NFRC Subcommittees Meet Today in D.C.
The National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) convened in Washington
D.C. this morning at the DoubleTree Hotel to wrap up its week of
meetings with its technical committee block, including the solar
heat gain subcommittee, U-factor subcommittee, condensation subcommittee,
software subcommittee and CMA technical subcommittee.
Jeff Franson of Mikron led the condensation subcommittee meeting,
and reported on the condensation resistance pamphlet that the committee
is working to develop. The pamphlet contains three basic sections,
"what is condensation?" "how is condensation reduced?
And what is the condensation resistance rating? Franson noted that
the subcommittee's most recent action was the addition of a chart
showing some ranges of condensation resistance taken from the NFRC's
database to the subcommittee's document.
After some discussion regarding the specifics noted in the chart,
Patrick Muessig of Azon USA Inc., made a motion to remove the material
specific to framing chart that intends to show material specific
ratings and replace them with a more general range. The motion was
seconded and 27 voted in favor of the motion, 3 opposed it and six
abstained. In addition, it was agreed to change the notation "CR"
throughout the document to the notation "condensation resistance
rating." Joe Hayden of Pella, Iowa-based Pella Corp., led the
report on WINDOW 6/THERM 6 for the software subcommittee and noted
that right now, the subcommittee is hoping to get some response
from the industry on the program.
"We're definitely looking for feedback from the manufacturers
on software," Hayden said.
Christian Kohler of Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory also contributed
to the update on the software. He noted that version 6.1 of the
WINDOW 6 and THERM 6 software was released in October, but with
no major changes for basic products. He did note that the software
can specify any coverage percentage and the subcommittee's goal
is to add more and more validation to the software.
Tony Rygg of the California Energy Commission also provided an update
on the Component Model Approach software specification task group
and noted that the first bidders conference has been held and the
second is already on schedule.
Mike Manteghi of Cranberry Township, Pa.-based Traco Inc., chaired
the Component Modeling Approach technical subcommittee meeting with
Gary Curtis of the Salem, Ore.-based WestWall Group serving as sub
In the subcommittee [meeting], Mahabir Bhandari of Amherst, Mass.-based
Carli Inc., provided an update on the CMA technical program World
Map task group and Michael Thoman of York, Pa.-based Architectural
Testing Inc., led the update on the CMA validation test task group.
Likewise, Jeff Baker of WestLab, led the update on the CMA spacer
grouping task group and Charlie Curcija of Carli Inc., provided
updates on the CMA frame grouping RFT task group and the CMA condensation
resistance RFT task group.
Thoman noted that the task group still has lots of work before it
on its scope.
"The task group will continue to need to do work on the parameters
on exactly what's tested, so we'll continue after this meeting,"
Baker advised that the spacer task group has set before it three
basic paths, spacer manufacturers can follow under the component
modeling approach. Path one will be a simple path for spacers that
contain no metal.
"This is the solution for spacer manufacturers that don't want
to do any work but just want to get the spacer in the system,"
Path two will be more specific but still a bit more generic than
path three-a basic rating will be given to the spacers in this path.
Path three will allow spacer manufacturers to have their ratings
calculated on a range of measurements of the spacer.
Tracy Rogers of Cambridge, Ohio-based Edgetech IG, brought forth
a negative regarding paths that the CMA spacer task group presented,
which led to a heated discussion among those in attendance. He asked
the question, "If there is sputtered aluminum foil in a spacer
is that considered metal?"
Rogers expounded further upon his point.
"We need to set a limit-do some research and find out what
that limit is," he said. "The whole basis for what NFRC
is doing is based on science."
Curcija in turn came forward for a motion.
"I motion that part one of Tracy's negative is persuasive.
If the thickness of the metal is less than 10 microns, it doesn't
constitute metal in the spacer," Curcija said.
After much discussion, this motion was not sustained. Roland Temple
of PTG Industries, of Bradley, S.C., then motioned to consider part
one of Rogers' negative persuasive and send the issue back to the
task group. Baker, who chairs the spacer task group, objected to
this suggestion, noting that path one is for a small number of spacers
only and to do further research on this issue would not be worthy
of the group's time.
"If there is metal contained in the spacer, it just pushes
you into path two, and that's not a punitive or more costly path,"
To this discussion, Temple responded with another motion.
"I'd like to make another motion to find item one of the Edgetech
ballot to be non-persuasive and group one stays as it is-metal is
metal," Temple said.
Twenty-one voted in favor of Temple's second motion, none voted
against and Rogers abstained.
Next, Thomas Culp, of Birch Point Consulting LLC, motioned that
it be recommended to the board that section 22.214.171.124 be deleted from
the document and replaced with the following wording:
"Framing components shall be tested as a whole product unit,
in an insulating glazing unit as selected by the manufacturer in
accordance with NFRC 102 and in accordance with all frame and validation
grouping rules. Validation shall be determined by the equivalence
criteria of section 4.7.1 of this document."
The majority of those in attendance voted for Culp's suggestion
and it was put through to the board.
This afternoon, the group will hold its ratings committee block
meetings and tomorrow the week's meetings will conclude with the
NFRC board meeting.
-by Penny Stacey