Volume 17, Issue 4- July/August 2013

IWFA Update
by John Parker

Rules to Live and Profit By

Rules govern our daily routines; from the cereal with which we start the day to the car we drive. How we follow and work to change the rules can make a big difference in the quality of our personal and business success. As an industry association, part of the mission of the International Window Film Association (IWFA) is to promote the many benefits of window film to a wide variety of governing bodies. These are organizations that develop policies or rules that guide how we do business.

An Industry Leader

The term “governing bodies” covers a large array of organizations with which the IWFA works including Congress, public safety associations, building code authorities and energy conservation groups. The overarching goal of the IWFA in its outreach, on so many levels to these groups, is to help grow and sustain our businesses.

This work by the IWFA is a key benefit that I follow closely; since above nearly everything else the IWFA does, this is an area that can impact my business success.

There are four main areas where the IWFA is working to produce the desired results with policy groups and governing bodies that impact our business. They are:

• Public safety: This includes law enforcement organizations and regulations that govern the use and application of window film on any type of motor vehicle. How safety film is used on buildings can also be the purview of many security and law enforcement staff.

• Building standards: This encompasses many areas such as construction and building remodeling for commercial, residential and public buildings. An important governing body is the International Energy Conser- vation Code (IECC). In addition, there are state and local building codes and they can differ from those of the IECC.

• Product ratings: This includes organizations involved in analyzing the performance of products under various scenarios and time periods. Examples would be the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and the Protective Glazing Council.

• Energy efficiency: Utilities and the commissions that oversee them are often interested in reaping the cost benefit of power conservation. They may offer rebate programs based on the most cost-effective products that will help them to achieve their goals. Another key area is tax rebates; these are available by federal and local governments.

Paving the Way

More than five years ago, window manufacturers were invited by the NFRC to certify the performance of their films, just like they were already doing for glass. This success came after several years of behind the scenes effort by the IWFA and others. Now, we almost take the rating for granted, but it has made running my business easier. Today, I can point to the NFRC ratings on the film we install and when asked by a customer, “How does the performance of this window film compare to a new window?” I have the answer from an independent authority and the support of the IWFA.

The same holds true for building codes. If the IWFA weren’t active in the IECC, would we find out that window film could be prevented from being installed because it didn’t have a third-party performance rating? Or in place of having building codes note the value of window film, they instead had language that prevented film from being used?

Window film is also now being published in the new California Building Standards Code, for the first time on July 1. The impact of this new step forward will put many window film businesses on a much stronger footing for their companies.

Additionally, last year we had the clarification by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding the allowance of window film on the sidelites of commercial trucks. Before this news came out, window film enforcement on trucks differed from region to region.

By ourselves, we never could afford the work that they have done. Not just in terms of funding, but in their talent and knowledge of window film and how these many policy groups, organizations and governing boards function. wf

John Parker is the president of the International Window Film Association (IWFA).

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