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Building Enclosure Research at the Department of Energy

Post Time:Dec 10,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:112

Joe Deringer, visiting researcher, Building Technologies Department, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif., discussed Building Enclosure Research at the Department of Energy at the BETEC Symposium, Dec. 10, at the Washington Convention Center.

President Obama wants net zero energy buildings by 2025 and net zero energy homes by 2020, Deringer said. The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, also known as the "Recovery Act," includes $16.8 billion for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's programs and initiatives. “57 percent of load can be impacted by building envelope retrofits,” he said.

In window R&D, the DOE’s goal is to: commercialize cost-effective R5 windows; develop dynamic glazing; develop next generation R10 windows; promote efficient products with enabling research; develop integrated daylighting strategies; and develop fenestration tests and ratings internationally, Deringer said.

The goal for next generation windows is to have a U-value of 0.10, Deringer said. The windows would possibly use vacuum glazing, and feature dynamic solar control with passive heating. The current prototype has dynamic glazing, SHGC of .04-.34 and a highly insulating U-value of .18.

“As we move toward zero energy buildings, windows will play an important role and offer a large opportunity for energy savings,” Deringer said. “Best solution: windows whose properties are variable. The goal is to have cool and smart windows [that] spectral control-transmit light, reject near-IR heat.”

The DOE has already elected GED Integrated Solutions to partner with PPG and other major companies to come up with affordable R5 windows. See related story.

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