Implementation of the document that will administer the National Fenestration Rating Council’s new (NFRC) Independent Verification Program (IVP) is set for next January. The program, which is designed to fulfill U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements for certification bodies, is intended to verify that Energy Star-qualified and NFRC-rated fenestration products sold in the marketplace are consistent with information listed in NFRC’s Certified Products Directory.
NFRC is a non-profit organization that administers a voluntary, uniform rating, labeling, and certification system for the energy performance of windows, doors, curtain walls, skylights, and other fenestration products. Its members include manufacturers, suppliers, utilities, consumer groups, representatives from the building and code industries, scientific and educational organizations, and government agencies.
Procedures used in IVP will complement existing inspection and validation testing requirements of the NFRC 700 Product Certification Program (PCP). All NFRC participants are required to participate in the IVP, regardless of whether the participant is an Energy Star partner.
NFRC has been working for almost two years to create the NFRC 713 program document that will administer the IVP. NFRC also stated that it has been taking “many steps” to ensure the IVP will serve as an enhancement to the NFRC PCP. An IVP pilot program has been operating since late last year, allowing NFRC to evaluate IVP processes.
To provide the funding for IVP, the NFRC Board of Directors approved changes to NFRC program fees and membership dues schedule. The 2012 fee schedule uses a flat dues structure for membership and a sliding scale for program participation fees, which organization leaders believe “creates a more fair and equitable system for NFRC participants.”
The program needs approval from the NFRC Board of Directors before the NFRC 713 IVP program document can be implemented.
NFRC predicted that enhancements to the IVP will allow the organization to remove the requirement to validate products lines when recertified. “This will decrease costs for program participants by reducing recertification expenses.”
NFRC participants are encouraged to download the following documents for review from the IVP website (www.nfrc.org): IVP Program Document NFRC 713 (draft); IVP Compliance Flowchart; and IVP frequently asked questions.
The NFRC is requesting participants to provide comments on the program documents by forwarding all correspondence to NFRC staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NFRC was expected to present a summary of the comments and answer questions about the IVP at an open forum during a committee meeting this month.
An NFRC spokesperson reported that the organization is not able to respond to Green Building Insider's questions about the program at this time.