NFRC putting final touches on CMA pilot project

Sahely Mukerji, Glass Magazine
July 30, 2009
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : MEETINGS AND EVENTS

Greenbelt, Md.-based National Fenestration Rating Council officials are putting the final touches on the group's Component Modeling Approach Pilot Project and extending an invitation to all interested parties to participate.

"We’re in the home stretch, and we’re very excited about the new software and the pilot program because we’ll soon have a chance to put our hard work to the test and demonstrate the benefits of CMA," said Jim Benney, NFRC executive director, in an interview. "We need to finalize the CMA Software Tool--CMAST--before we can launch the CMA pilot program. At the Baltimore meeting, our consultant showed data to the membership which demonstrated that the software accurately measures thermal performance."

At NFRC's Summer Meeting July 20-23 in Baltimore, Charlie Curcija, president, Carli Inc., Amherst, Mass., provided a live demonstration of CMAST during the board meeting.

Curcija described and demonstrated CMAST’s ease of use and the multiple benefits it provides users. These include client-based and Web-based functionalities, including the ability to maintain libraries of component data, define projects, assemble components and  calculate whole-product ratings, according to a July 23 NFRC News Now report. Version 1.1 of CMAST will be released by Oct. 30.

The release process will unfold as follows, Benney said: "The consultant will complete and submit a final report to the Software Approval Task Group. After the task group approves the report, we will post it on the NFRC Web site for membership review. The CMA Steering Committee will also review the report. Once those reviews are complete, and any outstanding issues are addressed, the report will go to the board for final approval."

When CMAST is in place and the foundation for the entire program has been set--including accrediting labs and IAs and approving ACEs, or Approved Calculation Entities--NFRC will launch the pilot program in late August or early September, Benney said.

"During the pilot program, we want to encourage early adopters who see the benefits of utilizing this new program for obtaining credible energy ratings for fenestration products and who need label certificates for specific projects," Benney said. "Specifically, we will: thoroughly vet the software program under real operating conditions, so we can address any issues that weren’t addressed during development; test out the CMA program itself, in order to make sure the various pieces–communication and transfer of data between labs, IAs, manufacturers and suppliers–work together seamlessly; and promote the benefits of the program to the commercial fenestration industry."

John Lewis, senior manager of business and outreach, NFRC, added: "The pilot program is also intended to allow us to interface with a subset of all the various stakeholder groups—code officials, general contractors, design professionals, architects, owners, etc.—to work through the process from start to finish and determine if there are program enhancements that can be implemented prior to the full deployment that will facilitate the implementation of the program.”