Bruce Lang, VP of marketing & business development at Southwall Technologies Inc., writes in FacilityManagement.com that window glass has been the weak link in conservation performance, with around 25 percent to 35 percent of the energy used in American buildings wasted due to inefficient windows and glass.
Lang says windows have a “disproportionate impact” on overall building energy efficiency compared with other building components and improving its performance may represent a significant savings opportunity.
For better window performance, Lang recommends multicavity insulating glass. This glass consists of suspending a very thin, low emissivity and solar reflective coated film inside of an insulating glass unit. According to Lang, this type of glass doesn’t have the weight disadvantages of three panes of glass and can create insulating cavities that maximize light transmission and provide conservation performance ranging from R-6 to R-20. However, these internally-mounted films do not replace low-e glass; instead they leverage the benefits of film- based and glass-based technologies.
According to Lang, the suspended film insulating glass saved Manheim Township High School in Lancaster County, Pa., 40 percent in annual energy costs.
For more green building strategies, check out these 24 strategies for increasing sustainability and optimizing performance in commercial buildings.