Wednesday, July 28, 2010

According to a report in Window & Door Magazine, the window and door market is recovering, and this looks good for GlassBuild America.

The report says more than 325 exhibitors are expected at the show, which is scheduled to take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, September 14-16. NFRC will be exhibting in booth 1147.

The 2009 event in Atlanta showed optimism among exhibitors and attendees alike. It also showed an increased focus on energy efficiency in general. Tax credits have helped strengthen the replacement market, and many of the exhibitors in 2009 focused on components and equipment for producing windows and doors delivering higher levels of energy efficiency.

A full list of exhibitors is available on the GlassBuild America Website.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

NFRC Chairman Praises First Virtual Meeting, Offers Final Thoughts on Proceedings

By NFRC Chairman, Joe Hayden

Well, NFRC has just concluded its first ever “virtual” conference, and in my view it was a tremendous success! As is to be expected with any first-time activity there were a few minor bumps in the road, but thanks to everyone’s cooperation and patience, and a great job by NFRC staff, the conference went very well.

I must offer my particular appreciation to Jim Benney and his staff for the way they responded to the power outage at the Greenbelt office on Tuesday. Indeed that could have been disastrous to this conference, but due to staff’s upfront readiness and quick response, the disruption ended up being very minimal. Again, WELL DONE !!!

As was noted during the conference, staff will be issuing a questionnaire to solicit comments and feed-back on the conference, as well as suggestions for improvements for the future. I encourage everyone to please take the time to thoughtfully complete this questionnaire. Your suggestions will be essential in making future virtual conferences even better and more effective. Please watch for that and respond accordingly.

I’m sure it’s no surprise to everyone that the dominant topic of debate was the technical procedures for rating of attachments. As always, and again of no surprise, the debate was lively and spirited. As I’ve stated several times in the past, while I recognize that this can be a source of frustration for some, I remain convinced that this is a positive sign of a strong organization with dedicated participants who genuinely care about “getting it right”. While the process may take longer than some would like, I believe it is the best way to remain true to our core value of achieving consensus. Overall I remain very satisfied with how this effort is proceeding and encourage everyone to keep up the good work.

As a good case in point of how these efforts can eventually pay off, consider where we are now vs. a few years ago with CMA. Going back a few years, I’m sure we can remember how CMA dominated all our debates. In the here-and-now, CMA is requiring only a small amount of our meeting time, and the CMA Program is up and running. This is a great example of what NFRC can accomplish if we all continue to work together.

As was announced during the Board Meeting on Wednesday, it is once again time to initiate elections for the NFRC Board of Directors. There are four seats that will need to be filled this Fall. I encourage everyone to give thoughtful consideration to who you feel is best to fill these seats and then submit your designees by the August 20 dead-line. Click here for more details.

Although in many ways it was good to “hear” (not see) everyone during this conference, I do look forward to seeing everyone this November as we gather in San Francisco for the Fall Conference. Until then, and as always … THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO !!!

DOE Announces Partnerships to Promote Energy Efficiency Mentions Value of Retrofitting Windows

According to a report on the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Website, the organization will initiate 15 research and deployment partnerships aimed at improving residential energy efficiency across America.

The report says these partnerships will receive a total of up to $30 million for the initial eighteen months of their scheduled projects to deliver innovative energy efficiency strategies to the residential market. The partnerships are also intended to support ongoing retrofit initiatives.

The DOE says existing techniques and technologies in energy efficiency retrofitting, including those associated with windows and doors, can reduce energy use by up to 40 percent per home and cut energy bills by $40 billion annually.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NFRC's First Virtual Committee Week Closes with BOD Meeting, Chair Commends Staff for Managing Power Outage

NFRC’s inaugural Virtual Committee Week Meeting drew to a close this afternoon with the Board of Directors (BOD) meeting.

Chairs from the Research and Technology, Technical, and Ratings Committees addressed the BOD, which approved all eleven motions that were presented.

