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New Vice Chair Tony Cinnamon talks about his involvement with NFRC and what he hopes to bring to the organization.

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Tuesday, May 26, 2020

As a one-time drummer in his high school and college marching band it seems fitting that the first NFRC meeting Tony Cinnamon attended was in New Orleans, a city known for its jazz music, parades, and iconic anthem “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

Fast forward 10 years, Tony now is NFRC board vice chair and leads the Regulatory Affairs Committee, although he said he still fantasizes about being a big-time studio drummer. Until then, however, he’s an architect with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates specializing in building facades, exterior wall systems, and fenestration systems. Over the course of his career, Tony has presented at seminars domestically and internationally on fenestration-related topics including typical window problems, glass and glazing failures, and testing and repair of window and curtain wall systems.

As the lone practicing architect on the board, Tony brings a unique perspective because he sees firsthand how the NFRC ratings are applied in real-world settings and, unfortunately, they are often misunderstood. During his time on the board, he would like to help NFRC move past the minutia of data and decimal points to better highlight the value the ratings provide for consumers and specifiers who want to maximize the comfort and energy efficiency in their buildings.

As Tony begins his first year as vice chair, Michelle Blackston, senior director of communications and marketing, spoke with him about things he’d like to accomplish while in this role.

Since you’ve been involved with NFRC as a member and now as board vice chair, what are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen within NFRC? What do you want to continue and what do you hope to bring to the organization in this capacity?

One of things that I’ve noticed since Deb Callahan has served as CEO is there has been a big push to get a greater diversity of people involved. When I first joined, it was really the same 15-20 people in different positions and Deb deserves credit for getting more voices heard. As a board member and vice chair, I’ve always seen myself as on the other side in that NFRC is mainly populated with manufacturers, test labs, and inspection agencies. I’m an architect and I see how the NFRC standards get used and misused when [architects] don’t understand them. My emphasis is on education for both sides and we need to know what the architect and the specifier are seeing.

Also, the membership has grown, and this growth is a testament to the organization. I see different people volunteering for things and making comments at meetings. The biggest change is the overall impact that it’s had on the membership and more people feel comfortable. With that, people are invested and we’re more inclusive of people who aren’t involved in rating windows. 

How has your membership and involvement with NFRC helped you professionally and stay abreast of the fenestration industry as it evolves?

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates has 750 people in the company, and I’ve been able to pass along information on windows and curtain walls through our internal knowledge sharing program. These technical resource groups are a source for people who work in window and curtain wall projects to post questions. We would always get a lot of questions about NFRC’s condensation rating vs. American Architectural Manufacturing Association (AAMA) Condensation Resistance Factor Tool. NFRC enabled me to answer those questions because I had firsthand knowledge of the standard and the surrounding discussions. Also, it’s worth noting that NFRC is working on a new standard – the Condensation Index– that is much more user friendly and understandable.

Also, one of the ways the fenestration industry has evolved is there are so many more areas of expertise now. Whether it’s sustainability or energy performance or air infiltration or acoustics, there are a variety of niche areas of expertise in the fenestration industry, it’s staggering. By necessity you end up with more people involved in the process and in specific areas of the process. Maybe they don’t care about visible transmittance, but they care about solar heat gain. And that helps with the growth and expansion of the industry.

What lessons have you learned from being involved in NFRC that you would share with young professionals just getting started in the fenestration industry? And where will the industry be in 10-20 years?

I would tell a young professional don’t be afraid to talk to people in the organization, which was my issue for the first few years I was involved. It’s so much better when you talk to people, ask questions. You would be surprised how many people are willing to share. At one meeting, I went to NFRC program director Steve Urich and asked him to walk me through the commercial program. And he did. That enabled me to be engaged in the process. If you don’t know something, ask someone about it. This is important because windows seem to change almost daily whether it’s about the material or the glass or the framing material. Advancements in components and how they are used are going to be widely available.

NFRC is adapting to these new technologies and we’re already experiencing in the task groups, where we’re talking about Vacuum Insulated Glass (VIG). One of NFRC’s challenges will be to keep up with the technology and material changes that we are going to see. I think we can and will with the way the organization is structured because there are always opportunities to start looking at new technologies and advancements in the industry.

In the commercial realm, we’re just starting to build that program now and that will to be one of the biggest changes for NFRC. I see this as an area of great potential that’s yet to come and NFRC will have a big role.

If you could do anything now outside your current profession or role, what would you do?

