New guide examines North American Fenestration Standard

Modern corporate building
The user guide for the 2011 North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for Windows, Doors, and Skylights (NAFS) provides information on the standard’s applications.
Photo © BigStockPhoto/Leung Cho Pan

After multiple years of collaboration, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), CSA Group, and Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) have released a ‘user guide’ to the 2011 AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440, North American Fenestration Standard/Specification (NAFS).

The resource was developed as a non-mandatory, advisory document meant for specifiers, architects, code officials, manufacturers, and testing laboratories. Containing commentary, illustrations, and examples, it provides information on the proper application of the standard, which deals with windows, doors, and skylights, explained Joe Hayden, WDMA’s Joint Document Management Group (JDMG) co-chair.

“This is the latest product of the ongoing effort to harmonize fenestration standards in North America,” he said. “This effort started nearly 20 years ago and is evidence of the fenestration industry’s desire to offer a single, unified performance specification across borders.”

The 2011 version of NAFS is already referenced in the 2012 editions of the International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC). It is performance-based and material-neutral, permitting the architect or specifier a great deal of latitude in design and products, while maintaining compliance, explained Dean Lewis, AAMA’s educational and technical information manager.

“In lieu of tedious, time-consuming listings of compliance test methods, the standard permits the designer to specify windows, doors and skylights by providing just the product’s operator type, Performance Class, and Performance Grade,” he told The Construction Specifier. “Related performance requirements, including wind resistance, water penetration and air leakage resistance, forced-entry resistance, and material and component qualifications, have all been included.”

“At the same time, the design professional is not constrained by the minimum performance requirements included in the document. Specific, higher-performance criteria may be designated if necessary, such as a higher percentage water penetration resistance or requiring lifecycle testing for Performance Classes where this is optional,” Lewis continued. “A secondary benefit of such a universal specification has been the development of certification programs that publish directories of pre-qualified products based on third-party testing, inspection and validation.”

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