The National Fenestration Rating Council of Silver Spring, Md., is coming of age, armed with a plan that reflects its growth.
Officials said the plan will direct NFRC staff and leadership in the next three to five years. It is time, after all, as the group reaches its sweet 16 anniversary this year.
``It's just time for our board of directors to say, what do we want to be when we grow up?'' Jim Benney, executive director, said in an April 21 telephone interview.
NFRC plans to maintain a long-term focus, evaluate and improve existing programs and build new programs as needed.
Benney said the group's growth has been phenomenal, with a balance sheet in 2004 that makes it a $4 million organization.
``Just two years ago, we were at $3 million; about five or six years ago, we were at $2 million,'' he said. ``We have to plan for this growth.''
The fenestration market includes windows, doors and skylights. NFRC does not endorse brands, but its label certifies that products meet energy performance values.
The window and door industry in North America has been a hotbed of activity in the past few years, drawing international players to seek certification.
NFRC's growth also has been helped by the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program and the International Energy Conservation Code.
``More and more states have begun adopting that and enforcing that code,'' he said.
NFRC now has about 230 members, including manufacturers and labs, and well over 500 manufacturers participating in its certification program. The group also is ready to grow in commercial construction.
``We've only been addressing, really, a small part of the commercial sector,'' Benney said. ``Now, we're looking at nonresidential structures and international growth.''