Friday, December 21, 2012

CEO Benney to Speak at Symposium

The National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) CEO, Jim Benney, is part of a panel of experts who will speak during the upcoming Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) Symposium in Washington, D.C.

According to symposium’s website, the event will provide attendees with the most recent developments in fenestration performance and technology and will be particularly valuable for architects, engineers, developers, and others who make decisions about improving building performance.

The symposium will be held January 7-11, 2013 at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center in Washington, D.C.


Friday, December 14, 2012

NFRC’s New Websites Look Better, Work Better

Visit the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) two new websites on Monday, December 17, and you’ll find a new look, new features, and better functionality so you can get all the information you need faster and easier than ever before. 

In addition to redesigning to keep pace with your needs, we’ve also created a second website,, to expand your networking opportunities.
These two websites work together to provide NFRC members with some important benefits, including the following:
  • Easier access to news and information.
  • Ability to manage your account in a few simple steps.
  • Expanded networking section for public or private discussions.
  • More intuitive navigation so you can find documents and bulletins quickly and easily.
  • Option to store and readily access files to facilitate task group, subcommittee, and committee development.
“These new websites are designed to guide our members from one page to another effortlessly so they can find the information they need to make the decisions that build on their success,” said NFRC’s CEO, Jim Benney. “This accomplishment highlights NFRC’s commitment to its members and illustrates the organization’s ability to anticipate their needs.”

How Can NFRC Serve You Better?

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is always interested in serving you better.

What kinds of benefits could NFRC offer to make membership more attractive for you? 

You can answer here or email your suggestions.

Friday, December 7, 2012

How Can NFRC Help Your Business Thrive in 2013?

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is always looking for insight from industry experts to improve its programs.

What are some of the business challenges you're facing during 2013, and how can NFRC's programs help you overcome them?

Let us know here, or contact Tom Herron, NFRC's Senior Manager, Communications & Marketing.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Let NFRC Help Educate Your Customers

The National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) consumer-oriented website is helping consumers make more educated choices when purchasing fenestration products. It provides non-technical explanations to technical questions and offers a number of links for those seeking more detailed information.

Give your business a boost by sending your customers

What do you think of NFRC's consumer-oriented website? Post your comments here. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

NFRC Seats New BOD Members, Establishes New Executive Committee

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) has officially seated its newest Board members for the 2013 term and also approved the members of its new Executive Committee.

Each of the following Board members has been seated to serve a three-year term.

  • Sneh Kumar, Kawneer, an Alcoa Company  - Fenestration Industry Category (Specified) A manufacturer who sells the majority of its fenestration products or systems for use in commercial construction.
  • Jeff Baker, WESTLab Canada - Laboratory Category.
  • Mahabir Bhandari, Oak Ridge National Laboratory - General Interest (non- specified).
  • Gary Curtis, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance - General Interest (specified). A not-for-profit consumer, environmental, energy efficiency, or other public interest organization.
NFRC’s new Executive Committee will consist of the following members:
  • Chair -- Steve Strawn, JELD-WEN
  • Vice-Chair – Jeff Baker, WestLab Canada
  • Secretary – Steve Farrar, Guardian Industries 
  • Treasurer – Sneh Kumar, Kawneer, an Alcoa Company
  • Previous Chair – Joe Hayden, Pella
  • Ombudsman – Jim Krahn, Cardinal Glass
“NFRC is fortunate to have assembled such a talented group of professionals whose skills and contributions will make our organization even stronger,” said NFRC’s CEO, Jim Benney. “The individual commitment each one of them brings to our shared cause forms a distinguished group that positions NFRC to assist its stakeholders in reaching their goals during 2013 and beyond.” 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Update on NFRC's IVP Program

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) has been working for almost 3 years to create the NFRC 713 program document that will administer the IVP to verify ENERGY STAR® qualified products’ energy performance. NFRC used the results from the IVP pilot program and comments from the NFRC participants to modify the NFRC 713 and believes this draft provides a fair process for all NFRC entities.

NFRC participants are encouraged to download the NFRC 713 document for review from the IVP web page.

To assist with the review, the following are some of the modifications from the draft of the NFRC 713 distributed in March:

• The IVP is now completely separate from the NFRC 700.

• The IVP fee is separate from the NFRC participation fee per NFRC 704-2013.

• The IVP is for ENERGY STAR Partners only and use to verify ENERGY STAR qualified products.

• The only verification test is a thermal test performed in accordance with NFRC 102 and is the only value verification used for EPA evaluation.

• The destructive test has been removed as a verification test; however, it is still performed by the lab for comparison and evaluation purposes.

• ENERGY STAR Partners are required to inform NFRC which ENERGY STAR qualified product lines are sold as ENERGY STAR products. NFRC is developing an online tool for participants to use which will be available shortly.

• There is no grading against NFRC energy performance criteria and labeling. The grading and tolerances in the NFRC 713 are for EPA requirements only.

• The multi-tiered corrective actions and fines are no longer applicable to the program.

• Language was introduced for scenarios when results from the verification testing are questionable and may not be under the purview of the participant’s performance, but the Inspection Agency, laboratory, or other entity.

NFRC is requesting participants to forward any comments on the program document by November 26th to NFRC staff at

NFRC continues to review the processes within the pilot program, and once these processes and the comments from NFRC participants are analyzed, the intent is for NFRC staff to present a final version (and implementation plan) to the NFRC Board of Directors for approval. It is our goal to begin implementing this phase of the IVP by January 1, 2013.

Monday, November 5, 2012

NFRC's Board of Directors Election Results

The National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) Board of Directors election for the 2013 term is complete, and here are the results:

Each of the following members has been elected to a three-year term:

  • Sneh Kumar, Traco - Fenestration Industry Category (Specified) A manufacturer who sells the majority of its fenestration products or systems for use in commercial construction.
  • Jeff Baker, WESTLab Canada - Laboratory Category.
  • Mahabir Bhandari, Oak Ridge National Laboratory - General Interest (non- specified).
  • Gary Curtis, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance - General Interest (specified). A not-for-profit consumer, environmental, energy efficiency, or other public interest organization.
“I am pleased to welcome this accomplished, experienced group whose talent and enthusiasm will carry our organization forward," said NFRC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jim Benney. “We've always had an effective and dynamic Board that brings people and ideas together to further the cause we are all passionate about, and I'm looking forward to working more closely with all of them.”

NFRC recommends checking your spam folder regularly for useful correspondence. Visit our website for quick and easy access to our newsletters and bulletins. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

NFRC Offers Volunteer Opportunities

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. Current openings include the following:
  • The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) American National Standards (ANS) Committee is in particular need of participation from those representing the “User” and “General Interest” categories. Information on this committee, the interest categories, and applications may be found here. Contact Robin Merrifield at 240-821-9513 with questions or to request an application. 
  • The Bright Day Illuminance Task Group is seeking members. Contact Ray McGowan, NFRC's Senior Manager, Programs at 240-821-9510 for details.
  • The Daylighting Potential Rating Procedure Task Group is seeking members. Contact Ray McGowan, NFRC's Senior Manager, Programs, at 240-821-9510 for details. 
Learn more about NFRC's pending deadlines and volunteer opportunities here

Access NFRC's Product Certification Program (PCP) bulletins here.  

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.