Monday, November 29, 2010

There’s Still Time to Take Advantage of Tax Credits for Installing Energy Efficient Fenestration Products

Homeowners can still take advantage of a $1500 tax credit for making energy efficient home improvements, including the installation of high-performance fenestration products.

The program will expire on December 31, 2010.

One important thing to keep in mind is that this is not a tax rebate but a tax credit, which may reduce the amount of tax one owes by up to $1500.

In order to be eligible for the tax credit, the fenestration product(s) must have a U-factor and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30 or below. Also, the cost of labor for installing the product(s) does not count toward the $1500.

Details regarding the tax credit are available here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NFRC to Offer Introductory Membership Opportunities Beginning in January 2011

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) strives to be as inclusive, open, and transparent as possible. With this in mind, and to make it easier for new fenestration and fenestration-related industry groups to participate in NFRC, the Board has approved a new “introductory membership period.”

Under this new policy, new members will pay an introductory fee for the first year that is half of the regular fee for the Member-1 (Fenestration Manufacturers and Suppliers) category. (Please note: this action is not applicable for those MBR-1 categories whose dues are less than $1000.00 and is not applicable to other membership categories).

Under the introductory program, a fenestration supplier with between $10 million and $20 million in annual sales will pay $1,650 for the first year of its membership rather than the full fee of $3,300. After the first year, annual dues will return to the regular amount.

The introductory membership period will allow new members to spend a year determining if:
  • They fully support NFRC’s mission, vision, and goals.
  • NFRC membership provides unique benefits for organizations interested in the energy focused fenestration industry.
  • NFRC is the right organization to develop ratings in a way that meets the needs of the public for those organizations seeking to develop new NFRC ratings for their products.
The introductory membership period will become effective on January 1, 2011.

With this new introductory period in place, the Board also decided to phase out membership category 1-A (Members with New Ratings under Development). This category will end on December 31, 2010. All members currently in this category will be eligible for this one-year discount introductory membership period.

The Board concluded that the one-year introductory membership discount provides the proper balance between encouraging organizations to evaluate whether NFRC can develop ratings for their new products and supporting the costs of that development if NFRC does pursue that development.

Monday, November 15, 2010

NFRC Exhibiting This Week in Chicago, Toronto

Representatives from The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) will be exhibiting during two events this week, one in Chicago and one in Toronto.

Greenbuild 2010 (Chicago, Ill.)

NFRC will be exhibiting during the Greenbuild International Expo in Chicago, Ill. November 17-19 at
Chicago's McCormick Place West.

According to the expo’s
Website, Chicago was one of the first cities to adopt the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system for public buildings. Today, Chicago is home to more LEED-certified buildings than any other city.

NFRC representatives will be available at booth T-16. Exhibit hall hours are Tuesday, November 16 from 2:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 17 from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., and Thursday, November 18 from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Windoor North America 2010 (Toronto, Canada)

NFRC representatives will also be exhibiting during the Windoor North America Show at the
Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building, Hall E at booth #1915.

According to the show’s
Website, Windoor is an event that is regarded as one of the best fenestration shows in the industry and one that provides outstanding value to attendees year after year.

Exhibit hall hours are Tuesday, November 16 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 17 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and Thursday, November 18 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m

If you are attending either one of these shows, be sure to visit NFRC to learn more about our activities and programs.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hayden Reflects on Meeting as NFRC Bids Farewell to San Francisco

By Joe Hayden

NFRC has just concluded its 2010 Fall Membership Meeting, and as always I come away with a great sense of accomplishment, success and optimism. As always the debates were lively and engaging, and in the end very productive. Following are specific thoughts on the past week.

Last Spring in New Orleans we had, at the time, a record turn-out of 135 attendees. I’m very pleased to acknowledge that we broke that record at this meeting with 149 attendees. With the economy and the construction industry remaining very uncertain, 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 showed the commitment and dedication to attend and participate. That’s an incredible testament to the strength and potential of this organization.

Clearly the highlight of the week was the completion of the technical procedures for attachment products, 100A and 200A. This definitely represents a landmark moment in NFRC’s journey that will be long remembered. Many thanks go out to everyone who worked so diligently over the past years to make this happen. While much great work has been done to reach this point, much more work remains to be done to complete the certification and labeling program. I have no doubt that if we all keep our hand on the plow and our eye on the prize, we will accomplish that as well.

Congratulations to my good friend Bipin Shah on his receiving the 2010 Member of the Year Award. Bipin’s tireless efforts in furthering NFRC’s International Program are very evident in the success of that program. However beyond that, Bipin has been and continues to be a tremendous advocate for NFRC. I know of few people who are as dedicated and passionate to achieving NFRC’s mission and objectives as Bipin, and I am extremely grateful for all he’s done. So Bipin, on behalf of all of NFRC, THANKS SO MUCH !!!

I definitely have mixed feelings about bidding farewell to Marcia Falke. In one sense I’m very happy for Marcia and wish her all the best as she enters into retirement. On the other hand, I really wonder if NFRC will ever be the same without her. Marcia has held many different leadership roles in NFRC over the years, and is truly one of the special individuals who helped NFRC become the success that it is. She will be sorely missed, but somehow NFRC must find the way to move on without her. Marcia, BEST WISHES to you and your family as you enjoy your retirement. Thanks for all you’ve done, and God Bless !!!

Many thanks go out to Steve Selkowitz and his staff at LBNL for the site tour on Sunday. I know that everyone who participated in the tour found it interesting and educational, and appreciated the opportunity to see the facilities first-hand.

Lisa Heschong’s presentation on daylighting was indeed interesting and intriguing. Clearly there are many opportunities for NFRC to explore in this area, and I expect we will all be hearing much more about this in the future. With the work on attachments well under way, daylighting could be the next “new ground” for NFRC to break. Stay tuned as the Board of Directors continues its discussions.

Congratulations to our two new Board members, Christian Kohler and Ross McCluney. It’s always great to get some new faces and new perspectives on the Board of Directors. I appreciate their willingness to serve and look forward to working with them in the future.

