Volume 43, Issue 12 - December 2008

News Now

CPSC Issues New Filing, Labeling 
Requirements for Safety Glazing

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently published a final rule as part of its Federal Register, 73 Fed. Reg. 68328 that addresses the conformity certification required for consumer products, including architectural glass used in hazardous locations, which are subject to safety rules under CPSC jurisdiction. In its ruling, the CPSC addressed a number of areas including how the certificate will need to be filed, including electronic formats, and the information that must be included in the certificate. 

As a result of numerous requests and comments regarding the need to have a means for electronic certificates as an alternative to paper certificates, the CPSC now allows certifications to accompany the product and be furnished to distributors and retailers electronically.

“The new regulations formally allow for use of an electronic certificate for safety glazing,” says Julie Schimmelpenningh, architectural applications manager with Solutia Inc., who is also actively involved with a number of industry organizations focused on safety glazing, including the Glazing Industry Code Committee (GICC), the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z97 and the Glass Association of North America (GANA). “In the past the glazing used in doors and door leaves as outlined in CPSC 16 CFR 1201, or safety glazing required in hazardous locations as defined in the model building codes, either had to have a permanent mark on the glazing indicating performance compliance to CSPC 16 CFR 1201 or a paper certificate that went along with the glazing. Now, with this regulation change, the documentation may be electronic.”

Another change brought forth by the regulation is the amount of information that must be included on the certificate. The required information includes:
• Identification of the product covered by the certificate;
• Citation to each CPSC product safety regulation to which the product is being certified;
• Identification of the importer or domestic manufacturer, including the importer or domestic manufacturer’s name, full mailing address and telephone number;
• Contact information for the individual maintaining records of test results, including name, e-mail address, full mailing address and telephone number;
• Date (month and year at a minimum) and place (including city and country or administrative region) where the 
• product was manufactured;
• Date and place (including city and country or administrative region) where the product was tested for compliance with the regulation(s) cited above; and
• Identification of any third-party laboratory on whose testing the certificate depends, including name, full mailing address and telephone number of the laboratory.

Another regulation change involves accessibility to the certificates by both the customers and CPSC. 

“What this means to the glazing industry is potentially the development of a transparent tracking and certification system and access to those records for any glazing deemed as a ‘safety’ product. This may mean the development of online access or some other form of data acquisition that can be designated to allow review as necessary for the products that are sold as safety glazing,” Schimmelpenningh says. “This regulation went into practice effective immediately on November 8, 2008.”

NFRC Approves Language for 
Component Modeling Approach

After nearly five years of work and hotbeds of controversy, the board of directors of the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) has approved language for the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Product Certification Program (PCP). A number of other discussion topics were covered at the Fall Meeting, held in November in Jacksonville, Fla.

During a meeting of the CMA technical task group, chair Charlie Curcija of Carli Inc. said there were open discussions still in need of clear direction; he explained there were still a few pending issues as far as how to model some of the “more complex products.” These included rules for integral mullions, spandrel and spacer height, which the CMA Technical subcommittee discussed. During that meeting its chair, Mike Manteghi of TRACO, made two motions to approve the validation testing and frame grouping ballots. Both carried and were sent to the board for its ultimate approval.

During both the Certification Subcommittee and the PCP Review members discussed language changes concerning acceptance of the insulating glass certification program. Members of the Certification Subcommittee successfully balloted PCP language for insulating glass certification. The group asked the full committee for approval and implementation upon publication with a mandatory date of July 1, 2010. The motion carried at committee level and was sent on to the board where it also passed.

The Rating Committee, including the CMA - Ratings Subcommittee, chaired by Gary Curtis of West Wall Group, reviewed ballot negatives and comments regarding the CMA PCP.

There was much discussion of the allowance for default frame values. Some members have argued that including default values will be easier for commercial manufacturers, ensuring that they would not have to model/simulate all of their products. The negative, however, was found non-persuasive. 

During the Ratings Committee meeting that followed, Curtis reported that the all the ballots had been resolved and received committee approval to move the PCP forward for board approval. The motion carried and was brought forward to the board, which unanimously carried the motion to approve the CMA PCP.

During the U-Factor Subcommittee meeting members discussed the NFRC 100 negative ballots against having two rated sizes for each product line.

According to Randy Van Voorst of Quality Testing Inc., having more than one size would “muddy the water,” because it would allow every product line to have two different numbers for U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC).

Ultimately, the subcommittee voted against having more than one size. Subcommittee chair Mike Thoman pointed out that the issue of rating actual sizes would still need to be covered.

“Disparity in the information we’re putting out about products is what caused this …” Thoman said. “The commercial guys have a valid point and we will need to discuss it at some point.” 

Willie DuPont of Sunergy Consulting provided a report on the Window 6 and Therm 6 validation research. He explained that the software programs have new capabilities for calculating SHGC and U-factor for glazing products that cannot currently be modeled or simulated, including fritted glass. The first part of the research task is to compile and evaluate existing SHGC and U-factor test results and compare physical testing against simulated testing based upon the software.

The Optical Properties Subcommittee reviewed NFRC 300 and 301 ballot negatives. One negative stated that the inclusion of ASTM G197 in Section 7.2.5 represented “the first step in adopting a new spectral weighting function into NFRC’s programs that may significantly increase SHGC and VT ratings …”

Joe Hayden of Pella Corp. spoke up and said, “This is big. If approved, is the Department of Energy (DOE) prepared to adjust Energy Star® criteria accordingly?” Hayden made a motion that the negative be found persuasive and substantive and recommended that the implementation of NFRC 300 be delayed until at least April 1, 2009. The issue will be reballoted.

The NFRC’s next meeting will take place March 2-5, 2009, in Tucson, Ariz. 


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