, but with a new twist. He asked attendees to step up to the microphone to generate discussion on the spot.

Hayden posed this question to the group: What can NFRC do to streamline or simplify its Production Certification Program? After hearing some initial feedback, he posed another question to generate further discussion: What if NFRC certified only center-of-glass for SHGC and Visible Transmittance?

He encouraged participants to share their thoughts on these questions throughout the meeting.

Jeff Baker Accepts NFRC's Member-of-the-Year Award

NFRC’s Opening Session during its Spring Membership Meeting in New Orleans included the presentation of the member-of-the-year award to Jeff Baker.

Joe Hayden, Chair of NFRC’s Board of Directors (BOD), said Baker would receive free registration for an upcoming NFRC meeting and up to $1500 reimbursement for accommodations. Hayden also said that Baker has supported NFRC’s mission as a 501 (c) (3) organization and has consistently made an outstanding contribution to the organization for many years.

The member-of-the-year award was established in 2008, and the first recipient was Roland Temple. Although Temple has since retired, he made a special point of attending the Spring Membership Meeting specifically to present the 2009 award to Baker.

“It is a tremendous distinction to honor Jeff Baker, who is a good friend and a valuable colleague,” Temple said. Temple added that a large part of NFRC’s success can be directly traced back to Baker’s contributions.

“This is an honor that I will treasure for a long time,” Baker said after accepting the award during a standing ovation. “It has been a great pleasure working with everyone at NFRC, and I have been very fortunate to have their support over the years. I look forward to continuing to serve and doing as much as I can to drive the fenestration forward in this day and age of evolving technology.”

CMA Tech TG To Seek Board Direction

During a brief meeting, the CMA Technical Task Group decided to seek direction from the NFRC Board of Directors regarding the rating and labeling of spandrel systems before proceeding with an RFP for a Spandrel System Performance Validation Study.

Larsen Recruits Seven to Help With Improving NFRC's 302

The Optical Properties Subcommittee convened from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. During the meeting, the Optical Spectral Data Task Group proposed significant changes in the NFRC 302 to better ensure that accurate optical spectral data are included in the International Glazing Database (IGD).

A number of issues came up during the meeting.

1. Tom Culp, from Birchpoint Consulting, presented a negative. He said he believes a lot of unnecessary details about the review process and appeals process are being deleted. Culp also said people commonly complain about chasing the third decimal point in the U-factor.

2. Steve Farrar, of Guardian, said the proposed ballot provides no analysis of the need for changing the established procedure, whereby glass manufacturers are responsible for providing spectroradiometric data for the IGD. Farrar also said the ballot provides no assessment of the cost of the proposed procedure and the associated impact on the new product commercialization. Furthermore, Farrar said the proposal provides no basis for the recommended four-fold tightening in the tolerance for emittance. Farrar believes the tolerance should be related to its impact on actual product ratings, not to the precision of modern testing equipment. Finally, Farrar said any change in measurement tolerance must be consistent with the instrument manufacturer’s statement of capability for the intended measurement.

3. Joe Hayden, of Pella Corporation, and Chairman of NFRC’s Board of Directors (BOD) said that section 3.3 makes reference to a list of approved labs in an “Appendix TBD.” This appendix, however, does not exist in the ballot’s draft. Hayden said this needs to be corrected before final publication.

4. Steve Johnson, of Andersen, said there is a need for greater clarity around emittance limits and how compliance to those emmitance limits will be demonstrated.

The meeting concluded with Jim Larsen asking the crowd if anyone wanted to work with him study the comments and work on resolving them. Seven attendees volunteered. They include the following:

1.Bipin Shah

2.Brian Crooks

3.Charles Hayes

4.Willie DuPont

5.Tim Singel

6.Dave Duly

7.Lisa Winkler

New Member Orientation Kicks off NFRC's Spring Membership Meeting

NFRC’s Spring Membership Meeting is underway in New Orleans. The meeting began at 8:00 a.m. One of the first presentations was a new member orientation program.

The orientation began with NFRC’s CEO, Jim Benney, mentioning that there are 135 people in attendance, including 31 new attendees. This is the most heavily attended meeting in NFRC’s history.

Benney pointed out four of NFRC’s over-riding goals:

1. To deliver valid data to all customers, which include the public and building industry and code officials

2. To deliver a successful energy rating program to the commercial fenestration industry

3. To deliver an improved and simplified ratings program for the residential fenestration industry

4. To deliver new rating procedures and programs for existing and emerging technologies

The meeting wrapped up with NFRC’s new Membership Manager, Anita Marsh, speaking about two of the key benefits of becoming an NFRC member. Marsh said the first one is the ability to make one’s voice heard. The second benefit Marsh mentioned is the ability to vote on issues that influence
the fenestration industry.

