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USGNN Original StoryNFRC Summer Meeting Opens in Chicago

The National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) Summer Meeting opened today in Chicago at the Conrad Chicago Hotel. The Component Modeling Approach (CMA) was a major part of this morning's agenda, with the labeling, validation and technical task groups all meeting.

Unlike some past meetings, the labeling task group, chaired by Charlie Curcija from Carli Inc. was brief. The group discussed minor comments from a label certificate ballot, which will next be brought to the subcommittee for further discussion and approval.

Frank Fisher from Arcadia Inc. speaks up during the CMA technical task group meeting.

The validation task group meeting, chaired by Mike Thoman from Architectural Testing Inc., followed. During past meetings the group has been working to develop language for the framing validation testing portion of the CMA procedure. Thoman explained that at the last meeting the group struggled to define what it was exactly working to validate within CMA.

"I've put together some language that we can discuss so that we can put together a ballot by the next meeting," said Thoman, who added that this language was "just to get the ball rolling" in the right direction.

One point raised by Thoman during the meeting is the fact that framing products for CMA-mainly aluminum and steel-are very different than the framing materials with which NFRC is most familiar-wood and vinyl-those used primarily with residential window products.

Some members raised concerns, though, that it would be more beneficial to the non-residential industry to rely more on simulation procedures rather than validation testing, which the industry already does.

"I think we should look at putting a plan in place to move toward a pure simulation approach," said John Lewis from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA).

Thoman responded, "Our [NFRC] background in simulation doesn't really apply to aluminum products. Our experience is in simulating wood and vinyl products … and we have less date on the CMA products," he said.

Lewis suggested a research project that could define the parameters that cause the variations in the product types.

"We need to look to alternative approaches to try and tackle whatever problems there are on the simulation level," said Lewis.

Thoman said they will next take these comments and language through a new task group feedback request vehicle (similar to a task group ballot) in order to prepare and finalize the language before next sending it forward to subcommittee.

The CMA technical task group, chaired by Mahabir Bhandari with Carli Inc., also met this morning to discuss four ballots. At the task group level, however, most members chose not to comment or discuss their negatives and/or comments, since the concerns will again be covered and discussed during tomorrow's subcommittee meeting.

NFRC summer meetings continue through Thursday this week. Stay tuned to for more news and coverage of the event.

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