Thursday, November 6, 2008

NFRC Honors Outgoing Board Members

During the NFRC Board of Directors Meeting, Executive Director Jim Benney honored outgoing Board members Marcia Falke of Keystone Certifications Inc. and Gary Curtis of the West Wall Group with the NFRC Service Award.

Both have given many years of service to the organization and their contributions as NFRC Board Members are much appreciated.

NFRC Homework

During the Opening Session of the NFRC Membership Meeting on Monday, Chair Joe Hayden assigned a “homework” task.

He extended a question to the membership, “What is NFRC’s barrier to success?”

Throughout the week, attendees have written their thoughts on easels placed throughout the meeting space.

Among the items listed were:
  • The public’s lack of interest in the effort
  • Teamwork
  • Politics
  • Too much detail
  • Too narrow perspective or vision on NFRC purpose
  • Traditional mentality
  • Unity
  • Code enforcement
  • Difficulty for new members to figure out what is going on
  • History (let the past stay in the past)
  • Overly bureaucratic process
  • Short term, narrow, defensive thinking
  • Barrier= challenge = opportunity!
  • Complexity
  • Entrenched thinking - do it the old way
  • "Expert debaters for hire"

NFRC's Very Own "Joe the Plumber"

During the NFRC Board Meeting, Executive Director Jim Benney bestowed NFRC Chair Joe Hayden with a "special gavel."

While he shares no relation with the now-famous (or infamous) Joe the Plumber, he is deeply appreciated and respected by all.

Thanks to Joe for all of his hard work and dedication this past year as NFRC Chair!

NFRC Board Meeting Begins with Committee Reports

The Board of Directors meeting began this morning.

The Accreditation Policy Committee report was first on the agenda. Chair Marcia Falke of Keystone Certifications, Inc. called a motion to approve the NFRC 701 and all its supplemental documents and asked that it be implemented upon publication. The primary change in the document is that it was reduced from about 120 pages to roughly 50. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

Technical Interpretations Committee Chair Tom Culp, of Birch Point Consulting, LLC, discussed the group’s new function as a technical arbitrator and the method TIPC will use to increase communication with the membership.

NFRC Member of the Year Roland Temple, chair of the Certification Policy Committee, said the group will review the NFRC 706-2009 based on discussion at the PCP Review Task Group. Temple asked that certain editorial changes to the document be approved, and the motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

Research and Technology Committee Chair Werner Lichtenberger of TruSeal Technologies recommended that the Complex Product VT Research project be suspended until a new proposal could be presented to the group. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

Lichtenberger also pointed out that the Exterior Awnings Research Project Summary page was approved and will be a balloted RFP for the March meeting.

Next, WESTLab’s Jeff Baker provided the Technical Committee report. Baker motioned to bring forward additional language for the NFRC 200 Frame Grouping Rules for approval with implementation and completion of the CMA program. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

Baker also brought forth a motion for the Software Subcommittee. This involved enabling the CMAST Implementation Task Group to report findings directly to the Board after completion.

NFRC Volunteers Gather in Jacksonville

NFRC staff and committee, subcommittee, and task group leaders gathered for dinner on Wednesday evening.

NFRC appreciates the hard work and dedication that its volunteer members put into their work and is very grateful for all that you do.

Thanks to all for a great night!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Applause All Around at Ratings Committee Meeting

During the Ratings Committee meeting this afternoon, the CMA PCP ballot was approved and will move forward to the NFRC Board of Directors. CMA Ratings Subcommittee Chair Gary Curtis extended thanks to NFRC staffers Jessica Ferris and Scott Hanlon for "keeping our heads above water," and to the membership for their patience over the last four years.

Additionally, the Ratings Committee approved the following:
  • the successful PCP ballot – permanent label forward for approval for implementation upon publication.

  • the PCP IG Certification ballot forward for implementation upon publication. NFRC Chair Joe Hayden also noted that while it may be published and implemented, it won’t be required until July 2010.

  • the mandatory date for labeling of dynamic products from March 1, 2009 to 6 months after two or more simulation labs are accredited to use WINDOW6/THERM6 for dynamic products, or March 1, 2010, whichever comes earlier, to the Board for approval.

CMA Ratings Subcommittee Moves PCP Forward

Gary Curtis opened up the CMA Ratings Subcommittee this afternoon, noting that he’s hopeful the group can come to a conclusion and move forward to the Board.

A number of negative ballot responses were up for discussion.

One editorial item had to do with the language surrounding frame component simulation and whether the manufacturer “shall” or “may” submit the system assembly drawings indicating dimensions and materials.

“You do not need system assembly drawings indicating dimensions and materials to do a framed component evaluation,” explained Curtis. “This information is not needed so therefore it would be reasonable to make it optional.”

After debate, a motion passed to include this as a required item.

There was also discussion surrounding a negative from Keystone Certifications regarding the use of actual size ratings.

Roland Temple brought forward a friendly amendment to move to reword as “actual size non-certified ratings.”

NFRC CMA Program Manager Jessica Ferris explained that a non-certified rating is calculated by the software tool, so the IA will review calculations done in CMAST by the Approved Calculation Entity (ACE).

“It’s automatically generated in CMAST at the same time as the standard rating,” said Ferris.

The motion failed 11-15. A new motion was passed to make Keystone Certification’s negative substantial and persuasive.

The subcommittee resolved all ballot comments and the CMA PCP document is set to move forward.

Labeling Subcommittee Convenes

The Ratings Committee block met this afternoon, starting with the Labeling Subcommittee led by WDMA’s John McFee.

The CMA Label Task Group provided a report, and Chair Charlie Curcija recommended that the task group be disbanded because it did not have any new activities to pursue.

NFRC’s CMA Program Manager Jessica Ferris, however, recommend against this move and suggested keeping the group together. McFee supported retaining the task group as well, which was accepted by the members.