Garage Door Task Groups

With discussion of two ballots and a number of ongoing research projects, the Garage/Rolling Door U-Factor and SHGC task groups kicked off one track on Day One of NFRC's Spring Membership Meeting in New Orleans.

Chair Joe Hetzel, technical director at the Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association International (DASMA), led a discussion of comments on two ballots regarding garage-door related revisions submitted by DASMA to NFRC 100 and 200. Following a spirited discussion of specimen test sizes and other issues, the group will re-ballot the changes to NFRC 100. Hetzel will bring the ballot for NFRC 200 forward to the NFRC SHGC Subcommittee for approval.

Hetzel also told the groups that DASMA is moving forward with a number of research projects designed to simulate and test garage door provisions proposed for NFRC 100/101/102 and NFRC 200/201. He said he will share the results of the research with NFRC when they are available.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Jordan, Knauff & Company Publishes Report on Foreign Competition in U.S. Building Products Industry

Jordan, Knauff & Company has released an annual report regarding foreign competition in the U.S. building products industry. The report includes information on windows and doors. The following comes from a press release from the company distributed on April 7.

Jordan, Knauff & Company, a middle-market investment bank with a specialized practice in the building products industry, has announced the publication of the second annual issue of the Foreign Competition Report for the U.S. Building Products Industry. The report summarizes import statistics and growth rates of the top importing countries in eleven different building products categories. The report includes information on the following industry segments: windows and doors, vinyl profiles, glass, flooring, fencing, siding, roofing, decking, columns, cabinets, and engineered wood products.

Complimentary copies of the Foreign Competition Report have been posted to Jordan, Knauff & Company’s Research Portal, which is located at In addition to the Foreign Competition Report, the portal contains all of the firm’s window and door related blogs, articles, research reports, Industry Update Webinars and industry trade association presentations. All of these documents are available for a complimentary download.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

NFRC to Provide Meeting Coverage Through Live News Service

Using its live news service, NFRC will provide continuously updated coverage of the proceedings during its Spring Membership Meeting in New Orleans, April 12-15.

As you know, many of us have recently changed the way we seek information. What used to be a weekly magazine or a nightly news broadcast is now at your fingertips the instant it happens. That’s why NFRC will continue to provide the latest news directly from its meeting room.

We invite you to visit often so you can read highlights of each day’s meetings as they happen, view photos and videos, receive summaries of key proceedings throughout the week, and share your thoughts on what happens.

NFRC is dedicated to giving everyone a chance to keep up with the latest decisions being made during the meeting -- no matter where your schedule takes you. Even if you won’t be able to join us in New Orleans, we’ll keep you informed every step of the way.

The Spring Membership Meeting is shaping up to be one of the most active in several years. NFRC expects 143 total attendees. This includes 104 members, 31 new attendees, and 20 non-members.

Additionally, NFRC is going green for the meeting. There will be no printed copies of the program booklet available onsite. Instead, NFRC will provide convenient flash drives that contain all the information attendees will need. If you require a hard copy of the program booklet, please print it before coming to the meeting. Otherwise, you will need to use the hotel's business center.

NFRC is also pleased to announce that China Southern Glass Holding (CSG), Co., Ltd. will be a sponsor during the meeting.

Finally, please contact
Cheryl Gendron, NFRC's Meeting Manager, with any questions about the Spring Membership Meeting or about becoming an NFRC sponsor.

Friday, April 2, 2010

CSG Sponsors NFRC Membership Meeting

NFRC is pleased to announce that China Southern Glass Holding (CSG), Co., Ltd. will be a sponsor at NFRC’s Spring Membership Meeting, which will be held in New Orleans, La., April 12-15.

Established in 1984, CSG is one of the leading enterprises in China’s glass industry. The company manufactures and supplies all categories of architectural glass products, and it is the first and largest low-e glass manufacturer in China.

Sponsorship Opportunities

NFRC holds two face-to-face and one virtual membership meeting each year in different cities across the United States. These meetings typically attract between 90 and 120 of the nation's top fenestration industry professionals, including engineers, scientists, government officials, and building code experts who gather to participate in the serious work of keeping NFRC programs on the cutting edge of modern advances and energy- saving technology.

NFRC's Sponsorship Program affords numerous benefits.

Sponsors receive widespread recognition in NFRC's publications, on our Website, and during our meetings. Click here to download the brochure detailing the varied levels of participation.

Contact Cheryl Gendron, NFRC's Meeting Manager, to open this exciting window of opportunity for your organization in 2010.