Codes and Regulatory Update Covers the Gamut

February 27th, 2019 by Tara Taffera

AAMA’s Kathy Krafka-Harkema gives an overview of the myriad of issues affecting the industry when it comes to codes and regulations.

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) continues its Annual Conference in Palm Springs, Calif., and the day started with a rapid-fire update on the myriad of programs that are having or could have an impact on the glass, window and door industries. The update was given by Kathy Krafka-Harkema, AAMA’s new and codes and regulatory affairs manager.

Krafka-Harkema gave an update on the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)’s FenStar program, which is now a required part of the Energy Star program, ensuring compliance.

She also explained that the NFRC is adding new directors to its board, which raises some concerns for AAMA, which it addressed in a letter to the NFRC.

“AAMA wrote a letter to the NFRC stating that, with NFRC adding new directors to its board, this dilutes the voice of manufacturers, and that NFRC may be straying from its original intent and purpose.”

She then turned to Energy Star.

“If you have been reading between the lines, this administration has been vocal that they would like to see Energy Star move to a user fees [based] program,” she said.

Krafka-Harkema also stated that it has been difficult to get updated information from the Energy Star website due to the government shutdown. In fact, she said that AAMA has been receiving questions from members about tax credits for energy-efficient window products, and whether or not those are still available.

“Energy Star has clarified with us that that tax credits for energy-efficient products are not available,” she said.

An update was also given on the Energy Star storm window specifications that went into effect September 5, 2018, including related exclusions.

On the commercial side of Energy Star, she said more than 12,600 buildings have earned designation.

A quick update on Energy Star Canada included the country’s road to simplification.

“They have gone to the ultimate in simplification,” said Krafka-Harkema. “Criteria will be the same for all parts of Canada effective January 1, 2020. Yes, all parts of Canada will have the same criteria.”

She then gave an update on the Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC), a program out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

“Now this group will be looking at the commercial segment and things like roller shades and touting how, in their view, those can reduce glare, etc., and can help support energy efficiency,” she said.

The topic of reduced energy continued and Krafka-Harkema pointed out a good news statistic: that energy consumption in the U.S building sector reportedly dropped 4.5 percent from 2005-2017.

These decreases will likely continue as “net zero is still a topic of conversation,” said Krafka-Harkema. “Many states have incorporated this into their long-range plans.”

The presentation covered many regulations that affect the state of California, such as Proposition 65, but suggested that some states are looking at what California is doing, regarding energy efficiency. For example, New York now has a Green Procurement proposal, which includes adhesives and paints.

“Products must not contain chemicals on the Proposition 65 list,” says Krafka-Harkema. “So, Prop 65 made its way all the way to New York.”

Regarding California, the state has enacted California AB262, known as the Buy Clean California Act.

“State agencies are encouraged to look at global warming potential, or products, and must set maximum acceptable levels by January 1, 2024,” she said.

The AAMA meeting continues through Thursday. Stay tuned to dwmmag.com for additional updates from the conference.

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