Research and Technology Committee

Chair, Warren Lichtenberger, presented three motions to the BOD.

1.) A motion to extend the Window 6/Therm 6 Validation Research project deadline until the fall 2010 membership meeting was approved by the Board, 8-0-0.

2.) A motion to extend the Complex Visible Transmittance (VT) Ratings Research project deadline until the fall 2010 membership meeting was approved by the Board, 8-0-0.

3.) A motion to approve the Ventilating Rating Task Group scope was also approved by the Board, 8-0-0.

The scope of the Ventilating Rating Task Group project involves creating an NFRC Ventilation rating system utilizing net clear opening less a screen factor. The process for developing the rating will be in three phases: 1) Standardize the method for calculating fenestration net clear ventilation area dimensions, 2) Standardize the effect of screen mesh for two or three representative screen cloth categories, and 3) Develop a rating system for NFRC certification purposes based on current standardized sizes.

Technical Committee

Chair, Jeff Baker, brought forth seven motions.

1.) A CMA Subcommittee motion to approve Sneh Kumar as co-chair of the CMA Subcommittee under Technical was approved by the Board, 7-0-0 with one recused.

2.) A Solar Heat Gain Subcommittee motion to approve the NFRC 200 Garage Door Ballot with implementation upon publication was approved by the Board, 8-0-0.

3.) A Solar Heat Gain Subcommittee motion to approve the NFRC 200 Section 4.5.G Ballot with implementation upon publication was approved by the Board, 8-0-0.

4.) A Software Subcommittee recommendation for approval of W6/T6 version 6.3 for both programs when available in accordance with the stipulations indicated in the June 1, 2010 letter revised at Software Subcommittee was approved by the Board, 8-0-0.

5.) A U-factor Subcommittee motion to approve the NFRC 100 Garage Door Ballot with implementation upon publication was approved by the Board, 8-0-0.

6.) A U-factor Subcommittee motion to approve the NFRC 100 Table 4-3 Wall and Sloped Glazing Ballot with implementation upon publication was approved by the Board, 8-0-0.

7.) A Technical Committee motion for Tina Jenkins of Simonton to serve as the Vice-Chair of the Technical Committee was approved by the Board, 8-0-0.

Ratings Committee

Chair, Steve Strawn, presented the BOD with one motion.

1.) A motion that originated in the CMA Subcommittee for Sneh Kumar to serve as Co-Chair for the CMA Subcommittee under Ratings was approved by the Board, 7-0-0 with one recused.

Concluding Remarks

The BOD meeting concluded with NFRC Chairman, Joe Hayden, commending the NFRC staff for successfully managing yesterday’s power outage, which he said could have been catastrophic to the proceedings but amounted to nothing more than the proverbial blip on the radar.

Neither Rain Nor Sleet Nor Dark of Night...

Participants in NFRC's first Virtual Meeting may not have realized it, but NFRC headquarters experienced a power outage in the middle of the Attachments Subcommittee meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Fortunately, NFRC IT Manager Maggy Thomas had created a contingency plan for just such an occurence.

Thomas took swift action after the lights went out, executing the plan behind the scenes. She also worked on restoring NFRC email and phone servers, which went down as a result of the outage, too.

Meetings Manager Cheryl Gendron and Certification Program Associate Sherri Wendt ensured a smooth transition as Wendt took control of the meeting remotely from Minnesota, while other NFRC staff members provided support by troubleshooting technical issues.

"Thanks to advanced planning and action by Maggy and our staff, the on-line meeting proceeded without a hitch even as the lights went out in Greenbelt," said Jim Benney, NFRC's CEO.

After temporarily relocating to a neighboring hotel during the outage (pictured here), NFRC staff returned to headquarters. We're back up and running in Greenbelt, and ready for another productive day.

Technical Committee Forwards Five Action Items to NFRC Board

The Technical Committee met this morning and passed a number of motions that will be forwarded to NFRC’s Board of Directors this afternoon.

