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NAFS Compliant Windows and Doors

NAFS for Canadian Buildings

The North American Fenestration Standard/Specification (NAFS) is an improved standard for testing, rating and labelling of windows, doors and skylights for residential and commercial buildings in both Canada and the United States.

The standard’s official name is AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440, “NAFS – North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for Windows, Doors and Skylights”. In Canada, there is also an additional Canadian Supplement. The fenestration industry refers to the standard as NAFS.

A Quick Review of NAFS

NAFS requires significantly more testing and manufacturers must retest all of their products to comply with the new more comprehensive standard. NAFS features an improved method of classifying the type, class and performance of windows and doors. Any product that has not been tested to NAFS does not meet the 2010 National Building Code of Canada or local (provincial) revisions.

The following offers a brief description of some of the main components of NAFS for Canadian residential and commercial buildings.

Performance Class

NAFS introduces four Performance Classes: R, LC, CW and AW. Building type, load requirements and serviceability determine the Performance Class of the windows and doors.

  •  R:      Light duty, commonly used in single-family dwellings.
  • LC:     Medium duty, commonly used in low-rise and mid-rise multifamily dwellings.
  • CW:    Heavy duty, commonly used in low to mid-rise multifamily dwellings where limits on deflections are imposed and tougher environmental constraints exist.
  • AW:    Severe duty, used in high-rises or when extreme use of fenestration is expected.

 Performance Grade

The Performance Grade is a single number that represents performance attributes for a number of different tests including:

  • Uniform load deflection test (design pressure)
  • Uniform load structural test (design pressure plus 50%)
  • Water penetration resistance
  • Air leakage resistance
  • Operating force
  • Forced entry resistance
  • Other tests, such as durability and life-cycle test

The Performance Grade is determined by conditions (for example, ocean front vs. sheltered from wind), serviceability and geographic location (for example, northern vs. southern British Columbia). The NAFS Canadian Supplement includes a table that lists all major cities in Canada to help building professionals select the right Performance Grade.

Gateway Requirements

Each Performance Class (R, LC, CW and AW) has minimum test sizes and minimum test pressures known as Gateway Requirements. Every product must be tested for each Gateway Requirement in order to qualify for a Performance Class.

 Conditions, Geographic Location and Serviceability Dictate Performance Grade

One of the main differences between NAFS and past standards is that there is no longer a minimum performance rating. Instead, NAFS states that the required performance for windows and doors shall be selected according to the Canadian Supplement referenced in Clause so as to be appropriate for the conditions, geographic location and serviceability in which the window or door shall be installed.

NAFS and the Canadian Supplement

The Canadian Supplement for NAFS includes testing methods and performance requirements that are specific to Canada. These include differences in air leakage testing, water penetration resistance, operating force testing and labelling requirements. Air leakage testing and water penetration resistance are two important differences that significantly improve performance requirements for windows and doors.

Air Leakage Testing

In the Canadian Supplement, air leakage testing is required for both air infiltration and air exfiltration (in the US, only air infiltration testing is required).

Water Penetration Resistance

In the Canadian Supplement, water test pressure is separated from design pressure, which allows manufacturers to test for higher water pressures.

The Innotech Hybrid System with our Continuous Seal Technology is specifically designed to be an extremely air and water tight system. This allows us to test for very high air leakage and water pressures. + Learn more about our unique triple weatherseal system

NAFS and Installation Standards

In this version of NAFS, there are no installation standards. However, NAFS does state that the installation of windows and doors requires an interface tie to the air barrier and that the windows and doors be installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

In BC, the 2012 BC Building Code dictates the required installation of windows and doors. Always check your Provincial building code to know local installation requirements.

To receive a copy of our installation instructions, ask your Innotech Product Representative or contact us.

NAFS and Doors

Up until now, performance requirements for exterior doors have been either non-existent or disappointingly minimal.

With the new North American Fenestration Standard/Specification, all entry doors are subject to the same performance requirements as windows. Exterior doors must meet an air and water penetration resistant rating to be NAFS compliant. We believe this is a huge improvement in our industry, as historically, most doors are the weak link in the performance of a building.

NAFS and Labelling

When a window or door is tested for NAFS, the manufacturer is required to affix both a permanent manufacturer’s marking and a removable NAFS rating label to the product. Insist that your window or door manufacturer comply with these requirements to ensure your window or door performs as required.

NAFS and the 2012 BC Building Code

In the 2012 BC Building Code, NAFS is referred to as the Harmonized Standard. In British Columbia, as of December 20, 2013 windows and doors must be tested and rated for conformance to NAFS 08 and the Canadian Supplement NAFS 08 to meet the 2012 BC Building Code. This includes all commercial buildings (Part 5) and residential buildings (Part 9) for all new construction and renovations that require a permit.

 NAFS and the 2013 Alberta Building Code

The 2013 Alberta Building Code is expected to be released in late 2013. This revised building code will mandate NAFS compliance.

 NAFS and the National Building Code of Canada

For provinces that do not have provincial building codes, including Saskatchewan and Manitoba, these subscribe to the 2010 National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) where NAFS compliance has been in effect since its introduction in 2011.

 NAFS and Innotech Windows and Doors

At Innotech, performance is our passion. Our extensive testing program is ongoing, including third party laboratory testing, on-site testing and regular in-house quality assurance testing. For more information about our commitment to performance, click here.

InnoNova products in common sizes and configurations are NAFS compliant. This includes our Tilt + Turn Windows, Fixed Windows, single and double outswing Terrace Swing Doors, and single and double inswing Terrace Swing Doors, single and double inswing Tilt + Turn Doors, and Tilt + Glide Doors.

Panorama of Tilt and Turn Windows in BC Okanagan