Research and Technology Block Get NFRC Virtual Meeting Underway
July 19, 2010

The National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) first ever "virtual meeting" is currently underway. Sessions began earlier today with the Research and Technology Committee Block, which is chaired by Werner Lichtenberger of Truseal Technologies. A number of task groups provided updates on their various activities throughout the course of the meeting.

The Research Subcommittee, chaired by Bipin Shah of WinBuild, Inc., was the first of today's sessions. Joe Hayden with Pella gave an update on the Window 6/THERM 6 validation research project, which he said has been progressing. He expects completion and a final report by the fall 2010 meeting. Willie duPont with Sunergy also gave a status report on the validation features of the new software feature of Window 6/THERM 6, which are currently under development with new capabilities.

duPont said they are working to perform and coordinate data collection to validate the new features. He said they've performed 26 tests for solar heat gain and 20 tests for U-factor and are now performing the simulations.

Also during the meeting Lichtenberger provided an update on the gas permeability research project, an IGMA project that NFRC is co-sponsoring. There are two phases left to the project. A task group will work on developing a test specification under the supervision of the IGMA technical services committee. The last phase of the project will be writing the specification.

In addition, Steve Strawn from Jeld-Wen updated the group on the ventilation rating project. The intent of this task group is to develop a standard method so that net clear openings are all calculated the same way. The group had created a revised scope during a July 9 meeting, which was approved during today's subcommittee meeting.

The Optical Properties Subcommittee, chaired by Sneh Kumar with Traco, also took place today. Mike Rubin with Lawrence Berkeley National (LBNL) gave a report on some of the priorities of the optical properties task group. These include inter-laboratory comparisons (ILC) for specular glazing materials; research and standards for diffused glazing and shading materials; laminates with embedded coatings; and validation of emissometers; among others.

In addition, Rubin provided an update on the status on international standards. Regarding solar optical standards, he said EN 140 and ISO 9050 are being revised and ASTM E903 is being reinstated and revised. He also said that they are trying to harmonize with the Chinese standards and will be having a meeting on this in August at LBNL.

Also during Optical Properties, Mudit Saxena with Heschong Mahone Group and Roger LeBrun with Velux talked about the activities of the Daylighting Rating task group, which is working on a daylighting ratings project. Saxena said the project is split into two phases; phase one will focus on residential and light commercial, while phase two will be for commercial projects. The purpose of phase one, Saxena explained, is to compare products' daylighting potential; determine total lumens getting into the space; and to show the value of daylighting for energy efficiency and human factors.

On the other hand, phase two will provide designers and energy consultants with more details about transmitted luminous flux distribution of fenestration products.

"The information can then be used by energy consultants to estimate daylighting energy savings potential," said Saxena.

The Thermophysical Properties subcommittee, chaired by Charlie Curcija with Carli Inc., was the last subcommittee to meet as part of the Research and Technology committee. Ray McGowan, NFRC staff liaison, reported on the thermophysical property manufacturer specific submissions and also gave the thermophysical properties ILC update. Regarding the submissions, he said since April they have received 14 new material submissions, and they continue to receive more. Two reviews have been put out and he hopes to have a document completed next week. On the thermophysical properties ILC update, McGowan said he is working to pull the completed report together and should be able to have it out for review within the next couple of months. All of the preliminary results, he said, were within two standard deviations.

The NFRC's meetings continue this afternoon and run through the board meeting on Wednesday. Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for more meeting reports.

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