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Portland at sunsetThis summer, I had the opportunity to attend an in-person meeting with the members of the Joint Document Management Group, a unique group made up of representatives from three different industry associations. The JDMG is comprised of members affiliated with AAMA, the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The group was created in order to update and maintain the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS).

Though the three organizations often come to the table with different interests and wish lists, teamwork prevails in order to find the best solutions to challenges for all involved. In this way, they maintain NAFS harmony with equal consideration for both U.S. and Canadian fenestration standards.

The group also provides technical interpretations when needed. If someone wants JDMG to weigh in on a topic or idea, they can propose a yes-or-no question, giving background information and stating the clause of the document about which they are seeking interpretation. These questions help JDMG, as well – they are kept in mind when the group revisits NAFS, and updates are made in order to offer clarifications where needed.

Historically, there’s a new version of NAFS published every three years -- In 2014, a user guide was published in its place. Right now, the group’s big push is to publish NAFS-17 in time for review and adoption into the 2018 code. Since U.S. codes are on a three year cycle and Canadian ones are on a five-year one, both deadlines must be considered when planning for future revisions and editions of NAFS. New versions of NAFS require membership reviews, followed by ballots distributed to both AAMA and WDMA members. Once those ballot results are resolved, CSA add their tweaks before sending it out for public review. At this point, a second ballot has been completed for NAFS-17. A third ballot to AAMA and WDMA should be coming out in the next few weeks.

In general, the JDMG is a productive, cooperative group that works well together. Everyone involved understands and respects each other’s interests, as well as each other’s opinions. When reviewing NAFS ballots, they are very cautious to look at not only the comment that was made, but if there are underlying issues that impacted the reason for the comment. At the end of the day, the work of the JDMG translates into progress for the window and door industry.