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The Rating Organizations: Measuring Kolbe Quality

Several organizations exist in the window & door industry to establish standard rating methods for energy efficiency and overall product performance. Most widely known is ENERGY STAR®, which qualifies products based on NFRC ratings. The WDMA focuses on the overall quality and structural performance of windows and doors, and has established a Hallmark Certification program to recognize products that meet certain quality requirements.

In hurricane and high wind zones, building codes require very specific structural performance levels for windows and doors so that they are considered safe for possible weather extremes in a given region. Projects may require impact certified windows and doors and/or specific PG (performance grade) ratings. To meet these rigorous standards, Kolbe identifies several of its products as K-Force approved.


ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the EPA (USA Environmental Protection Agency) and DOE (USA Department of Energy). The goal is to save consumers money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. To rate the efficiency of windows & doors, ENERGY STAR uses energy values obtained through the NFRC.

Several countries have joined ENERGY STAR efforts for consumer products such as computers and electronics. However, at this time, only the USA and Canada include windows and doors in their ENERGY STAR initiatives.

Many Kolbe products meet or exceed ENERGY STAR guidelines in the USA and many have been approved in Canada as well. To get started finding ENERGY STAR qualified windows and doors, first become familiar with the rating system and determine which climate zone applies.


Then, locate the product(s) that meet the energy ratings you need using one of the following resources:

If you'd like to learn more about energy ratings, the Efficient Windows Collaborative website is an excellent resource.
National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a non-profit organization that was established in 1989 and sanctioned by the federal government under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. It provides a uniform, independent rating and labeling system for the energy performance of windows, doors, skylights and attachment products. Energy values provided by the NFRC are used in the ENERGY STAR program.

NFRC ratings are based on the performance of the total window or door unit (both glass and frame). This helps to directly compare the energy performance of products of different construction. You can search for products on the NFRC Certified Products Database, which includes information such as the U-Factor and SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient).

To learn more about the ratings and what they measure, check out the NFRC-sponsored website:

Kolbe demonstrates a commitment to providing accurate energy data by having products independently simulated, tested, inspected and listed in the NFRC certification program, and making that data available. Besides being available on the NFRC website, energy data is also available using Kolbe's Energy Database.

NOTE: Products should arrive at your home with Kolbe stickers on the glass. Keep this sticker; the reverse side includes NFRC labels to prove the energy performance of your products (see example at right; click it to learn more at the NFRC website). You may need these at tax time to apply for tax credits. If you don't have your labels, you may download our Manufacturers Certification Statement.

Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA)

The Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) is comprised of leading U.S. and Canadian manufacturers of windows, doors and skylights. Participants are committed to high standards of design and construction, so that end users receive the beauty, ease of operation, structural performance, and ease of maintenance they expect from quality-made windows and doors. Kolbe is actively involved with the WDMA. Kolbe president Jeff De Lonay is on the Board of Directors. Plus, several Kolbe employees serve on various WDMA committees and boards, and regularly attend WDMA conferences and seminars.

The WDMA sponsors a Hallmark Certification program. Hallmark Certification is considered a mark of excellence among architects, contractors and other specifiers, and is accepted industry-wide. As part of the program, third-party administrators perform in-plant inspections, which include auditing quality control procedures and processes. Plus, product samples and components are tested periodically by third party testing laboratories. Kolbe is proud to be a part of the Hallmark Certification program. Search the Hallmark Certification database on the WDMA website for Kolbe products that are Hallmark Certified.









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