New Program Streamlines Energy Performance Testing of Windows, Doors, Skylights

February 3rd, 2020 by Emmariah Holcomb

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) recently announced the launch of a new process that it hopes will greatly reduce the time needed for simulating, in turn helping get innovative new windows, doors and skylights to market faster. According to the council, its new Linear Energy Analysis For Fenestration (LEAFF) methodology leverages the simulation process that it has used for three decades producing fair, accurate, and credible ratings which measure the energy efficiency of fenestration products.

The LEAFF trendline methodology uses product-line characteristics to determine trendlines that replace the need to run numerous simulations separately. This establishes the windows’, doors’, or skylights’ energy performance with different options such as glazing and frame types. The council has had this in the works for a while, according to Michelle Blackston, NFRC communications and marketing senior director.

“This is a real game changer,” said Deb Callahan, NFRC CEO. “Fenestration industry professionals and the public want the most energy-efficient options possible. This streamlined process will save time and make it easier for manufacturers to get new, innovative products certified.”

Blackston mentioned six training opportunities for those who are interested in learning more about the NFRC’s latest methodology. It is important to note that there are three phases that are to be offered twice. To view the list of available training sessions, click here.

“We have a series of online training that we’re offering to all NFRC certified simulators, we’re also offering it to both members and non-members,” Blackston said. “There are three phases of training with exams that go along with it, which will give them [those participating] a certification so they know how to use this methodology. It’ll also help with their accreditation.”

All NFRC certified simulators, regardless of company’s affiliation, and all Individual Responsible Charge (IRC) personnel from NFRC-licensed inspection agencies are required to attend all phases of training and successfully pass the corresponding exams to maintain their status, according to the council. The NFRC also recommends all individual’s performing or reviewing simulations from an accredited simulation laboratory or licensed inspection agency attend the training.

“We’re still in the early stages of promoting this [the LEAFF trendline methodology, formerly known as Residential Component-Based Calculation (RCBC), for energy performance ratings] because we want to make this open to as many people as possible,” Blakston said. “This course will also provide information on the new Condensation Index (CI), which will replace the current Condensation Resistance rating. Our goal is to make it more comprehensive.”

Feedback

According to Blackston, manufacturers have yet to respond to the LEAF treadline methodology.

“I know we’ve been getting it out to them [manufacturers] because they’re always interested in streamlining and improving processes. We’re hopeful this will be well received and that there’ll be a lot of interest in folks wanting to take the trainings to help benefit their business,” said Blackston. “We’re hopeful that this methodology will offer more choices for consumers and that they’ll be able to understand the energy efficiency of the product they’re buying to make an informed purchase decision.”

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