Also, congratulations to my good friend Steve Strawn on his election as NFRC Board Chair. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Steve for many years and have every confidence that NFRC is in great hands … both figuratively and literally. (Those of you who have every shaken hands with Steve know what I mean). I have no doubt that NFRC will benefit greatly from his leadership and wisdom.

As my term as Board Chair comes to an end, I struggle to find the right words to express how much I appreciate all the hard work, dedication and support I’ve seen from everyone over these past three years. There have been ups and downs, but the many ups FAR outweigh the few downs, and that could only have happened with the stellar efforts of the membership, the Board, and NFRC Staff.

So in closing, let me say for the last time, but as always, THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO !!! (And I look forward to seeing everyone again next Spring in Las Vegas)

NFRC's Spring 2011 Committee Week Meeting will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 28 - 30.

NFRC Raises over $500 for Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco

NFRC continued its tradition of raising funds for local charities by accepting donations for customized lapel pins during its Fall Membership Meeting, and will contribute $525 to Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco.

To date, NFRC has contributed over $3000 to local charities concerned with providing affordable homes.

According to its Website, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco partners with working families and the community to build affordable ownership homes in Marin, San Francisco, and the Peninsula. This year the organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary and launching a new campaign to build 100 homes in five years.

NFRC and Habitat for Humanity – A Perfect Fit

Habitat Greater San Francisco uses Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) windows and doors, with integral flashing, glazing, and accessories as required for complete weather tight installation.

The entire assembly of Habitat GSF windows is certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), recognizing that energy efficiency is not only important to the environment, but to improve the health, safety, and cost to our Habitat partner families as well.

Based on best practices in place, Habitat GSF constructed homes are already shoulders above the standard home based on energy efficiency and effective construction practices.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Steve Strawn Chosen to Lead as NFRC's New Chair

Steve Strawn Takes the Reigns as NFRC's New Chair 
Steve Strawn officially became NFRC’s new Chair during this afternoon’s closed Board of Directors meeting.

Strawn, who most recently served as NFRC’s Ratings Committee Chair, replaces outgoing Chair, Joe Hayden.

As an employee of JELD-WEN since 1990, and serving as the company's Product Compliance Manager, External Affairs, Strawn brings to his new position extensive experience with policies concerning codes and product regulations.

Strawn has been involved with NFRC since 2001. Prior to serving as the Ratings Committee Chair, he Chaired various Task Groups and SubCommittees and also served the NFRC Board as the Vice Chair.

One of Strawn’s over-riding goals in serving NFRC has been simplifying existing ratings programs. Strawn is also concerned with making sure attachment product ratings are appropriately developed and included in NFRC’s ratings programs.

NFRC Membership Concludes Work in San Francisco During Open Board Meeting, Committees Present Reports, Several Motions Approved

NFRC Chair, Joe Hayden, Oversees Open Board Meeting
NFRC’s Fall Membership Meeting concluded this morning with an open meeting of the Board of Directors hearing committee reports.

Accreditation Policy Committee
Chair: Marcia Falke

Falke is retiring, and the Accreditation Policy Committee (APC) is seeking a new Chair.

Three simulation labs were inspected in 2010, and one remains to be inspected.

Twelve simulation lab inspections are scheduled for 2011, and four test labs will be inspected.

The Next LAP Laboratory Workshop will be a face-to-face gathering of all laboratories at the Spring 2011 Membership Meeting.

Mandatory training of all Certified Simulators for WINDOW6/THERM 6 for non-complex glazings has been conducted, and the committee is waiting for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) to release the final version of this software before simulators will be authorized to use it.

Two of the three scheduled mandatory training sessions of all Certified Simulators to use CMAST has been conducted, and the last remaining workshop is scheduled for November 22.

Technical Interpretations Policy Committee
Chair: Tom Culp

Charlie Curcija has moved from Carli to LBL but will remain on the Technical Interpretation and Policy Committee (TIPC). LBL has a contract to maintain the Simulation Manual, presenting a potential conflict of interest. This was disclosed to the membership, and Charlie will recuse himself on any votes directly affecting the Simulation Manual.

A 2010 TI Manual is drafted, and TIPC will review it on December 8, 2010 for possible approval.

A new Simulation Manual has been drafted and is ready for final publication, pending review and approval by TIPC.

There are four pending Technical Interpretation Requests (TIR) to be reviewed by TIPC. These include TIR-2010-06: Single glazing thickness in CMAST, TIR-2010-10: Door infill/glazing grouping, Tir-2010-11: Entry Door Panel Sizes, and TIR-2010-12:Exterior Frame Cavity Aspect Ratio.

A motion to approve two Technical Interpretations, TI-2010-06: Custom Skylight and TI-2010-07: Entry Door with Storm, received unanimous Board approval.

Certification Policy Committee
Chair: Steve Johnson

Staff is performing online inspections (two of four Inspection Agencies), which are being monitored, and the process will be reviewed at the end of the year for possible implementation into NFRC 702.

Three Inspections that were completed this year have shown good results. One more inspection is scheduled for December.

A face-to-face CAP Workshop will be held before the 2011 Spring Membership Meeting.

Research and Technology Committee
Chair: Werner Lichtenberger

Research Subcommittee

A motion to approve a deadline extension on W6/T6 Validation Research project to Spring 2011 meeting received unanimous Board approval.

A motion to approve a deadline extension on CMA CR Research to Spring 2011 meeting received unanimous Board approval.

A motion to authorize CMA Improved Algorithm RFP to be released for bid received unanimous Board approval.

A motion to authorize final $9,610 payment on TDD U-factor Rating Project to ATI (contractor) received unanimous Board approval.

A motion to provide $7,500 toward the Window Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCA) Research by University of Minnesota received unanimous Board approval, with Kerry Haglund recusing herself from voting.

The committee Chair reported that seven summary pages were approved for full RFP development and may be presented at the Spring 2011 membership meeting.

Thermophysical Properties of Materials Subcommittee

The thermophysical properties ILC is complete. Four commercial labs are now listed on the NFRC Website, and NFRC 103-Verification of Thermophysical Properties may be officially implemented.