Software Subcommittee

The Technical Committee passed a motion from the Software Subcommittee recommending the approval of WINDOW6/THERM6 version 6.3 for both programs when available in accordance with the stipulations indicated in the June 2010 letter revised at Subcommittee.

This motion passed, 36 -1.

U-Factor Subcommittee

The Technical Committee passed a motion from the U-factor Subcommittee to move forward the NFRC 100 Garage Door language as balloted for approval and to be implemented on publication.

The motion passed, 34-0.

The U-factor Subcommittee also made a motion to move forward the NFRC 100 Table 4-3 Wall and Slope Glazing Ballot language as balloted for approval and to be implemented upon publication.

The Technical Committee passed this motion unanimously.

Solar Heat Gain Subcommittee

The Technical Committee passed one motion to move forward the NFRC 200 Garage Door ballot for approval and to be implemented upon publication.

The motion passed, 32-1.

The Technical Committee passed a second motion to move forward the NFRC 200 Section 4.5 G language for approval and to be implemented upon publication.

This motion passed, 30-2.

CMA Subcommittee

The only action item in the CMA Subcommittee is for Sneh Kumar to serve as co-chair of the subcommmittee under ratings.

New Business

Tina Jenkins volunteered to fill the Vice Chair position for the Technical Committee.

The NFRC Board of Directors meeting is currently underway.

Focus on ISO 18292 During Yesterday's AEP Subcommittee Meeting

The Annual Energy Performance Subcommittee met yesterday afternoon, and the International Standards Organization (ISO) 18292, Energy Performance of Fenestration Systems— Calculation Procedure figured prominently in the discussion.

Tom Culp of Birchpoint Consulting suggested that NFRC’s Board of Directors consider using the ISO 18292 since it is emerging as an international standard.

According to Bipin Shah of WinBuild, Inc. (NFRC Research Subcommittee Chair), most international companies in the fenestration industry are already doing this. Like Culp, Shah believes the prevalence of ISO 18292 warrants NFRC’s consideration.

The ISO 18292 is a calculation procedure enables the energy performance rating of a window, door or skylight, rather than just the thermal transmittance. The standard offers a procedure to calculate the energy performance of fenestration systems based on the effects of the frame, sash, glazing, and shading components combined with building heating/cooling loads and environmental conditions

ISO standards are available globally and offer an opportunity to achieve international harmonization. The ISO 18292 is voluntary standard that local, state, or national governments may adopt and enforce.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rating Committee Concludes Second Day of Virtual Meeting

The meeting concluded with the Ratings Committee discussing the full CPD number on labels requirement and decided to distribute a questionnaire amongst members.

Please note: Wednesday's schedule has changed. The meeting will continue tomorrow at 11 a.m. (EDT) with the CMA Subcommittee (Technical), followed by the full Technical Committee.

The NFRC Board Meeting will begin after the Technical Committee concludes its business.

Labeling Subcommittee Ballots Return to Task Group

John McFee, of the Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), opened the Labeling Subcommittee meeting this afternoon. The subcommittee discussed two ballots at length.

The NFRC 700-2010 Fenestration Manufacturers Certificate (FMC) Ballot will be returning to task group for revisions after the subcommittee found some negative comments to be persuasive/substantive.

Later, the subcommittee reviewed the comments on the NFRC 700 Tubular Daylighting Device (TDD) ballot. This ballot will also go back to task group.

Virtual Meeting Continues with Certification Subcommittee Business

The Ratings Committee Block continued with the Certification Subcommittee meeting. Its task groups provided updates to the subcommittee, including one from the Attachment Product Certification Program Task Group. Mike Cienian, of Hunter Douglas, reported that the task group will be meeting in August, and that it's been reviewing the consumer research results presented at the Spring 2010 Membership Meeting in New Orleans.

