Special coverage: NFRC in Tempe
NGA weighs in on nonresidential rating program
For years, representatives from several industry associations have worked to guide the development of a nonresidential fenestration energy rating program by the National Fenestration Rating Council of Greenbelt, Md.
NGA Chairman presents association position on proposed energy efficiency rating system at NFRC meeting
"It is possible if this unnecessary system is somehow placed into specifications and building codes, regrettable confusion, costs and delays might adversely affect the construction marketplace and the American fenestration industry to some degree. Such a certification system does not increase energy efficiency, does not aid energy-intelligent commercial design, and increases confusion and workload for the overburdened code officials and design professionals of America ..." read more
—Rod Van Buskirk, NGA board chairman
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Schaumburg, Ill., the Aluminum Extruders Council, Wauconda, Ill., the Glass Association of North America, Topeka, Kan., and the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, Ottawa, Ontario, have fought to protect their members from the excess cost and bureaucracy that could come from the near-complete Component Modeling Approach.
At NFRC’s fall meeting, Nov. 5-8 in Tempe, Ariz., the National Glass Association, McLean, Va., joined the associations involved in the CMA process, hoping to protect its contract glazing members and the commercial building industry as a whole from possible road blocks created in the program.
NGA Board Chairman Rod Van Buskirk, president and owner of Bacon & Van Buskirk Glass Co., Champaign, Ill., presented a position statement to the NFRC membership at the Nov. 8 board meeting. “What the NFRC claims it is trying to accomplish for commercial building fenestration is already being done every day by design professionals and engineers, and has been for years," Van Buskirk said. "This is just another costly and time-consuming layer of bureaucracy that will not improve energy efficiency or conservation."
NGA’s involvement was in large part prompted by a debate about the program between the executive directors of NFRC and IGMA, Jim Benney and Margaret Webb, respectively, during the Glazing Executives Forum, Sept. 10 during GlassBuild America in Atlanta. Glazing contractors in attendance questioned the necessity of the program. Read and article about the GEF here.
"CMA Labeling only adds cost and serves to impede the commercial building process,” Van Buskirk said during a Nov. 2 phone interview. NFRC appears to be heading in its own direction without experience in the commercial construction marketplace."
Design professionals and building material companies already strive to create energy-efficient and high-performing buildings to serve an ever-increasingly demanding marketplace, Van Buskirk said.
“You can't regulate or legislate energy intelligence. If a product is better, [more] cost-effective, people will buy it. The marketplace rules," he said.
Prior to NFRC’s fall meeting, Van Buskirk and David Walker, NGA vice-president of association services, also shared the NGA’s concerns with Department of Energy officials Richard Karney, Energy Star program manager, and Marc LaFrance, technology development manger of DOE's Building Technologies Program, both of whom have been involved with the CMA program development.
“Mr. Karney and LaFrance were very generous with their time and acknowledged the concerns,” Walker said. “However, they believe the need exists for the precision of a CMA program and encouraged representatives of the commercial glazing industry to become involved in developing the CMA to ensure its success. Despite the contract glazing industry’s strong opposition to the proposed CMA, it appears the NFRC is likely to move ahead anyway.”
Read a Nov. 8 release from the NGA about Van Buskirk’s statement here.
—By Katy Devlin, e-newsletter editor, e-glass weekly