NAFS and the Building Code: What Architects and Builders Need to Know

  • December 03, 2013
  • 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
  • RRC Campus (160 Princess Street) P107 CGA Manitoba Room
  • 16


Registration is closed

Several important code changes are having a transformative impact on the Canadian window and door industry. Architects and builders, not to mention building officials, are still coming to terms with how these changes affect the way they specify, select, and evaluate the performance of these factory build products.

This session will focus specifically on the NAFS standard for windows, doors and skylights. It focuses on the key concepts that designers and specifiers need to understand; shows how it affects construction specifications, product testing and marketing; as well as how it impacts performance verification and code compliance.

The 2010 National Building Code introduced new performance and testing requirements for windows and doors by referencing the NAFS standard for windows, doors and skylights. Known as the harmonized standard in the Code, The North American Fenestration Standard was created in the hopes of harmonizing the fenestration performance and testing requirements for Canada and the US.  While most things were harmonized, we will have differing Canadian and US requirements within NAFS, and in Canada must use NAFS in the context of a companion document known as the Canadian Supplement.

NAFS gives building designers a new performance property that did not exist in earlier Canadian Standards: Performance Class. It also changes how we specify the familiar performance attributes of "air, water, and structural" performance formerly denoted with ABC ratings. It ties performance ratings to the test specimen size and configuration, and requires considerably more testing by manufacturers to demonstrate compliance.

NAFS as implemented in Canadian codes also makes it clear that "unprotected" exterior side hinged doors are now expected to have the same structural and weather resistance as windows, and this is beginning to transform the side hinged door industry into one that must for the first time comply with tested performance attributes. Builders will need to use doors which have significant water penetration resistance or be provided with significant protective overhangs. The door testing and performance requirements have suppliers scrambling to bring upgraded products to market, but these products represent a significant improvement over the admittedly poor performance qualities of side hinged doors that the construction industry has taken for granted.

The code now requires architects and building designers to change their product selection and specification habits, using a new performance rating system based on the NAFS standard.  It also requires building officials to understand the new performance parameters and encourages their active engagement with performance issues at the building permit stage. 

Topics covered

Part 1 – orientation to NAFS

     NAFS and earlier standards

     New concepts in NAFS

     Understanding Performance Class

     Canadian Supplement and Performance Grades

     NAFS ratings and product labels

     NAFS and side hinged doors

Part 2 – Specifying products under NAFS

     Using the Canadian Supplement to determine Performance Grade

     NAFS and project specifications

Part 3 – Issues to consider

     Limitations of NAFS testing

     NAFS and code compliance for small buildings (Part 9)

     NAFS and code compliance for large buildings (Part 4)

     Industry initiatives related to NAFS compliance in Canada

About the presenter

Al Jaugelis is a Fenestration Specialist with RDH Building Engineering Ltd. and has a keen understanding of the commercial and residential glazing industry, fenestration product manufacturing, as well as industry standards, testing, and certification programs in both Canada and the US. He has been active in industry organizations, such as the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the former Window and Door Manufacturers Association of B.C. (WDMA‐BC), and the Technical Services Committee of Fenestration Canada. He is an Associate member of CSA Committee A119, Performance Standards for Windows (A440) and a member of the NRCan Energy Efficient Fenestration Steering Committee. Al’s consulting role at RDH includes serving as the Technical Consultant for the Fenestration Association of BC (FEN-BC).

Presentation experience

Al is an accomplished speaker and frequently presents on fenestration topics to various audiences. He has addressed groups at BCBEC (Vancouver and Vancouver Island), the Building Officials Association of BC, the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association, Fenestration Canada, the Fenestration Association of BC, and FENBC webinars endorsed by AIBC, and various events organized by the former Window and Door Manufacturers Association of BC.

Speaker references

Zana Gordon, Executive Director, Fenestration Associatior of BC; various presentations and webinars,

Terry Adamson, Westeck Widnows; various FEN‐BC events,

Shakir Rashid, Levelton Consultants; BCBEC Vancouver presentation,

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