Additionally, a new task group was formed to look into the issue of the PCP language requiring film manufacturers to have permanent versus temporary labels. The task group will look into the issue and arrive at a resolution prior to the next NFRC Membership Meeting in March 2009.


ENERGY STAR® Program Manager Rich Karney gave a brief update on the status of the ENERGY STAR criteria changes during the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee meeting.

Currently, DOE is awaiting comments from stakeholders. The deadline for submission is November 14.

“We’re hoping to announce the criteria early in 2009 with the effective date being nine months later,” said Karney. “We’re estimating October 2009.”

The criteria changes are to be rolled out in two phases. According to Karney, the new criteria will contain the following elements:

• five climate zones
• minimum energy performance trade offs in the northern zones
• IGU certification recertification requirement - to go into effect when implemented by NFRC
• Separate criteria for swinging entry doors

Karney also noted that DOE is reviewing the possibility of including trade offs in the south.

Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee Begins

The Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee began at 11:00a.m. Wednesday. Chair Garrett Stone of Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts & Stone, P.C., kicked off the reports with a codes update.

Every three years, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is revised. The requirements were recently approved for the 2009 version which will be published early next year.

Stone noted the following changes from the 2006 IECC:
  • Lower SHGC in the south
  • Lower U-Factor in the south
  • Improved performance path
Overall, the changes will likely result in a 10-15% more efficient residential code.

In terms of the IECC commercial energy efficiency requirements, fenestration ratings are still determined according to NFRC procedures. Stone also noted that there were limited improvements to prescriptive window U-Factor and SHGC requirements.

Stone mentioned that other states had made significant energy improvements outside of the IECC. California adopted new 2008 California Energy Efficiency Standards in April 2008 and Florida is in the process of finalizing a 15% energy efficiency improvement to the 2007 residential code.

"There are some trade offs allowed in Florida, but I would say the new improvement will have a significant impact in pushing forward energy efficiency fenestration," said Stone.

Technical Subcommittee Meetings Continue

The Technical Committee block continued Wednesday morning with the Annual Energy Performance (AEP) Subcommittee and CMA Technical Subcommittee.

AEP Chair Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting, LLC, explained that earlier this year the group passed NFRC 901, which is a calculation procedure for analyzing the fenestration products in private homes. Although it’s available for use, implementing it will require further refinements such as a Web tool to make it easy for consumers.

“As it stands right now this is something that has limited usefulness,” said NFRC Chair Joe Hayden. “Nevertheless, it’s a step in the right direction.”

Certain members expressed concern with creating a viable plan for moving forward on developing a single set of parameters to develop a single set of numbers for NFRC 901.

Culp responded saying there are only a few key issues standing in the way of accomplishing this, and he believes they can be overcome relatively easily.

During the CMA Subcommittee meeting, four ballots were up for discussion, including Validation Testing, Frame Grouping, and Non-Standard Products for NFRC 100 and 200. The CMA Validation Testing ballot negatives were addressed and several motions were brought forth. Curcija motioned to remove the upper limit of U-Factor of .35 for an insulated glazing unit.

“Because of the timing, we should get something in the document now rather than waiting until next March,” said Culp, speaking against the motion.

The motion did not carry.

After much debate, the Validation Testing and Frame Grouping ballots were resolved and moved forward to the Technical Committee. The Non-Standard Products – NFRC 100 and 200 ballots were sent back to the task group.

Members Meet Poolside for Reception

NFRC members gathered Tuesday evening for an election-themed membership reception poolside at the Crowne Plaza Jacksonville. Televisions were tuned to CNN and a local cigar roller was on hand.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NFRC Holds CPD 2.0 Forum

NFRC held an open forum on the new version of the Certified Products Directory, CPD 2.0, following the technical subcommittee meetings Tuesday afternoon. CPD 2.0 launched yesterday and NFRC implemented a CPD issue form for anyone having issues using the new database.

“With any new software, you’re going to have some bumps and we prioritize any issues that come in by high, medium and low and fix those issues,” said NFRC Senior Programs Manager Scott Hanlon.

Hanlon explained that on the priority scale, high priority items are something that prevents you from doing your job and any kinks, bugs or recommendations for future improvements are classified as medium or low.

WDMA’s John McFee explained that he had some concerns from a process standpoint and mentioned that it is important to really educate the programmers from the perspective of the end user.

Marcia Falke asked that NFRC consult with the users on the level of priority given to issues.

“We’re having a lot of similar issues and we’re grouping the problems together and taking care of them,” said Hanlon.

Brad Schultz of Associated Laboratories, Inc. said that the single biggest problem is that they are unable to recertify existing products in the database because the status can’t be changed.

Architectural Sizes in CMA Debated

During the U-Factor Subcommittee meeting, there was discussion surrounding the negatives received on the NFRC 100 - Architectural Sizes Ballot that was distributed to the membership prior to the meeting. The ballot would create two model sizes in the Component Modeling Approach program.

The majority of ballot responses had to do with the fact that the parties did not want two sizes in the document. Many of the negatives mentioned that two sizes would add complexity and confusion to the CMA program. Others pointed out that it could lead to incorrect rating comparisons.

Following the discussion, a motion was brought forth to make all negatives persuasive and substantive – essentially killing the ballot. The motion passed.

“I do believe as an organization we need to consider what prompted the ballot and that’s really a disparity in the information we’re putting on products,” said Chair Mike Thoman of Architectural Testing, Inc. ““We should think long and hard about how we want to provide real, true energy numbers.”

Two New Attachment Task Groups Formed

During the Attachment Subcommittee, two new task groups were formed. The first deals with rating attachment products in the context of the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) program and the second an awnings task group.

