Energy Star, ISO and IG certification update
Some important industry code and standard changes are underway, according to presenters during a joint meeting for the Insulating Division of the Glass Association of North America, Topeka, Kan., and the Technical Services Committee of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, Ottawa, Ontario. The meeting was held March 26 at the IGMA Annual Conference and GANA Glass Week conference.
- The Energy Star program is undergoing major changes, said Jim Krahn, advanced research manager, Marvin Windows, Warroad, Minn. The program, formerly run by the U.S. Department of Energy, has shifted to the control of the Environmental Protection Agency.
An update on Energy Star criteria for windows is on the horizon, and could include new requirements for air infiltration, life-cycle analysis, field testing, durability and installation. The EPA is also considering implementing a dual tier system, with a “super star” or best-of-class level, Krahn said. A tentative timeline sets completion of the initial analysis by Spring 2011, the stakeholders meetings and finalized criteria by Fall 2011, the 270-day waiting period before enforcement, and launch of the new criteria in early 2013. However, Krahn speculated that early 2014 is a more likely estimate. “For the window manufacturers in the room, this affects you. Be engaged,” he said. “Sometimes you think you might not make a difference, but if you just sit back, they are going to move forward with what they want to do.”
The DOE started discussions about a commercial window Energy Star program, and the EPA has kept this proposal on the table. However, no specific plans have been made, Krahn said.
- Two of four insulating glass standards for ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, are nearing completion, said Bill Lingnell, president, Lingnell Consulting Services, Rockwall, Texas. Parts one and two, dealing with climate testing and chemical fogging, are “basically finished standards,” Lingnell said. Parts three and four, gas testing and edge seal attributes, are in the final standard review process. “This isn’t a totally done deal, but we’re very close to accomplishing that part,” Lingnell said.
- “There is enormous volatility in [insulating glass] certification—the most dramatic time in my 20 years [in certification],” said John Kent, administrative manager, Insulating Glass Certification Council, Sackets Harbor, N.Y. Kent attributed that volatility to National Fenestration Rating Council, Greenbelt, Md., requirements for IG certification on any unit to be used in an NFRC-certified product. Kent said he has not necessarily seen a jump in licensees, but has seen a “tremendous amount of testing going on” for new products. “A lot more people are looking at certification,” he said.
The certification community is also faced with growing questions about the certification of more complex IG units, and “we have to stay ahead of the wave,” Kent said. “Alternate labeling, decorative inserts, triple panes, bent units. A lot of people are asking ‘what if,’ and we need to fill in the holes and clarify.”