CMA Software to be Unveiled at NFRC Summer Meeting

July 1, 2008

The National Fenestration Rating Council reports it will demonstrate the prototype software for the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) certification and rating procedure at its upcoming Summer Membership Meeting in July. The CMA program, targeted at commercial and architectural products, is designed to provide a whole product performance rating by combining the separate ratings for glazing, framing, and spacer components.

The whole NFRC rating and certification procedure for commercial fenestration has come under fire from many in the industry for being too expensive and adding unnecessary paperwork.

NFRC officials note, however, that the new program will help manufacturers demonstrate to architects and specifiers that their fenestration products meet bid specifications and code requirement. The new software tool will enable the design community to quickly and simply generate simulated ratings for different products, they report.

Currently undergoing internal testing, the CMA software tool is set to be reviewed by dedicated testers to assess the functionality of the application. NFRC also plans to provide access to this application to subject matter experts who have been assisting with the development of the software requirements, says Jessica Ferris, NFRC’s CMA program manager.

Ferris also notes that a second phase of testing, involving the Web-based part of the application, will begin in the fall, followed by a six-month pilot project scheduled to begin in January 2009.

Charlie Curcija of Carli Inc. will demonstrate the software at the upcoming NFRC meeting in Chicago. “It’s not completely functional yet, but it has all the core functionalities in place,” says Ferris. “We’ll be able to show the membership how, in essence, this software application will work and give them a good idea of what it’s going to look like.”

The design and construction industry is increasingly turning its attention to building information modeling (BIM), Ferris also notes. Having recently attended a workshop on the subject at the American Institute of Architect’s annual conference, she suggests that CMA could play an important role in BIM. “It was exciting to see how potentially we could fit in from the energy analysis side of a building and how that data can be used from the CMA end,” she reports.

NFRC is starting to explore how it can get involved with the development of the National BIM Standard, which seeks to create standards that facilitate the interoperability of software and data.

NFRC’s summer meeting is scheduled for July 28-31 at the Conrad Chicago. More information on the event is available at