Friday, September 28, 2012

NFRC Membership Meeting Begins Monday in Portland, Still Time to Register

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) will hold its fall membership meeting in Portland, October 1 - 4.

Registration is required and is still available. Guests and single day attendance is also available.

Contact Cheryl Gendron, NFRC's meeting manager, for further information


Monday, September 24, 2012

Demand for Windows, Doors Will Rise Through 2016

A recent study says U.S. demand for windows and doors will rise 9.3 percent annually through 2016.

The demand will result from the current rebound in housing completions and gains in building construction.

The study also predicts plastic windows and doors will grow the fastest, increasing nearly 12 percent annually. This growth is expected to be spurred by the public’s perception that plastic is energy efficient.

Additionally, the study says the demand for metal products will grow since they are often used in nonresidential construction because of their durability and low costs. This factor will likely cause them to lead the market as spending on nonresidential building construction increases.

Finally, the demand for wood windows and doors is forecast to rise 10.2 percent annually through 2016. This growth will be fueled by consumer perception of wood as having strong aesthetic appeal, which helps boost home sales.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Representatives Seek Restoration of Tax Credits for Fenestration Products

Recent legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to restore the Section 25C tax credits for energy efficient fenestration products. 

The credit, which expired at the end of 2011, was reintroduced under The Home Energy Savings Act (H.R. 6398) by Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Richard Neal (D-Mass.).

Many industry experts believe the Section 25C tax credit would help stimulate jobs while enabling homeowners to save money by reducing their energy consumption. Others support the tax credit as facilitating the sale of higher-performing fenestration products.

According to WDMA, the new bill would initially extend the credit at the 2011 levels of 10 percent (up to $200) for windows and skylights and 10 percent (up to $500) for doors through 2013. Beginning in 2014, the credit would expand to 10 percent (up to $1,000) for all qualifying products, including Energy Star windows, doors, and skylights. Beginning in 2014, installation costs would also be eligible for the credit.

WDMA further states that data from the Internal Revenue Service shows the Section 25C tax credit helped Americans invest over $25 billion in remodeling and efficiency upgrades during 2009.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

NFRC's New Consumer-Oriented Website Educates Consumers with Non-Technical Approach

Purchasing windows is a significant investment for most consumers, but making educated choices just got easier thanks to the National Fenestration Rating Council’s new, consumer-oriented Website.

Launched on August 1, 2012 and available at, this comprehensive resource empowers consumers to compare the energy performance of windows so they can acquire the knowledge and confidence they need to weigh all of their options and make educated choices.

According to NFRC’s CEO, Jim Benney, the site is designed to change the way consumers shop for windows by providing non-technical explanations to technical questions related to energy performance.

“We intentionally kept the content non-technical because we’re assuming most of our visitors are researching the energy performance of windows for the first time,” Benney said. “But we’ve also provided many links for those seeking more technical information.”

NFRC’s Website was built specifically to avoid duplicating information that is readily available elsewhere.

“Our accomplishment is the consumer’s reward,” Benney added. “Before starting this project, we examined all the information currently available on the World Wide Web and realized consumers needed guidance that was more relatable and easier to act on.”  

Two of the biggest concerns most consumers have when shopping for windows are how well the product will keep their homes cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter. NFRC’s Website addresses the following categories to help them make this determination, suit their personal preferences, and anticipate energy savings:

  • Anatomy of a Window – Graphical representation of the cross section of a window, including an explanation of the components that make up the whole product
  • The NFRC Label – Example of the NFRC Label with hover-over explanations of what each rating means
  • Shopping Guide – A simple 1-2-3 guide with printable information to take to the store or point of purchase
Choosing windows is usually a once-in-a-lifetime consideration for most consumers, and NFRC grasps the importance of preparing them to enter the marketplace with the knowledge they need to get what they want. 

“Our new Website provides consumers with the educational materials that deliver clear, unbiased information on what to look for in a window purchase, and it explains how the NFRC Label can be used as a tool to make fair product comparisons,” Benney concluded. “We’re giving consumers exactly what they need, exactly when the need it.” 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

California’s 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards are First Ever to Include Dynamic Glazing and Window Films

The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently approved the nation's most stringent energy efficiency standards for residential and commercial buildings, and the new requirements for the thermal performance of windows are expected to contribute to the estimated 25 percent reduction in statewide energy use.

The new standards require more efficient residential windows to allow increased sunlight while decreasing heat gain. Additionally, the standards require the addition of sensors to allow the optimal use of daylighting in nonresidential high-performance windows. While both of these changes are predicted to spur improvements, it is the finer details of how the new standards will accomplish this that will have the most influence, the fenestration industry.

According to Nelson Peña, Associate Mechanical Engineer of the California Energy Commission’s (CEC), the approval of these standards is groundbreaking for the fenestration industry because it is the first time in any energy code that dynamic glazing (chromogenic glazing and integrated shaded system) and window films, as new technology, have ever been included.
Window films are described in Title 24, Part 6, as being used for retrofitting existing serviceable windows (single and double pane window) or alterations to existing windows. Peña emphasizes that window films are not to be used for new-construction projects, but mostly likely be seen used in existing commercial buildings.

Additionally, window films or applied window films must be NFRC-certified to receive credit for the applied film efficiencies and must have a 10 year warranty and can only be modeled using computer performance approach.

The requirement for automatic controls for chromogenic glazing is also a novel inclusion in the new California requirements. Peña says that unlike the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), CEC implemented this requirement in order to assure usage of the best rated values.

The new 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, approved on May 31, 2012 by a 4-0 vote, are expected to reduce energy use throughout the state by at least 25 percent and will go into effect on January 1, 2014.

CEC Energy Commissioner, Karen Douglas said, “The update for building standards is the biggest incremental improvement in efficiency that we've ever made in California."

Within the first year of implementation, the Standards are projected to add up to 3,500 new building industry jobs. Over the long-term, the new standards are expected to save enough electricity to power 1.7 million homes and avoid the need to construct six new power plants.

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) recognizes the many benefits of building energy codes, which are minimum requirements for efficient design and construction. These requirements include contributing to sustainability, lowering operating costs in residential and non-residential buildings, and creating healthier and more comfortable living and working conditions.

In fact, understanding building energy codes helps people choose the windows, doors, and skylights that maximize these benefits, and NFRC's Certified Products Directory (CPD) can help. Users can quickly and easily compare products and acquire the energy performance information they need to meet or exceed the building energy codes in their location.