In a marketplace that’s growing increasingly concerned about creating better building envelopes to improve energy efficiency and indoor air quality, two organizations are working together: the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC).

Our recent collaboration at The Energy Expo in Miami served as a benchmark for other nonprofit organizations and educated attendees on the essential – yet often overlooked – role of building envelopes in sustainable design.

This collaboration is not just symbolic of our shared goals but also a strategic move to provide a comprehensive educational platform on the importance of the building envelope in green and healthy construction.

Attendees at The Energy Expo 2023

Jeff Steuben, CRRC’s executive director agrees. “Our two organizations share similar missions and purposes, so it makes perfect sense to be working more closely together to get our educational message out,” he said.

NFRC and CRRC delivered separate but similar presentations in Miami. NFRC’s senior director of market transformation, Tom Herron, introduced the Council’s third-party certification program and explained how to use the various entries on the energy performance label to compare windows in order to make well-informed purchases.

Sarah Schneider, CRRC’s deputy director, spoke about her organization’s focus on the roofing and exterior wall sectors, and how to use independent radiative property ratings to reduce solar heat gain and mitigate urban heat islands. She added that CRRC’s main objective is to educate the public on how cool roofs and walls reduce the cooling loads of buildings, which, in turn, curtails energy consumption.

What We’ve Learned

In addition to introducing the benefits of our respective organizations’ ratings, Herron and Schneider emphasized the value of a holistic approach to sustainable design. While components such as windows and roofs are important, the overall building envelope offers the greatest potential to maximize energy efficiency, indoor air quality and occupant comfort.

Additionally, both councils demonstrated how their rating systems can be used in tandem to make buildings more sustainable, pointing out that pairing energy-efficient windows with cool roofs and walls can significantly reduce utility costs.

“The collaboration between NFRC and CRRC went beyond merely educating the audience about energy efficiency,” said Jose Garcia, executive director for The Energy Expo. “It gave them actionable insight and a fresh perspective on the importance of making informed choices.”

I invite anyone interested in lending their voice to help share this message to contact me or Tom Herron.

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