The subcommittee meeting concluded with a discussion about restructuring subcommittees and task groups under the Ratings Committee.

Ratings Committee Block Begins with CMA Ratings Subcommittee

After the Attachment Subcommittee concluded its business, the virtual meeting continued with the CMA Subcommittee (Ratings) meeting. The CMA Subcommittee (Technical) and the full Technical Committee will be convening tomorrow morning to finish their business.

Sneh Kumar, of TRACO, who chairs the CMA Subcommittee (Ratings), called the meeting to order. After hearing updates from the subcommittee’s work and task groups, John Lewis, NFRC’s director of new business, provided an update on the roll-out of the Component Modeling Approach program.

NFRC has released 10 CMA Label Certificates; two ACE organizations are up and running (WESTLab and Efco); and Heschong Mahone Group, which is performing CMA outreach to the building code community for NFRC, is close to completing its activities (a summary report is expected in the next month or so). “Things are progressing, and we see some activity that is encouraging,” noted Lewis.

Don't Be a Stranger

While virtual meetings are convenient and reduce costs, we like to see you in person, too. Stop by the NFRC exhibit booth this summer or fall if you’re attending any of the following conferences:

Green Building Focus Conference & Expo, Aug. 25-26, in Birmingham, AL
GlassBuild America, Sept. 14-17, in Las Vegas
Greenbuild 2010, Nov. 16-19, in Chicago

And, don’t miss the (in-person) NFRC Fall 2010 Membership Meeting in San Francisco, scheduled for November 8-11.

Considerable Discussion Regarding NFRC 100A and NFRC 200A During Technical Committee Block

A number of proposed changes to both the NFRC 100A and the NFRC 200A resulted in considerable discussion during this afternoon’s Technical Committee block.

After lengthy discussion on the NFRC 100A ballot, "Procedure for Determining Fenestration Attachment Product U-factors," the Attachment Subcommittee sent the ballot back to task group with nearly a dozen persuasive and substantive negatives to address.

The Attachment Subcommittee then turned its attention to the NFRC 200A ballot, "Procedure for Determining Fenestration Attachment Product Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and Visible Transmittance at Normal Incidence." After reviewing the ballot comments, the subcommittee sent it back to task group.

Schedule Adjustment for Virtual Meeting

Please note: There is a small schedule change to the NFRC virtual meeting. The Ratings Committee will meet at 4 p.m. EDT today. Fifteen minutes after the Ratings block is over, the Technical Committee will re-convene to finish its business.

Day 2 of Virtual Meeting Starts with Software Subcommittee Meeting

The second day of NFRC’s Summer 2010 Virtual Committee Week kicked off with the Software Subcommittee meeting under the Technical Committee Block.

After Subcommittee Chair Brian Crooks, of Cardinal Glass Industries, Inc., welcomed participants, Joe Hayden, of Pella Corp., presented a motion on behalf of the WINDOW 6/THERM 6 Approval Task Group for an interim, partial approval of W6/T6.

The subcommittee passed a motion to approve the task group’s recommendation, as indicated in a June 1, 2010, letter to the NFRC membership. The letter noted that the “primary reason for this proposal is compatibility with the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Software Tool, to avoid maintaining two different version of the WINDOW/THERM software.”

The task group’s proposal to partially implement W6/T6, and subsequently sunset W5/T5 on December 31, 2010, applies to simulation of only those products that can currently be simulated with W5/T5, in accordance with current NFRC procedures. The task group’s proposal also requires web-based training for certified simulators and IAs in August and September 2010 (and that no simulator shall use W6/T6 for NFRC certification services until they have successfully completed the training).

The motion, which applies to version 6.3 for both software programs, now moves forward to the Technical Committee for further consideration.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Technical Committee Discusses U-factor, SHGC Ballots

The Technical Committee block began today with the Air Leakage, U-factor, and Solar Heat Gain Subcommittees meeting to bring the first day of NFRC’s Virtual Committee Week Meeting to a close.

