In a world where energy-efficiency and sustainable solutions are increasingly prioritized in building projects, it is important for architects, contractors and all building professionals to make informed decisions when selecting components of the building envelope. In an effort to assist building owners and design professionals in the selection of fenestration products, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) has designed a rating system in which all products are evaluated under equal terms, enabling a fair comparison of products from different manufacturers. While this is a useful system, the procedure followed and the metrics used in NFRC product ratings are not necessarily common knowledge. Neither are the factors that can influence a product’s rating. This presentation will explain the basic metrics of thermal performance, identify the factors that affect the performance of fenestration products and shed some light on the NFRC rating process. Various parameters that are often not considered will be pointed out, and their effect on a product’s thermal performance will be shown through a series of examples. The ultimate goal of this presentation is to leave building professionals with a better understanding of NFRC product ratings and to provide useful information for selecting the “right” fenestration product.
Monica Maragos is an NFRC Certified Simulator with a strong background in architecture and building performance modeling. Originally trained as an architect in Greece, Monica found her true passion in the field of energy-efficient building design and with that came her introduction to building performance modeling. She went on to pursue this field in Sweden, where she received her Masters degree in Energy-Efficient Building Design and began to work in the energy and daylight research department of an international window manufacturer. Her personal interests brought her to Portland in 2015, when she joined the Facade Group as a Building Enclosure Consultant with a specialty in energy and hygrothermal performance of building enclosures.