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Solar shading and energy saving in the U.S.

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The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA), a division of IFAI, is spearheading a similar effort in the United States, where buildings account for 40 percent of primary energy consumption. PAMA is working to develop a rating for fabric awnings and exterior shades with the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).

“An NFRC rating would provide shade performance information and give credibility to the awning products that contribute to the energy efficiency of a building,” says PAMA manager Michelle Sahlin.

John Gant of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics LLC in Burlington, N.C., is heading up the PAMA initiative. He notes that the NFRC has been rating windows for years and has revolutionized the window market in the U.S. “Windows today are incredibly better performers than they were 15 years ago,” he says. “It’s been so successful that the NFRC is broadening its scope and adding storm windows and garage doors, and is looking at solar shading attachments.”

The NFRC process will several years, but with that official rating, organizations that write building codes could include awnings as contributors to energy efficiency, and federal programs could provide tax incentives.

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