NFRC to release bidding tool based on CMA software
As early as October, the National Fenestration Rating Council of Greenbelt, Md., will release a bidding tool for commercial component manufacturers, similar to the software under development for its nonresidential rating program, the Component Modeling Approach.
The bidding tool will provide suppliers with a hands-on look at the software without the costs and complications of the CMA certification program, says Jim Benney, executive director of NFRC.
“Part of our problem is that we’re talking about a program that we can’t touch and feel,” Benney says. “It’s hard to argue over something that’s foggy or cloudy. The bidding tool gives us something that’s tangible.”
The bidding tool will also allow the suppliers to give feedback about the functionality of the software before the CMA is finalized, says Marcia Falke, NFRC board chair and president of Keystone Certifications Inc. in Etters, Pa.
“We’re trying to get something out that people can use, and at least we can get feedback on how it’s being used,” Falke says. “There are still a lot of issues that still need to be worked out, and trying to get some of the users involved early on will be good for the NFRC and the industry.”
The software will contain three libraries, one for spacer systems, one for frames and one for glass. Suppliers will pay to put their individual products into the library with all the energy performance data for each product.
Companies can use the tool in bidding to architects or contractors to show how their product performs alone and as a complete system.
“The industry needs a standardized bidding tool anyway, so everyone can have a level playing field,” Benney says. “As certification develops [for the CMA], we can throw that in as well.”
The software is under development by Charlie Curcija, active NFRC member and president of Carli Inc. in Amherst, Mass. Benney says a bidding tool version of the software could be complete as early as October.
—By Katy Devlin, e-Newsletter Editor, e-glass weekly