Electronic development of NFRC 101 appendix A is complete, and appendix B is being developed.

Optical Properties Subcommittee

The NFRC 302-Optical Properties Verification Program ballot was withdrawn and will return to the NFRC 302 TG for major revision. Staff recommends measurement tolerances, data acceptance, and the challenge procedure be reconsidered by the TG.

Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee

Chair: Garrett Stone

EPA reported on the development of Blind Product Verification Testing, which is required for all ENERGY STAR product categories.

NFRC's Retailer Program has been reinstated with substantial success and renewed emphasis on reaching consumers.

CMA has been successful getting people into the program.

International outreach has been successful, particularly in Australia, where NFRC is referenced in their codes, and India will become partner country in 2011.

Technical Committee
Chair: Jeff Baker

Validation TG

Task group has been disbanded.

Air Leakage Subcommittee

Michael Thoman has resigned as Chair.
A motion to approve Chris Nolt as the new Chair received unanimous Board approval.

U-Factor Subcommittee

A motion to approve the three ballots pertaining to NFRC 102, as approved at Technical Committee, for implementation upon publication received unanimous Board approval.

Condensation Resistance Subcommittee

Nothing to report.

CMA Subcommittee

Formed a TG to be Chaired by Peter Lyons. The TG will discuss the development of a parametric software tool for CMAST. The first order of business will be to create a name and scope for the TG.

The CMA Subcommittee will also bring to the Board for discussion, Charlie Curcija's suggestion that software should not be under Technical but rather under the Research and Technology Committee. 

Attachment Subcommittee

Chuck Anderson will be new Chair of the PCP TG.

A motion to approve the NFRC 100A ballot approved at Technical Committee for publication received unanimous Board approval.

The Subcommittee had voted 56-0 to move this forward for Board approval.

A motion to approve the NFRC 200A ballot approved at Technical Committee for publication received unanimous Board approval.

The Subcommittee had voted 58-0 to move this forward for Board approval.

Solar Heat Gain Subcommittee

A motion to approve NFRC 201 ballot as approved by Technical Committee for implementation upon publication received unanimous Board approval.
The Sightline TG has developed a concept for grouping sightlines within a product line and may have a ballot for Spring 2011.

Software Subcommittee

A motion to extend the sunset date of WINDOW5/THERM 5 to July 1, 2011 based on the motion approved at the Technical Committee received unanimous Board approval.

Annual Energy Performance Subcommittee

Nothing to report

Ratings Committee

Chair: Steve Strawn

Labeling Subcommittee

A motion to approve extending the requirement date of the use of the applied films label showing the U-factor requirement to January 1, 2012 as approved at Ratings Committee received unanimous Board approval.

A motion to  approve the NFRC 700 Dash Ballot as approve by Ratings Committee for approval and implementation upon publication received unanimous Board approval.

CMA Subcommittee

No action items.

Certification Subcommittee

A motion to approve NFRC 700 Reprint and FMC ballots as approved by Ratings Committee for implementation upon publication received unanimous Board approval.

A motion rrecommending that the Board direct staff to investigate and report back on the impact of revising the ungrouping practice (time and resources) in the CPD received unanimous Board approval. The goal of this request is to not ungroup individual product options where the SHGC and VT are not affected.

In closing, NFRC Chair, Joe Hayden, praised the meeting participants for their hard work and dedication during the proceedings, calling the meeting yet another successful endeavor.

"See you Las Vegas in the spring, and thanks for all you do," he concluded.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Heschong Emphasizes Healthy, Productive Influence of Daylighting on Humans During Presentation to NFRC Membership

Heschong speaks to NFRC membership on daylighting
Lisa Heschong, principal with the Heschong Mahone Group, a consulting firm that provides professional services in the field of building energy efficiency, emphasized the healthy and productive influence of daylighting on humans during a presentation to the NFRC membership this afternoon.

Heschong told the audience her research shows that more exposure to daylighting leads to improved health and greater productivity.

A newly discovered non-optic ganglion receptor in the human eye shows there are non-visual light receptors in the retina. These signal a separate neural and hormonal pathway, causing light at the eye to have a positive influence on alertness, mood, memory, and health. This, in turn, leads to mental stimulation and stress reduction while providing Circadian Rhythms that allow people to self medicate.

“Daylight is a drug,” Heschong said. “It’s as powerful as any pharmaceutical that influences our moods.”

Heschong also explained the positive effects of daylighting on productivity. Her research also shows that retail locations with more daylighting realize increased sales, students in well lit schools learn two percent faster, and office employees exposed to more daylighting work seven percent faster while achieving 10 percent better cognitive performance.

Additionally, the positive effects of daylighting necessitate the need for daylight performance metrics for building owners and designers, manufacturers, and codes and standards developers.

Heschong suggested that NFRC’s development of testing and reporting standards for daylighting products and public libraries of performance data that enable the evaluation of system-level performance would serve the public well.

Some areas that would require particular attention are daylight sufficiency, sunlight exposure, uniformity, blinds operation, and glare.

Heschong finished by saying the positive effects of daylighting on people also has a positive effect on energy efficiency.

“When people get more daylight, they are less likely to use their task lighting,” she concluded, “and this drives down the overall energy use of the building.”

CMA Subcommittee Works Toward New Version of Label Certificate

The Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Ratings Subcommittee met late this afternoon and discussed a ballot concerning the NFRC 705, which addresses various requests to make the label certificate more useful and representative.

The CMA Labeling Task Group (TG) developed a new version of the label certificate, which was modified to group products into categories that correspond to ASHRAE 90.1 and IECC. Modifications also include an area-weighted average for product category groups and for entire projects.

One member posed a negative, stating disapproval of basing the area-weighted average for code compliance on actual size. The concern here is that this could result in substantially different average values than taking the average of values determined through NFRC 100 and NFRC 200, which most codes reference.

A motion to find this negative persuasive and substantive and to return it to TG for further passed, 28-8.