Charlie Curcija of Carli Inc., the firm developing the CMA software, volunteered to chair the CMA attachment task group. The following members agreed to serve on the task group:
  • Michael Cienian, Hunter Douglas, Inc.
  • John Gant, Glen Raven, Inc.
  • Ross McCluney, Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Tom Morrissey, Hunter Douglas, Inc.
The members of the new awnings group include:
  • John Gant, Glen Raven, Inc. - chair
  • Darrell Smith, International Window Film Association
  • Willie du Pont, Sunergy Consulting
  • Ross McCluney, Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Roland Temple, AZS Consulting, Inc.

Technical Committee Meetings Underway

The Technical Committee block meetings began this afternoon following lunch. The following subcommittees are scheduled to meet today:
  • Software
  • Condensation Resistance
  • Attachment
  • Air Leakage
  • U-Factor
  • Solar Heat Gain
The Software Subcommittee, led by Brian Crooks of Cardinal Glass, was first on the agenda. CMAST Approval Task Group Chair Dan Wacek gave a brief report and proposed that the subcommittee reports its findings directly to the Board and recommend implementation. The motion passed by hand vote.

Next, Condensation Resistance Subcommittee Chair Kevin Vilhauer opened up discussion on the ballots, the NFRC 500-2009 and 501-2009. Both ballots were quickly approved and the final item on the agenda was the request for a subcommittee vice chair. Vilhauer extended a request to the membership for a volunteer.

The technical subcommittee meetings will continue this afternoon.

Stay tuned!

Optical Properties Subcommittee Convenes

During the Optical Properties Subcommittee, led by Sneh Kumar of Traco, Inc., the discussion turned to whether the NFRC 300/301 should be edited to include an ASTM standard.

Following a discussion of the pros and cons of the ASTM standard, NFRC Chair Joe Hayden explained that the potential adoption could raise NFRC’s Solar Heat Gain standards by as much as 10%. This created a fair amount of concern among those who opposed the move.

One of the primary reasons is the uncertainty of whether DOE and ENERGY STAR are prepared to make adjustments accordingly.

“It’s obviously a very big jump,” said Hayden. “This is something we need to look at closely and carefully before we make any decisions.”

Hayden recommended delaying implementation of the revised NFRC 300 until at least April of 2009. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

Awning Rating Research Proposed

Another topic slated for discussion during the Research Subcommittee meeting involved establishing goals for an awnings rating system.

John Gant of Glen Raven, Inc. and Dr. Ross McCluney of the Florida Solar Energy Center delivered a presentation to the group and a motion was brought to the floor to create a rating standard strictly for attached shading devices which physically adhere to a window, rather than detached shading devices.

Two of the suggested standards to be considered in developing such a ratings system involve view obstruction and glare reduction. The primary issue is developing a rating system for shading effectiveness only.

The motion, which passed unanimously, requested nothing from NFRC other than its willingness to maintain an open mind toward the subject.

“We’ll always be here to listen and offer any input that might help in this process,” said NFRC Chair Joe Hayden.

New Motion System Implemented

One of the most recognizable items on display during any given NFRC subcommittee meeting is the pink motion form. This is the platform that NFRC members use to formalize a motion for vote on the floor.

In an effort to streamline the motion process, NFRC has bid farewell to the pink motion form and instead, staff is working directly with meeting attendees to type motions as they are spoken. The motions are then displayed on the screen for all to see.

In the spirit of election day, we took a straw poll to find out what NFRC meeting attendees thought of the new motion process. Early feedback has been very positive, with everyone expressing very favorable opinions. Some noted that it was "a lot easier," and others said "they liked it very much."

Complex Product VT Research Put on Hold

The Research Subcommittee continued with a report on the Complex Product VT Research Project. The group has been developing a test method for developing a visible transmittance rating for complex products that can’t be simulated, such as a tubular daylighting device.

After considerable discussion among the members, NFRC Chairman, Joe Hayden, motioned that the project be suspended, pending the presentation of a revised proposal from the Project Monitoring Task Group (PMTG).

“Clearly from the discussion taking place, it’s obvious we don’t want to commit a lot of funds to this for the time being,” said Hayden. “What we need to do it take a step back and rethink this.”

The motion passed and PMTG Chair Paul Jaster of Solatube International Inc. will follow up with the committee and map out the next steps.

Research Subcommittee Meets this Morning

Research and Technology Committee Chair Werner Lichtenberger of TruSeal Technologies took to the podium this morning and called the Research Subcommittee to order.

NFRC Technical Services Manager Ray McGowan began by giving an update on the research budget and the status of active and potential future projects. Project task group chairs then gave a more detailed report of ongoing research.

Willie du Pont of Sunergy Consulting gave a full report of on the status of the Window 6/Therm 6 Validation research project, for use in determinging the solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC) and U-factors of complex glazing.

The new Window 6/Therm 6 software Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released has new features that can calculate the SHGC and U-factor of woven shades, venetian blinds and fritted glass.

According to DuPont, the group has completed the literature search and is in the middle of performing tests for SHGC and U-Factor and is about to begin the simulations.

“I’m very grateful to the NFRC membership," said du Pont. “Many of you gave test specimens and actual windows, and we’re very appreciative for the manufacturers' donation to this project.”

Willy mentioned there is one layer of glazing still needed, one with properties of shade.

Monday, November 3, 2008

TIPC Adds One to Roster

The NFRC Policy Committee block convened Monday afternoon with the Accreditation, Technical Interpretations, and Certification Policy Committee.

An announcement was made during the Technical Interpretations Policy Committee (TIPC) that Brad Schultz of Associated Laboratories, Inc. has joined the group.

The Board of Directors recently changed TIPC’s mission, adding to their scope the role of technical arbitration.

“We felt we needed the viewpoint of an IA,” said TIPC Chair Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting. “TIPC decisions are binding, so we needed to ensure that the IAs view was represented on the committee.”

