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Going Green: NFRC Discusses the Future of Green Building at 2019 Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Monday, July 29, 2019

This summer, the 22nd Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum convened 30-40 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. In every state across the country, these technologies are having a significant impact in business development and job creation in the manufacturing, transmission, power, transportation and building sectors. Michelle Scism, manager of quality and compliance, represented the National Fenestration Council on a panel about energy efficient buildings and the benefits of NFRC’s fair, accurate and credible ratings.

Over the past 30 years, NFRC has been a go-to resource on energy efficiency and green building for policy makers. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 established NFRC as the official rating council for windows, doors, and skylights. Windows, just like a home appliance, can be ENERGY STAR certified, and our ratings are what determines Energy Star certification.

During this energy efficient buildings panel, Michelle discussed NRFC’s impact on the following:

·         Reducing waste: Inefficient windows can cost $50 billion annually in energy waste. NFRC’s mission is to continue to bring that number down through ratings that secure the entire building envelope. For instance, HVAC efficiency is counterproductive if windows let too much heat in during the summer or leak heat during the winter.

·         Green building is in high demand: New York, D.C. and other cities are putting mandates in place because consumers want energy efficient buildings. NFRC has the data and science to help consumers and policymakers during this transition.

·         Independence and accuracy: Just like your car's MPG is measured NFRC ratings help you understand how your windows will perform.

As high-demand as energy efficient products have become, everyone also wants to know that what they buy works the way it’s supposed to. Just like the label on food tells you about how many calories you’re taking in, NFRC’s label tells you how the window will perform in the heat and the cold. It takes away the guesswork and instills confidence that NFRC-certified windows are compliant and tested by the best science and engineering standards out there.

Energy efficient buildings are a fast-growing part of the green economy and offer tremendous opportunity. Commercial and residential customers want to reduce their carbon footprint while using high-quality products. As more municipalities implement mandates and look to capitalize on the economic opportunity offered by green buildings, NRFC’s rating system provides visibility into the efficiency savings of certified windows, doors and skylights. 

For 30 years, NRFC has worked with local, state and federal policy stakeholders to educate them and provide resources to inform their decisions. With the recent push by cities across the country to establish mandates for energy efficient buildings, NRFC looks forward to contributing to this momentum and facilitating the transition to energy efficient and green buildings.

 

Tags:  clean energy  energy efficiency  energy performance  Green building  sustainability 

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NFRC’s 30 Years Started with Humble Beginnings

Posted By By Deb Callahan, Thursday, June 27, 2019

Thirty-years ago today, a small group of fenestration professionals met in a hotel to discuss the need for an independent organization to produce fair, accurate and credible energy-efficiency ratings for windows, doors and skylights.

Since that day in June 1989, the National Fenestration Rating Council has paved the way for fenestration products to save consumers money and make their homes and offices more comfortable. NFRC’s ratings and the work of its members address the billions of dollars annually lost from inefficient windows.

As we celebrate the great people who laid the foundation for exemplary work, we still have more to do. Market demand for energy efficiency in buildings is rising, and policymakers around the country are pushing for stricter green building mandates. But our members and staff are poised to meet these challenges.

We’re proud to serve NFRC’s 800 manufacturers and program participants whose innovations make homes and offices more efficient. And consumers get the peace of mind knowing that NFRC-certified windows, doors and skylights are backed by our fair, accurate and credible ratings and research.

Our ratings will always be at the forefront. However, we realize that green buildings need energy-efficient fenestration products. We want to educate and inform the public and empower industry stakeholders to create more comfortable spaces with NFRC-certified products.

Tags:  30th Anniversary  fenestration  ratings 

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NFRC Heads to Vegas for AIA 2019 to chat Green Building Standards

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Thousands of industry experts will soon descend on Las Vegas to attend the AIA 2019 Conference on Architecture, taking place from June 6-8. NFRC will be onsite at booth #4316 in the exhibit hall to help attendees learn how our data and research helps inform green building best practices.

New York City, Washington, D.C., and other localities are implementing strong energy efficiency mandates. Architects, builders and manufacturers are facing growing pressure to ensure that windows, doors and skylights meet these new standards. NFRC’s fair, accurate and credible ratings make this possible.

With 30 years of data and research experience, NFRC is ready to help architectural stakeholders prepare for the future. Our staff of experts can help those in the building industry consider how to incorporate energy efficiency goals into the design and build phase as seamlessly as possible.

NFRC will have the following representatives onsite at the AIA conference:

  • Daniel Huard, Global GreenTag Americas CEO, NFRC Board Vice Chair, and a Global LEED Fellow
  •  Tom Herron, NFRC Senior Director of market development and engagement and a LEED Green Associate
  • Jeremy Browning, NFRC Development Manager

Stop by booth #4316 and follow us on Twitter @NFRCRatings for more information.

