Thursday, October 18, 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.

Should the restoration of the tax credits take place, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) will assist the public in understanding how to use it to their advantage when purchasing fenestration products. NFRC will accomplish this by creating fact sheets and providing additional resources for the public to acquire all the details they need.


Tuesday, October 9, 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 metal products 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.

NFRC's Retailer Program can help facilitate the sale of high-performance fenestration products as demand grows. NFRC has already placed fact sheets in 83 retail locations around the country to educate consumers about how to compare fenestration products and make the best purchasing decisions for themselves at the point of purchase.

Retailers and fenestration product manufacturers can learn more about getting involved in this free program by contacting NFRC's Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing, Tom Herron, at 240-821-9505.


Friday, October 5, 2012

NFRC TDD VT Ballot Passed by SHG Subcommittee (Clarification)

NFRC incorrectly reported in a video posted on October 2 that the NFRC 203 TDD VT ballot had a negative and was returned to task group for further review. 

The fact is that the NFRC 203 TDD VT ballot was successfully passed by the SHG Subcommittee and Technical Committee and moved forward to the Board of Directors for their approval, which was given during the open Board meeting on Thursday.

The NFRC is asking for commercial laboratories to review the NFRC 203 procedure when it is published and implemented for application of accreditation of this new testing service.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

BOD Hears Committee Reports as Meeting Concludes

NFRC’s Fall Membership Meeting concluded this morning with committee reports during the open Board of Directors meeting.

Accreditation Policy Committee Report
Informational Items

  • Two new simulation and two new testing labs were accredited during 2012. This brings the number of simulation labs to 19 and testing labs to 11.
  • NFRC staff is currently accepting applications for the recently implemented NFRC 202 test procedure and have received one application to date.
  • APC is reviewing a letter submitted by the Tubular Daylighting Device Task Group.
Technical Interpretations Policy Committee Report
Informational Items

  • Three Technical Interpretations were published in 2012.
  • Reviewing two different proposals regarding Complex Glazing and Glazing Cavity links. One proposal is submitted by LBNL and the other by the simulators task group.
Certification Policy Committee Report
Action Items

  • Motion: Move to approve the NFRC 714-2012 as approved by the CPC with implementation upon publication as a 2013 program document. The motion was approved unanimously.
  • Motion: Move to approve the formation of a Board study group to extend the certification time and reduce certification cost and to bring forward a proposal to the membership by the Spring 2013 Committee Week meeting. The motion was approved unanimously.
Research and Technology Committee Report
Action Items

  • Motion: Per the NFRC 703 Research Program Manual, the final project evaluation score average from PMTG members was 61.7. Since this score is less than 70, the W6T6 PMTG recommends to the Research SC the following:

    1. Contractor will be directed to turn over all final project related materials to NFRC staff 
    2. The contractor has been paid for task 1 and 2 and the PMTG recommends paying for task 3 upon receipt by staff of all final project materials. 
    3. The remainder of the contract (peer review paper) be terminated 
    4. Staff will be asked to complete the final report and note all additional changes prior to publication
    5. The contractor may pursue a peer reviewed paper (task 4), however, NFRC will not fund this effort as the contract indicates.
    The motion was approved unanimously
Informational Items
  • Staff reported the NFRC-DOE agreement has exhausted the FY 12 funding and will not be appropriated FY13 monies until April 1, 2013 or later.
  • Staff reported no summary pages or RFPs are presently underway and encourages membership to continue to pursue research despite the funding situation.  NFRC may be able to take action in FY13 if funding is restored.
  • The CMA Improved Algorithm Research Project is nearing completion.  The final report was received and the PMTG will evaluate the report and offer implementation recommendations.
  • The Gas Permeability Research Project continues to make good progress.
Thermophysical Properties of Materials Subcommittee
Action Items
  • Motion: Recommend approval of NFRC 101 and implementation upon approval. 
  • Committee Motion: The Research and Technology Committee approved the identical motion by unanimous voice vote.
  • The NFRC 101 Interlaboratory Comparison is underway for metal emissivities.
  • Generic property peer reviews for some metals and polyurethane foam are being developed.

