Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Who's New? NFRC New Member EcoSmart

Kim Eger with EcoSmart Shutters, LLC is attending his second NFRC Meeting here in Tucson and talked to the Live Update Staff about his goals for involvement and his first impressions of the busy, hard-working gathering.

EcoSmart has pioneered the first solar-powered rolling shutter and the company’s products are reported to drastically reduce solar heat gain. Eger is looking to NFRC to find a way to credibly rate his product. “I saw a dynamic shift happening in the marketplace and realize that NFRC is key to educating the consumer about the benefis and choices available to improve energy efficiency,” said Eger.
EcoSmart became NFRC’s first new member of 2009 and Eger says he looks forward to attending future meetings. He is encouraged by the positive momentum of the attachment group’s work over the last six months. Plus, he shared the personal connections he is making through networking onsite is positive on many levels.

“The talent pool of the people here is without equal; the connections I can make in five minutes in the hallway beats a year of email and phone correspondence,” Eger said. “That is big!”

Ratings Closes Committee Meetings in Tucson

The Ratings Committee, chaired by Steve Strawn of Jeld-Wen, brought the committee meetings in Tuscon to an end with reports from the Labeling, Certification and CMA Certification subcommittees.

The committee approved ballots brought forward by subcommitees on removing Res97 language from the PCP and approving the CMA PCP (NFRC 705-2009) and sent them on the Board of Directors for review and approval.

NFRC 705-2009 Ballot Advances

The CMA Ratings Subcommittee, chaired by Mike Manteghi of TRACO, approved a ballot containing revised language for the CMA Product Certification Program (NFRC 705-2009) and sent it on to the Ratings Committee.

Certification SC Returns Ballot to Task Group

Given the large number of substantive negatives on the PCP ballot to revise NFRC 700-2009, the Certification Subcommittee, presided over by Steve Strawn of Jeld-Wen, passed a motion to return the ballot to task group for further work and review.

The motion also sent Res97 language approved by task group, including Jeld-Wen's comments relating to Appendix C, to the Ratings Committee for review and approval.

Before adjourning, the subcommittee established a task group to begin looking at certification issues related to potential new attachment ratings.

Labeling SC Suspends, Adds Task Groups

The Labeling Subcommittee retooled its task group structure during its meeting on Wednesday afternoon as follows:

-- Both the CMA Label and Permanent Labeling task groups have completed their work and have gone dormant until they have new issues to be addressed.

-- A new Attachment Labeling Task Group was formed, chaired by Michael Cienian, to begin investigating labeling issues associated with potential new attachment ratings. One of the group's first tasks will be to address whether film manufacturers, given the nature of their products, need to provide both temporary and permanent labels on their products.

RAM Discusses Codes, Criteria, Cash

Because of budget constraints brought about by a weak economy, the International Code Council (ICC) is moving to a single-cycle process for developing 2012 version of the codes.

Garrett Stone of Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts & Stone, P.C., chair of the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee, also told meeting attendees that:

-- the 2009 version of the IECC is out and the ICC claims that it represents a ten-to-fifteen percent improvement in energy efficiency

-- seven states - Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin - have adopted the 2006 IECC since NFRC last met in November in Jacksonville

Rich Karney of the U.S. Department of Energy provided an update on the development of new ENERGY STAR(R) criteria. Karney said that he intends to release new criteria for comment on March 10 with final criteria to be issued no later than April 3 for implementation on January 1, 2010. He also let attendees know that the tax credit U-factor and SHGC requirements included in the stimulus bill "will influence ENERGY STAR."

Marc Lafrance, also of DOE, told attendees that new funding has become available for fenestration research, development and demonstration projects as a result of the stimulus package. He encouraged interested parties to visit to keep track of solicitations going forward.

Still Time To Get Your Pin!

NFRC attendees have once again stepped up to support the local community's green efforts at the Spring Meeting. The collectible lapel pins are selling like hot cakes – with proceeds going to support Tucson’s local Habitat for Humanity Chapter.

Additional information on Habitat for Humanity and specifically Tucson’s green efforts can be found on the organization’s Web site.

Technical Committee Convenes

The Technical Committee, led by Vice Chair Steve Johnson from Andersen, closed out activities on Wednesday morning with a quick meeting featuring reports from its various task groups and subcommittees.

Highlights include:

-- Joe Hayden of Pella took the opportunity to once again remind members that his intention is to bring forward THERM 6 and WINDOW 6 for approval at the Summer Meeting in Baltimore.

-- During the report by Attachment Subcommittee interim chair Michael Cienian of Hunter Douglas, the group passed a motion recommending that Board appoint Cienian to the position permanently.

-- U-factor Subcommittee Chair Mike Thoman of ATI reported no action items but indicated that the subcommittee will have several ballots to bring forward at the Summer Meeting in Baltimore.

Can't Get Enough of That CMA

Mike Manteghi of TRACO steered the CMA Technical Subcommittee through discussions of ballots on CMA Non-Standard Products - NFRC 100 and 200 and CMA Validation Testing.

After finding a number of negatives persuasive, the subcommittee refered all three ballots back to task group for further work and review.

Caution: Fenestrators at Play

The warm weather beckoned to the hard working volunteers at the NFRC's Spring Membership Meeting in Tucson. The membership reception began immediately after the meetings on Tuesday with fellowship, food and spirits:

Wednesday Brings Attachments

The third full day of meetings in Tucson kicked off with the Attachments Subcommittee, chaired by Michael Cienian of Hunter Douglas.

The group briefly reviewed negatives submitted in response to the NFRC 100/200 Attachment ballot. Cienian said that the ballot was sent out in large part to educate the membership about the subcommittee's work rather than as an attempt to move them forward to the Technical Committee.

In that spirit, Joe Hayden praised the subcommittee's work and moved to send the ballot back to task group to address the negatives. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.

The subcommittee also approved a new scope: The Attachments Subcommittee will coordinate the development of NFRC processes and procedures for attachment products per the NFRC Board of Directors.