Air Leakage Subcommittee

The Air Leakage Subcommittee reported that it has nothing active for the moment.

U-factor Subcommittee Considers Three Ballots

NFRC 100 Garage Door Ballot. This ballot is intended to delete language addressing specimen panel number and height requirements in Section 5.5.1 A. In many cases, manufacturers seeking U-factor ratings in accordance with NFRC 100 are not tooled to produce 21”height sections for some door models and also may not use a four-panel configuration. Therefore, the standard should only require that the specimen fill a 7’ by 7’ opening.

After some discussion considering the specifics of the wording, a motion from Mike Thoman to move the language as balloted forward for approval passed unanimously.

NFRC 100 Sash Kit Ballot. This ballot is intended to revise the language regarding sash kits of any operator type. The intent of Option two of Section 5.1.2 in NFRC 100 is to allow the manufacturer of a sash kit of any operator type to use their existing whole product line rating if the sash in the kit and the product line are identical in material and design. Therefore, this ballot is presented to clarify this intent in NFRC 100.

One negative that arose was that the ballot contains certification language that does not belong in the technical document. Mike Thoman said a task group will be formed to revise the language and present a revised document at a later date. All associated negatives will be shared with task group.

NFRC 100 Table 4-3 Wall and Sloped Glazing Ballot. The intent of this ballot is to revise Table 4-3 of NFRC 100 for Curtain Wall, Window Wall, and Sloped Glazing. Table 4-3 is being balloted to remove the product type “glazed wall” because the term is not used consistently with the rating applied to curtain walls and window walls.

A motion to move the language forward as balloted was approved with no negatives or comments.

Solar Heat Gain Subcommittee

The Solar Heat Gain Subcommittee discussed three ballots.

NFRC 100 Garage (Vehicular Access) Doors. This ballot is intended to delete language addressing specimen panel number and height requirements in Section 5.5.1 A.

One negative asked to consider adding the following language to the section: “In accordance with U-factor validation testing to NFRC 100 for simulated garage door products, sectional garage doors shall have the SHGC determined based on a specimen filling 2.13 (7’) wide by 2.13 (7’) tall opening (the aperture is smaller than the test specimen). Panel sizes and construction shall be in accordance with manufacturers normal specifications for a door of these dimensions.”

A motion to move the NFRC 200 garage door ballot forward to the Technical Committee for approval and implementation upon publication passed.

NFRC 200 Section 4.5.G Laminates. This ballot is intended to clarify language in NFRC 200-2010, Section 4.5, as it relates to laminated glazing in the matrix of center-of-glazing SHGC/VT options.

One negative focused on the verbiage, “ratings for products with obscured, frit, or wired glass and/or stained glass shall be deemed to be equivalent to the ratings for the clear glass” and whether it should be deleted in its entirety since Window 6 can model these variations to provide more accurate VT ratings. Following some discussion, the crux of the issue here focused on whether the word “frit” should be removed.

The negative was ultimately withdrawn, and a motion to move the 200 Section 4.5.G to the Technical Committee and to be implemented upon publication passed 15 – 9.

The final ballot in this block involved a revised draft of NFRC 201, which adds the capability to measure the SHGC of Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDD) in solar calorimeters.

Previously, the NFRC Technical Interpretation Number, TI-2003-22, has been used to specivy how to measure the SHGC of TDDs using NFRC 201. After refinement by the TDD SHGC Testing Group, the intent of the previous NFRC Technical Interpretation has been incorporated into the document and into a new Annex G. Only the sections of 201that were revised are included.

One of the negatives presented was that the incident light needs to be more accurately assessed to avoid significantly overstating the resulting SHGC. A motion to find this negative persuasive and substantive and return it to Task Group passed.

Technical Committee Resumes Tomorrow

The Technical Committee Block will resume at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) tomorrow, Tuesday, July 20, 2010 and run until 2:00 p.m. The Software, Condensation Resistance, Annual Energy Performance, Attachment, and CMA Subcommittees are scheduled to meet.