Another negative that arose suggested that the proposed label changes incorporate product categories (metal and non-metal) that add complexity and are unnecessary and unwarranted because they perpetuate the framing material bias present in ASHRAE 90.1 and the IECC. The negative also suggested reverting to the previously approved format.

The negative was found persuasive and substantive and carried, 11-7.

A third negative concerned adjusting the ballot language to strongly convey that the ratings on the “Supplemental Product Information” page are not certified. The proposed change would create the words, “Non-Certified Product Information at Actual Size and Area-Weighted Performance Information” in the heading, and the words, “Non-Certified” would be added back to the table header.

The motion passed 24-4.

NFRC 700, Dash Language Goes Forward, TDD Labels Headed Back to Task Group

Chair John McFee oversees discussion on TDDs
NFRC's Labeling Subcommittee met this afternoon, with an extensive discussion on TDD labels taking center stage.

The first topic undertaken by the subcomttiee, however, involved NFRC 700, Dash Language.

NFRC 700, Dash Language

This ballot pertains to language required to identify example label formats, which must conform to Appendix B, section B.3. It also pertains to language required to clarify use of a dash “-“ on the label – Appendix B, section B.10 and Figure B-10.

This ballot did not draw any negatives and a motion to forward it to the Ratings Committee passed by unanimous voice vote.

NFRC 700, TDD Labels

Following the recent unsuccessful ballot for additional TDD labeling options, the TDD Labeling Task Group (TG) was expanded to include most members who had submitted persuasive negatives.

This expanded TG reviewed the NFRC 600 and the NFRC 700, ultimately creating this ballot, which is concerned with clarifying NFRC’s requirements for labels applied outside of the manufacturer’s facilities.

One negative that arose was that the provisions outlined by these changes suggest that a non-licensee is permitted to make labeling decisions that affect the rating given the product. The negative contended that this is a dramatic change to NFRC procedure and called for tighter controls before allowing this.

After the negative was presented, a motion was passed to find it persuasive and substantive and to send back to TG for resolution.

The motion triggered considerable discussion. One member pointed out that the TG already considered this issue and determined that existing procedures allowed this. Another member confirmed that this issue arose in the TG, but added that the TG could find no alternatives.
A third member expressed concern that someone not covered under a license could leave NFRC with no one to go back to should a problem arise.

Following the discussion, a vote on the motion resulted in an 18-18 tie, and by rule, the motion failed.

Chair, John McFee (WDMA), then recommended a new motion to work toward resolution. This, however, drew some concern from the membership that they would be voting in haste rather than carefully evaluating the issue.

A vote to send the ballot back to TG ultimately passed, 20-15.

Certification Subcommittee Sends Two Ballots Forward to Ratings

The Certification Subcommittee convened this afternoon, discussing two ballots and sending them forward to Ratings.

Ballot One: NFRC 700, Reprint Temporary Labels

This ballot is concerned with the protocol to reprint temporary labels. A newly proposed section (6.4.D.) states that reprints of temporary labels will be allowed only if the temporary label was removed prior to inspection, the label is required for code or regulatory compliance, and the manufacturer is able to accurately identify the product line and specific glazing option installed. All of these requirements would need to be met.

A motion to carry the ballot forward to Ratings passed by unanimous voice vote.

Ballot Two: NFRC 700, Fenestration Manufacturer Certificate (FMC)

This ballot is concerned with the FMC and label language for non-certified products (6.1.B). It is also concerned with developing a consistent format of the term, “Label Certificate” in multiple sections, and the language in Appendix C, which was added and modified for required and optional information on all label certificates.

A motion to carry the ballot forward to Ratings passed by unanimous voice vote.

Technical Committee Concludes its Work, Awnings and CMA Figure Prominently in Discussions

The Technical Committee concluded its work this afternoon after tackling a number of items.

Validation Task Group

  • Disbanded but will be reformed if necessary at a later date
Software Subcommittee
  • Motion to extend the sunset of WINDOW6/THERM6 software to July 1, 2011 passed by unanimous voice vote
Attachments Subcommittee
  • The Awnings Task Group a one-page item for conducting awnings research and will present an action item during ratings.
  • A motion in to move the NFRC 100A document as edited and in its entirety be forwarded to the Board for approval and publication as a 2011 document passed by unanimous voice vote passed
  • A motion to move the NFRC 200A document as edited and in its entirety be forwarded to the Board for approval and publication as a 2011 document passed by unanimous voice vote
Annual Energy Performance Subcommittee
  • No action times
Condensation Resistance Subcommittee
  • No report
Air Leakage Subcommittee
  • No action items. New chair beginning with SC, pending approval of board. Accept Chris as chair and take to board for approval.
U-factor Subcommittee
  • A motion to approve the 3 ballots pertaining to NFRC 102, as edited at the U-factor Subcommittee, and move them forward to the Board for implementation upon publication was approved by unanimous voice vote.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) Subcommittee
  • A motion to approve the NFRC 201 as presented by the SHGC Subcommittee and move forward to the Board with implementation upon publication passed by unanimous voice vote
Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Subcommittee
  • The CMA Subcommittee will hold a conference call regarding the formation of a Task Group to Heschong Mahone Group (HMG) to determine where and how to spend money for CMA.
  • Charilie Curcija suggested the Software Subcommittee should not be under the Technical Committee, but rather under Research and Technology, pointing out his desire for software to be discussed in a more open environment. Chair Jeff Baker will take this recommendation to the Board.
The Ratings Committee block begins at 1:00 p.m. (PT).

CMA Technical Subcommittee Discusses Spandrel Area

During this morning’s Technical Committee block, the CMA Technical Subcommittee undertook discussion of two ballots concerning spandrel area, with both going back to Task Group.

Ballot One: NFRC 100-2010 Ballot-Spandrel Considerations

Spandrel systems were included in the NFRC 100-2010, but without specifying how to model them. This ballot would add language and provide material for the Technical Interpretation Policy Committee (TIPC) to instruct the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) to revise the simulation manual with modeling steps for calculating the U-factors of spandrel panel systems and recommend that CMAST steering committee initiate changes in CMAST to provide functionality to calculated U-factors of spandrel systems.

