Wednesday, June 30, 2010

PPG and ADCO Submit Spacers into CMAST, NFRC Board Waives Component Fees for 2010

First Spacers Submitted to CMAST

PPG Industries of Cheswick, PA and ADCO Products of Michigan Center, MI have become the first spacer manufacturers to submit products into NFRC’s Component Modeling Approach Software Tool (CMAST) database.

According to John Lewis, NFRC’s Director, New Business Programs, PPG has placed both its tin-plated steel spacers and its stainless steel Intercept ® spacers in the database Both types of Intercept spacer are available in 21 widths ranging from 5.08 mm (0.200”) to 20.96 mm (0.825”). ADCO’s thermoplastic spacer is available in 10 sizes from 6.35 mm (0.250”) to 20.65 mm (0.813”). Both the PPG and ADCO products are configured in CMAST as ‘Path III’ spacers, which means they provide CMAST users with the ability to fully define the geometry and effective conductivity (Keff) for each of the numerous spacer widths.

Lewis adds that this calculation occurs ‘on the fly’ with CMAST as THERM 6 is running in the background to complete thermal analysis of the spacers once the CMAST user configures a spacer edge seal assembly.

NFRC’s Board Waives Component Fees for the remainder of 2010.

In an initiative to facilitate implementation of the component modeling approach (CMA), NFRC’s Board of Directors will waive spacer and frame component fees for the remainder of 2010.

Ordinarily, submitting these components into the Component Modeling Approach Software Tool (CMAST) would require a nominal per-component fee. NFRC and its Board, however, view waiving these fees as an effective means to allow the CMA program to continue to gain traction as a viable modeling tool that will ultimately prove invaluable to the fenestration industry.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

NFRC Member Company Southwall Receives $1.4 Million Grant from DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded NFRC member company Southwall Technologies a $1.43 million grant to develop advanced technologies for making homes and buildings more energy efficient.

According to an online press release posted by the Website, MarketWatch, Southwall plans to use the funding in part to speed up the development of high performance Heat Mirror low-emissivity and solar-reflective films.

The DOE says the nations’ 114 million homes and 74 million square feet of commercial floor space in the U.S. account for 40 percent of total energy consumption and 39 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions.

According to the press release, windows are the energy-efficiency weak link in homes and buildings, and the DOE is therefore focusing grant funding on the development of innovative technologies that can create energy-saving windows that insulate like walls.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Building Energy Codes Figure Prominently in New Legislation

The online publication, Green Building Insider, reported on June 15 that Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) has introduced an energy and climate change bill that would in part enact strong building codes in an effort to create long-term energy improvement targets for existing homes and commercial buildings.

Formally known as The Lugar Practical Energy and Climate Plan the bill seeks mandatory performance targets for new retrofits in residential, small business, and commercial projects.

Lugar also wants to see low-interest retrofits for rural consumers and is calling on federal agencies to adopt a position of leadership by imposing enhanced energy efficiency standards for federal buildings.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

IG Certification Requirement Takes Hold July 1

On July 1, 2010, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) will begin enforcing the requirement for Insulating Glass (IG) certification by a listed, third-party certification program for all IGU’s used in products that are authorized for NFRC certification and labeled in accordance with the NFRC 700“Product Certification Program (PCP).”

NFRC maintains the IGC directory of participating insulating glass certification programs which are authorized to provide third party insulating glass certification services in accordance with NFRC 706, “Requirements for participating Insulating Glass Certification Programs.” The listing of the IGC Programs is posted on the NFRC website at

What are the requirements?

NFRC recommends that NFRC participating manufacturers contact one of the listed IGC Programs to obtain a copy of the IG Certification program requirements and discuss their options, ensuring that their insulating glass units are authorized for certification by the deadline date of July 1, 2010.

Manufacturers who purchase their insulating glass units are encouraged to contact their insulating glass manufacturer supplier to determine if their IGU’s are presently authorized for certification through one of the listed IGC Programs or advise them of the new requirements to ensure compliance with the NFRC 700, “Product Certification Program.”

What does it mean to Program Participants?

As discussed by NFRC, the Board of Directors, and membership it was recommended that participating manufacturers start their IG certification process to meet these requirements when NFRC first announced this program in February of 2009. This recommendation is because the minimum estimated time period to complete the IGU testing and certification process is approximately 21 to 26 weeks.