Research & Technology Committee Passes Four Motions

The first day of NFRC’s virtual meeting approached its mid-point with the Research and Technology Committee passing four motions.

After Committee Chair Werner Lichtenberger, of Truseal Technologies, opened the meeting, Bipin Shah, of WinBuild, Inc., presented three motions on behalf of the Research Subcommittee.

The committee passed motions to extend the deadlines for the Windows6/THERM6 research project and t
he complex visible transmittance (VT) research project to the Fall 2010 Membership Meeting, and approved the new scope for the NFRC Ventilation Rating Task Group.

The committee then heard reports from Sneh Kumar, of Traco, on the activities of the Optical Properties Subcommittee, and Charlie Curcjia, of CARLI, Inc., on the Thermophysical Properties Subcommittee meeting from earlier in the day.

The committee concluded its business with the day’s first unanimous vote – to dissolve the NFRC 600 Glossary Task Group.

Thermophysical Property Subcommittee Convenes

The Thermophysical Property of Materials Subcommittee met this afternoon during Virtual Committee Week. Subcommittee Chair Charlie Curcija, of Carli, Inc., welcomed participants.

Ray McGowan, NFRC senior program manager, reported on thermophysical property submissions. He noted that 14 new materials have been submitted since the NFRC Spring Membership Meeting. The updated NFRC 101 is expected to be released next week.

McGowan continued the meeting by providing an update on the Thermophysical Properties Interlaboratory Comparison (ILC). This is the first ILC for thermophysical properties that NFRC has ever conducted.

The testing, involving combinations of composite board, is complete, and the preliminary results are quite good, McGowan reported. The full report will be available at the NFRC Fall 2010 Membership Meeting.

In other subcommittee news, NFRC 101/103 has been disbanded. Also, Curcija reported that the subcommittee had been directed to develop an electronic version of NFRC 101 Appendix A and to provide that as a THERM library file. (The subcommittee will be proceeding with a similar version for NFRC 101 Appendix B as well). The subcommittee then formed a task group to review Appendix A and Appendix B, and it is seeking a volunteer to chair this new task group.

R&T Committee Block Turns its Attention to Optical Properties

The Research and Technology Committee Block continued its business this afternoon as the Optical Properties Subcommittee convened. Subcommittee Chair Sneh Kumar, of Traco, brought the meeting to order.

The subcommittee heard reports from a number of its task groups, including Optical Property Priorities and Daylighting Rating. Mike Rubin, of LBNL, presented the “Top Ten Optical Subcommittee Priorities” list, which ranged from research and standards for diffuse glazing and shading materials to completing the “100 Shade” project. He then provided a status update on international standards.

Mudit Saxena, of Heschong Mahone Group, and Roger LeBrun, of VELUX-America, Inc., who co-chair the Daylighting Rating Task Group, reported on recent activities. Mudit noted that the task group has held five virtual meetings since the NFRC Spring 2010 Membership Meeting in New Orleans. The task group decided upon definitions for two phases of daylighting potential ratings:

  • Phase 1: To create a rating system for daylighting potential utilizing the existing NFRC Visible Transmittance (VT) rating combined with known, bright day incident illuminance values
  • Phase 2: To create a rating system to allow designers to utilize a standardized measurement of the appropriate illumination characteristics of fenestration products considering directions effects for incident and emitted illumination, illumination quality, illumination quantity, illumination distribution and other complex variables as needed
The Daylighting Task Group also presented the scope and purposes of both phases, based on the task group’s discussions.

The subcommittee concluded its meeting by passing a motion to form an optical properties interlaboratories comparison (ILC) task group. Rubin will chair the ILC 2009 Task Group.

NFRC's Virtual Meeting Begins with Research Subcomittee

NFRC’s inaugural Virtual Committee Week Meeting began this morning with the Research Subcommittee undertaking its work.

