Scott Hanlon, NFRC’s Program Director, explained to members this morning that the organization’s Residential Component-Based Calculation (RCBC) program will enable manufacturers get their products to market faster.
One of the primary advantages of the RCBC program is that it reduces the amount of manual labor involved in calculating various ratings.
“Our research is ongoing, and we’re making steady progress,” Hanlon said. “We’re developing a white paper to help members better understand exactly how the program works.”
Discussion during this morning’s U-factor Subcommittee session included reviewing a motion aimed at simplifying adherence to NFRC’s ratings for pre-hung doors.
One of the changes balloted by the Door Task Group to ANSI/NFRC 100, Procedure for Determining Fenestration Products U-Factors, called for adding an optional rating method for side-hinged exterior doors referenced as the “Simplified Door Rating Method” (SDR).
In this method doorglass assemblies and door slabs are modeled separately, providing a door pre-hanger with simplified process for acquiring a rating for exterior door systems that use doorglass assemblies from one supplier and a door slab from another.
Members voted to send the document back to the task group, asking them to publish the findings that verify the procedure.
The opening session during the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) annual Committee Week Meeting in Annapolis included a panel discussion on the future of Net Zero energy.
The distinguished panelists included Daniel Huard, from USGBC Nevada and founding partner of Humann Building Solutions.
During his presentation, Huard pointed out that Net Zero energy is quickly becoming a sought after goal for many buildings around the globe, each relying on exceptional energy conservation and on-site renewables to meet all of its heating, cooling, and electricity needs.
He added that the true performance of many homes and buildings is overstated and that actual Net Zero Energy structures are still rare -- but only for the time being.
Huard and fellow panelists Ellen Vaughan, Policy Director for High Performance Green Buildings, with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute in Washington, D.C. and Kiere DeGrandchamp, President of High Performance Homes, in Gettysburg, PA also explained that the industry is poised for considerable growth.
One especially positive sign is that an Executive Order from President Obama mandated that by 2015, 15 percent of existing Federal buildings conform to new energy efficiency standards and that 100 percent of all new Federal buildings be Zero-Net-Energy by 2030.
One of the most important things about purchasing energy efficient windows, doors, and skylights is finding a manufacturer who will stand behind their products and provide good customer service well beyond the initial sale.
When you see the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) energy performance rating label on windows, doors, and skylights, it’s telling you they have been independently tested and certified to perform as advertised.
As with any other product, however, performance ratings are merely a snapshot. The product may not retain its original performance values throughout its lifecycle.
For example, a window’s U-factor might change if the gas filler between the panes of glass leaks when a seal fails. It can also change if low-E coatings, frame conductivity, or suspended films become compromised.
Similarly, the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) may change as coatings, tints, or laminated/ suspended films degrade over time.
Additionally, badly-worn weatherstripping, a warped frame, or inoperable hardware can increase air leakage.
It’s hard to foresee whether any of these things will happen and even more difficult to predict their impact. That’s why you need a reliable warranty to protect your purchase. Be sure to talk with others who own similar products, and ask the seller these questions:
Is the warranty pro-rated?
Is it backed by the seller or the manufacturer?
Is there a cost to service the window if a warranty issue arises?
If you sell your home, is the warranty transferable? If so, what is the cost?
Who will service the warranty if the company goes out of business before it expires?
“Lifetime” is a term likely to be included in any warranty, but it doesn’t always mean what it implies. Many consumers interpret this as the owner's lifetime, the lifetime of the product, or the lifetime of the manufacturer. The definition, however, can vary.
In Colorado, for example, the law doesn't define the word “lifetime” when used in a contract. In fact, it can mean whatever the person offering the warranty wants it to mean — as long as they tell you.
California, on the other hand, requires lifetime warranties to cover at least three years.
Finally, keep in mind that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says a warranty period that is not clearly defined constitutes deceptive advertising.
Before you get too impressed by any warranty for windows, doors, or skylights be sure to read the fine print -- no matter what anyone tells you – and be sure you know for yourself exactly what it covers.
An online report says maximizing energy efficiency depends on educating building occupants.
In certain cases, features designed to save energy are simply mentioned in meetings or emails, often leaving occupants without a thorough understanding of the role they play in influencing the buildings overall energy use. The report says educational programs designed to help people interact with buildings can lead to improvements.
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) empowers consumers who are in the market for energy efficient windows, doors, and skylights.
NFRC is an independent, third-party certification organization. Its ratings represent the only way consumers can be sure these products will perform as advertised.
Under its Retailer Program, NFRC helps window, door, and skylight retailers educate their customers at the point of purchase. It does this by providing free fact sheets retailers can use to explain the energy performance numbers found on the NFRC label.
NFRC created its Retailer Program after noticing an increase in the number of calls from consumers inquiring about how to make the best purchasing decision for themselves.
NFRC has received positive feedback from many of its nearly 250 participating retailers.
It’s easy to get involved. Retailers simply need to contact NFRC. It will ship fact sheets to retailers atno cost and re-stock supplies as needed.
"Everybody wins," says Tom Herron, NFRC’s Director, Communications and Marketing. "Consumers get the information they need at the point-of-purchase, retailers improve the likelihood of making sales rather than having their customers go home to think about it, and NFRC gets some recognition.”
Retailers can learn more about the program by contacting NFRC’s Communications Manager, Robin Merrifield.