NFRC does have a program in place to address those hardship cases where program participants may not be able to meet these requirements by July 1, 2010 due to unknown or unforeseen circumstances. If any program participant meets these circumstances they should submit a Request for IGC Extension form to NFRC Staff, which must be properly filled out and will be reviewed by the Certification Policy Committee (CPC) and the NFRC Executive Committee. The Request for IGC Extension Form is posted on the NFRC website at

If there are any questions regarding this information, please feel free to contact the NFRC office (301-589-1776).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer 2010 Virtual Committee Week - Schedule Updated

The NFRC's upcoming Committee Week will be held July 19-21, 2010 via webinar. Meeting times have been adjusted. The meeting will begin with the Research & Technology Committee Block on Monday, July 19th at 11:00 a.m. EDT.

The NFRC's concluding board meeting has also changed slots and will end the meeting on Wednesday, July 21st - beginning at 11:00 a.m. and ending as close to 2:00 p.m. as possible. A detailed schedule can be downloaded from the NFRC's meeting website.

Other Reminders:

Deadline Next Week: All Votes/Comments on the current 11 Document Ballots are due to the NFRC offices by next Thursday, July 1. Please take a moment to download the ballot voting sheets, vote and exercise your member privilege today. The NFRC is a membership organization that values deeply the contribution of its diverse membership; thanks in advance for participating in this important process.

Have you Registered?

While the upcoming Committee Week Virtual Meeting is a change for all of us - it is important to note that registration is required for participation. The deadline is approaching - Friday July 9, 2010. Training opportunities are available for all registered attendees on July 8th and/or July 13th.

Thank you for your continued membership in the NFRC: the nation’s resource for Fair, Accurate, and Credible Energy Ratings of Fenestration products.

The NFRC staff is at your service. Please be in touch with NFRC’s Meeting's Department if we can assist you in any way at 240/821-9501 ext. 201.

Don't miss another Deadline, NFRC Meetings has a twitter account - get meeting updates directly to your mobile phone or twitter account.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Building Envelope and Windows Projects to Receive Nearly $23 Million in Funding

According to a progress alert issued earlier today by the Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced awards totaling more than $76 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support advanced energy-efficient building technology projects and the development of training programs for commercial building equipment technicians, building operators, and energy auditors.

Secretary Chu said these projects will help the U.S. reduce carbon emissions and energy costs. Chu added that the training programs will upgrade the skills of the current workforce and likely attract the next generation to careers in clean energy.

The progress alert points out that one of the five project areas selected was building envelope and windows, which will receive a share of $22,807,255. Fourteen projects will focus on improving the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings through technology advances in windows and envelope components.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Database to Provide Information on Cost Savings of Retrofit Projects

A recent online article published by the New York Times discusses the creation of a public database that seeks to provide research on how much energy is actually being saved through retrofit projects, including those that install high-performance windows.

The article points out that the developers of the project envision the database contributing to the spread of green technologies.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Established and New Federal Incentives Assist Homeowners Undertaking Weatherization Projects

The online publication known as ecohome recently published an article that discusses federal-level incentive options for homeowners undertaking weatherization projects.

The article points out that the established Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the new Home Star bill provide up to $3000 in rebates for homeowners who install energy-efficient upgrades, including windows. Additionally, the Existing Home Retrofit Tax Credit offers an incentive of up to $1500 for the purchase of energy-efficient products such as ENERGY STAR windows.

Full article

Thursday, June 3, 2010

NFRC to Exhibit at AIA Convention in Miami

NFRC will be exhibiting during the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2010 National Convention and Design Exposition at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Thursday, June 10 - Saturday, June 12.

The AIA has chosen the theme, “Design for the New Decade” for the convention. According to the convention Website, AIA believes that as a new decade begins in the 21st century, architects and design professionals continue to navigate through a difficult economic climate while rising to the challenges of creating livable communities and contemplating how the next ten years could revise the traditional ways that they practice architecture.

Educational Opportunities

During the convention, there will be more than 200 program offerings, including pre-convention workshops, theme presentations, and exposition education. Topics will include business planning, business development, marketing, zero net energy design, and building codes.

Additionally, the AIA Miami has extended learning opportunities beyond the convention center by arranging more than 70 educational tours that explore the diversity of the city’s architecture.

Convention Hours

The exhibit hall will be open from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 10 and Friday, June 11. It will also be open from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 12.

The AIA expects approximately 800 exhibitors to be on its floor when the doors open.

If you are attending the convention, be sure to visit NFRC at booth #1001. We look forward to answering your questions about our activities and programs.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

NFRC's CEO, Jim Benney, Speaks out on Using U-factors

NFRC’s CEO, Jim Benney, was recently featured in a blog article where he speaks about why NFRC uses U-factors.

Benney points out that he has recently seen a number of articles, blogs, and online discussions regarding U-factor and R-value, especially with regard to fenestration products. Benney’s posting is intended to set the record straight on this important issue.

NFRC encourages you to visit the blog and to post your comments. You can do that