The other TIPC members include:
  • Randal Van Voorst, Quality Testing, Inc. (vice chair)
  • Jeff Baker, WESTLab
  • Charlie Curcija, Carli, Inc.
  • Joe Jonely, AMSCO Windows
  • Steve Strawn, Jeld-Wen
  • Michael J. Thoman, Architectural Testing, Inc.

NFRC Members Elect Five to Board of Directors

NFRC announced the election results for its 2008-2009 Board of Directors during the Opening Session of the Fall Membership Meeting today.

This month, the following members will assume or continue their positions on the Board of Directors

  • Jim Larsen, Cardinal Glass Industries, Inc. – Fenestration Industry Category
  • Steve Strawn, Jeld-Wen, Inc. – Fenestration Industry Category
  • Tony Rygg, independent consultantGeneral Interest Category
  • Nelson Peña, California Energy CommissionGeneral Interest Category
  • Nils Petermann, Alliance to Save EnergyGeneral Interest Category

"We are pleased to see a greater participation rate for this year's election, which demonstrates our members' dedication to supporting the mission of the NFRC," said Jim Benney, NFRC's executive director.

According to Survey & Ballot Systems, an independent firm that managed the voting process, the annual election had a participation rate of just over 54 percent, an increase from last year's rate of 51 percent. Voting took place online from September 29, 2008, through October 24, 2008.

Larsen, Strawn, Rygg, and Peña will serve three-year terms. Petermann, who is filling a vacated seat, will serve one year (the remainder of the term).

These members will join Joe Hayden, chair; Kerry Haglund, treasurer; Steve Farrar; Mike Manteghi; Steve Rosenstock; Steve Selkowitz; and Michael Thoman on the Board of Directors.

BIM Discussed During Opening Session

Deke Smith, executive director of the buildingSMART alliance, addressed the NFRC membership during the Opening Session today.

The buildingSMART alliance is a council of the National Institute of Building Science and was originally started by the federal government.

Smith spoke about Building Information Modeling (BIM), a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. BIM serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its lifecycle – from inception onward. In short, it involves building something electronically before it is built physically.

Anyone can purchase BIM software and probably be reasonably successful, but Smith believes the true key to success is learning more about what NFRC does and then implementing that into BIM.

According to Smith, there is 57 percent waste in the current construction industry – amounting to nearly $400 billion annually. This is the result of people doing things that simply don’t need to be done.

BIM software can find potential conflicts before any building actually starts, saving time and money. The alliance’s goal is to get the businesses processes in place to support this software. Smith noted a situation where a project was slated to take 15 months but was completed in as few as seven months using BIM.

“We just need to get smarter so we can hold on to all the information we collect and best use it to our advantage,” said Smith. “The key element to solving this problem is entering data once. So much waste in our industry comes from people having to go out and collect the same information multiple times,”

For more information on Deke Smith and the buildingSMART alliance visit

Task Groups Get to Work

A series of task group meetings kicked off day one of the Fall Membership Meeting. Some groups resolved ballot issues and others got together to map out their course of action. 

The Interior Attachments and Exterior Attachments task groups joined combined forces to accomplish two shared goals. Specifically, the groups are working together to establish the base case window and to get the NFRC 100 and NFRC 200 language written. To accomplish these goals, task group members have been meeting every two weeks via conference call.

According to NFRC's Laboratory Accreditation Program Associate Dennis Anderson, the interior and exterior attachment groups hope to have a ballot out for the next membership meeting in March 2009. 

Additionally, the Garage/Rolling Door Task Group met and addressed the negatives received from the ballots distributed to the membership. The NFRC 100 - Garage Door ballot is a rewritten version of the garage door provisions currently in the NFRC 100 and also includes proposed rolling door provisions. 

Secondly, the NFRC 102 - Garage Door ballot proposes changes to clarify the provisions applying to sectional garage doors and rolling steel doors. The next step is to bring it to the U-Factor Subcommittee and move on in hopes of obtaining a product rating.

The Product Line ID Task Group led by John McFee of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association also met this morning. The group is drafting language for the PCP to allow for manufacturers to obtain their product identification number in NFRC's Certified Products Directory (CPD) prior to the release of the Certification Authorization Report (CAR) report. According to McFee, manufacturers will benefit from receiving the CPD number early in the process in terms of logistics, producing labels and marketing materials. 

Member of the Year Announced

NFRC Chair Joe Hayden awarded the first-ever NFRC Member of the Year Award during the Opening Session of the Fall Membership Meeting this afternoon to long-time member Roland Temple.

Watch now!

New Members Recognized at Opening Session

NFRC Chair Joe Hayden of Pella Corp. began the Opening Session this afternoon by welcoming new members. 

In 2008, 12 new companies joined NFRC:
  • Cascade Windows
  • Enclade, Inc.
  • Glen Raven, Inc.
  • MariTech Windows
  • National Glass Association
  • Professional Awning Manufacturers Association
  • Regal Windows & Door Systems Inc.
  • Royal Window and Door Profiles
  • Springs Window Fashions, LLC
  • Superior Window Systems
  • Viracon, Inc.
  • Westech Building Products

NFRC Supports HabiJax for Fall Meeting

A new tradition has been born. For the Fall Membership Meeting, NFRC is offering lapel pins for purchase. All proceeds are going directly to HabiJax, the local Habitat for Humanity chapter in Jacksonville, to support sustainability and energy efficiency efforts.

The NFRC lapel pin features the NFRC logo and the meeting location and date, along with an image that represents Jacksonville - a palm tree. NFRC will carry on this tradition in future meetings and work with other efficiency organizations.

HabiJax has been providing affordable housing for the citizens of Jacksonville since 1988. They have built more than 1,500 homes, surpassing any other local affordable housing provider and any Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the U.S. HabiJax is committed to building sustainable housing and taking on energy efficiency projects. 

NFRC suggests a $10 donation for any attendees interested in supporting HabiJax. 

