When members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) met last week in Orlando, the Codes Action and Regulatory Affairs Committee briefed attendees on a wide variety of codes and standards that could have a far reaching effect, if put into place. Following are a sampling of some of those items, as well as some funding opportunities of which the industry may want to take advantage.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came up a few times in the discussion, the first being a piece of legislation many in the industry would be happy to see, if passed.
According to the Secret Science Reform Act of 2014, EPA “shall not propose, finalize, or disseminate a covered action unless all scientific and technical information relied on to support such covered action is specifically identified; and publicly available in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results.” The legislation was introduced on February 6, 2014 and was referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
Also discussed was EPA Draft Guidelines for Product Environmental Performance Standards and Ecolabels for Voluntary Use in Federal Procurement, developed by EPA and the General Services Administration.
The program would help identify which private sector standards and ecolabels federal purchasers should consider when buying greener products. Comments must be received on or before April 25, 2014.
AAMA’s Maureen Knight also briefed attendees on funding available from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for Fenestration Attachments Rating Certification. Up to $1.4 million is available to the organization that oversees the project over a four-year period.
The entity would develop a certification and rating program and maintain an electronic database of fenestration attachment product performance (U-factor, SHGC and VT) data that is publicly accessible. Included products for use in residential and commercial buildings include: blinds, shades, shutters, storm panels and awnings.
AAMA sent a letter to EERE in support of the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) being chosen to develop and maintain the program.
Another opportunity from EERE, on behalf of its Building Technology Office (BTO), was announced on February 4, 2014 and interested parties have until April 21 to submit proposals. Areas of interest include energy efficiency solutions for residential and commercial buildings. EERE is seeking innovative energy-efficiency technologies, approaches, or design tools not already supported or targeted by the BTO. Another area of interest includes highly insulating building envelope components, specifically, visibly transparent building envelope components. “There are technical and economic goals for this area that are significant improvements of current technology. Performance metrics include ≥ R-7 (residential) and ≥ R-5 (commercial),” according to the EERE’s website.
Finally, Jeld-Wen’s Ray Garries, co-chair of AAMA’s Regulatory Affairs committee, updated the industry on the new Energy Star requirements. While version 6 just came out, he encouraged the industry to start looking toward the next version as well and attend an upcoming fall 2014 stakeholder meeting in Washington, D.C.
“With Energy Star’s next version we have a lot of work cut out for us,” he said. “So plan to make a trip to D.C. and make sure they hear our voice.”