Jeff Baker (Westlab) presented a negative stating that no proof has been provided that this procedure would validate if tested. Baker moved and Marles McDonald (NCTL) seconded to find the negative persuasive and substantive. This passed by unanimous voice vote.

Ballot Two: NFRC 200-2010 Ballot-Spandrel Considerations

Spandrel systems were included in the NFRC 200-2010, but without specifying how to model them. This ballot would add language and provide material for the Technical Interpretation Policy Committee (TIPC) to instruct the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) to revise the simulation manual with modeling steps for calculating the U-factors of spandrel panel systems and recommend that CMAST steering committee initiate changes in CMAST to provide functionality to calculated U-factors of spandrel systems.

Tom Culp (Birch Point) presented a negative stating that following consultation with several manufacturers one question that arose was whether a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) calculation is needed for spandrel area. The rationale here is that building energy codes treat spandrel area as a wall, where there are no SHGC requirements.

Additionally, the negative pointed out that while fritted spandrel glass and other opaque infills can be handled in a U-factor simulation where they are treated like clear glass, they are test-only products for SHCG, which causes excessive expense when there is no real demand or need for a SHGC rating for spandrel areas.

Accordingly, the negative recommended that a spandrel area procedure not be included in NFRC 200, and when the U-factor rating for spandrel is completed, the PCP make it clear that SHGC is not a required rating on the label certificate for spandrel area.

Brenden (AAMA) moved, and Mike Barklay (Enermodal) seconded to find the Birch Point negative persuasive and substantive. This passed by voice vote.

Bipin Shah Formally Accepts NFRC Member-of-the-Year Award

Bipin Shah (WinBuild) officially accepted the prestigious NFRC Member-of-the-Year award this morning.

Jeff Baker (Westlab) made the announcement during Tuesday night's member reception, but Shah was not available to accept the award.

Baker praised Shah for his tireless international efforts and his longstanding commitment to promoting NFRC's activities and programs.

"This is an honor," Shah said in his acceptance speech. "It was always my dream to have NFRC recognized worldwide, and now it's happening."


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NFRC Meeting Attendees Relax in the City By the Bay, Bipin Shah Named Member-of-the Year

When Tuesday's proceedings concluded, NFRC's meeting attendees found time to relax during the membership reception, which was held inside the Hilton Financial District Hotel in San Francisco.

During the event, Bipin Shah was named NFRC's member-of-the-year, Marcia Falke accepted a retirement award, and Marcy Strawn was bestowed the title, Honorary Fenestrator.

NFRC's CEO, Jim Benney, accepts member-of-the-year award on behalf of Bipin Shah

Marcia Falke accepts retirement award after 18 years of service to NFRC

Steve and Marcy Strawn celebrate Honorary Fenestrator achievement

NFRC 100A and 200A Headed to Technical Committee

Mike Cienian speaks on attachments
The Exterior/Interior Attachment Task Group reported this afternoon that NFRC 100A and 200A balloting discussions took place prior to the meeting to ensure prompt consideration during the meeting.

The NFRC 100A explains the procedure for determining fenestration attachment product U-factors. The NFRC 200A describes the procedure for determining fenestration attachment product solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and visible transmittance at normal incidence.

Terry Williamson (Newell) moved, and Dave DeBlock (ODL) seconded to move the NFRC 100A ballot forward to the Technical Committee. The motion passed 56-0. Additionally, Williamson moved and DeBlock seconded to move the entire NFRC 100A document forward to the Technical Committee. This motion passed, 58-0.

Furthermore, moved and DeBlock seconded to move the NFRC 200A, as edited, and the entire document to the Technical Committee. This motion passed, 58-0.

Research and Technology Committee Approves Three Motions, Research Project Acquires Funding

The Research and Technology Committee commenced its work late this afternoon, passing three motions while a research project acquired funding.

Three Motions Pass

Research Subcommittee Chair, Bipin Shah (WinBuild), presented a motion to extend the WINDOW 6/THERM 6 validation research completion deadline to NFRC’s 2011 Spring Membership Meeting. Joe Hayden (Pella) provided a second for the motion, and the vote passed 43-0.

Shah initiated a second motion to approve the CMA Improved Algorithms for Improving the Accuracy of CMA Methodology RFP. The motion passed, 41-1. Following approval of the RFP, a motion to release the RFP for bid was approved, 37-4.

Shah also made a motion to make the final payment to the bidder for the TTD U-factor Research Project. This motioned passed, 33-1.

New Business

Kerry Haglund, from the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota, College of Design, delivered a presentation on the Window Life Cycle Assessment Project. Following here presentation, a motion was brought forth asking NFRC to provide financial support for the project. The motion passed, 35-3.

Research Subcommitte Wraps up its Work Following Discussions on CMA/CMAST

Hayden speaks about CMAST
The Research Subcommittee completed its work this afternoon by considering three ballots associated with CMA.

Ballot Eight: CMAST Feedback on Usability Study Summary Page

This ballot proposed to study the usability of the CMAST software interface from the perspective of multiple types of users and to organize suggested improvements into a prioritized plan. The goal for this action is that it would improve CMAST’s usability and accelerate its adoption.

One negative comment said NFRC already has a list of issues brought forward by CMAST users and that it is being prioritized for resolution. Another negative suggested that NFRC does not have to prove the accuracy of CMAST, adding that it should not be used other than in real-world situations.

Those in favor of this ballot, however, took the position that obtaining feedback on the usability of CMAST is needed right away in order to address any software problems proactively.

Joe Hayden (Pella) said this topic did not pertain to research and suggested it be undertaken by a different committee. Following this suggestion a vote to move this issue to RAM passed, 27-6.

Ballot Nine: CMA Impact on HVAC Sizing Study Summary Page

This ballot proposed quantifying CMA’s potential influence over HVAC design through more accurate estimation of building envelope loads. The purpose of this study would be to promote the value of CMA as a tool that enhances energy efficient building.

