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Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Craft the Next Generation Window Technology

Posted By Adriana Vargas, National Fenestration Rating Council, Tuesday, June 23, 2020

By Tom Barnett

As the fenestration industry continues to evolve, the feedback you provide today will help push the work for tomorrow. To this end, earlier in June, the Department of Energys (DOE) Buildings Technology Office (BTO) announced a request for information (RFI) on where they can improve and refine research goals for building windows and window technologies. Specifically, the BTO is looking for research and development investment opportunities in technologies and systems that will lead to the next generation of high-performance, affordable, cost-effective windows. The DOE wants feedback from the fenestration industry on planned technical objectives, targets, tools and R&D activities along with estimates of the program impacts.  

 

Additionally, input from this RFI will help inform the BTO’s DRAFT Research and Development Opportunities Report (RDO) for Windows issued earlier this month.

 

I cannot emphasize enough for NFRC members to speak up and provide feedback to this RFI on fenestration opportunities. The labs are doing fantastic work that is fenestration-specific and building-science oriented that is also aligned with NFRC’s mission and vision.  You can find more detail on their work here.   

 

Since joining NFRC, I have had the opportunity to participate as a reviewer of fenestration projects and proposals in DOE Peer-to-Peer Review sessions for the past two years.  I can attest to the value of these opportunities.  Prior to my participation in these review sessions, my experience with the work being done at the DOE national labs was in my position within a R&D group that supported the divisional needs of a Fortune 500 building products company.  We were constantly scouting for “new to the world” innovative technologies.  One tactic I used to discover organic growth opportunities or unique solutions for the organization was to tap into the national laboratory network along with exploring university networks.  Scouting within the DOE national labs took me to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) along with the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC), where I was exposed to a wide range of technologies and research that was and is new to the world – it was a gold mine of opportunity.  

 

Whether material specific or manufacturing concerns, it is imperative that you submit your feedback to the DOE.  I encourage every one of you to be an active part of the solution as a partner with DOE to drive the next great change in fenestration for the next 100+ years.  Whether it’s a window with a .05 U-Factor or a curtain wall that is dynamic to its office environment, provide that feedback today so they can get to work for tomorrow

 

Responses to this RFI and any questions related to it must be submitted electronically to BTO_windows_RDO@ee.doe.gov no later than 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 20, 2020. To provide feedback on the RDO report, please respond to the Request for Information HERE. Respond to the Windows RFI at EERE Exchange. Learn more about the RDO for Windows Report.

 

Tom Barnett is senior director of programs for NFRC. 

Tags:  DOE  energy efficient  fenestration  NREL  ORNLenergy performance  window technologies  windows 

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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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