Tags:  architectural  ener  energy efficiency  fenestration  Green building  sustainability 

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D.C. Codes

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Tuesday, May 7, 2019

NRFC hosted representatives from the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) on Feb. 21 at its Greenbelt, Md., headquarters. The officials from the DCRA green building division participated in a workshop on NFRC’s residential and commercial building programs.

Program directors Scott Hanlon and Steve Urich led the meeting, walking attendees through the processes and standards for residential and commercial fenestration product certification and the ratings’ impact on building codes.

“NFRC establishes a level playing field for consumers, manufacturers and is the only certified ratings program recognized by the government,” Hanlon said. The fair, accurate and credible ratings create standardization across the industry while helping promote energy efficiency.

The first half of the workshop focused on NFRC’s residential building program. Code officials learned how standardized test methods at independently-operated laboratories help inform the ratings on the label. In addition, they got an in-depth review of the certification process each product undergoes before coming to them for approval.

In the second half of the workshop, Urich discussed how to best reach code compliance in commercial buildings. He presented the component modeling approach (CMA) as a way to see how individual components impact overall energy efficiency. This is important in large scale building projects, because components can be easily adjusted for any particular job.

Hanlon and Urich then presented best practices when using the certified products directory (CPD) to verify if products are NFRC-certified.

One question that kept coming up was, “How much of the building envelope needs to be certified?” While the answer varies on each building it’s important that code officials leverage NFRC as a resource to ensure code compliance in their buildings. 

Tags:  energy efficiency  energy performance  fenestration  windows 

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NFRC Holds Its 2019 Spring Committee Meeting

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

NFRC will hold its 2019 Spring Committee Meeting in Baltimore from March 25 to 27. As the nation’s leading authority on energy performance ratings for windows, doors, and skylights, it’s a can’t miss event for fenestration professionals.

At the three-day event, attendees will discuss industry best practices, updates to NFRC’s ratings data and consider all of the aspects of fenestration that impact the comfort and energy use in homes and offices nationwide. The meeting also features a presentation by a representative from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley National Labs and Volunteer Leaders Network sessions to provide members with career skills and guidance.

Agenda topics will include diffuse glazing, nonplanar solar materials, and warm edge spacers.

“The demand for green building is continuing to grow, and NFRC’s ratings for windows, doors and skylights play a key role in servicing that demand,” said NFRC CEO Deb Callahan. “This is a great opportunity to look back at what we’ve accomplished, but also examine what’s ahead and how to continue positioning our organization and its members for success.”

Founded in 1989, at the meeting NFRC will continue to celebrate its 30th anniversary with the “30 Voices for 30 Years” campaign. It’s our chance to look back at the contributions of members and staff that helped build NFRC’s reputation. Those efforts established its ratings as the gold standard for fair, accurate and credible fenestration product certification. You can click here to submit your own story.

Tags:  diffuse glazing  edge spacers  fenestration  industry  solar materials 

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Mission Possible: Celebrating 30 Years of Fenestration and Opening Doors for the Future

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Author: Deb Callahan, Chief Executive Officer

Change is inevitable, yet many membership organizations are reluctant to embrace it, afraid to take risks. After 30 years, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is doing just that. We are kickstarting our Mission Possible campaign to commemorate our long history of advancing energy efficient windows, doors and skylights nationwide through our ratings and certification programs.

Since 1989, we’ve been the science behind the Energy Star label. The NFRC label itself has helped customers make informed purchases based on our rigorous tests and standards to measure energy efficiency. Fast forward to 2019 and there have been several milestones, including creating our commercial ratings program and the FenStar Certification Label. And we’re just getting started.

At our recent Membership Meeting, we unveiled NFRC’s new mission and vision that reaffirm our commitment to the fair, accurate and credible ratings of windows, doors and skylights, but with a twist. Our ratings will always be at the forefront. However, we realize that green buildings need energy-efficient fenestration products for the health benefits to the buildings’ occupants, and to save money and reduce energy consumption. Energy-efficiency is a priority for us and we want to educate the public about environmental responsibility, empower architects and building designers to create more comfortable spaces and enrich the wellness of those who choose NFRC-certified products.

Over the years, our members have been the driving force behind our success. They are the real value to the organization and their passion for energy reliance performance is felt at every meeting. Our members inspire us to continue innovating and advancing energy-efficiency in fenestration products.

As part of the Mission Possible campaign, we’re asking members to send us stories of how their business has grown, improved or transformed in the last 30 years and how NFRC has positively influenced this progress. We will share these stories on our community site to be published in 2019. Have a story to share?

Send us your entries here.

