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Ratings council makes advances with IG certification

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:116

The National Fenestration Ratings Council of Silver Spring, Md., will move forward on an insulating glass certification program, despite concerns about the effect on smaller manufacturers that don’t currently certify. The membership and board made the decision to develop an implementation plan for IG certification during NFRC’s Spring Meeting, March 5-8 in Austin, Texas. “There was strong support from the attendees to have some sort of IGU certification ties to NFRC certification,” says Jim Benney, NFRC executive director. “The board of directors approved moving forward on the concept of such a requirement, but will wait on setting requirements and implementation dates for such a program until they get more input from the task group on the various necessary parameters that the program should require.” According to an NFRC survey, about 67 percent of IG units used in NFRC-rated products are already certified, says Margaret Webb, executive director for the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance of Ottawa, Ontario. “The major concern for adding this requirement centered on the cost for those fabricators who do not currently certify,” Webb says. Greg Carney, technical director for the Glass Association of North America in Topeka, Kan., says the survey indicated that, “the vast majority of larger manufacturers—the same manufacturers that are producing the vast majority of units—do certify. … It’s a concern for smaller manufacturers who don’t certify and are current participants in NFRC. This might bring up some additional complexity for those individuals.” Other concerns centered on the technical justification for the requirement. “IG certification would provide some improved confidence about the quality and durability of the IG unit, particularly for ensuring that any claimed argon fill was actually done,” says Tom Culp, owner of Birch Point Consulting LLC in LaCrosse, Wis. “It doesn’t answer every question, and it ignores durability and long-term energy performance issues with other parts of the window, like differences in frame materials. But it’s a start.” The IG certification program comes at the request of the U.S. Department of Energy, as reported in the Nov. 12 edition of e-glass weekly. A DOE representative at the meeting “noted that DOE is neutral on the concept of NFRC requiring certification. But, they are strongly in support of certification in general,” Carney says.

-By Katy Devlin, e-Newsletter Editor, e-glass weekly

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