DOE Funding for Research

NFRC staff member, Ray McGowan, was the first to speak, providing a report on research project funding status. McGowan informed listeners that approximately $772, 970 in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is available to fund research projects through 2014.

Window 6/Therm 6 Validation Research

Willie duPont of Sunergy Consulting offered an update on Window 6/Therm 6 validation research, stating that simulations involving various tests models are still underway. duPont also said that once the results are compared and evaluated, the project will culminate with a peer reviewed paper.

While this project had been intended to conclude in the summer of 2010, NFRC Chair, Joe Hayden, made a motion that the deadline be expanded to NFRC’s fall 2010 meeting in November, and the motion passed.

TDD U-factor Research

Dave DeBlock of ODL reported that there is just one remaining issue and said research will be completed in the fall with no further need for extensions.

Condensation Resistance Procedure for CMA

Charlie Curcija of Carli, Inc. said that three issues in this area have been resolved by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs (LBNL). A fourth issue, which emerged this past weekend, will be resolved later this week. Curcija added that the project will still meet its deadline, which is NFRC’s fall meeting. Bipin Shah of WinBuild, Inc. recommended that the Project Monitoring Committee meet often enough to ensure meeting the deadline.

Complex VT Rating Research

Ross McCluney and Willie duPont are expecting a report from LBNL, which will be assessed, clearing the way for a final vote at NFRC’s fall meeting. This project was performed to evaluate two different approaches using a range a products and not to develop a new procedure. A motion to extend the vote on this project until the fall passed.

Gas Permeability Research

Werner Lichtenberger said there is a meeting this week on Thursday, and there will be a report issued to NFRC. No other news.

Ventilation Rating

Steve Strawn spoke about the need for some revisions to revise the scope of this project, and a motion specified three revisions:

1. Standardizing the method for calculating fenestration net clear ventilation area dimensions.

2. Standardizing the effect of screen mesh for two or three representative screen cloth categories

3. Developing recommendations for a rating system for NFRC certification purposes based on current standardized sizes.

The motion passed 27 – 2

New Business

In closing the meeting, the Research Subcommittee brought forth one ballot, which dealt with fenestration illumination research. This research is just an idea for the moment, but it could turn into a full-fledged project.

Ross McCluney summarized the scope of this project by stating that nearly every architectural daylighting design project in the U.S. involves buildings with some kind of shading device on them. Shades are used widely for privacy and glare control in both residential and nonresidential spaces. McCluney added that skylights come in many varieties and cannot currently be rated for visible transmittance (VT) by the NFRC.

A motion asking that the task group charged with preparing this proposal include details on cost sharing passed 30 – 3.

Don’t Be a Stranger

While virtual meetings are convenient and reduce costs, we like to see you in person, too. Stop by the NFRC exhibit booth this summer or fall if you’re attending any of the following conferences:

  • Green Building Focus Conference & Expo, Aug. 25-26, in Birmingham, AL
  • GlassBuild America, Sept. 14-17, in Las Vegas
  • Greenbuild 2010, Nov. 16-19, in Chicago

And, don’t miss the (in-person) NFRC Fall 2010 Membership Meeting in San Francisco, scheduled for November 8-11.

Check Out the New Animated Video on NFRC's Web site

NFRC recently posted its newest interactive animation to its Web site. The Flash® animation video – narrated by NFRC's John Lewis, director, new programs – provides a basic overview of the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Product Certification Program. Check it out here.

NFRC’s Online Meeting is Underway

At 11 a.m. EDT, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) kicked off its first online membership meeting. The Summer 2010 Virtual Committee Week runs through July 21, and it takes the place of NFRC’s usual in-person summer membership meeting.

NFRC Chair Joe Hayden, of Pella Corp., greeted attendees virtually. “Welcome to this wonderful experiment,” said Hayden.

More than 100 people have registered for the online meeting. “It’s terrific not seeing you this summer,” joked Hayden.