When I was kid, I played the drums. One of my fantasies is to be a studio drummer. I played in the marching band and drumline in high school and college. I was a section leader for a few years. After college, I taught for nearly 20 years at a band camp for high school students in Illinois. It was a lot of fun.

But now my love is running triathlons. I usually compete at the sprint or Olympic distance and I’ve competed in two, half Iron Man triathlons, which is a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike and a 13.1-mile run. For quite a few years, I ran marathons and then I started riding the bike and really enjoyed that. I competed in my first triathlon in 2015, the training isn’t nearly as repetitive as running a marathon. Now, I meet up with a neighborhood group that rides every Saturday. It was an easy transition to triathlons. 

Tags:  board of directors  fenestration  leadership  technologies 

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FenStar Webinar Outlines Changes to Program after Accreditation

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Monday, May 18, 2020

Earlier this year, the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) FenStar® Certification Program, which ensures fenestration products meet ENERGY STAR® specifications, received accreditation to the acclaimed ISO/IEC 17065 Product Certification standard through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Because of this, the FenStar staff made several significant changes to ensure the program maintains this accreditation and, at the same time, preserves the confidence and trust of its participants. The changes focused on licensee and laboratory requirements.

 

NFRC, through the FenStar Certification Program, is the nation’s sole independent, certification organization rating the energy performance of windows, doors, and skylights. NFRC also is the only EPA recognized ENERGY STAR® Certification Body and remains an EPA recognized Verification Testing Organization. NFRC and EPA have worked together closely since the inception of this and throughout the development of the FenStar Certification Program. This relationship ensures that the program aligns with the goals of ENERGY STAR and provides a third-party certification that has real value in the marketplace.

 

During a recent webinar, NFRC’s FenStar team discussed the details of the program’s improvements and updates to documents as well as shared the 2019 verification testing results and the 2020 verification testing cycle. Overall, manufacturers are receptive to these changes, which are designed to reduce testing delays and reporting of results. These reductions can be directly attributed to requirement modifications for both licensees and laboratories, streamlining the understanding of roles and expectations of each group within the verification testing process.

 

So why does this accreditation matter? Accreditation to the ISO/IEC 17065 standard solidifies NFRC’s commitment to the integrity of the certification program. It also fulfills the requirements for certification bodies for the ENERGY STAR Program. NFRC and FenStar build and maintain the confidence and trust of program participants and consumers who want to know the windows, doors and skylights they are buying are certified. That’s why we’re making efforts to ensure the program maintains the accreditation. 

 

Additionally, FenStar staff encourage manufacturers and their representatives to reach out with questions and concerns regarding the changes. Feel free to contact Steve McDowell, NFRC’s residential program manager, and Dan Womer, FenStar program administrator. In case you missed it, listen to the webinar, review the presentation, submit comments or questions, and view other resources here.

 

 

Tags:  certification  certification program  energy star  fenestration  verification testing 

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NFRC Helps Educate Consumers at Point-of-Purchase

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is providing window, door, and skylight retailers and salespeople with a tool to help their customers understand the energy efficiency of the products they are buying.    

Developed as part of the Retailer Program, this infographic breaks down the details of the NFRC energy performance label so homeowners can use it to compare products when deciding to purchase windows, doors and skylights, referred to as fenestration products. Without knowing what each value of the label means, customers may not understand how one fenestration product compares to the next. Now, salespeople can reference this infographic to explain the value of the label so making a purchase decision is easy to do.

“We routinely get calls from consumers inquiring about how to choose energy-efficient windows,” said Deb Callahan, CEO of NFRC. “Our Retailer Program gives salespeople exactly what they need, when they need it most. A consumer who hesitates at the point of sale is a missed opportunity for marketing and sales teams. This NFRC label reassures the customer that this window, door or skylight meets their needs and that our retailers be there to support them in the event that they get confused at a later stage.”

To get more information, or sign up for program updates, click here, contact Jess Finn at jfinn@nfrc.org. The program offers customized solutions for windows, doors and skylights sales and marketing needs including webinars and online training.  

“Everybody wins,” Callahan said. “Consumers get information they can rely on, retailers and salespeople increase their likelihood of making a sale, and NFRC’s label that provides the fair, accurate, and credible ratings of fenestration products is understood.” 

