IG Certification for Energy Star® and NFRC Requirements Under Discussion
Though the concept of insulating glass (IG) certification for Energy Star® requirements has been around for a number of years, it has again been in the news recently. While the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) formed an IG certification task group as part of its Certification subcommittee earlier this year, the NFRC has actually been looking into the matter for years. The subject first came up during an NFRC Products Certification Program (PCP) task group meeting in January 2005 when members considered taking on the role of verifying the construction of IG units. According to Margaret Webb, executive director for the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA), IG industry representatives suggested the NFRC rely on the audits being conducted through the IG certification program auditors for such verification.
Talks of requiring IG certification for Energy Star status are actually rooted within the Insulating Glass Industry Durability Advisory Group (IGIDAG), which was formed in 2000. IGIDAG is made up of IG industry experts and representatives who work together to provide recommendations to groups such as the DOE, IGMA and other sources.
In February 2006 IGIDAG sent a letter to the DOE requesting an amendment that would incorporate its recommendation for Energy Star program participants to include the certification of insulating glass units. The letter is currently under review.
During NFRC’s 2006 summer meeting in Minneapolis Webb gave a report from the IG certification study task group.The group had made a recommendation that an IG certification based on ASTM standards, focusing on durability, not performance, would be required for all Energy Star windows.
While the DOE is considering the IGIDAG recommendation, NFRC executive director, Jim Benney, said it was not because of the DOE that they have begun considering the certification requirements for their own programs, but rather because members have brought it up in meetings.
“Many of our members and stakeholders have expressed concern about long-term performance issues, and we want to discuss IGU seal durability certification as a possible solution,” said
Representatives of the commercial glazing industry also see IG certification as a positive step for the industry. “Participation in an IG certification program provides manufacturers an independent system for conformation of their quality assurance and helps ensure long-term product performance,” said Greg Carney, technical director the Glass Association of North America (GANA), who serves as the NFRC voting member for
USGNN.Com Announces the Launch of Live Blogs
The USGNN daily email newsletter and its associated message forum, are offering registered users the opportunity for first-hand interaction with movers and shakers in the industry, including USGlass magazine editor Ellen Giard. The web-based logs, or “blogs,” are the first of a series of special features that will be launched through the magazine's message board.
Each blogger will update his or her blog on a specific day and discuss very specific topics relating to the glass industry, ranging from architecture to decorative glass and a weekly recap. The blogs will be accessible only through the message forum and are updated weekly.
The board is free, but to protect against spam and abusive posters, visitors are required to register with a user name and a login. Valid e-mail addresses are also required, though there is an option not to have it displayed on posts.
USGlass magazine unveiled the new look and layout for its online message boards earlier this month. The boards, which serve as a forum for the industry to discuss important topics and trade advice, have been undergoing a redesign to make them more user friendly and welcoming.
Different topic areas have been created, allowing visitors to easily identify discussions of interest. The general headings include general commentary, safety, getting started and a product finder/discussion area; each heading is subdivided into more specific topics. Under the heading of product finder, for example, visitors can look into discussions about product information, requests, recommendations or even classified ads.
Visit http://usglassmag.com/phpBB2/ to visit the USGNN/USGlass message boards and take advantage of the online services offered there.
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