Should the results from this study show that there is significant reduction in peak energy loads, the corresponding reduced energy and capital costs could provide additional motivation for the design team to use CMA and for utility efficiency programs to promote using it.

Tom Culp (Birchpoint Consulting) disagreed with the premise of the ballot, saying CMA already provides a rating that can be used to achieve proper HVAC sizing.

Following a discussion, the ballot resulted in a 17-17 ties and failed by rule.

Ballot 10: CMAST Parametric Targeting Tool Summary Page

This ballot sought to make CMAST a more effective and valuable tool in the design community. This would be accomplished through a software add-on that would automate the process and run parametric CMAST simulations to generate the target result – all combinations of components that meet a specified value of performance ratings by the user.

A vote to send this issue to the Software Committee passed, 32-1

Research Subcommittee Work Continues, Three More Ballots Approved

The Research Subcommittee continues working diligently this afternoon, approving three additional ballots.

Ballot Five: Evaluate Impact of Specific Conditions on Attached Awning Performance Summary Page

This ballot concerned a possible NFRC rating metric for attached awnings. One goal here was developing an RFP, which would ultimately demonstrate the sensitivity of awning performance to those variables unique to these types of window shades. Another goal here was that the results would allow appropriate simplifications to be made for an NFRC comparative metric(s) and NFRC label.

The primary discussion surrounding this topic was that the RFP did not provide information regarding funding from stakeholder groups. Most members favored moving forward with this RFP provided stakeholder groups would provide funding.

A vote for the RFP to be revised to include specific information about stakeholder funding passed, 34-0.

Ballot Six: Attachments Performance Strategic Plan Summary Page

This ballot concerned developing a comprehensive strategic plan for the development and deployment of performance metrics and customer information that NFRC can use to influence the more rapid uptake of window attachments as an energy efficiency and occupant comfort measure.

One of the goals here was that this initiative would result in the development of a shared vocabulary about attachment performance, raising awareness of the value of window attachments and enabling more precise research and development of high-performance products.

A discussion of on this topic suggested that the fundamental issue will require considerable strategic thinking in order to capture the essence of the big picture. Ultimately, a vote to submit a summary page to RAM rather than Research and Technology passed, 41-4.

Ballot Seven: Tubular Daylighting Devices – Research Project to Develop Updated Modeling Procedure Summary Page

This ballot focused on being able to label TDDs using simulation results, validated with one testing procedure per grouped product line, and verified as per new EPA-sanctioned procedures.

The ballot recognized that TDD research projects to date have produced valuable testing results and comparisons to the existing WINDOW 6/THERM 6 simulation procedure. It also acknowledged that additional research with the procedure would produce a proven, valid simulation procedure that offers a permanent solution for the future certification of TDDs.

One negative asked to add a deliverable and payment schedule section to prevent ambiguity. Additionally, the negative asked that the term “hybrid” be used when talking about TDDs.

Following some discussion, a vote to move the RFP forward using the term “hybrid” in the actual document passed, 46-0.

Research Subcommittee Passes Three Ballots, Sends One to RFP Back to Task Group

NFRC’s Research Subcommittee continued working into the afternoon today, passing three ballots this morning.

Ballot One: Developing Improved Algorithms for Improving Accuracy of CMA Methodology Request for Proposal

This ballot focused on developing improved algorithms for the next generation of CMA methodology and proposes specific steps and procedures to be incorporated into the CMAST 2.0 in order to reduce maximum discrepancy between conventional simulation and CMA methodology.

One of the tasks involved in this research project calls for developing the list of products, placing emphasis on the high-performing products and components (spacers, glazing, and frame components). Opposition arose, however, citing that emphasis should be on improving CMA, not developing specific products. The counter-argument pointed out that developing such a list is critical in order to distinguish the better performing products.

The ballot ultimately passed, 30-6.

Ballot Two: Tubular Daylighting Device – Visible Transmittance Rating RFP

This ballot focused on allowing Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDD) to obtain the measured visible light ratings needed for both lighting design and an NFRC Visible Transmittance (VT) rating. This same proposal was defeated two years ago because it was considered expensive and limited in its scope.

One point of opposition that arose contended this version of the RFP requires further refinement to make it more comprehensive rather than focusing narrowly on TDDs. Another point of opposition was that the RFP is not clear in what it asks of bidders.

A motion to send the RFP back to the appropriate Task Group for be revised was approved.

Ballot Three: Fenestration Illumination Measurement Standard Summary Page

This ballot suggested that a research program be developed in two parts. The first would be a study to assess which of the several possible measurement approaches is expected to be the most cost effective for producing sufficient and precise accuracy. The second part of the research program would be to consider three different mounting source options.

Opposition to this initiative suggested NFRC consider that the project branches into areas of energy saving that may be beyond NFRC's agenda. Opposition also suggested that the NFRC Board of Directors may need to determine the benefits of projects such as this before proceeding.

Joe Hayden (Pella) questioned the duration of the project, speculating on whether it would be one or two years, and Research Subcommittee Chair, Bipin Shah agreed that the RFP required more clarification regarding it duration.

Following some additional discussion, this ballot was forwarded to the RFP stage.

Ballot Four: Develop Methodology for Solar-Optical Simulation of Non-Planar Glazing Systems

This ballot discussed a proposed research project to develop a uniform methodology for simulating solar-optical performance of non-planar glazing systems using ray-tracing technique.
This new methodology would become a standard that would be used by APC to accredit laboratories and enable fenestration manufacturers to rate products for visible transmittance and/or solar heat gain coefficient using ray-tracing technique.

Under this initiative, education and experience of the simulator, geometry of the domain, detector placement, source of rays, including direction and density, and aperture opening would all be standardized.

One point of opposition said that TDDs currently have an approved method for Photometric testing under hemispherical/specified sky conditions. Additionally, it contended that the complexity and uncertainty of the actual optics and materials in a TDD makes the simulation an inaccurate and expensive method for determining VT simulation.