For more information on Habijax, visit

By the Numbers

It's going to be another busy meeting for NFRC members and participants. For the Fall Meeting, we have:
  • 99 registered attendees
  • 8 first-time participants
  • 12 new member companies (year-to-date)
  • 5 newly-elected Board members
  • 1 U.S. presidential election 

Fall Meeting Underway

Welcome to Jacksonville! 

The NFRC Fall Meeting officially kicks off this morning with a series of task group meetings. On schedule are the following:
  • CMA Technical 
  • NFRC 300-301
  • Storm Window
  • Solar Optical Properties of Non Planar Transparent Systems
  • Interior Attachments
  • Tubular Daylighting Devices
  • Exterior Attachments
  • Validation Testing
  • Applied Films
  • Product Line ID
  • PCP
  • Garage/Rolling Door
We'll be back with the task group reports this afternoon!

Check back soon for more NFRC News.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Q&A with NFRC Chairman Joe Hayden

We sat down with Board Chairman Joe Hayden after the Board meeting to get his thoughts on everything that took place this week in Chicago.

What are your thoughts on the action taken on IG Certification?
I think we are where we want to be. The important thing is to get this program wrapped up. I think it is good that we established an implementation date that we can march towards. The first thing now is to get the procedures in place so that everyone knows what the rules are. Once we have a list of programs, then participants can begin to apply for participation in one of them.

Do you feel that any progress was made on the Component Modeling Approach program during the meeting?
I believe we are still making progress. There weren't as many negatives as there have been in the past. But as you can see, the consensus process can be slow and painful but it’s the right thing to do. We’re still working towards the mid-late 2009 goal.

There was a large focus on attachment products this week and these task groups seem to have already made a lot of progress in the short amount of time they’re been in existence. Will the Board be making any changes to way these groups work within the NFRC structure?
I am very encouraged by the increased interest in NFRC, it’s a positive thing. The Board will certainly take the issues raised during the meeting under advisement, but in the meantime work is continuing on storm windows and other attachments. We also approved adding the Dynamic Attachments for Swinging Doors. The language should be published shortly and those products will be rated and labeled.

We heard many voices speak up regarding the possibility of reducing the number of NFRC membership meetings to two per year beginning in 2010. What is your take on it?

There are certainly other options out there. I think people are interested in reducing travel and taking advantages of the electronic tools out there today. You can meet over the phone and the computer and it is a viable alternative.

You delivered a presentation during the Opening Session earlier this week and you also shared a few thoughts with meeting attendees at the close of the Board meeting. Anything else you want to let the membership know?
I have a tremendous amount of faith in this organization. It is one of the most hard working and dedicated organizations out there and I’m happy to be a part of it.

Board Meeting Comes to a Close with Q&A

During the Board meeting’s Q&A session, Ray Garries with Jeld-Wen, Inc. brought forth a concern with after-market attachments.

”Rating attachments is absolutely the right thing to do, the issue is how we rate them,” said Garries. “Products are being compared out there with the generic claim that they are NFRC rated.”

Garries noted that the Board questionnaire is a good first step, but also recommended the Board consider a few other items:

· Employ a model to segregate attachment products into a separate council
· Create a fenestration attachment rating brand by NFRC
· Allow for an overarching committee to control how attachment products are compared

The Board agreed to take the issue under advisement.

NFRC Considers Reducing Meeting Schedule

As the Board meeting continued, Chair Joe Hayden opened the floor for discussion on an item stemming from the Meetings Committee. Starting 2010, NFRC is considering going to two full membership meetings rather than the current set of three.

Explaining the methodology behind the committee’s thoughts on this matter, Meetings Committee Chair Jeff Baker of WESTLab explained that NFRC can take advantage of webinars and other forms of electronic technology to take care of business.

“I applaud reducing travel whenever we can,” said Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting, LLC. “It would require a change to our bylaws, but if we had a provision to assemble a Web committee meeting, we could move a ballot all the way through.”

Executive Director Jim Benney noted that NFRC’s operating policies allow subcommittee and committee meetings to take place via conference call or Web.

While most supported the concept, others questioned whether or not NFRC would be sacrificing the personal relationships built at a face-to-face meeting.

"As a newcomer to NFRC, we appreciate how the task group has been working via conference call,” said Michael Cienian of Hunter Douglas, Inc. “But as I see the process, I think it is important to have face-to-face contact and establish relationships with everyone. We are coming into a new phase with attachments.”

Attachment Subcommittee Chair Fred Higgins of Wayne-Dalton, Corp. echoed Cienian’s remarks. “I like the idea of two meetings for the cost factor but I have so many interruptions when I’m in my office.”

NFRC Reports on Financial State

The Board meeting continued Thursday morning with a financial report from NFRC Executive Director Jim Benney.

Benney noted the 2007 audit was completed and NFRC received excellent remarks from the auditor.

Benney also touched on the 2008 financials. “A big portion of our revenues are PCP fees and we have more manufacturers participating in our program,” said Benney. “However, with the down housing market there are less labels being sold.”

NFRC forecasts a balanced budget through the remainder of 2008.

The full report will also be posted on the NFRC Web site.

Board Meeting Begins with Committee Reports

The final day of the NFRC Summer Membership Meeting began with the Board of Directors Meeting. First on the agenda were reports from each committee chair.

Technical Interpretations Policy Committee Chair Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting LLC, made a motion to approve nine interpretations:
  • Modeling Tape/Caming on Glass
  • Define Exterior
  • Rating Non-Standard TDD
  • Door Core Modeling
  • Apply Boundary Conditions to Door
  • Sill Frame Members Extends Beyond Rough Opening
  • Non-Operating Type Products
  • Default Door Lite-Frame
  • Minor Revisions

The motion carried by unanimous voice vote. Additionally, Culp noted that the NFRC 601-2008 was approved and will be published upon implementation of the Certified Products Directory, version 2.0. NFRC Laboratory Accreditation Program Manager Scott Hanlon added that labs already have this information dealing with the CPD 2.0.