 

 

Tags:  energy efficiency  energy performance  fenestration  membership 

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New Training Introduces LEAFF Methodology

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

By Scott Hanlon 

 

The new term LEAFF, which stands for Linear Energy Analysis For Fenestration, is NFRC’s branding of the trendline methodology work of the Residential Component Based Calculation (RCBC) Task Group over the last 10 years. Online LEAFF training is currently underway and we are close to concluding the first phase. There are two more phases left to attend where you will learn how to determine the formulas for the trendlines and calculate the whole product performance for U-factor and the new Condensation Index rating. The last phase, ending in late May, will provide an update on the changes to the program documents and the requirements for the labs and IAs when providing data, reports, and review for product certification. NFRC also is investigating using the LEAFF methodology for commercial products 

 

Thanks to NFRC staff and task group members, LEAFF is poised to greatly reduce the simulation and testing process time. Of course, our primary goal is to deliver to you, our NFRC members, a beneficial, user-friendly new methodology that maintains our reputation for fair, accurate and credible ratings of fenestration products. 

 

So how does LEAFF work? The Linear Energy Analysis for Fenestration (LEAFF) methodology uses product line characteristics and glazing options to determine multiple trendlines that replace the need to run numerous simulations separately that generates the product’s performance with different options (such as glazing and frame types). 

 

With a new methodology there is always a need for new tools and software updates. NFRC provided LEAFF training attendees with informational files for the first phase of training and more will be coming during the second phase. Staff is also working on an interim process to collect and determine the coldest temperature points in THERM for the Condensation Index rating. The long-term solution is to integrate the collection of the temperatures in THERM and we will be working with Lawrence Berkley National Labs starting in 2021 to begin this process. 

 

NFRC’s Certified Products Directory (CPD) will need to be updated to include the new Condensation Index (CI) rating while we sunset the Condensation Resistance rating. We are working with our IT partners now and will have more to update later this summer. 

 

We do have an implementation plan drafted that requires more attention once we get through the training and the software changes. To review the draft plan, go to the RCBC TG's document webpage. NFRC welcomes your input. 

 

And finally, there will be some updates to the NFRC 700 document that the RCBC TG will need address in conjunction with the NFRC 700 task group. These pertain to the information on the label for the CI rating and the products that are included using the LEAFF methodology. 

Tags:  energy performance  fenestration  methodology 

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NFRC is now a Maryland Green Registry Member

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Maryland Green Registry promotes and recognizes sustainable practices for organizations to improve their environmental performance. 

It is a free, voluntary program that provides resources for businesses and other organizations set and meet long term sustainability goals. The program also offers free technical assistance on implementing new environmental best practices.  

“NFRC is committed to improving the environmental performance of our operations and our office in Greenbelt, Md.  The Maryland Green Registry provides tools to help us create a more sustainable future” - Deb Callahan, NFRC's CEO.

Collectively, Maryland Green Registry members have reported saving over $107 million annually through the proven, practical measures they have shared in their online member profiles. View NFRC’s member profile here

Tags:  business  environment  fenestration  green building  sustainability 

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NFRC’s FenStar® Program Awarded Highly Sought-After ANSI Certification

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Thursday, January 16, 2020
Updated: Thursday, January 16, 2020

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is pleased to announce that its FenStar® Certification Program, which ensures windows, doors, and skylights meet ENERGY STAR® specifications, received the acclaimed American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accreditation.

ANSI’s National Accreditation Board (ANAB) awarded the accreditation to NFRC after an extensive review process confirmed its FenStar® program meets the ISO/IEC 17065 standard used for certification bodies around the world. NFRC is the only certification organization rating the energy efficiency of windows, doors, and skylights.

“This accreditation validates the time and effort at NFRC to ensure our processes meet all of the ENERGY STAR ® specifications. It also indicates that our ratings are objective, impartial, and strictly follow our written policies and procedures,” said Deb Callahan, CEO of NFRC. “Our members that are ENERGY STAR Partners now have an accredited certification program backing up their ENERGY STAR label and certification. This benefits not only manufacturers, but also consumers who now will know, without a doubt, that the fenestration product they are buying has been rigorously tested and verified.”

About ANSI Accreditation

ANSI Accreditation provides assurance that standards, goods, and services meet essential requirements throughout the global supply chain – engendering consumer trust and fostering competitiveness. Increasingly, procurement authorities, government agencies, and program/scheme owners are specifying accreditation in order to demonstrate the technical competence and impartiality of conformance services and processes. These assessments enhance confidence between buyers and sellers as they mitigate risk. This information is according to ANSI.

Tags:  energy efficiency  energy performance  ENERGY STAR  fenestration 

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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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