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Green focus at building conference

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:127

Ecobuild Fall: Sustainable, Green and High-Performance Solutions for the Built Environment, and AEC-ST Fall: Science & Technology for Architecture, Engineering & Construction took place Dec. 10-13 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. About 150 exhibitors showed their products, services and technology, as against 100 last year, said Laura Edwards, director of marketing, AEC-ST. The second day of the conference and the first day of the exhibition saw 2,000 attendees; the total number of attendees last year was 1,500, she said. The exhibit featured numerous workshops and seminars, and displayed the latest green and sustainable products and IT programs for architects, engineers, contractors and other building professionals. Four pavilions highlighted the floor: Green Insulation Pavilion, Intelligent Buildings Pavilion, Green Mechanical Pavilion and Efficient Windows Collaborative Pavilion. The buzz words at the conference were BIM, or building information modeling, and interoperability. “The Efficient Windows Collaborative is a coalition of window, door, skylight, and component manufacturers, federal, state and local government agencies, research institutions and others who partner to expand the market for energy efficient window products,” said John Carmody, director, Center for Sustainable Building Research, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. “Lead organizations are the Alliance to Save Energy, [Washington, D.C.] the Center for Sustainable Building Research, University of Minnesota, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs [Berkeley, Calif.], AZS Consulting [Gainesville, Fla.] and 159 active industry members and affiliates.” Carmody spoke on Dec. 12 and discussed glazing and fa?ade tools, and building design tools in his presentation, Glazing Trends for Sustainable Design. LBNL researchers have developed the COMFEN window simulation tool for commercial glazing, he said. For more information on commercial tools and information, look up the book “Window Systems for High Performance Buildings” or visit www.commercialwindows.umn.edu, he said. See the book “Residential Windows: A Guide to New Technology and Energy Performance” for residential tools or go to www.efficientwindows.org, he said. To select the right window, look for: “a product that qualifies for the Energy Star in your area; energy efficient window properties on the NFRC label; compare annual energy costs from computer simulations for a typical 2,000-square-foot home in your region; and compare window options using a computer program such as RESFEN to obtain reasonable estimates of the heating and cooling costs for your climate, house design, and utility rates,” Carmody said. “The LBNL researchers are working on new metrics for quantifying the ‘goodness’ of a daylighting design,” Carmody said. “There’s a shift from ‘single value’ parameter of ‘daylight factor,’ to a more informative and sensitive design indicator of ‘daylight autonomy’ that addresses important issues, such as measure of hourly, annual impacts; glare and overlighting; user response; and spatial differences within rooms.” In his presentation Glazing Trends for Sustainable Design, Don McCann, manager, Architectural Design Group, Viracon, Owatonna, Minn., talked about different kinds of high-performance glass, such as tinted, insulating, solar reflective, low-emissivity, laminated and silk-screened; different kinds of coatings, such as reflective, low-E and hybrid low-E; different ways of applying coating to glass, such as pyrolitic and vacuum deposited; and coating make-ups. “Forty percent to 50 percent of the total energy consumed by buildings is for electric light and to remove the heat it produces,” he said. Jim Benney, executive director, National Fenestration Rating Council, Greenbelt, Md., talked about the organization, its mission and its work in his presentation The Role of Certification and Rating in Specifying High Performance Window Systems. The keynote speaker on Dec. 12 was R.K. Stewart, principal, Gensler, San Francisco.

Films can save money on existing buildings New Jersey’s Princeton University saved about $1.8 million in renovating Chadwin Hall by using a high-performance window film to solve the building’s energy intake concerns. Faisal Nazir, president and CEO of Huper Optik, Houston, presented the case study Dec. 13 during the Ecobuild fall conference. The price of replacing the windows would have been $2.1 million. Putting a film on existing windows cost $279,000. “You are able to keep the aesthetics of windows in historical buildings yet dramatically reduce energy use,” Nazir said. Officials at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural Science in Washington, D.C., wanted to replace skylights to reduce heat in the building, Nazir said. After receiving an estimate of $720,000 for 36,000 square feet of glass at $200 a square foot, the officials chose window-film application at total cost of $70,000. Huper Optik distributes the nano-ceramic window films supplied by Southwall Technologies, Palo Alto, Calif. The IQue and V-Kool films are manufactured in Dresden, Germany. Nazir also discussed the advantages of window film: cost, logistics--a building does not have to shut down--the green equation, fragment retention in case of breakage, 99.9 percent ultraviolet blockage, less fading of objects such as furniture, and the qualification for three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design points. There is no need to throw out or recycle existing windows and use more energy to make new ones, Nazir pointed out. The film is applied on the inside surface of the glass with an adhesive that is activated by a solution, and can be pre-cut or delivered in rolls for onsite installation. The residential warranty is as long as someone owns the home; the commercial warranty is 15 years. Accelerative life testing has results in the excess of 26 years. Nazir said the company also offers a graffiti product that consists of six layers that can be peeled away.

Window technologies Two companies discussed their window technologies during a presentation Dec. 13 during the Ecobuild fall conference. Lou Podbelski, vice president of sales and marketing at Sage Electrochromics Inc., Faribault, Minn., discussed the company’s “smart” windows that darken or lighten through the use of low-voltage DC power. SageGlass panes are coated with five layers of ceramic materials that have a thickness less than 1/50th of a human hair. When voltage is applied across the coatings, ions travel from one layer to another layer. SageGlass Classic IGU can be varied from 62 percent visible light transmission in its clear state down to 3.5 percent in its tinted state, with a solar heat gain coefficient that varies from 0.48 on the high end to 0.09 on the low end. Most frames that use hollow aluminum extrusions and wood window systems will accept SageGlass IGUs. Following Podbelski, John Meade, director, business development, Southwall Technologies, Palo Alto, Calif., talked about the company’s Heat Mirror glass and films. A low emissivity and solar reflective film, Heat Mirror is can be mounted inside an insulating glass unit in a variety of configurations to provide energy conservation performance ranging from R-6 to R-20. A device in the Southwall booth showed two pieces of glass being heated to the same temperature. A typical IG unit showed a surface temperature of 110 degrees; an IG unit with Heat Mirror film displayed 90 degrees. Some statistics Meade presented: Buildings account for 36 percent of U.S. energy consumption; glass accounts for 35 percent of building energy consumption; windows account for 12.6 percent of U.S. energy usage. Nils Petermann, senior associate, Buildings and Utilities, Efficient Windows Collaborative, Washington, D.C., began the presentation by taking about the Department of Energy Zero-Energy Window Prototype 2006. The three-layer window has low-E glass, a single spacer and a 95 percent Krypton gas fill. SageGlass electrochromic glazing is used on the outboard lite. An acrylic center layer is added, and a wood/fiberglass frame is used. The prototype is a Zero Energy Window in many U.S. climates.

—By Sahely Mukerji, managing editor, Glass Magazine; Matt Slovick, editor-in-chief, Glass MagazineShare this article:

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