International activities, CMA rating focus of third day at NFRC Summer Meeting

By Sahely Mukerji
July 31, 2008

Four members spoke at the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee meeting on the third day of the National Fenestration Rating Council's Summer Meeting July 30 in Chicago. 

Bipin Shah, president, WinBuild Inc., Fairfax, Va., talked about NFRC’s international activities. “NFRC’s activities in the international arena are designed to foster an open exchange of information and standardization,” he said. “Ultimately, we hope that by working with other countries NFRC will contribute to a global transformation of the fenestration market and lead to the use of more energy-efficient products.”
NFRC’s international activities include: work with the Australian Fenestration Rating Council and validating Australian louver simulation methodology through hot box testing of samples at Architectural Testing, York, Pa.; in China, signing an agreement with the Ministry of Housing Urban-Rural Development to establish a fenestration rating and labeling system; in India, short-listing the Centre for Environment Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, to be the first regional energy efficiency center in the country; in South Africa, providing software training for THERM and WINDOW, and constructing a thermal chamber in accordance with NFRC requirement by November; in Kuwait, finalizing a project to construct a building component thermal testing laboratory; in Jordan, providing assistance to develop and establish a window energy rating system; and in other Gulf countries, discussing the establishment of a common window rating system for all Gulf countries.
Other speakers during the meeting were: Garrett Stone, attorney, Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts, & Stone, P.C., Washington, D.C.; John Carmody, director, Center for Sustainable Building Research, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; and Richard Carney, Energy Star program manager, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C.
Gary Curtis, West Wall Group, Salem, Ore., chaired the CMA Ratings Subcommittee meeting. Attendees voted in support of revisions to make the oversight requirements for independent and manufacturer ACE, or Approved Calculation Entities, the same.
Heated discussion ensued on whether to move the CMA Product Certification Program document forward to the Ratings Committee and to the board of directors. A number of negatives had been submitted saying that they could not approve the PCP document when documents and procedures referenced in the have not been completed.  Jeff Baker, certified simulator, WESTLab, Ontario, Rich Biscoe, vice president, Architectural Testing Inc., York, Pa., and Michael Thoman, director thermal testing, ATI, spoke against moving the document forward that still referenced other documents yet to be completed. Biscoe said it doesn't make sense to ask membership to approve the PCP and move it to the board because if someone has concern for language in a yet to be developed document there would be no opportunity to address the issue at the subcommittee level.
After considerable debate, the participants voted to keep the PCP at the subcommittee level and reballot the document once all referenced document and procedures have been completed.
Curtis stirred the debate by trying to find a way to move the document forward.