PERFORMANCE: Codes & Standards



CMA Program Information

Component Modeling Approach (CMA)

The Component Modeling Approach (CMA) is a certification method for fenestration energy ratings by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). It enables whole-product energy performance ratings for commercial (non-residential) fenestration. CMA uses online performance data for the three primary components of a fenestration product (glazing, frame, and spacer) to generate whole-product ratings for U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient and visible transmittance. This information is incorporated into a label certificate that can be used for energy code compliance purposes.

CMA Program Overview

The CMA program and the CMA Software Tool (CMAST) address the following needs of commercial sector architects, fenestration industry and code officials:

  • Accurate energy ratings for bid purposes;
  • Project-specific performance data for product evaluation and building energy analysis;
  • Third-party validated label certificates for code compliance purposes.

Prior to CMA, NFRC certification for site-built fenestration was a challenge, requiring validation testing of whole product samples. The software-based CMA addresses this challenge and allows faster project creation from predefined and NFRC-approved glazing, frame and spacer options. From these components, whole products can be modeled to obtain project-specific label certificates.

CMA Basics for Stakeholders
How architects and specifiers can benefit from CMA:

  • CMAST pre-bid reports help assess multiple window system options to maximize energy performance.
  • CMAST can output detailed angular-dependent data for use in EnergyPlus simulations.
  • CMA values can help engineers improve heating and cooling load calculations and explore HVAC downsizing opportunities.

How fenestration companies can participate in CMA:

How CMA can help code officials:

  • Most states' building energy codes reference NFRC 100 and 200 for fenestration U-factor and SHGC.
  • The CMA process includes ratings based on NFRC 100 and 200, independent third party validation, and a NFRC label certificate.
  • CMA speeds up the certification process for site-built fenestration. This will increase the use of NFRC label certificates and enable code officials to better verify code compliance at the job site.

California's Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standard now requires CMA Label Certificates for site-built fenestration in large projects.


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