Volume 43, Issue 9 - September 2008

Codes & Regulations

NFRC Summer Meeting Attendees
Hear Further Discussion on CMA

Anumber of issues were taken under consideration by the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) board of directors during its summer meeting in July at the Conrad Chicago Hotel. One item approved by the board of directors was the Certification Policy Committee’s insulating glass (IG) certification program. Roland Temple with AZS Consulting brought the revised proposal, which calls for an implementation date of July 2010, to the board’s attention. This change makes IG certification mandatory for any window to be NFRC-certified.

Since NFRC parameters only address energy performance, some members pointed out that IG certification shouldn’t necessarily be required for units that are not specifically energy efficient, such as those that are clear glass, air-filled.

John Lewis, technical director with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), asked the board to note his statement that it “reconsider inclusion of factors that have no bearing on the energy performance of a window.”

In regard to the Component Modeling Approach (CMA), several items were brought forward by the Technical Committee, which is chaired by Jeff Baker of WESTLab. The board approved CMA Frame Grouping Rules and CMA Spacer Grouping Rules language for NFRC 100. The board also agreed to provide guidance and “binding direction” regarding CMA Frame Values language for NFRC 100 and NFRC 200, and whether the document should include generic values.

The Ratings Committee, chaired by Steve Strawn of Jeld-Wen, requested the board’s approval of the CMA label certification as approved by the labeling subcommittee. Garrett Stone of Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts & Stone P.C. spoke out against the motion, saying there was no rush to approve the label being that the rest of the document is not complete.

“The new label certificate contains a page of non-certified values. Do we want [this] to have a page of non-certified values?” asked Stone. He then moved a motion to table the decision until the next board meeting, which was carried by the board.

“It’s the board’s responsibility to verify we’re doing the right thing … we need time to think about the true impact of that document …” said board member Mike Thoman of Architectural Testing Inc. “We’re not stalling the process; we’re just evaluating our responsibility as directors.”

Several subcommittee members said they did not want to see the Product Certification Program forwarded to the board when the other documents are not done. One suggestion was to forward the document to the board, but not implement the program until the other documents are completed. NFRC chair Joe Hayden of Pella Corp. said the document could be moved forward and then held at the board while other documents are completed.

Some members spoke against this, however, saying that once the PCP leaves the committee level the members no longer have influence over the document. A motion was ultimately made that the PCP remain with the subcommittee until the reference documents are completed.

Later, as part of the Ratings Committee meeting, the group asked the board for guidance on how to go forward with the reference documents. Hayden said the issue would be discussed off line.

Several task groups also met and made some progress during the meeting. During past meetings, the validation task group has worked to develop language for the framing validation testing portion of the CMA procedure. Chair Thoman explained that at the last meeting the group struggled to define what it was exactly working to validate within CMA.

One point he raised during the meeting is the fact that framing products for CMA—mainly aluminum and steel— are very different than the framing materials with which NFRC is most familiar: those used primarily with residential window products, wood and vinyl. Some members said it would be more beneficial to the nonresidential industry to rely more on simulation procedures rather than validation testing, for these.

“I think we should look at putting a plan in place to move toward a pure simulation approach,” said Lewis. Thoman responded, “Our [NFRC] background in simulation doesn’t really apply to aluminum products. Our experience is in simulating wood and vinyl products … and we have less data on the CMA products,” he said.

Lewis suggested a research project that could define the parameters that cause the variations in the product types.

These comments will go through a new task group feedback request vehicle (similar to a task group ballot) in order to prepare and finalize the language before it is sent to subcommittee.

During a meeting of the CMA subcommittee, Charlie Curcija of Carli Inc. reported on the work of the non-standard products task group. This task group has conducted a research project to determine whether non-standard products—those not a part of the original CMA development, such as sloped and structural glazing—can be included in CMA. Curcija said the task group’s simulation research has determined that these products can be included. Some members however were not in complete agreement.

Thoman pointed out that the CMA language must explain exactly how the products fit in.

“We need to spell that out in the document or reference the software,” said Thoman, who explained that for these products the language has not yet been covered in the technical documents.

Greg Carney, technical director for the Glass Association of North America, said that when it comes to commercial construction anything beyond basic storefront and curtainwall products is completely custom and non-standard. He stressed the importance of ensuring that the CMA will be able to handle the diversity of these products.

“You have to look at the custom side [of commercial glazing] and that’s a continuous process,” said Carney.

According to Curcija, CMA is able to handle these non-standard products.

During a meeting of the Optical Properties subcommittee, chaired by Sheila Gore of Enermodal Engineering, members discussed a number of ballots for revising NFRC 300/301 and NFRC 302/303/304 as part of the 2009 document cycle.

Some subcommittee members expressed concerns about substitution of the glazing data set currently being used in the NFRC 300 ballot as there are some differences between the way that ASTM standards detail requirements compared to those of the International Standards Organization (ISO). There was discussion about moving to the international procedure, which would result in slightly different optical and thermal product performance than manufacturers and fabricators publish for their glass product constructions. According to Carney, such a major change for the industry would require considerable discussion.

The documents will return to task group for further review and re-balloting. During the air leakage subcommittee meeting, chaired by Thoman, members discussed an action item from the springboard meeting in Nashville (see April 2008 USGlass, page 16). Since determining air leakage performance is already covered by other industry programs, the subcommittee has been discussing whether NFRC 400-2004 should be removed from the 2009 documents. The group decided NFRC 400 should remain in the 2009 documents, but would heavily reference the AAMA 101 document in the technical specification.


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