Volume 43, Issue 6 - June 2008

Dear USG

IGMA Director Issues Statement about NFRC
Dear USGlass:

A number of industry representatives decided not to respond the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) most recent round of ballots on the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) program, letting NFRC know that our reason for not submitting ballots was NFRC’s lack of responsiveness to the industry (see April 2008 USGlass, page 16). 

I, and others in the industry, have been trying to work with NFRC for some time but have met with a lack of success in attempting to influence NFRC’s CMA program to satisfactorily address the needs and requirements of the commercial industry. While the NFRC membership has voted repeatedly on the same issues supporting proposals from the organizations representing the commercial industry, it’s my opinion that the final results have not reflected the consensus of NFRC’s total membership—specifically the commercial side. Items such as spacer systems, development of additional libraries and sub-assemblies, oversight of the manufacturer approved calculation entity (ACE) and lack of streamlining the process have all been incorporated into the program and the software under development against the wishes of many individuals in the industry. One of the more contentious items is the development of frame grouping rules that have been returned to the task group for re-development.

There were three negative ballots submitted on the recent CMA product certification program (PCP) ballot. At this past meeting, Gary Curtis, chair of the CMA ratings subcommittee cited this as a success for the program. However, industry member Rich Biscoe of Architectural Testing Inc. corrected Gary, noting that many of the members of the industry, including the trade associations, have publicly stated that they do not support the system and have intentionally not submitted ballots. I agree with opinions Rich expressed at the meeting: a lack of negative ballots should not be construed as a measure of success. Rather, it is a measure of the lack of support by the commercial industry for the program and a sad statement on the NFRC process. It appears that NFRC is poised to finalize its CMA program by January 2009 even without the support of the industry. Whether the program will be successful remains to be seen. What benefit will the program serve if the industry ignores it, just as they have ignored the present site-built program? 

NFRC was created 17 years ago to address problems in reporting thermal performance values most of which were laid at the doorstep of seemingly “fraudulent” manufacturers. This underlying tone of unjustified mistrust of manufacturers continues today. All stakeholders that attend the NFRC meetings have conflicts of interest; many times these interests are diametrically opposed. The existence of conflicts is not surprising or even a “bad” thing. What is surprising is that no one seems to think it important enough to point out clear conflicts or question proposals that are of benefit only to the proponent. Politeness appears to take precedence over naming conflicts when you see them. It’s interesting and discouraging to me to attend an NFRC meeting as a representative of manufacturers, yet feel marginalized because we support a cost-effective, streamlined program, while it appears to me that other stakeholder groups that financially benefit from NFRC programs are heralded as defenders of the “public good.” 

It’s enough to make one want to stand up and say, “The emperor has no clothes.”

Margaret Webb
IGMA Executive Director

In a Perfect World
Dear USGlass:

I would like to comment on “pay when paid” (see February 2008 USGlass, page 60).

A subcontractor who agrees to this cannot possibly stay in business if he tells his suppliers: “You get paid when I get paid.” Subcontractors rely on their suppliers and must pay promptly after delivery of materials or services. The alternative is that the suppliers will stop deliveries. 

In business it must be the buyer’s responsibility to pay for goods and services received. From time to time, I have walked away from contractors insisting on the clause. Sometimes it was deleted. Sometimes I “buckled under.” It’s not a perfect world. 

Helmut Guenschel 
Helmut Guenschel Inc.

Pointing Out More Options 
Dear USGlass:

Regarding Dez Farnady’s column in the October 2007 edition of USGlass (see October 2007 USGlass, page 8), I would like to point out the availability of 10-mm “Sunergy” Green and Azure manufactured by AGC Flat Glass Europe. “Sunergy” is a pyrolitic low-reflectance, low-E glass even better suited to the application being discussed in Mr. Farnady’s article—high light transmission with excellent shading and thermal properties. 

Alan Hunter
Export Sales Manager, AGC Flat 
Glass North America
General Manager, AMA Glass Corp. n 

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