Volume 50, Issue 12 - December 2015


Fenestration, Glass Industry Publishes New Window Product Category Rule

After nearly four years of collaboration, the long-awaited Window Product Category Rule (PCR) is finally available. The PCR was established “to provide a detailed method for developing a business-to-business (B-to-B) Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) to support comparable, informed, and objective sustainable purchasing of windows,” according to the document. The scope of the PCR is “Cradle to Gate with options.”

Funded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Window PCR conforms with ISO 14040, 14044, 14025, 21930 and the IERE Earthsure Program. EPDs developed using it will be valid for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4 Program.

The rule covers “exterior vertical window products provided by a single-source supplier using industry-wide components or windows based on North American data where available for use in buildings, including skylights, single-opening windows, curtainwalls, and storefronts.”

Development of a product category rule is the first step toward creating an environmental product declaration.

Guardian Settles With EPA
Over Pollution Allegations

Guardian Industries Corp. has reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at the company’s flat-glass manufacturing facilities throughout the United States. The company will pay a fine of $312,000. It’s the agency’s first settlement involving the flat-glass manufacturing sector.

Under the proposed settlement, Guardian will spend more than $70 million to control emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and sulfuric acid mist at its flat-glass manufacturing facilities. The company will also fund an environmental mitigation project valued at $150,000 to reduce particulate matter pollution in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Guardian’s flat glass manufacturing facilities are located in Kingsburg, Calif., DeWitt, Iowa, Carleton, Mich., Geneva, N.Y., Floreffe, Pa., Richburg, S.C., and Corsicana, Texas.

“Guardian is pleased to have reached a mutually beneficial agreement with the EPA,” said president Kevin Baird in a statement. “Guardian was proactive by initiating discussions with the EPA, and this consent decree ensures compliance at our float glass manufacturing facilities through best available control technologies, while providing reasonable operational flexibility. This agreement is aligned with Guardian’s vision to create value for our customers and the communities in which we operate. That vision includes the commitment to maintaining safe, environmentally sound operations. We are pleased to be the first float glass company to sign such an agreement with the EPA under this initiative and we have already begun the process of upgrading our facilities in the United States.”

The proposed settlement was filed in the U.S. District Court in Detroit. It resolves allegations that Guardian violated the Clean Air Act and state air pollution control plans when it made major modifications to its flat-glass furnaces that the EPA says significantly increased harmful air emissions.

NFRC Releases
New CMAST; Earns
ANS Designation

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) has released what it calls its fastest-performing version of CMAST, the organization’s commercial fenestration rating tool.

“Calculations that used to take 19 minutes now take about 11 seconds,” says Una Moneypenny, NFRC’s director of IT solutions. “It’s a vast improvement that answers our users’ call for a more efficient tool that determines commercial fenestration product energy

CEO Deb Callahan notes that developing CMAST over the past several years has given NFRC additional insight for collaborating more effectively.

“This is an important victory for NFRC and for the industry,” Callahan says. “We have a viable tool for use today, and it’s positioning us to create a sustainable business model for the future.”

In other news, the NFRC ANS Standards Committee and NFRC board of directors approved a plan to submit changes to the ANSI/NFRC 100: Procedure for Determining Fenestration Product U-factors, which have earned the American National Standard (ANS) designation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

NFRC members serving on task groups and subcommittees may continue to review and ballot the documents as necessary. Proposed changes will be held reserved until the next document cycle and public review in January 2017.

The new designation will be announced in an upcoming issue of ANSI’s Standards Action
New Database Details Health, Environmental Effects of Building Products

A new open-source, online database provides detailed information about the health and environmental effects of more than 100 building products.

The Quartz database, which seeks to promote greater transparency in building-product information, is the result of a year-long collaboration called The Quartz Project.

The database was developed by Google; Flux, a technology firm; the Healthy Building Network, which aims to reduce toxic building materials; and think, a software company.

Both life-cycle analyses and health-hazard data are integrated into a single source within the database. Quartz aggregates and standardizes the industry’s current collection of dispersed, inconsistent information into an open directory, according to its creators.

A search of “glass,” for example, provides information on laminated glass, insulating glass units, and sealants, among others.

Copyright 2015 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.