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USGNN Original StoryCMA Subcommittee Rejects Ballot to Remove Default Values for Frame Grouping Rules

The frame grouping research ballot was a major discussion point during the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) - technical subcommittee meeting this morning, part of the National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) fall meeting. Tom Culp from Birch Point Consulting has been heading the project and reported to the group on the negatives that have been received.

The default values for framing products were a concern to some members who questioned the validity and accuracy of certain numbers. Mike Thoman of Architectural Testing Inc., submitted a negative requesting that the default table be removed. "The table should be removed as it's not appropriate for [determining] an NFRC 100 rating," he said Thoman. "I have issues with using default values as I do not think it's in alignment with NFRC's mission."

There was a great deal of debate among members over whether the default values should be further reviewed or removed all together.

Culp spoke out against the motion to remove the default value table. He said having the default values would make it easier for manufacturers, especially smaller companies, to use the CMA program, as with this they would not have to have every one of their own products tested and rated. Culp suggested that the ballot go back for further review and research, but that the default table remain.

Jeff Baker from WESTLab, and chair of the technical committee, spoke strongly in favor of removing the default table.
"I'm not sure that default frame numbers, when there are huge variables, [will provide] accurate and credible results," Baker said.

Others agreed with Culp that having the default values would be good.

"It simplifies what the industry is looking for," said Mike Manteghi from Traco, who also serves as the CMA - technical subcommittee chair. "There are a lot of standardized products already out there."

After much discussion, members voted on the motion to remove the default table, and the majority, 32 to 16, voted against it. A motion was made and passed to keep the default table, but to further review and research the information for accuracy and credibility.

Baker said he felt this was a "substantial departure" from the NFRC, and said the matter would require direction from the board. After speaking to NFRC staff and board members, though, Baker retracted his concerns, as he said the work of the subcommittee on the frame grouping rule is in line with what the board had agreed to previously. He said the board would consider using the default values for framing materials.

Meetings will continue this afternoon and conclude tomorrow morning with the NFRC board meeting.

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