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USGNN Original StoryNFRC Fall Meeting Underway in Tempe, Arizona

The National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) fall meeting began today at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel in Tempe, Arizona. The component modeling approach (CMA) labeling requirements task group met this morning and members reviewed label certificate ballot responses, and some members spoke out concerning the information that is included on the label. Greg Carney with the Glass Association of North America said it's important that architects, code official and others who read the label can relate to and understand the information on the label.

Jim Benney, NFRC executive director, during the opening session.

"This needs to tie back directly to the specification," Carney said. "The architect needs to be able to see the label in plain English and know that he has what he needs to have. It needs to be in the same language as the specification."

Bipin Shah with WinBuild Inc., agreed with Carney.

"We want to help the person identify what the product is and if we can get that [type of] format I strongly suggest we use that," Shah said.

Charlie Curcija of Carli Inc., who serves as task group chair, said they would make a recommendation to the subcommittee that the language used on the label would be harmonized with what is familiar to the architectural community.

During the opening session that followed the task group meeting, Marcia Falke, chairperson of the board from Keystone Certifications Inc., began with a welcome to everyone for attending. She also used the time to inform members of current board decisions. She said that while there have been previous discussions and concerns with the NFRC allowing manufacturers to serve as approved calculation entities (ACE), the decision was made and remains that every manufacturer ACE must operate with 100-percent independent inspection agency review.

Falke said that NFRC must adhere to the principles of independence on which the group was created.

"We want to balance the desires of our members with the need to maintain our program integrity," Falke said. "We like the idea of random sampling … but to allow it right now when everything [i.e. development of the CMA program] is not yet determined, is too big of a leap of faith right now."

Also during the opening session, Jim Benney, NFRC executive director, recognized new board members, as well as outgoing board members. New or re-elected to the board are: Steve Strawn from Jeld-Wen; Joe Hayden from Pella; Steve Farrar from Guardian Industries; Tony Rygg from the California Energy Commission; Steve Selkowitz from LBNL; and Steven Rosenstock from Edison Electric Institute. Outgoing board members are Jim Larsen of Cardinal IG; Alicia Ward from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and Chuck Anderson from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association.

In addition, Benney announced that the NFRC/CMA prototype software, a tool that he says will allow manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, etc. to model fenestration systems, is available for a 30-day review.

"It will provide standardized information on potential product performance," Benney said. He added that they are still working to finalize licensing agreements and deployment.

Members and attendees were also given the opportunity to comment or ask questions. Carney spoke out on the subject of cost-an issue regarding the CMA program that has been a concern for many in the commercial industry.

"Is the benefit greater than the cost?" Carney asked. "I don't think we're there yet. Complexity and layers add cost and if cost is greater than the benefit you will have a tough time getting to the marketplace. You will not be successful if the benefit is not greater than the cost."

The NFRC meeting continues through Thursday morning. Check back to™ each day for meeting news and updates.

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