NFRC Takes on New Task Groups
April 15, 2010
Several new task groups were instituted during the National Fenestration
Rating Council (NFRC) spring membership meeting taking place this
week in New Orleans, meaning lots of new work for the group before
its virtual meeting, July 19-21 (CLICK
HERE for more information).
the new task groups is one to consider the need for rating spandrel
Charlie Curcija of Carli Inc. brought up the issue of spandrel
panel ratings during yesterday's Technical Committee meeting (CLICK
HERE for related story). As he explained during this morning's
board of directors meeting, spandrels are "often modeled by
commercial window manufacturers and their performance is requested
by architects and code officials, but there is no sanctioned NFRC
procedure for [rating] them. Procedures used currently are often
inconsistent and wrong. Our proposal is to add spandrel panels to
list of standard products and to establish rules for validation
"There does seem to be some input from the commercial group
that they need some help in validating this," Jeff Baker of
WESTLab Inc. and Technical Committee chair told the board.
The concern of course is that spandrel panels include a wide range
of products not limited to glass.
"Spandrel panels means a host of different things so we could
be putting brick into a curtainwall and saying, 'OK, it's a spandrel
panel,'" pointed out one listener this morning.
Baker advised that upon creating the task group the scope could
limit the materials as appropriate.
Nils Petermann of the Alliance to Save Energy, a member of the
board, asked, "People are rating this to the same procedure
they're using for fenestration systems currently?"
According to Curcija, "They're not rated, but I've seen manufacturers
are modeling them and supplying them to architects
are numbers produced by manufacturers and from what I've seen it's
all over the place and mostly not correct."
Ultimately the Technical Committee agreed to form a Task Group
to investigate the technical feasibility of rating spandrel panels.
During the CMA Ratings Subcommittee, the group discussed the potential
of a re-certification period. Now that use of the CMA process is
HERE for related story), and the group is looking at the long-term
process, the discussion came up that down the road the components
included in the CMA library "buckets" will eventually
Ken Nittler of WESTLab noted that there are no provisions as to
when those frames, insulating glass components, etc., placed into
these "buckets" need to be reexamined.
"I'm worried three or four years from now we'll have these
databases with all these materials and no provisions for removing
old products," he said. "We need to know when the data
is no longer valid."
"There does not appear to be any expiration for the products
in the so-called buckets and this group will take a look at that
and make some recommendations," board member Steve Strawn of
Under its new business the Ratings Committee agreed to form an Annual
Energy Performance (AEP) Rating Task Group, despite some cautions.
Since the AEP Subcommittee has finished its task under the Technical
Committee to "develop procedures to rate the annual energy
performance of fenestration products and fenestration product attachments
in homes," according to its scope, the activity is now moving
to establishing such a rating.
During this morning's board meeting, Strawn reported that the committee
has "has accepted that challenge to develop a AEP rating,"
adding, "so we have a AEP Ratings Exploratory Task Group."
He reminded listeners that the focus is on "exploratory,"
as in this group will determine whether there is a need for such
Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting pointed out, "The board
from fall 2005 said that the technical procedure
would be developed first before a rating could be developed."
With the technical portion complete, the new task group will proceed
to investigate an associated rating.
During the Rating Committee's Labeling Subcommittee, a Tubular
Daylighting Device Label Task Group was formed, to be chaired by
Dan State of Solatube. The group was formed with the "intent
of creating language and form of matrix label similar to what we
use in the door group," explained Strawn, chair of the Ratings
Committee . "They have some concerns they will address and
that Task Group has been formed," he added.
Stay tuned to USGNN.com for further updates from the conference.
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