FGIA: A strong collaboration
By Marg Webb
FGIA and AVFQ will work to coordinate public comments, thereby providing great value to both memberships and strengthening industry collaboration and consensus.
By Marg Webb
AVFQ, the Quebec glazing and fenestration association, and the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance have announced an official collaboration agreement aimed at enabling both organizations to further enhance support of their respective members. The resulting synergistic arrangement, formalized Dec. 17, 2020, promises to enhance the reach and visibility of both organizations, while ensuring efficiencies in monitoring codes and regulatory affairs in Canada. This is especially true for the Canadian fenestration and glass industry, which is comprised of many small and medium-sized companies.
AVFQ and FGIA agreed to share information and offer reciprocal benefits and services to members in the areas of meeting attendance, education, advocacy, technical standards, research and product certification, thereby strengthening the industry.
In general, the collaboration maximizes both organizations’ financial and staff resources, reduces or eliminates duplications and maximizes efficiencies for the members of each. It now offers AVFQ members discounted rates to attend FGIA conferences held in Canada as well as virtual conferences. FGIA members may also attend AVFQ’s Annual Conference at the member discounted rate. Additionally, a task group is being created to explore the possibility for AVFQ to use FGIA education content such as FenestrationMasters and the IG Fabricator workshop and adapt it to its audience as needed. AVFQ will also be invited to support FGIA research projects focused on constantly improving the quality of industry products.
From the AVFQ point of view, the arrangement is particularly expected to enhance involvement in national Canadian codes and regulatory work, making AVFQ members aware of the latest developments outside of the province of Quebec while providing information to FGIA regarding relevant developments within Quebec. Both organizations will work to coordinate public comments, thereby providing great value to both memberships and strengthening industry collaboration and consensus.
With the latest edition of the National Building Code of Canada, including Section 9.36 of the NBCC (residential energy code) and the National Energy Code for Buildings slated for publication by year-end, the Commission on Building and Fire Codes is shifting attention to issues for the next code cycle. All standing committees are now developing their work activities for the upcoming code cycle. As an example of some issues specifically meaningful to our industry that are currently in play for the next cycle, the arrangement should help establish clarity and resolve apparent conflicts between directives on whole-building air tightness, as recently issued by the CCBFC and the Standing Committee on Energy Efficiency for inclusion in 9.36 (the residential energy code). The SC-EE has developed a list of unintended consequences relating to the current proposed code changes. A small working group has been created at the Standing Committee on Housing and Small Buildings to review how these consequences may impact the remainder of Part 9 of the NBCC. Also of concern is Proposed Code Form 1541, which would reduce the allowable fenestration and door to wall ratio. The industry coalition informally established earlier in 2020 were successful at maintaining the current FDWR but this is slated for the next code cycle (2025).
The 2020 cycle resulted in more stringent U-values for our products and it is expected that this trend will continue especially in light of the Market Transformation Initiative looking at Net Zero houses by 2030.
I would emphasize that it is critical for our associations to be there from the beginning of the next code cycle to ensure that our voice is heard. Going forward, I am confident the FGIA-AVFQ collaboration will enhance the effectiveness of all these activities and will be critical to our industry position.•
Marg Webb is FGIA’s glass products and Canadian industry affairs director.