Further discussion showed that while others agreed with this point of view, they still favored moving forward. Dave DeBlock (ODL) motioned to develop an RFP, and Miles McDonald (ACTL) provided a second. The ballot passed, 32-1.

Discussion on WINDOW 6 / THERM 6 Figures Prominently in Research Subcommittee Reports

Willie duPont discusses WINDOW6/THERM 6
NFRC’s Research Subcommittee heard several reports during this morning’s section of the Research and Technology Committee block, with WINDOW 6/THERM 6 taking center stage.

INDOW 6/THERM 6Research Subcommittee Chair, Bipin Shah, led a discussion on the continuing WINDOW6/THERM6 Validation project.

Joe Hayden (Pella) noted a discrepancy between what was thought to be tested and what was actually being tested. Willie duPont elaborated, saying that a questionnaire revealed some variance in how simulations were performed on several specimens.

This variance involved how the specimens were configured and installed. In some cases, they were not documented clearly, and in other cases there were some inconsistencies with the installation methods used by the labs. duPont informed the membership that the issues have been resolved.

Hayden pointed out that extending the project would provide the time needed to thoroughly assess this situation and to gather the information needed for simulations to match as closely as possible.

Hayden then presented a motion to extend the WINDOW6/THERM 6 Validation Research Completion deadline until the Spring 2011 meeting. The motion was seconded by Dave DeBlock (ODL), and it passed 16-0.

Condensation Resistance Procedure for CMA PMTG

NFRC member, Charlie Curcija, pointed out additional issues found in WINDOW 6 /THERM 6, noting inconsistencies with certain data. These inconsistencies resulted because several files were not properly updated. Kevin Vilhauer (Milgard) motioned to extend the condensation resistance procedure for CMA to NFRC’s Spring Membership Meeting. Joe Hayden (Pella) provided a second, and the motion passed 46-0.

Complex VT Rating Research PMTG

NFRC member, Ross McCluney, reported that this research is complete. Results will be posted on the NFRC Website, and members will be informed on how they can provide comments.

Gas Permeability Research (IGMA Project, NFRC Cosponsoring)

The implementation of this project remains in question.

Ventilation Rating TG

This TG discussed the of ventilation area versus cubic feet/minute (CFM) as it relates to wind speed. It also spoke about the need to acquire input from screen manufacturers, noting differences in the openness of various types of screens and the need to resolve these differences in order to facilitate further discussion. The TG is working on a ballot to accomplish this.

Daylighting Potential Rating TG

This TG focused on the need to develop its scope, acknowledging the strong dichotomy between what manufacturers believe is needed and what NFRC believes is needed. Research Subcommittee Chair, Bipin Shah, called on members to provide the TG with the insight and direction it needs to proceed and suggested a conference call to discuss long-term goals.

NFRC Completes First Thermophysical Property Interlaboratory Comparison

McGowan Reports on Thermophysical Property Interlaboratory Comparisonon
Ray McGowan, NFRC’s Senior Manager, Research and Technical Services, reported to the membership this morning that NFRC has completed its first Thermophysical Property Interlaboratory Comparison (ILC) as required by NFRC 103-Verification Program for Thermophysical Property Data.

McGowan explained that four commercial testing labs successfully completed the ILC and are now listed as NFRC participating testing labs on the NFRC Website. These labs may test materials for inclusion in NFRC 101-Procedure for Determining Thermophysical Properties of Materials for use in NFRC Approved Software.

Monday, November 8, 2010

NFRC CEO Expresses Support for Blind Product Rating Verification Pilot Program

Benney explains blind product rating verification pilot program
NFRC’s CEO, Jim Benney, explained during today’s opening session that NFRC is one of the first organizations to date to become a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Recognized Certification Body for the ENERGY STAR® Program.

Effective January 1, 2011, ENERGY STAR will require any product seeking program participation to have its energy performance validated by a third-party certification body prior to product labeling.

These products must also undergo post-market verification testing to validate continuing energy performance.

Benney pointed out that in accordance with this program, NFRC is developing a blind product rating verification pilot program. This program is important because it verifies that ENERGY STAR qualified and NFRC rated fenestration products sold in the marketplace are consistent with the products listed in the NFRC Certified Products Directory (CPD).

Benney emphasized his strong support for the blind product rating verification pilot program, saying it ultimately benefits the public. The program is slated to be implemented between the fall of 2011 and spring of 2012.

Under the blind product rating verification pilot program, individual fenestration products would be purchased annually by NFRC. The actual percentage of products NFRC would purchase would fluctuate as determined appropriate by NFRC and the EPA.

Such purchases would be conducted with no involvement from the manufacturer and would be facilitated by purchasing through a variety of agents or contractors, purchasing through the customers of a manufacturer, and/or by purchasing directly from a distributor or retailer.

Benney closed his presentation by acknowledging that the program faces certain challenges and also reaffirming NFRC's commitment to meeting those challenges. Benney also told the audience that NFRC staff would keep them well informed of developments as they arise.

Windows May Have a Future in PGE's Sustainable Electric System Initiative

Larson speaks about PGE's sustainable electric system
The Opening Session got underway with Duane Larson, Director, Mass Market Energy Solutions and Service Integrated Demand-side Management, for Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE) delivering the keynote speech.

Larson began his presentation by pointing out that Newsweek magazine ranked PGE the greenest utility in the U.S. in 2009. Accordingly, his presentation was entitled, “Enabling a Sustainable Electric System.”

Larson emphasized the need for PGE to promote renewable energy. In promoting this initiative, the company has undertaken an initiative to educate the public regarding energy use management. PGE seeks to provide this education by understanding its customers on a personal level so it can provide them with customized advice on how to save energy.

“It’s all about working together so we can help create an integrated management system inside the customer’s home,” Larson said. “This helps us become partners with our customers, and it puts PGE in a great position to deliver solutions for managing costs.”

During the question and answer session, Marc LaFrance (DOE) asked Larson how he sees windows fitting into PGE’s future.

Larson responded, saying that utility providers across California are always open to considering new technologies and implementing incentives depending on the potential gains.

