Code Group Denies Industry Proposal to Allow AAMA 507 as NFRC Alternative
November 3, 2010

The efforts of some commercial glazing industry groups were defeated during the recent International Code Council hearings when EC172 was again disapproved. The proposal, which was submitted by a number of industry trade organizations, including the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, the Glass Association of North America and the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, among others, would have allowed AAMA 507 to be used for code compliance, in addition to NFRC.

The proposal would have allowed U-factors and SHGC for storefront and curtainwall in commercial buildings to be determined in accordance with AAMA 507. As the proposal stated, "when AAMA 507 is used, the product performance shall be documented by a certificate of compliance, as described in AAMA 507, that is signed and submitted to the code official by a registered design professional. The product line testing and simulation, as described in AAMA 507, shall be conducted in accordance with NFRC 100 and NFRC 200 by an approved, accredited, independent laboratory."

Another proposal supported by some industry groups was EC165, which was submitted by the New Building Institute and the American Institute of Architects. The proposal was approved by public comment and revises the prescriptive fenestration criteria, including U-factor and SHGC. It includes an option for 40 percent window-to-wall ratio, increased skylight area and U-factors that increase energy efficiency. Based on the addition of another public comment, though, the nonmetal framing window category was removed, and the U-factors for metal framed products were further lowered to match the values recently overturned in ASHRAE 90.1's addendum "bb."

Likewise, proposal EC173, submitted by the U.S. Department of Energy was also approved. This code change requires a minimum amount of skylights in certain building types, such as big box stores, warehouses, etc.

On the residential side, proposals EC140 and EC141, both of which were disapproved, called for restoring the ability to take credit for installing high efficiency HVAC equipment, which would increase the flexibility for trade-offs in other envelope components, such as doors and windows.

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