How Better Windows Save Businesses Money

Feb 20, 2012 No Comments by

Energy efficiency isn’t only valuable for the little guys.

The installation of energy efficient windows in office, community or educational spaces can have a dramatic impact on heating and air-conditioning bills, particularly when window designs that maximize natural light are combined with cost-saving lighting options like control dimmers, automated shading and light redirection.

The windows placed on commercial buildings vary greatly from their residential counterparts. For instance, windows in offices require a special glaze that cuts down on the solar heat generated by office lighting, equipment and people, as well as elements that control glare and day-lighting.

Preliminary research on energy efficient windows for commercial buildings can be conducted online by consulting the following resources:

  • The Federal Government’s Energy Star Program: Energy Star-approved windows are designed for residential homes, but also may be appropriate for schools or low-rise office buildings depending on structural requirements.
  •  Windows for High Performance Commercial Buildings: This website offers an overview of window design and technology options for commercial buildings, including a Façade Design Tool that gives you the opportunity to quickly compare the performance of different types of building facades based on a range of factors.
  • The COMFEN simulation tool: Developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, COMFEN analyzes different scenarios involving façade, lighting and shading options. You can download the tool for free.
  • The National Fenestration Ratings Council: The folks at the NFRC provide energy efficient ratings for windows used in residential homes, but recently established the Component Modeling Approach (CMA), a program that rates the energy efficiency of commercial window systems as well.
  • Tools for Schools: Provided by The Efficient Windows Collaborative, Tools for Schools is a resource guide on installing energy efficient windows in school buildings. With rising energy costs and tightening school budgets, Tools for Schools can provide invaluable assistance to communities nationwide searching for ways to save money and enhance the learning environment for students.

Of course, the specifics of installing energy efficient windows in commercial buildings are best left to architects, engineers and construction companies, but learning the basics ahead of time can ensure that you are well-prepared to talk to these building professionals.

Home Services, Windows

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