Volume 41,   Issue 3                             March 2006

Dear USG

What is "reasonable" for NFRC

Dear USG,

As someone who was intimately involved (as a candidate) in the recent National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) election process, I took with deep interest all of the articles in the December issue of USGlass. I think it’s of interest to Deb Levy and your readers the attitude that NFRC takes toward the public it serves. 

Recently, I e-mailed Jim Benney, the executive director of the NFRC, about a memo he put out to members regarding the election process. That memo made it questionable in my (and others) minds about the eligibility of Marcia Falke in the “fenestration” general category. Benney replied with his reasoning, but ended with the following statement that says it all: “Therefore, the board, using the reasonable judgment it is entitled to use in applying the bylaws, did put Falke in the appropriate board category.” 

So really none of what anyone writes matters. The NFRC board will do whatever it wants, wherever it wants and however it wants as long as it’s “reasonable” to them. So while they massage the rules to allow Falke to run in a category she should not, they reject people like Stan Smith of the Glass Association of North America and Darrell Smith of the International Window Film Association to run in categories that clearly allow “trade associations” because they deem it “unreasonable.”

Simply no reform will ever happen at NFRC as long as the current board can make and interpret all the rules how they see fit. Why the Department of Energy and our industry sit idly is a mystery.

Why does the NFRC membership continue to accept this type of irresponsible leadership? The only interest the NFRC seems to have in the public
 (membership), hence their 501 (c) (3) status, is placing people on the board who appear to only further certain members of NFRC’s agenda. This agenda includes development and implementation of ways and means to charge more money to label products instead of using new methods and technologies to reduce the compliance steps, thus reducing certification entities’ needs, and their associated cost. 

Why do performance products grown and developed by the fenestration (glass) industry need to be categorized by the NFRC, which, in turn, develops agencies to add cost rather than value, to the product? Why do the residential window manufacturers participating in NFRC continue to cater to the outrageous and adsorbent cost of NFRC membership? There is opportunity for change and reform, but the membership is constantly being led down a different path by what I believe is a conflict of interest-ridden board of directors.

The saddest thing is at the end of the day, communist China can spend on technology, growth and expansion while we in the USA have to spend 
on this!

Cliff Monroe 
Senior Technical Manager
Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. Inc.
Tamarac, Fla.

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