Hayden then pointed out one of the main benefits of these types of meetings. “The potential to save costs is tremendous,” he said.

NFRC committees and subcommittees are conducting their normal activities during the virtual meeting, but task groups are not meeting. Comments on 11 ballots – the Research & Technology Committee has one, the Ratings Committee two, and the Technical Committee eight – will be reviewed and discussed.

The meeting is being hosted virtually through the Web software tool GoToWebinar® by Citrix. All callers will be muted during the meeting. Attendees who want to speak will virtually “raise their hands” to enter a queue. They may speak after the committee or subcommittee chairperson recognizes them.

Hayden asked participants to exercise patience with this first-of-a-kind effort for NFRC.

Just like an in-person meeting, members will be voting on NFRC business. Stay tuned to NFRC News Now for updates throughout the meeting.

NFRC's First Virtual Meeting Starts Today

NFRC's Virtual Committee Week Meeting will begin at 11:00 a.m. today. Be sure to check back throughout the day for updates on the proceedings.

Are you ready to venture into Cyberspace? NFRC's Meetings Manager, Cheryl Gendron, is.

Send us your photos.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NFRC's Virtual Committee Week Meeting Starts Monday, July 19

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) will commence with its first Virtual Committee Week Meeting on Monday, July 19, and it will run through Wednesday, July 21.

The meeting will take place in Cyberspace via the Web software tool GoToWebinar® by Citrix.

Proceedings will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

Document Ballot Summary - Posted for early review.

Program booklet now available online - agendas, draft minutes, rosters, pre-registration listing, and more.

Registration still available (required) - There is still time to join us online.

Not able to attend?

Voting proxy – Don't miss a vote - Be sure to assign a proxy before the meeting.

NFRC New Now – Summaries available here throughout the virtual meeting.

Thank you for your interest in the NFRC. We’re here to help you as we explore this new frontier into virtual conferencing.

If you have any questions or challenges please contact the NFRC Staff.

Monday, July 12, 2010

NFRC to Exhibit During Building Codes 2010 in Charlotte July 19-22

NFRC will be exhibiting during the Energy Codes 2010 show, which will be held at the Westin Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina July 19 – 22.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Website, Energy Codes 2010 will provide hands-on training and face-to-face networking through a variety of activities with members in the energy codes community. The DOE says the show will foster collaboration between state energy office representatives and members of the building industry.

One of the activities that will provide training and networking is a buildings tour that will include a visit to the National Gypsum Company's Mt. Holly Plant and three homes from the David Weekley Homes Manor at Westmoreland. The tour will take place from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 19.

A representative from NFRC will be on hand throughout the show to answer questions about the organization’s activities and programs and to discuss current building energy code issues.

If you happen to be in Charlotte during the week of July 19, be sure to stop by Energy Codes 2010 and visit NFRC. We look forward to seeing you.


Friday, July 9, 2010

NFRC Member Solutia Receives Grant to Refine Window Films Initiative

The publication Window Film is reporting in an online article that NFRC member company Solutia has received grant money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The article says the DOE is investing approximately $76 million dollars in companies that are committed to improving energy efficiency in U.S. homes and commercial buildings. Accordingly, Solutia has received $356,000 of the $76 million for its Performance Films segment. The company will use the grant for the research, development, and commercialization of high-performance retrofit window films.

Full Article

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

EPA Assists with State Capital Green Initiatives

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reporting on its Website that it is implementing a program designed to help state capital cities develop more sustainable communities.

Known as Greening America’s Capitals, the program will work with up to four capital cities annually to help them develop a vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative green building and green infrastructure.

Under the program, the EPA will provide design assistance to establish project strategies that accelerate sustainable development in priority neighborhoods and create sustainability models for other cities to follow.

The results of Greening America’s Capitals may be used to gauge broader applications such as changes to local codes and regulations to better support sustainable growth and green building.