Why require certification for insulating glass?
As many of you know, beginning this month, the National Fenestration Rating Council will require insulating glass certification for all products that are licensed as certified in accordance with the NFRC Product Certification Program.
This new requirement has been in the works for a number of years, with its roots in NFRC’s history. The Fenestration Durability Subcommittee -- later changed to the Long Term Energy Performance Subcommittee --had sought ways to communicate how products would perform over time. This subcommittee found this goal difficult to achieve, however, and the group’s work faltered.
An insulating glass research project funded by the Department of Energy, directed by the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance and supported by NFRC, provided the spark that led to the idea that one way to help assure long-term performance is to require fenestration manufacturers to test and certify insulating glass performance.
NFRC, being a consensus-driven organization, worked with its members and affiliated allies to consider how best to require IG unit certification; after all, there are a number of current bodies that test and/or certify insulating glass units. After numerous meetings, discussions and ballots, the requirement for certified IGs became an integral part of the PCP. In order to allow licensees the time needed to meet these new requirements, NFRC provided almost two years for them to prepare.
Now the time has come. We believe IG certification will provide value-added benefits to the NFRC label and associated certification programs. For those manufacturers still struggling with this new requirement, please know that NFRC does provide for hardship cases where program participants may not be able to meet these requirements due to unforeseen circumstances. Program participants who feel that they meet these circumstances should contact their independent certification program and inspection agency, and inquire about a request for extension.
If there are any questions regarding this information, please feel free to contact the NFRC office: 301/589-1776.
Where do we go from here?
So, what’s next for NFRC? An NFRC-sponsored program for Energy Star windows verification? Air leakage requirements? Should NFRC begin certifying products for air/water/structural? Stay tuned for more on these issues …
--Jim Benney is the National Fenestration Rating Council’s chief executive officer. He has been involved in developing product and performance standards for the window and glass industry for more than 20 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.