Tags:  energy efficiency  energy performance  fenestration 

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NFRC Shares Fenestration Rating Program with Chinese Delegation

Posted By Tom Barnett, Friday, January 4, 2019

The Chinese government, which wants to promote energy efficient windows, doors and skylights throughout China with a national green building standards program, joined NFRC to learn about the systems and procedures in the United States.

To get a better understanding, 15 Chinese building officials and engineers led by the Shandong Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development met with NFRC’s executive leadership team at their corporate headquarters in Greenbelt, Maryland. As the leading organization that establishes the energy performance rating for windows, doors, and skylights, NFRC sees this meeting with the Chinese as an opportunity to help them develop a comprehensive rating system for their residential and commercial products.

Chinese Delegation

“This group of Chinese engineers from Shandong Province met with NFRC program staff to learn about the rating system process used in the United States.”

NFRC provided the delegation with a high-level overview before answering specific questions regarding the program and government involvement. NFRC executives highlighted the role the industry and their approach to providing residential and commercial buyers with the information they need to make a purchasing decision.

The Chinese delegation was interested in NFRC’s mission of advancing the improvements of windows, doors and skylights. The delegation wanted to understand how to achieve this without promoting one company over another. NFRC explained that they are able to produce and create a level playing field with their Product Certification Program consisting of test labs, simulations and independent certification. 

NFRC also discussed collaboration between other associations and industries including the international fenestration industry, EnergyStar of the United States and the International Energy Conservation Code. This was an important part because the Chinese delegation wanted to ascertain how NFRC works with other industries and the government to execute their mission.

The meeting concluded with the Chinese delegation taking away important information on how NFRC helps commercial and residential manufacturers, builders and consumers understand the efficiency of the windows, doors and skylights to make an informed buying decision. 

NFRC_Translator

“Junqiao ‘June’ Chen translates answers to questions into Chinese for the group of engineers who attended."

Tags:  energy efficiency  fenestration 

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Compare Energy Performance With NFRC Ratings

Posted By Tom Herron, NFRC, Thursday, October 15, 2015

NFRC is an independent, third-party ratings organization that provides the information people need to compare the energy performance of windows, doors, and skylights so they can make a more-informed purchasing decision.

Learn more about our programs at nfrc.org and windowratings.org.

 

 

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NFRC to Pursue Extending Certificaiton Cycle

Posted By Tom Herron, NFRC, Wednesday, September 23, 2015

NFRC’s Board of Directors approved moving forward with an initiative aimed at extending the organization’s product certification cycle from four years to five years during today’s open board meeting in Minneapolis.

The Certification Extension Task Group recommended the modification in part because of recent improvements that have strengthened the Product Certification Program (PCP). These include the success of the Independent Verification Program (IVP) along with increased plant quality control procedures, upgraded manufacturer practices, and more stringent oversight of inspection agencies.

NFRC staff emphasized that extending the cycle from four years to five years encourages additional participation in its programs, especially among small manufacturers, by reducing expenses for pursuing product ratings and certification. 

During the discussion, one objection stated the extension may weaken the integrity NFRC’s rating programs by reducing oversight and the validation of its ratings.

Supporters, however, contended that inspection agencies can provide sufficient oversight and pointed out the extension would also free up money for exploring innovations while also controlling the overall cost of fenestration products.

Ultimately, the board voted in favor of pursuing the initiative and stressed the importance of updating the NFRC’s Certified Product Director (CPD) to accommodate the change.

Staff is working to provide NFRC’s licensees with an estimate on the amount of time needed to prepare the CPD.

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NFRC To Release Faster Version of CMAST

Posted By Tom Herron, NFRC, Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) announced yesterday during its membership meeting that it will soon release its fastest-performing version of CMAST, the organization’s commercial fenestration rating tool.

“Calculations that used to take 19 minutes now take about 11 seconds,” said Una Moneypenny, NFRC’s Director, IT Solutions. “It’s a vast improvement that answers our users’ call for a more efficient tool that determines commercial fenestration product energy performance.”

NFRC will soon announce the dates for a series of Webinars intended to help users navigate the upgraded version of CMAST, which is targeted for release in early November 2015.

NFRC’s Interim CEO, Deb Callahan, praised the accomplishment. She called it the realization of the organization’s goal to provide commercial fenestration product manufacturers with an immediate tool while it continues exploring the evolving needs of the commercial sector.

Callahan also pointed out that developing CMAST over the past several years has given NFRC additional insight for collaborating more effectively with industry players to create a scalable tool that aligns with the direction the industry is going.

“This is an important victory for NFRC and for the industry,” Callahan said. “We have a viable tool for use today, and it’s positioning us to create a sustainable business model for the future.”

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