News to know
Fees explained during NFRC opening session
IG certification tops task group discussion
Since its last membership meeting in March, the board of the National Fenestration Rating Council of Greenbelt, Md., released two communiqués: one regarding the proposed fee structure for the organization’s nonresidential component modeling approach rating system; and another regarding across-the-board increases in membership dues. NFRC Executive Director Jim Benney addressed each during the opening session of NFRC’s Summer Meeting, July 23-26 in Denver.
“Our 2008 dues increased typically 10 percent,” Benney said. “Our revenues have leveled off, and we’ve seen program services and costs increase.” The increases were not related to the CMA program, he said.
Benney briefly went over the controversial CMA program fees that were announced in June. Read detailed Glass Magazine coverage of the fee structure here.
“Are these fees set in stone? No. It depends on outside support from the Department of Energy and utility companies. If NFRC gets additional funds, those fees can change,” Benney said.
Despite Benney’s comments on the fee increases, specifically regarding CMA, several attendees expressed frustration that the topics weren’t brought up in a more open forum.
“This is an organization with due-paying members. We have the right to come up to the microphone and identify issues important to members,” said Greg Carney, technical director for the Glass Association of North America of Topeka, Kan. Carney was commenting during a CMA task group session. “I’m sick of hearing that we can’t bring up discussion of fees. … We will all continue to push discussion on issues that are critical to this program.”
For full coverage of progress on CMA, see next week’s e-glass weekly.
IG certification moves forward
The Insulating Glass Certification Task Group worked at times in contentious discussion to move its IG certification requirement implementation proposal past the task group level and to the subcommittee or committee level.
The task group addressed the certification program and overwhelmingly voted to change the requirements to include all IG units. The previous certification requirement only applied to IGUs with a low-emissivity coating, IGUs with an air space suspended coated film and IGUs with at least 25 percent gas fill.
Another main discussion topic surrounded the credibility of third party certification programs. Under the proposal, NFRC would rely on third party programs to implement certification.
Several members voiced a concern that certification quality might go down if NFRC is relying on numerous IG certification agencies.
“This is the first time that NFRC is opening its certification to outside bodies,” said Rich Biscoe, vice president for Architectural Testing Inc. in York, Pa. “I don’t think those outside bodies are created equal, and it needs to be very clear that the bar is set very high.”
Chris Mathis, president of MC Squared in Ashville, N.C., agreed. “If we make the bar so low that everyone can play, then our bar is too low. … Being rigorous protects NFRC’s integrity.”
The group voted to toughen requirements for third party certifiers in the proposal by changing the language to say “an approved NFRC independent accreditation agency,” including International Accreditation Service Inc. of Whittier, Calif., National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program of Gaithersburg, Md., The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation of Frederick, Md., or an equivalent agency.
—By Katy Devlin, e-Newsletter editor, e-glass weekly