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NFRC Spring Meeting: Task group to look into spandrel rating, labeling feasibility

Post Time:Apr 23,2010Classify:Industry NewsView:164

The Component Modeling Approach Technical task group met during the Greenbelt, Md.-based National Fenestration Rating Council’s Spring Meeting, April 12-15, in New Orleans. There, Charlie Curcija, president, Carli Inc., Amherst, Mass., the developers of the Component Modeling Approach Software Tool, raised the need for rating and labeling of spandrel systems on buildings.

Some participants question the need for the CMA software tool to address the spandrel areas of commercial construction projects, and say that the effort might not fit under the current NFRC definition of fenestration: “Fenestration: Products that fill openings in a building envelope, such as windows, doors, skylights, curtain walls, etc., designed to permit or limit the passage of air, light, vehicles or people.”

During the development of the CMA rating, technical and certification documents, members of the commercial industry asked if spandrel area glass and backup insulation, fire-proofing and interior finish materials would be covered by the program, and were reportedly told that they would not, along with all glass entrance systems, glass doors and revolving doors. Since spandrel conditions could include a multitude of possible products and systems -- brick, precast concrete, composite aluminum panels and granite – thiscould turn out to be an expensive test.

The Technical Committee agreed to form a Task Group to investigate the technical feasibility of rating spandrel panels.

While directed at the CMA databases, Ken Nittler, simulator, WestLab, London, Ontario,raised a question regarding the need for re-examination of data after a period of time, which could affect cost for having information in resources such as the International Glazing Database developed and maintained by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. While Nittler talked about removal of old product data, he also mentioned periodic reviews of all data. This would again add cost to the programs for both commercial and residential applications.

Other issues at the meeting

--Another major point of interest for the glass industry is efforts being brought before the Optical Properties Subcommittee and its Optical Spectral Data Task Group calling for changes to the NFRC procedure for determining optical spectral data for materials entered in the International Glazing Database. As proposed, the procedure would extend U-factor calculations to the third decimal point and to a value that most glass manufacturers/fabricators and engineers feel would not justify consideration.

Industry members noted that there hasn't been question or concern voiced by the engineering community and that assessments have not been developed to provide justification for additional cost that would result and affect both existing and new product technologies. Jim Larsen, Cardinal Glass Industries Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., agreed to chair an effort to study comments and address negative ballot responses.

-- NFRC is on track for a July 1 requirement that insulating glass units supplied for certified fenestration products must be certified by a third party certification program, such as Insulating Glass Certification Council, Sackets Harbor, N.Y.,or Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, Ottawa. The NFRC Web site notes that the FAQ's for the insulating glass certification have been updated as of March 2010. NFRC materials also note that the certification programs typically require between 21 and 26 weeks to complete at this point in time.

--Other task group meetings discussed added factors/materials, as NFRC attempts to address a number issues related to attachments such as interior and exterior shading devices; awnings; applied films; garage/rolling doors; and tubular skylights. A task group is currently working on an attached awning rating feasibility research project.

The total number of attendees at the spring meeting was 135, with 31 new attendees. While wall system manufacturers such as Efco, Monnett, Mo., Kawneer, Norcross,Ga.,YKK, Austell, Ga., Oldcastle Glass' Terrell, Texas, facilities, and Traco, Cranberry Township, Pa.,participated, other notable companies such as PPG, Pittsburgh, and Viracon, Owatonna, Minn.,did not attend the New Orleans meetings. The only "glazing contractors" on the attendee list were Benson Industries, Portland, Ore.,and Enclos Corp., Eagan, Minn.

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