NAFS Compliance
So what just is NAFS, and why does it matter?
NAFS, also known as NAFS-08, stands for North American Fenestration Standard of 2008. This came into effect in the BC building code on Dec 20th, 2013. It requires that all new buildings put up after this date (or any project requiring a building permit) use certified NAFS doors, windows, and skylights.
Did you know, that fenestration simply means, an opening in the wall of a structure.
To become NAFS certified, a product must go through a series of tests. These tests simulate real-world situations, and then the product is rated based on how it performed. Units (a door and frame system) are tested against air pressure (both positive and negative), water infiltration, and strength. Note, that NAFS certification does not include energy efficiency; it is simply a standardized performance rating.
NAFS should matter to you for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, it ensures that the unit being installed into your house is appropriate for your application. A double door unit installed looking over the ocean off the west coast of Vancouver Island, certainly has different requirements than a double door unit opening up to grassy backyard in the Okanagan. The minimum performance grade required for your area is attainable from your architect or local building inspector. Only a professional engineer or in some special constructions, an architect, may change the requirements for your area, should you feel that your specific application shouldn’t be grouped with your regions zoning. Wescon can help you to determine the performance grade needed for your project; however some municipalities have internal bylaws which change the performance grade requirements, so it must always be checked with your local building official/inspector who have the final say.
A NAFS compliant unit also ensures you’re buying a regulated and tightly controlled product. Manufacturers are audited multiple times each year to ensure we are building our units exactly as specified and licenced to do so. This all adds up to meaning, that you, the end user, gets a better quality product that performs appropriately every time.
For tall units (doors over 80”), special hardware may be required to add strength and rigidity to the unit to attain NAFS certification. This is most often done in the form of multi-point locks, and astragal locks for double door units. Wescon uses both of these hardware items, made from the German company FERCO (also known as GU), and are among the best quality you can get.
NAFS compliant units can always be identified by two stickers. The first is a temporary sticker, which clearly identifies the performance rating of the unit. This must remain attached to the unit for the building inspector to see during his final inspection of your project. The second label is permanent, and comes with a removable top layer, to be peeled away after finishing the door. This cleanly exposes the information beneath, which contains the manufacturer’s name (Wescon) and states that this product conforms to NAFS. This label is attached at eye level, often on the frame near the hinges so it is not visible unless the door is open.
Currently at Wescon, we are certified for NAFS units using single and double doors, up to 42” wide and 96” tall (per slab). This doesn’t include transoms or sidelite’s, which can increase the unit height or width additionally, and still remain in compliance. Click HERE to see Wescon’s NAFS performance grades.
Highly custom doors, especially when large in size (height or width), are exempt from NAFS certification, simply because it is not realistic to test each time they come up. In these situations, your builder, architect, inspector, and supplier (Wescon) are able to help you find a solution that works for everyone. This is something which should be discussed before your project begins, to make sure all parties are on the same page and avoid problems near the end of your project.
Please note: NAFS units do not require a rough opening (r/o) to change in height, however, the rough opening width must increase by ½” overall, compared to a unit not hung to NAFS standards.
Here are some useful documents, including a chart you can use to calculate R/O sizes based on the door slab size:

NAFS Customer Guide
NAFS Usage Table

R/O Width's for NAFS Compliance

For Single Door (D):
Door width plus 2-1/2"

For Double Door (DD):
Door 1 width plus Door 2 width plus 3-1/2"

For Sidelite/Door (S/D):
Door width plus Sidelite width plus 4"

For Sidelite/Door /Sidelite (S/D/S):
Sidelite 1 width plus door width plus sidelite 2 width plus 5-1/2"

For Sidelite/Door/Door (S/DD):
Sidelite width plus door 1 width plus door 2 width plus 4"

For Sidelite/Door/Door/Sidelite (S/DD/S):
Sidelite 1 width plus door 1 width plus door 2 width plus sidelite 2 width plus 5-1/2"

R/O Height’s for NAFS Compliance

Without Transom:
Inswing: add 3" to desired door height
Outswing: add 2-1/2" to desired door height

With Transom:
Inswing: add 4-1/2" to door height plus transom height
Outswing: add 4" to door height plus transom height