Volume 40,   Issue 10                          October  2005

Energy&Environment

NFRC Board Provides Annual
Energy Performance Guidance

National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) board of directors provided “detailed direction” to its Long Term Energy Performance (LTEP) and Annual Energy Performance (AEP) subcommittees and task group leaders. 

When discussing long-term energy performance's role within NFRC, the board directed the LTEP subcommittee to “revisit” its scope and identify a series of questions in order to develop an educational effort that would provide consumers with information variables that may impact fenestration energy performance over time. Prior to the meeting, the group had been developing a voluntary test procedure for fenestration manufacturers to evaluate changes in energy properties over time.

This board decision, however, is not without controversy. According to Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting LLC, who served as the chairperson of the LTEP task group, both NFRC membership and its board of directors approved the original scope of the LTEP subcommittee during the summer meeting in Quebec City. Culp said that it was during the “semi-private” meeting of the board of directors that the group voted to reverse its own earlier action, as well as that of the membership.

“This is one more example where certain board interests take one action in public, then take the opposite action once they are out of public view,” said Culp. “I question if certain members are truly voting in the interest of the public as they claim, if they are taking completely opposite positions in public and private meetings.”

During the meeting the NFRC board recommended that the AEP subcommittee first develop a calculation procedure known as “NFRC 901” and then a rating following board review. They also required that any procedure brought forward from the membership must:
• Provide for variability. The final product must be a range and may include other considerations such as climate zones, Energy Star® or code maps;
• Provide for a minimum of at least two ratings; it will include heating and cooling and may also reflect climate zones or other factors; and
• Include user-specific variable behavioral inputs/modifications (i.e., 
thermostat set points, shading and orientation).
The board also provided guidance regarding approval requirements. Specifically: 
• Any assumptions must be supported by research and must be sound 
technically;
• The intended audience is the consumer and/or builders in both new and existing markets. Any rating procedure is not intended for code use; and
• The rating program that is developed for AEP must be “administrable” by NFRC within fiscally responsible parameters and must be consistent with NFRC’s 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status. NFRC’s intellectual property rights in any proprietary product produced by NFRC for AEP must be protected.

Energy-Efficient Buildings Are Becoming More Popular
Michigan, Washington and Arizona have joined the ranks of states that have adopted guidelines for energy efficient buildings.

The new guidelines either require or encourage the construction of government-financed buildings to conform to follow the LEED program. The General Services Administration, which serves as landlord to most federal agencies, has also adopted the program to apply to its buildings, said a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Washington state passed a law requiring the use of the LEED program for state agencies in April. The use of the program is required in California as well, where Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order for it in December. Maryland, however, has not made LEED mandatory for its construction projects, but the state legislature passed a bill encouraging it.

Individual cities can require the use of the LEED program as well for local projects, and Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle are among those that have.

The growing popularity of LEED has caused trepidation in some members of the timber and plastics industries, who argue that it “discriminates against their products by not considering the total life-cycle benefits of certain materials.”

Vistawall Group Project Earns LEED Silver Award
The new Lillis Business Complex of the University of Oregon, designed by the Portland architectural firm SRG Partnership, was not only designed to be a green building, but has also earned LEED silver status. With a desire to use daylighting as an interior lighting source, Lease Crutcher Lewis Construction, general contractor, and Pacific Glass, glazing contractor, selected products from the Vistawall Group to meet this demand.

Working with the architect and solar consultant, Vistawall Architectural Products incorporated solar voltaic glass modules into its CW-250 curtainwall. Wiring harnesses were also routed back into the building connecting DC/AC converters.
Other products used from the Vistawall Group included the Multiplane storefront system with zero sightline operable project-out windows from Moduline. Moduline provided the 3-foot, 9-inch and 7-foot, 8-inch extra large vents for the job as well.

ASHRAE Commissioning Guidelines Assist in Sustainable Design
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has issued a new guideline, Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process, to describe how to verify that a facility and its systems meet the owner’s project requirements and define sustainable development goals. 

The National Institute for Building Sciences (NIBS) will be using the guideline as its Total Building Commissioning Process Guideline and is the foundation for a series of commissioning guidelines dealing with specific disciplines (HVAC&R, envelope, lighting and fire protection) to be issued by ASHRAE and NIBS, according to ASHRAE.

Energy-Efficient Buildings Are Becoming More Popular
Michigan, Washington and Arizona have joined the ranks of states that have adopted guidelines for energy efficient buildings.

The new guidelines either require or encourage the construction of government-financed buildings to conform to follow the LEED program. The General Services Administration, which serves as landlord to most federal agencies, has also adopted the program to apply to its buildings, said a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Washington state passed a law requiring the use of the LEED program for state agencies in April. The use of the program is required in California as well, where Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order for it in December. Maryland, however, has not made LEED mandatory for its construction projects, but the state legislature passed a bill encouraging it.

Individual cities can require the use of the LEED program as well for local projects, and Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle are among those that have.

The growing popularity of LEED has caused trepidation in some members of the timber and plastics industries, who argue that it “discriminates against their products by not considering the total life-cycle benefits of certain materials.”


USG
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