Baker talks standards
By Patrick Flannery
June 6, 2011 – Jeff Baker, Fenestration Canada technical consultant, gave delegates at the recent FenCan conference in Banff, Alta., a thorough briefing on coming changes to window and door standards. As Baker noted, some of the changes will require door pre-hangers to do testing and labeling they have never had to do before.
June 6, 2011 – Jeff Baker, Fenestration Canada technical consultant,
gave delegates at the recent FenCan conference in Banff, Alta., a
thorough briefing on coming changes to window and door standards. As
Baker noted, some of the changes will require door pre-hangers to do
testing and labeling they have never had to do before.
Baker sits on the door sub-committee for the North American Fenestration Standards, and so was well placed to inform delegates about the upcoming changes to the NAFS. NAFS 2010 will require doors to bear a label showing their rating to prevent ingress of water, air and vermin, to resist forced entry and to be easily operated. Door pre-hangers will be considered the manufacturer for the purposes of the standard, and bear full responsibility for the label and the testing that stands behind it. The NAFS 2010 standard is expected to be quickly picked up by provincial jurisdictions across the country and made part of their building codes. Baker expressed his belief that building inspectors will strictly enforce the new regulations because governments will encourage them to do so and because the new labeling system makes it easier.
Delegates asked several questions about the new standard, especially around the problem of water ingress with swinging doors. Baker pointed out that much in the code is subject to interpretation by individual inspectors but, as a rule of thumb, doors built to B2 or B3 CSA standards for water ingress will pass the NAFS-10 standard. Delegates asked Baker and Fenestration Canada to develop guidelines for door pre-hangers that might help them comply.
Baker said inspectors "love" the new labeling regime because much of what they need to know about the door is right there in print. He said it is conceivable that inspectors could make contractors pull the doors and windows right out of a building if the labels are absent. Some fenestration companies have expressed approval of the labeling regime because it more clearly points out the differences between higher and lower quality windows and doors.
A discussion of energy codes followed. Baker noted that provinces have not followed the federal lead in this area as they usually do, preferring to set their own standards and creating a mish-mash of different regulations. Baker noted that such jurisdictions as B.C. and Manitoba had adopted "prescriptive" standards requiring all new construction to be low-E or triple-glazed. Discussions around window-to-wall ratio were described by Baker as "frustrating," and resulted in the whole ratio being dropped from federal regulations in favour of overall energy performance ratings for the building.