Finding a Better Measure of Fenestration Performance:  An Analysis of the AAMA Condensation Resistance Factor

May 30, 2005
Publication: RCI Interface p 4-10
Author(s): Sean Obrien

Abstract: As architectural products become more advanced, making comparisons between them becomes more difficult for designers. This is especially true in the case of fenestration products (e.g., windows, skylights, and curtain walls). The significant variety of commercially available fenestration products has created a great challenge for designers and specifiers. The days of specifying an "aluminum-framed skylight" are long gone, replaced in recent times by specifying a "high-performance, thermally-broken, aluminum-framed skylight with triple pane insulating glass units and a low-e coating on surface #5." Unfortunately, this detailed description tells us little about the actual thermal performance and resistance of the product to condensation. In an effort to create a simple way for architects and designers to rate and compare the condensation resistance of different fenestration products, the American Architectural Manufacturer's Association (AAMA) created the "Condensation Resistance Factor," or CRF.

Also published in The Building Envelope Forum, 6th Issue, September 2006.