Monday, April 12, 2010

Good Night From New Orleans

Good Night From New Orleans

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

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

McCluney Presents Results of Awning Study

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The study recommends the following future research and engineering work:

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

TIPC Answers Lingering Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NFRC Honors Outgoing Board Member

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

Attendees Hear Results of Attachments Focus Groups

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

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

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

•use plain language

•provide ratings in multiple places

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

•include ratings for reference window alone and with the attachment

•make the Web site prominent

•invest in education

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

NFRC Prepares for its First Virtual Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Door Task Group Advances Benchmark Spreadsheets

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

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

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

TDD Task Group Plans Dinner

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

Chair Presents Homework Assignment to Attendees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CMA Tech TG To Seek Board Direction

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

Larsen Recruits Seven to Help With Improving NFRC's 302

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

A number of issues came up during the meeting.

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

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

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

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

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

1.Bipin Shah

2.Brian Crooks

3.Charles Hayes

4.Willie DuPont

5.Tim Singel

6.Dave Duly

7.Lisa Winkler

New Member Orientation Kicks off NFRC's Spring Membership Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garage Door Task Groups

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

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

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