NFRC Summer Meeting Starts in Minneapolis

The National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) summer meeting began Monday morning at the Crowne Plaza Northstar Hotel in Minneapolis. The meeting opened with discussions held by the tubular daylighting devices task group, PCP task group, optics implementation task group, NFRC 101 and 103 standards revision task group and the fenestration glossary and terminology task group.

The revision task group addressed negative ballots to continue moving the standards forward.

William duPont of Synergy Consulting had recommended to not approve the Procedure for Determining Thermo-Physical Properties of Materials, NFRC 101, unless the group looked into using additional standards, such as ASTM F 433, to help with testing.

"One of the things I was trying to do was add things to make this more versatile," said duPont.

After discussion, his comment was withdrawn with a recommendation for the task group to look into further testing.
With regard to NFRC 103, Verification Program for Thermo-physical Property Data, the group discussed the cost of the challenge procedure to the council and reasons for having a peer review of all labs and manufacturers, as NFRC-accredited labs are not peer reviewed for timeliness.

Following these sessions, the membership filled the Great Lakes Ballroom to sit in on the component modeling approach road mapping task group (non-residential), a ratings subcommittee, chaired by Mahabir Bhandari of Carli Inc. Reports were offered by the three non-residential working group/task groups, and presentations were made on desiccant materials and spacer grouping. The group also discussed new business; among other topics, the members discussed the procedure for certifying custom walls and the possibility of simplifying the testing and simulating procedure to keep from putting custom wall manufacturers at a disadvantage.

Following the membership luncheon and opening session, at which executive director Jim Benney stressed the council's continuing goal of simplification, the technical interpretation policy committee, accreditation policy committee and certification policy committee offered reports on their activities since the council's last meeting. Next, the labeling forum opened a discussion of the types of NFRC labeling-temporary labels, permanent labels and label certificates-and the information required on each type of label.

Tuesday's meeting began with comments on the new thermal comfort rating task group, chaired by Jim Larsen of Cardinal Glass Inc. The board had approved a thermal comfort rating research project at its spring meeting, and the task group was then formed to develop a board recommendation for further consideration of the project findings. At the current meeting, however, discussion was held on whether or not the creation of a thermal comfort rating really fell within the scope of the NFRC, as well as how the group should be organized to proceed.

"Our discussion here today is do we want to pursue a rating," said Larsen. "Using a statistical basis, can we come up with a measure where the bulk of the population is comfortable?"

At the end of the discussion, a motion was passed to maintain the task group under the technical committee to investigate a thermal comfort rating.

The research and technology committee meeting began next with reports from the long-term energy performance subcommittee. Margaret Webb with the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) presented information on insulating glass (IG) certification. The group has proposed a goal of having all ENERGY STAR®-rated products to also include IG certification.

Webb explained that IG product lines would be certified for durability, as the durability of the units leads, in turn, to reduced energy usage and increased probability of remaining energy-efficient "over the long haul."

Richard Karney with the U.S. Department of Energy acknowledged that he had received the report from Webb and stated that although he had a few questions remaining, he "feels this is the way to go."

The optical properties subcommittee heard discussion on, among other topics, the ballot to add Optics 5 to the list of approved NFRC simulation computer software programs, in accordance with the stand-alone document "Creating a Laminate in Optics for NFRC." The subcommittee voted to move the "Laminate in Optics" procedure forward to the research and technology committee and to add Optics to the list of approved software, implementation immediately following staff training of simulators and IAs (Independent Certification and Inspection Agencies). Later in the day, the research and technology committee voted to put this before the board of directors.

The research subcommittee heard several reports and much debate on new business.

Charlie Curcija with Carli Inc. addressed the ballots on the "Condensation Resistance Procedure for the Non-Residential Component Modeling Approach."

One point brought up by the subcommittee was the correlation between the NFRC's condensation-resistance (CR) number and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association's condensation resistance factor (CRF). By shifting the order of some items in the document, the subcommittee resolved to first study CR and then potentially look into its correlation with CRF.

The "Development of Visible Transmittance Procedures for Complex Products" request for proposal (RFP) also generated detailed discussion, since this proposal would lead to a laboratory's creation of testing equipment for the project. The question was asked where the test apparatus would go once the research was complete-if funded by the NFRC, the argument said the equipment should go to the council rather than the participating lab.

"In the bid process that [ownership of the equipment] will resolve itself," said David DeBlock of ODL Inc.

Today's meetings continue with reports to the technical committee and the ratings committee. Considerable discussions during the ratings session are likely, as participants are expected to review responses to the recent balloting of the draft Component Modeling Approach (CMA) (formerly called Component Based) Product Certification Program. Balloting resulted in six approvals, one approval with comment, 19 negatives and 17 abstentions.

The meeting continues through Thursday, July 27.

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