Date: 17 February 2021
Recently, ift Rosenheim has been conducting tests on windows and doors according to NAFS. In cooperation with its partner UL (Underwriter Laboratories Inc.), ift Rosenheim coordinates the required test specimens and test matrix with the client. Then, the tests take place at ift Rosenheim in Germany.
The manufacturer can have both preliminary and main tests carried out. The tests or the test reports are recognized on the American and Canadian markets. This facilitates market access for manufacturers from Germany and Europe and saves time and money, as there are no overseas travel and transport costs.
Modern windows, doors and facades from Germany and Europe enjoy a very good reputation in the US and Canada, especially in terms of quality and energy efficiency. This means that there are good market opportunities for the energetic optimisation of buildings in North America.
However, the approval process and the performance of tests are costly and lengthy. As products used in public buildings, in the commercial as well as in the private sector in the US and Canada are subject to strict and complex specifications. For example, manufacturers must test, classify and label their windows and doors according to NAFS (North American Fenestration Standard) to gain access to the American and Canadian market.
All NAFS tests required for labeling or certification shall be performed only at an AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) approved and/or certification body listed testing body.
In collaboration with its cooperation partner UL – an AAMA-approved testing and certification body – ift Rosenheim can offer the necessary verification and certificates for the US and for Canada. For European manufacturers, this means that the tests can be carried out at ift Rosenheim. As an additional service, ift Rosenheim supports clients in the run-up to testing with the selection of test specimens and the coordination of the required test program.
The advantages of this are obvious: Preliminary tests within the system developments or on project-specific special constructions can be carried out in Germany; ift Rosenheim takes over the coordination with UL, so that the client has only one contact for the project handling. The enormous time and financial effort required to carry out tests directly in North America, including transport costs for the test specimens and travel expenses for the employees, is thus largely eliminated. Upon request, site inspections required for construction projects in the US and Canada can be organized and handled through UL.
If special or additional tests are required for certification or recognition, ift Rosenheim will also coordinate these requirements and any necessary tests with UL. "We have already implemented this test processing of short paths for specific test objects, where the companies have particularly appreciated the uncomplicated handling and the time as well as financial advantage," says Dirk Köberle (ift Product Manager Facade).
The NAFS (North American Fenestration Standard), also known as AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-11, can be considered analogous to the European product standard for windows and exterior doors EN 14351-1. This "harmonized standard" merged the Canadian and US testing and performance evaluation systems. NAFS testing provides a uniform classification by product type, performance class and level, as well as test size. Due to an unique classification key, products can be compared with each other, similar to the European classes. For each window and door tested according to NAFS, the manufacturer must apply a label with the NAFS code. NAFS tests are mandatory and recognized in both the US and Canada.