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Attachment products, CMA, Energy Star Windows focus at NFRC Spring Meeting

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:43

In his opening address during the National Fenestration Rating Council’s Spring 2008 Membership Meeting, Joseph A. Hayden, chairman, NFRC board of directors, and senior project engineer, certification, Pella Corp., Pella, Iowa, talked about building information modeling. The Greenbelt, Md., organization hosted the meeting March 3-6 in Nashville. “NFRC needs to be sure that [BIM’s] product databases—both current and the future CMA [Component Modeling Approach] database—are interoperable with other databases and search engines,” said Jim Benney, executive director, NFRC. “BIM will require sharing of information and synchronized databases on fenestration performance—including component information—regarding their specified structural and energy capabilities. Three-dimensional models will allow architects and contactors to visualize the building components; click on specific components—a spandrel; a door, etc.—and see all the vital information about that component.”

CMA debate from the manufacturer’s perspective

Katy Devlin talked to Tom Culp, president of Birch Point Consulting, LaCrosse, Wis., about what happened during discussions of the Component Modeling Approach at the National Fenestration Rating Council Spring Meeting in Nashville.

A lot of the meeting discussion centered around attachment products—film products, dynamic attachments, swinging doors, shades, awnings, etc.—and how NFRC will go about rating and labeling that class. All in all, it was “very comparable to other meetings; perhaps there was a little more passion in some of discussion on some of the issues,” Benney said. The CMA program documents, both technical and rating, continue to move forward within the organization, Benney said. Much of the information in the documents has been approved, but there is still language to address, specifically on the issues of frame groupings. There was considerable debate over the use of generic frames. “The main argument was the old debate on whether you should be allowed to use generic frame performance values, with Margaret Webb and Greg Carney in favor, Mike Thoman in opposition, and Jeff Baker questioning the default values proposed,” said Nils Petermann, senior associate, Efficient Windows Collaborative, Washington, D.C. Tom Culp, NFRC board member, and owner, Birch Point Consulting, La Crosse, Wis., also was in favor of using the generic values. Webb is executive director of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, Ottawa; Carney is technical director of the Glass Association of North America, Topeka, Kan.; Thoman is director of simulations and thermal testing, Architectural Testing Inc., York, Pa.; and Baker is certified simulator, WestLab, London, Ontario. NFRC officials solicited input on the development of the CMA software tool currently under development. Bipin Shah, president, WinBuild Inc., Fairfax, Va., gave a presentation on international activities of NFRC in Australia, China, India and South Africa. The organization is working with the four countries to establish energy ratings in line with North American ratings. Other highlights included:

Richard Karney’s presentation on the future Energy Star Windows program. During the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee meeting March 4, Karney, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star program manager, said discussion on a commercial Energy Star program would begin during NFRC’s Summer Meeting, July 28-31, in Chicago. While it is preliminary, the topic has been raised at the past two NFRC meetings. Approval of another research project to validate software; NFRC is planning to spend a quarter of a million dollars in fenestrated related research this year. Review of a number of methods for simplifying NFRC rating procedures and beginning the groundwork to revise technical documents to meet the 2009 document cycle. Beginning to look at CMA and component methodology related procedures for application in the residential fenestration market. Approval of an updated and revised glossary for publication. Agreement to investigate options for improving NFRC 400. Directing the Certification Policy Committee to develop the language for recognizing/approving insulating glass certification programs and have that language reviewed by the membership this spring.

—By Sahely Mukerji, managing editor, Glass Magazine/AutoGlass

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