Next, Roland Temple of AZS Consulting, Inc. delivered the report from the Certification Policy Committee. Three action items moved forward and were approved.

There was also discussion of the revised concept for IG Certification requirements. Temple motioned that the revised document be approved in concept so the CPC can move forward on developing a document for review and comment. NFRC Board Chair Joe Hayden of Pella Corporation asked to have CPC complete something for the Board to review on its August 26 conference call.

Finally, the Board approved a motion that IG Certification implementation be effective upon publication of all necessary documents, but that it be mandatory on July 1, 2010.

Technical Committee Chair Jeff Baker of WESTLab moved several items forward to the Board. From the CMA Subcommittee:

  • The Board approved the motion to incorporate the NFRC 100 CMA spacer groupings and frame grouping language into the NFRC 100.
  • Agreed to provide guidance and binding direction regarding the generic frame language from the NFRC 100 and NFRC 200. The Board will make a decision on this matter before the next meeting.

Closing out the committee reports, Ratings Committee Chair Steve Strawn of Jeld-Wen, Inc. introduced two items to the Board. There was some discussion surrounding the request to approve the CMA labeling certificate.

Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Chair Garrett Stone motioned to table the label certificate for further discussion. “The new label certificate retains a third page that has a whole set of non-certified values,” said Stone. “Do we want to have a label with numerous non-certified NFRC values?”

The Board will take this issue up and discuss at its September meeting.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

CMA Ratings Subcommittee Comes to Decision

The Component Modeling Approach Ratings Subcommittee convened this afternoon. There were a number of ballot comments to review regarding the CMA PCP (NFRC 705) document.

“My goal is to resolve a number of these negatives,” said Subcommittee Chair Gary Curtis of the West Wall Group.

The discussion centered around a set of negatives that stated the group should not approve the program language until the other referenced documents are complete.

“The Certification Accreditation Program provides details for how IAs are to inspect manufacturers based on the language in the PCP,” said NFRC Executive Director Jim Benney. “So until the PCP is approved, we can’t move forward with the CAP and LAP.”

“From a precedence standpoint, we just did this with IG – we want to see the language before approving the document,” said Rich Biscoe of Architectural Testing, Inc. “We are not willing to move forward on a document we feel, in itself, is not complete. My definition of complete is every reference is complete.”

“I want to make progress and it seems there is a difference between holding it here and sending it to the Board,” said NFRC Regulatory Affairs & Marketing Committee Chair Garrett Stone. “If there are specific problems in the document, we need to fix them.”

A motion was then introduced by Stone to find the negatives non-germane. The motion failed 11-18.

The group also discussed exploring the option of removing references to the other CMA documents in the PCP. A motion was introduced by Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting LLC, to find the negatives persuasive and substantive and that the PCP be re-balloted once all the accompanying reference documents are complete. It carried 17-11.

Curtis directed the NFRC staff to explore the possibility of removing references to other documents. The Ratings Committee will also bring the issue forward to the Board of Directors for guidance.

DOE Provides Update on ENERGY STAR Criteria

The Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee met this morning. DOE ENERGY STAR® Program Manager Rich Karney gave a brief status report on the ENERGY STAR criteria changes for fenestration.

Karney noted that DOE is still reviewing the draft analysis and report and will likely provide everyone a week to review it prior to the August 13 stakeholder meeting in Washington, D.C.

“The way the analysis has come out is we will be providing the two Northern Zones with trade-offs between U-Factor and SHGC,” said Karney.

DOE will accept comments on the draft report through the third week of September. According to Karney, DOE is hoping to put out the final criteria sometime this fall.

NFRC Members Gather for Dinner Reception

After a busy two days, the NFRC Membership Dinner was a welcome break for meeting attendees.

Members and participants gathered on the terrace of the Conrad Hotel for a festive, South American-style dinner.

More photos from Chicago will be available on the NFRC Meeting Page next week.

CMA Technical Discussion Turns Local

The Component Modeling Approach Technical Subcommittee convened this morning. On the agenda were reports from the CMA Validation Testing Task Group and the CMA Non-Standard Products Task Group, as well as reviewing comments on the following ballots:

- Generic CMA Frame Values – NFRC 100
- CMA Frame Grouping Rules – NFRC 100
- Generic CMA Frame Values – NFRC 200
- CMA Spacer Grouping Rules – NFRC 100

While discussion testing, the discussion quickly turned to a new fixture in the Chicago skyline – the Trump International Hotel & Tower. NFRC meeting attendees got a close-up view of the building during Tuesday’s membership dinner which took place on the terrace of the Conrad Hotel.

“Our conclusion was, based on what we could see, we would have no more than two simulations on that building,” said Marles McDonald of Quality Testing, Inc. “The total cost would be something of a thousand of a percent for all of the simulation and testing.”

According to Chicago Architecture Info, the 92-story skyscraper cost $750 million to construct.

Technical Committee Meetings Continue

Technical subcommittees continued this morning, starting with the Attachment Subcommittee. Chair Fred Higgins of Wayne Dalton, Corp., called the meeting to order at 7:30 a.m.

Five task groups currently report to the Subcommittee:
- Storm Window
- Dynamic Attachments for Swinging Doors
- Exterior Attachments
- Interior Attachments
- Storm Door and Storm Panels

Starting off the task group reports, Thom Zaremba presented an update on the Storm Window Task Group. “The current review plan is to hold two conference calls and to explore the possibility that storm windows be rated on a stand-alone basis.”

Next, Dave DeBlock provided the report from the Dynamic Attachments for Swinging Doors. “We’ve resolved most of our ballots,” said DeBlock. “I think our work is pretty much under wraps and we will stay reporting but hopefully not have a lot of work to do.”

