NFRC Interlaboratory Comparison on Optical Properties
As part of the NFRC rating process, optical data on glazing materials is combined with other information to calculate various properties of a window product. The administrative procedure for gathering such optical data is governed by NFRC 3021, which in turn refers to NFRC 3002 and NFRC 3013 for the technical procedures by which the optical properties are determined in the solar and infrared ranges, respectively. In practice, the data is compiled by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and becomes part of the International Glazing Database (IGDB).
NFRC 302 specifies that submitters of optical data or their representatives must participate in a 'round robin' or ILC. Often, manufacturers of glazing materials have the optical equipment necessary to perform their own measurements. NFRC 302 allows manufacturers to submit their own measured data subject to a set of checks including peer review to ensure the accuracy of such data. In some cases the glazing manufacturer does not have the required equipment and so may choose to send the samples to a test laboratory. In other cases the manufacturer of the final product such as a laminate may ask a component supplier, often a glass manufacturer, to perform the measurements for them. In such cases the "representative" must have qualified by participating in the ILC. An ILC is only required every four years and it would be unfair to expect new product submitters to wait so long. Therefore, two interpretations are made on occasion: (1) a new data submitter does not have to wait for the next ILC if they submit a set of samples with their first dataset for comparison at LBNL (a mini ILC), or (2) if they have participated in an ILC conducted by some other reputable independent organization.