Meeting Concludes with Board-Level CMA Discussions
The National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) fall meeting,
which concluded Thursday morning with the board of directors meeting,
was light on controversy and heated debates compared to previous
meetings. The Component Modeling Approach (CMA), however, was still
a major discussion point at the board level.
|The NFRC fall meeting concluded Thursday with
a meeting of the board of directors.
Rod Van Buskirk, chairperson of the National Glass Association
(NGA), had been scheduled to address the board regarding NGA's position
on the development of CMA. However, due to a sudden illness, Van
Buskirk informed the NFRC board on Wednesday that he would not be
able to attend the meeting, and requested that a letter of NGA's
position be read during the meeting. In the letter, read by Jim
Benney, NFRC executive director, Van Buskirk stated that the NFRC's
"efforts to create a systems approach are unneeded, antiquated
and are simply a waste of the NFRC's time and resources. If created,
it is most likely that a new NFRC site-built commercial products
labeling system will simply be ignored by the domestic commercial
construction industry as the NFRC's current site-built programs
The letter went on to state, "should the NFRC attempt to place
such a system into building codes and specifications, the NGA will
oppose those efforts on behalf of the American fenestration industry
and the American public."
While several industry trade organizations - including the Aluminum
Extruders Council (AEC), American Architectural Manufacturers Association
(AAMA), the Glass Association of North America (GANA) and the Insulating
Glass Manufacturers Association (IGMA) - have been actively involved
in representing the industry, participation in the program by NGA
has been minimal.
"We'll thank the NGA for the letter and respond appropriately,"
said Marcia Falke, chairperson of the NFRC board.
Greg Carney, technical director with the Glass Association of North
America (GANA), next addressed the board on several concerns regarding
information laid out in the NFRC's 2005 strategic planning initiatives
related to CMA. One of the points he raised related to the financial
aspect of CMA and NFRC's efforts to secure funding. Carney stressed
how gaining funding from those who feel and see the need for CMA
Alicia Ward with the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and an
NFRC board member said they have been moderately successful in gaining
outside funding, but could not comment further, as they wanted to
have "final answers" before releasing more information.
Rich Karney from the Department of Energy (DOE) later said the
DOE is hoping to make a "significant contribution" to
the CMA efforts, though he did not know what the exact amount would
"It's our hope that by doing so others will support this effort,"
Providing information to customers and bringing information about
CMA to the marketplace was also a concern for Carney. He said it
would be helpful to organize discussions with those in the industry,
such as architects and specifiers, who need to be made more aware
of the program that is being developed. Ward agreed with Carney
in that it is important to have dialogue with the industry. Carney
again stressed, though, that the CMA program will affect a vast
number of people and the efforts to develop it need to involve more
than just those individuals who are a part of NFRC.
"The effort can't be successful if it's only created in this
room," Carney said. "The marketplace is bigger than just
Benney agreed and said the NFRC could use help and assistance in
educating the industry from groups such as GANA that reach audiences
that the NFRC does not.
John Lewis, technical director for AAMA, an NFRC independent administrator,
also addressed the board. He talked about how NFRC was formed to
provide a rating program for residential fenestration products,
for which there was and is a need. "But when you start talking
about commercial [fenestration] it's a completely different marketplace,"
Lewis said. He suggested the NFRC consider finding a way to separate
the CMA software tool from the certification program.
"I believe there is value in the software tools and NFRC should
explore ways to get that tool out there so the industry can start
using it," said Lewis.
The software tool is being developed to use for rating the system,
and, according to Lewis, would be a valuable tool for the industry
The next NFRC meeting will take place March 3-6, 2008 at the Loews
Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.
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