Windows group receives $3 million in funding from CEC to develop high performance facade solutions

The purpose of this project is to develop and validate savings from a new generation of high-performance integrated window and façade solutions and develop supporting design and management toolkits so that the building industry (suppliers, designers, contractors, and owners) can more affordably meet challenging energy policy goals such as zero net energy buildings by 2030. This new set of technology solutions and tools will help create an integration platform for new and retrofit buildings that will address not only energy issues but the critical comfort, and business needs of the industry that will drive market acceptance.

The project will develop new prototypes and integrated systems in partnership with industry, demonstrate their performance and cost effectiveness using lab simulations and testing, and provide the methods, data, and tools to enable adoption throughout California. The project tasks are designed to begin where current codes and practice leave off, to enhance key performance attributes of facades in California climates, and help drive toward the solutions that will be needed to cost effectively achieve Zero Net Energy buildings.  Project includes development of the following technologies:

  1. Highly Insulating (Hi-R) windows using a novel design for the framing system and structural thin glass technology for the insulating glass unit.
  2. Advanced perimeter ventilation systems using wireless sensors and controls within a window framing system &
  3. Dynamic daylight redirecting systems based on promising new optical materials and actuators, combined with sensors and controls and integrated with dimmable lighting.

In combination, the high-performance window and facade technologies proposed in this project will 1) reduce electricity use by reducing HVAC and lighting loads. Assuming a conservative 2% market penetration in CA’s commercial building stock, the proposed technologies could reduce statewide electricity use by about 112 gigawatt-hours, and peak demand by 45 MW per year. These savings translate to about $16 million in electricity costs and mitigation of over 31,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.