As chair of the Exterior Attachments Task Group, Higgins updated the group on the work that has been done since its formation last fall. “The Board gave us some direction and that has been positive.” Higgins noted that the group has been gathering additional product information. “We don’t want to leave any stone unturned and we’re looking at all exterior attachments – products that attach to fenestration products.”

Higgins also emphasized the importance of looking at what other countries are doing. John Gant of Glen Raven, Inc. gave a brief presentation on European Standards.

Michael Cienian of Hunter Douglas, Inc. reported on the Interior Attachments Task Group. “A lot of the work we’ve done so far is outreach so everyone knows what we’re doing.”

“The next steps are to decide on reference base case windows and complete the listing of products for inclusion in windows software.” Some of the products the task group is looking at include storm windows, applied films, venetian blinds, roller blinds, and sun screens.

The task group’s goal is to submit an interior attachment ballot for the spring 2009 meeting.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Q&A with NFRC's Jim Benney

NFRC Executive Director Jim Benney sat down with Sahely Mukerji, news editor and managing editor of Glass Magazine, this afternoon to discuss the CMA program, new product ratings, and NFRC’s decision on IG Certification.

What is the status of outside development support funding for the Component Model Approach program?
We got approval for $200,000 from the Department of Energy. Also got in-kind support from Southern California Edison CTAC. [Edison CTAC, in partnership with NFRC, is hosting a training workshop in Irwindale, Calif., to discuss among other things, the benefits of CMAST, the new CMA software and how the component modeling approach works.]

To access the entire interview, click here.

Air Leakage Fate Discussed

The Technical Committee block meetings began this afternoon, with the Air Leakage Subcommittee convening at 2:30 p.m.

NFRC Board Member and Subcommittee Chair Mike Thoman of Architectural Testing, Inc. picked up where the group left off at the Spring Meeting, where there was a motion to remove the NFRC 400 standard.

Thoman presented three possible courses of action to the group:

1) Maintain the status quo, essentially keeping NFRC 400 in its existing form

2) Use NFRC 400 as a shell document and heavily reference AAMA 101 in the technical spec

3) Revoke NFRC 400 and reference both AAMA 101 and ASTM E283 in the PCP

AAMA’s John Lewis made a motion in support of option #2, which would in the short term use the North American Fenestration Standard and ASTM E283 within NFRC 400, with the long term goal of phasing out NFRC 400. After a hand vote, the motion passed.

To pursue this course of action, Thoman formed a new task group. John Lewis volunteered to serve as chair. Others interested in joining the task group should contact Thoman.

NFRC Member of the Year

NFRC members really know how to work. The level of commitment that our volunteer members put into our organization is incredible, especially considering they all have day jobs! We truly appreciate all of the time our members give.

To formalize our appreciation, NFRC will offer its first-ever Member of the Year award. The NFRC Member of the Year award will recognize the recipient’s talent, achievements, and notable contributions to the fenestration industry that support the NFRC mission.

Additionally, the recipient shall:

- Be a positive advocate for NFRC when addressing code officials, utility companies, governmental agencies, the media, etc.

- Regularly attend NFRC membership meetings and actively engage in critical discussions and decisions

- Exhibit respect for all members, genuinely embracing the philosophy of a consensus process

The award recipient will win a free NFRC meeting registration to be used in the next calendar year, as well as $1,500 for meeting expenses.

If you would like to nominate someone for the Member of the Year award, please visit to download the form.

All submissions must be returned to NFRC by August 31, 2008. Please email with any questions.

Optical Properties Subcommittee Considers Ballots

The NFRC Optical Properties Subcommittee considered two ballots during its meeting Tuesday morning at the NFRC Summer Membership Meeting in Chicago.

The group discussed a number of negatives to the ballots for NFRC 300/301 and NFRC 302, and because several were found to be persuasive and germaine, the subcommittee sent both ballots back to task groups for further review and revision.

Day Two Begins

Day two got an early start this morning. The Research & Technology Committee block kicked off at 7:30 a.m. with the Research Subcommittee meeting.

Subcommittee Chair Bipin Shah of WinBuild, Inc. and NFRC’s Technical Services Manager Ray McGowan began the meeting by providing an overview of NFRC’s research budget and a brief status report of active projects.

Currently, NFRC has six ongoing research projects.

- WINDOW 6/THERM 6 Validation Research
- Non-Standard Products for CMA Methodology
- Complex Product VT Ratings
- Spectral Weighting Function Revision Research
- Condensation Resistance Procedure for CMA
- U-Factor for Tubular Daylighting Devices

Project Monitoring Task Group Chairs for each of the ongoing research projects provided status updates.

Willie duPont of Sunergy Consulting presented a detailed overview of the methodology he will apply to the WINDOW 6/THERM 6 research. He noted that new features will include the ability to calculate the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and U-Factor of woven shades and venetian blinds.

Charlie Curcija of Carli, Inc. provided a report on the status of the Condensation Resistance Procedure for CMA. According to Curcija, all of the glazing, spacer and frame models are completed, and he is currently plotting the relationship between spacer effective conductivity and center glazing S and SS values. The final report is expected to be submitted by the middle of October.

Finally, the Non-Standard Products for CMA research and Complex Product VT Ratings research are both in the final stages. A motion moved forward to approve the Non-Standard Products research and the Complex Product VT Ratings research is pending final review from the task group. The Board could approve the completed research during its next conference call.

Monday, July 28, 2008

CMA Software Demo Closes Day One

Closing out the day Monday, Charlie Curcija of Carli, Inc. gave a live demonstration of the CMA Software, CMAST.

Curcija, whose firm is developing CMAST, explained that the application on a user’s computer will have its own database that stores all of the client’s data. Components, certified products, and label certificates are then synchronized to the main server database for public view.

