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USGNN Original StoryNFRC Spring Meeting Concludes with Attachment Rating Discussions

The National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) spring meeting concluded yesterday in Nashville, Tenn., with the open board meeting. For once the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) development wasn't the meeting's only controversial topic. In fact, no CMA action was taken during the board meeting, as all of the ballots discussed earlier in the week were returned to task groups for additional work. Instead, members debated the development of a means for rating attachments (i.e. window film, storm windows, blinds, etc.).

The discussions had begun on Wednesday during the attachments subcommittee meeting. Dave DeBlock from ODL, chair of the dynamic attachments for swing doors task group, has been heading efforts to develop an attachments rating system. The system separates the way a consumer sees the window and the attachment, and provides a lettering scale rating (i.e., A products, B products, C products, etc.) for the attachment only; not the performance of the entire system. Designed as such, if a storm window, for example, was to be rated in the same fashion as a window, the performance values would be much lower than those of the windows alone. However, what a consumer might not understand is that such a rating on a storm window, once installed into the window system, will result in even greater performance numbers.

Concerns arose over one ballot negative, which said having two separate rating systems rather than one uniform system wouldn't fall under NFRC's standard procedures. Since the negative was found persuasive the subcommittee will have to go back and re-create the system.

Concerned over the fact that the attachment rating system was developed precisely according to NFRC procedure, DeBlock took the opportunity to express his concerns to the board during yesterday's meeting.

"We've completed our task. We created a way to rate [attachment] products," said DeBlock. "Using the NFRC procedure these products could now be rated and labeled." He explained that the rating system would allow consumers to assess what they need to do-replace their windows or incorporate an attachment-given their own resources.

No board action was taken on the matter. As the situation stands, the intent remains to create a uniform system for rating attachments. Whether it's the same system NFRC follows for ranking doors and windows or something different is yet to be determined.

The NFRC's next meeting will take place July 28-31 in Chicago.

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