NFRC Moves Action Items During Summer
Although members of the National Fenestration Ratings Council
(NFRC) did not meet in person in July, a “virtual meeting” allowed the
group to vote on and move forward a number of activities.
The board of directors ultimately approved the lone bid from Carli Inc.
to refine the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) algorithms as part of
an Algorithm Research Project. During the bid review task group, Tom Culp
of Birch Point Consulting explained that as the group moves more toward
advanced products it’s necessary to minimize the margin
of error between those and the simpler products with which the program
The subcommittee approved the motion to accept the bid to further improve
the accuracy of CMA as it relates to advanced fenestration products.
The board voted unanimously and agreed with that motion once Jim Benney,
NFRC chief executive officer, explained that funding is available. Benney
noted that NFRC recently received approval of a five-year grant from the
Department of Energy for $400,000 a year over the next five years. The
funding will be available October 1.
The NFRC board also approved motions to extend both the Windows 6-Therm
6 Validation Research Project and the CMA Condensation Resistance Research
Project until the next meeting this fall, set to take place November 7-10
Joe Hayden of Pella Corp., chair of the Window 6 – Therm 6 Validation
Research Project, noted that while the majority of the data is complete,
further refinement is needed. Hayden said one more meeting cycle is needed
to complete the project.
Charlie Curcija of LBNL (the contractor on the Condensation Resist-ance
Factor Project) provided an update on efforts to create a condensation
resistance factor rating as part of the CMA, which would be in alignment
with NFRC 500. Curcija, how-
ever, noted, “We’re not getting good agreement [between the two ratings]
and that is a concern … we’re going
beyond the scope, but we haven’t been able to get agreement using the
Following a presentation on measuring visible transmittance of translucent
panel products, the board approved a request for proposal for the Complex
Fenestration VT Rating Research Project. During the Research Subcommittee
meeting, Yossi Vinograd of CPI Daylighting and Ross McCluney of SunPine
Consulting had given a presentation to a task group focused on im-
proving the NFRC’s ratings for translucent panel products.
Vinograd noted that currently translucent panels have solar heat gain
coefficient and U-factor NFRC ratings only; per IECC 2009, 2012 and ASHRAE
90.1, all fenestration products must provide SHGC, U-factor and visible
transmittance (VT) according to NFRC standards. He said that at this time
NFRC procedures cannot simulate translucent panel products for visible
transmittance, so manufacturers can pretty much say whatever they want
about their products’ VT. Vinograd and McCluney noted through their presentation
that there is an urgent need for a VT rating by NFRC for this class of
products and request-ed feedback from membership on the matter.
The Ratings Committee’s CMA Certification Subcommittee focused on a ballot
designed to improve the layout and information provided by the CMA label.
While there were no negatives, Nils Petermann of the Alliance to Save
Energy suggested differentiating between fixed/operable/storefront/curtainwall/entry
doors as not only metal products, but non-metal as well. The group ultimately
agreed with the revision. The ballot was approved as amended by the subcommittee
and later by the board.
The CMA Technical Subcommittee discussed the development of a procedure
for modeling spandrel systems
so they can eventually be added into CMAST. The Technical Task Group will
focus on this ballot, for which a request for proposal (RFP) had previously
been submitted. Catherine Best, chair of the CMA Technical Task Group,
noted that the RFP ballot has been put on hold due to funding concerns
and will be re-ballotted for the Fall Meeting.
Also as part of the board meeting, Benney discussed the Blind Verifica-tion
Program that the NFRC is developing. The program is designed to verify
that Energy Star-qualified and NFRC-rated fenestration products sold in
the marketplace are consis-
tent with the products listed in the NFRC Certified Products Directory.
Under the blind product rating verification pilot program, individual
fenestration products would be purchased annually by NFRC. These purchases
would be made without involvement from the manufacturer.
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