Users can also share data with their entire company. “The software allows you a flexible way of sharing different information on the server,” said Curcija.

During the hour-long demonstration, Curcija ran through a number of scenarios and explained in-depth how the software will function.

“This demonstration was extremely informative and gave everyone a real-time view of CMAST,” said NFRC Executive Director Jim Benney. “After all of the hard work that has been put into developing this – and other aspects of the CMA program – it’s really exciting to see the pieces come together.”

NFRC Holds IG Certification Forum

Certification Policy Committee Chair Roland Temple opened up the IG Certification Forum this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Temple began by explaining the set of criteria that a third-party IG Certification Program shall include.

According to the outline presented, NFRC will maintain a list of third party IG Certification Programs that have submitted a statement to NFRC stating they meet the requirements. This statement is to be provided to NFRC on an annual basis, but will not be independently verified. Rather, it is up to the program participant to verify they are in fact using an NFRC-listed certification program.

Temple opened the floor to debate and discussion ensued about this set of requirements versus the previously issued document.

Rich Biscoe of Architectural Testing, Inc., remarked that NFRC has “swung to the other side of the pendulum.” He added, “I was really hoping that this would be a way to take the IG Programs in the industry and take them a step further. Even the good programs out there today won’t need to be looked at.”

Others in the room were pleased with the new direction. “This is a major improvement,” said John McFee of the Window and Door Manufacturer’s Association. “It catches the original intent form the Board of Directors and membership.”

Moving forward, NFRC Chair Joe Hayden suggested that CPC issue a revised draft program document by the end of next week to distribute to the membership for comment.

Margaret Webb of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance and Tracy Rodgers of Edgetech I.G. Inc. agreed to present a concept for CPC to bring to the Board of Directors on Thursday.

“Let us provide you with what was approved and what was accepted,” said Rodgers. “We certainly don’t want to go back to the task group level.”

The goal is to finalize the program language by the end of August.

Does the NFRC Label Expire?

The Certification Policy Committee handled a number of PCP interpretation requests during the committee meeting this afternoon.

Among the interpretation requests were two clarifications concerning the NFRC label.

Q) Does an NFRC label have an expiration date?
No, an NFRC label that is valid at the time of manufacture and application does not have an expiration date.
Q) Can NFRC’s permanent labeling requirements be met by placing a permanent label beneath a stop or glazing bead?
Yes, the permanent label shall be visible from the interior after product installation, or alternatively in a consistent location as identified by the manufacture in the NFRC Certified Products Directory.

CPC Chair Roland Temple of AZS Consulting, Inc. will report these interpretations to the Board on Thursday, July 31, and the next step will be to publish them in the PCP.

Housing Market Poised for Rebound

Pent-up demand and the need for improvements in the nation’s aging housing market portend a rebound in the U.S. housing market, according to Michael Collins, vice president of the Building Products Group at Jordan, Knauff & Company.

Collins, who spoke at the NFRC Summer Membership Meeting’s Opening Session in Chicago, told attendees that numerous signs suggest that the current housing crisis may be coming to an end.

“Four million net new jobs were created over the last four years and many renters are waiting on the sidelines” for the first sign that the economy is beginning to recover, Collins said. Combine that with aging homes and high energy prices, which will drive many homeowners to remodel with higher efficiency products – including doors and windows, and Collins said the stage is set for a recovery.

Conversely, the commercial market is beginning to soften, according to Collins, though unlike the residential market it will continue to grow – just more slowly than in the last several years.

“Commercial lags residential by about 18 months, so it’s coming into a bit of softness right now,” Collins said.

Collins also addressed Building Information Modeling, or BIM, saying that the technology will change the way that U.S. window and door manufacturers do business. Most prominently, Collins said, BIM will open up U.S markets to foreign companies and put pressure on U.S. companies to adopt BIM and compete.

“If you’re a commercial product manufacturer and you ever get spec’d by an architect, you’re going to want to be in there,” Collins said.

Collins also reported that the latest Jordan, Knauff survey of window and door manufacturers showed that NFRC was the most common certification, followed by ENERGY STAR(R).

Collins can be reached by e-mail at

NFRC Honors Founders

NFRC Executive Director Jim Benney honored the organization’s founding members and participants – or those who have belonged to or participated in NFRC for at least 15 years – today at the NFRC Summer Membership Meeting.

All together, NFRC honored 35 companies and roughly 10 were present in Chicago to receive their awards.

“We want to recognize those members who have been working to fulfill NFRC’s mission from the very beginning,” Benney said.

The founding members and participants are:

Alside Window Company
Amsco Windows
Andersen Corporation
Jeld-Wen, Inc.
Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., Inc.
Marvin Windows and Doors
Mercer Industries, Inc.
Metal Window Corporation
MI Windows and Doors, Inc.
Milgard Manufacturing, Inc.
ODL, Inc.
Pella Corporation
Simonton Windows
Valley Glass Corporation
VELUX - America, Inc.

ABC Window Company, Inc.
Alenco Windows
ATI Windows
Atmos Corporation dba Merzon Industries
Atrium Companies, Inc.
Empire Pacific Windows
Fleetwood Windows & Doors
General Aluminum Company
Hurd Windows & Doors, Inc.
Hy-Lite Products
International Window Corporation
Jordan Company
Loewen Windows
Peachtree Doors and Windows
SNE Enterprises, Inc.
Tashco Industries, Inc.
Thermal Line Windows
Weather Shield Mfg., Inc.
Weathervane Windows LLC
Westview Products, Inc.
Window Logic Corporation
Windsor Windows and Doors

By The Numbers

Chicago proved to be very popular among NFRC’s members. The Summer Membership Meeting has attracted:

-- 117 attendees representing 84 different companies

-- 12 first-time attendees

-- 3 new member companies: Glen Raven, Inc., the National Glass Association, and the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association

Welcome to everyone!