    The motion was approved unanimously
Optical Properties Subcommittee
Informational Items
  • The NFRC 302 ballot will return to the TG for further work.
  • LBNL reported Complex Products Interlaboratory Comparison indicated good results.
  • The Detailed Daylighting Rating TG reported work towards the beginnings of a potential daylighting rating.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ratings Committee Moves Trail Audit Ballot Forward to BOD

The Ratings Committee has moved to forward to the Board of Directors the NFRC 705 Documentation Trail Audit Ballot.

This ballot seeks to modify the NFRC 705: Component Modeling Approach-Product Certification Program” document by revising the language to cover the situation where the information needed for the documentation audit is not available at the time the label certificate is issued.

Typically, the information needed for the documentation audit is not usually available until the project has been constructed, which can sometimes be many months after the label certificate is created.

The proposed language requires that the audit documentation needs to be submitted within 30 days after the documentation becomes available and that if the documentation is not available within one year, that a different label certificate is selected for the audit.

The motion passed by unanimous voice vote and will be considered by NFRC’s Board of Directors tomorrow.

Meeting Attendees Tour JELD-WEN Field

Meeting attendees learned more about the many ways JELD-WEN Field is contributing to a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable world last night during a tour of the facility.

According to its website, JELD-WEN Field is an iconic sports and entertainment facility located in the heart of downtown Portland.

JELD-WEN Field is the host site for a widevariety of events each year, including Portland Timbers MLS soccer, Portland State University football, college and high school football and soccer, concerts, community events and public and private functions.

JELD-WEN Field is LEED® Silver Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

LEED is a program for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability and the community

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

McGowan Summarizes Research and Technology Block

NFRC's Senior Technnical Manager, Ray McGowan, summarizes the progress made by the Research and Technology Committee during this afternoon's session.

McGowan points out that NFRC is looking for turnkey research projects, which can help the organization acquire funding


Arasteh, Culp named Members of the Year

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) just awarded two recipients its first annual Dariush Arasteh Memorial Member-of-the-Year Award. 

The first recipient was Arasteh himself, who received the award posthumously. Christian Kohler and Charlie Curcija from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) accepted the award on behalf of Arasteh, also an LBNL employee, who was heralded as an NFRC pioneer and fenestration expert.

Arasteh was also recognized for his innovative contributions and insight, which proved integral to NFRC’s creation and early development.

Tom Culp of Birchpoint Consulting received the second award. Culp began his career in the fenestration industry as a research scientist studying low-E coatings. In recent years, he has spent his time as an advocate for energy efficiency and code consulting.

Both recipients were acknowledged for their diplomatic approach to teamwork and their unique ability to bring people together to get things done

NFRC Planning to Streamline CMAST Usability

One member of the CMAST Advisory Task Group who is familiar with the need to always refer to the latest data suggested that multiple entries should be designated as “historical” or removed to avoid confusion, particularly among new users.

The National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) Program Director, Scott Hanlon, advised the task group that he is aware of the issue and is directing his team to resolve it.

The CMAST Advisory Task Group is responsible for providing feedback about the usability of the CMAST software, and also for reviewing the CMA Technical/Ratings documents and CMAST User's Manuals, to provide feedback to the pertinent technical and ratings Task Groups

NFRC Welcomes New Members in Portland

The National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) Fall Membership Meeting kicked off at the Marriott Waterfront in Portland this morning with an orientation for seven new members.

The Component Modeling Approach (CMA) task group, CMAST Advisory task group, and the Tubular Daylighting Devices task group will convene shortly.

The Research & Technology committee block will run from 2:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. (PT) with the Research, Optical Properties, and Thermophysical Properties subcommittees meeting.

Stay tuned throughout the day for updates on all the proceedings.