Hanlon Discusses Survey Results During PCP TG Meeting

During this morning’s Product Certification Program (PCP) Review Task Group Meeting, NFRC’s Director of Existing Programs, Scott Hanlon, presented the results of a survey that solicited concerns on placing the full Certified Product Directory (CPD) number on the temporary label.

The inclusion of the full number on the label was approved by NFRC’s Board of Directors (BOD) during spring 2010 and slated for implementation by January 2012. The survey was conducted to determine specifically what potential obstacles were foreseen.

Hanlon reported that implementation emerged as the primary concern. Many respondents indicated they were unsure whether they could readily gain access to needed information, update appropriate databases, and complete required software modifications. These respondents also said the time and cost associated with resolving these issues would be burdensome.

Other respondents indicated they feared such a change would increase the likelihood of mislabeling while adding complexity to the labeling process.

NFRC Chair, Joe Hayden, said the ultimate goal of this initiative should be to enable NFRC customers of every description to be able to simply remove the label from a product, enter it into their computer, and have just one product show up in NFRC’s CPD.

Hanlon plans to convey the results of the survey to the Certification Policy Committee (CPC) and to NFRC’s BOD for review. In the meantime, however, the initiative will move forward, and barring any intervention, will not be revised.

Garage Door SHGC TG Discusses NFRC 200/201

The Garage Door Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) Task Group met this morning and discussed the NFRC 200 and 201.

This working Task Group is charged with drafting a revised method of calculating garage door SHGC for inclusion in NFRC 200 based on the absorptance of the non-glazed areas. A new default absorptance will be evaluated and checked against NFRC 201 for accuracy. The group’s work is subject to review as necessary by NFRC’s SHGC Subcommittee.

Chair, Joe Hetzel, (DASMA), reported that a change to NFRC 200 following this summer’s virtual meeting removes the requirement for a specific panel size for garage doors, rather than being descriptive, and allows the manufacturer to make this determination.

Hetzel also discussed DASMA’s research on testing to NFRC 201. Several members expressed concern about calculating the SHGC of garage doors with just 20 – 25 percent glazing.

In certain cases, the SHGC was found to be 0.09. Testing conducted per NFRC 201, however, validates the calculation methods in NFRC 200.

Garage/Rolling Door U-factor Task Group Discusses Vertical Jamb Hardware

The Garage/Rolling Door U-factor Task Group convened this morning and discussed a DASMA research project that involved the evaluation of rolling steel door vertical jamb hardware.

This Task Group evaluates all known existing testing and simulation methods including available data or conclusions from use of such methods, to determine practicality of simulation, and to draft recommended provisions – including multiple testing and/or simulation methods if feasible – for review by the NFRC U-Factor Subcommittee.

Chair, Joe Hetzel, explained that the DASMA project considered whether vertical jamb hardware needed to be mounted in order to achieve accurate test results on rolling steel doors. It also sought to determine whether they play enough of a role to influence results.

Hetzel said test results improved slightly when the hardware is removed and added that it is appropriate to suggest removing the hardware for simulation in NFRC ratings.

NFRC Fall Membership Meeting Kicks off with New Member Orientation

NFRC's CEO, Jim Benney, addresses new members
The National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) Fall Membership Meeting got underway at 7:00 a.m. today with a new member orientation.

The orientation started with NFRC’s CEO, Jim Benney, addressing the 34 new members saying, “NFRC is important because energy is important.” Benney also explained to the group that there are many complex issues involved with energy, and as NFRC members, they can help make a difference in the world.

NFRC’s Director of Existing Programs, Scott Hanlon, followed Benney’s opening address by explaining NFRC’s committee structure. Hanlon described how the majority of work done by NFRC members takes place in its Committee Structure through Task Groups, Subcommittees, and Committees. Hanlon emphasized that NFRC develops its standards and program documents in accordance with consensus procedures and encouraged all of the new members to get involved and stay active.

NFRC’s Membership Manager, Anita Marsh, echoed Hanlon’s comments, pointing out that one of the most valuable aspects of NFRC membership is that it provides a voice and a vote. Marsh said other membership benefits include access to inside information, networking opportunities, and the chance to build consumer trust in the marketplace.

“Our members lead change, and making the most of your membership helps NFRC serve the public good,” Marsh concluded. “The transformation of our industry starts with you.”

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NFRC Meeting Attendees Tour LBL, Broaden Knowledge of Fenestration Testing Procedures

Jonathan Slack (left), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) scientist in the Building Technologies Department, Environmental Technologies Division and National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) meeting attendee, Gregg Vincent, Natural Light Energy Systems, discussed how LBL is working to help reduce the amount of energy lost through windows during a tour of the LBL facility on Sunday afternoon.

The tour, held one day prior to NFRC's Fall Membership Meeting in San Francisco, hosted 32 meeting attenees in all.

According to its Website, LBL is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines, including the energy efficiency of windows.

Located on a 200-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus, Sunday’s tour offered visitors some unique insight regarding the lab’s work along with some spectacular views of the sunset over the San Francisco Bay.

One of the core messages Slack delivered during the tour, is that energy losses through windows in the U.S. exceed 3.9 quadrillion BTU’s, which costs about $32 billion annually.
Slack said one thing LBL is doing to help improve this situation is testing a prototype smart window, which uses LBL’s Transition Metal Switchable Mirrors (TMSM). Such technology may be able to save 25 percent or more of this energy.

Slack added that when used as an active window coating, TMSMs can offer both improved building energy performance and a new method for daylighting control. Furthermore, dynamically controlled windows respond to changes in lighting and weather conditions in real time, controlled by either occupants or sensors monitoring ambient conditions. The result is optimal energy performance, daylighting levels, and occupant comfort.

Many of those who attended the LBL tour said Slack's presentation, along with presentations provided by several other LBL staff members, broadened their knowledge of fenestration testing procedures and added that they would like to see NFRC offer similar educational opportunities in conjunction with future meetings.

Live coverage of NFRC's Fall Membership Meeting will begin tomorrow morning. Be sure to check back frequently for updates.