Volume 44, Issue 1 - January 2009

Energy & Environment

Glass and Metal Companies Take Part in GreenBuild 2008 in Boston

As many in the construction industry have learned, green building is not a passing trend; it’s here to stay, and the busy GreenBuild International Conference & Expo, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center November 19-21, exemplified that.

According to McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Outlook 2009: Trends Driving Change report, released at the show, the value of green building construction starts was up five-fold from 2005 to 2008 (from $10 billion to $36-$49 billion), and could triple by 2013.

Green building has actually been called “the bright spot in an otherwise tough economy.” In fact, USGBC members report green building to be less affected by the down market compared to non-green building. 

Glass product manufacturers were on hand to show how to create an energy-efficient building. 

Several companies under the Apogee Enterprises umbrella exhibited with new green products. Viracon introduced VUE-50 insulating glass, which was designed to provide a balance of light, comfort, solar performance and sustainability. Wausau Window and Wall Systems showed off a sunshade that intercepts solar heat gain before it can add to the HVAC system’s load. Linetec has changed its anodize etch chemistry from traditional, caustic etch to a more environmentally-friendly, acid-etch process and Tubelite spotlighted its new Therml=Block™ entrance system.

Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Guardian Industries spotlighted its energy-saving products under the theme “Saving Energy by Design.” The company’s SunGuard® architectural glass line features an array of energy-saving glass products. The booth featured the company’s “Build With Light” glass studio, where architects were able to evaluate glass under different light conditions and see how it truly looks once it is installed. 

Kawneer Co. Inc. in Norcross, Ga., displayed an advanced façade, which integrated sustainable components from product categories such as high-performance glazing, motorized sunscreen systems or photovoltaic technology. The display included the company’s energy-efficient 7500 Wall®, the thermally broken and insulated 512 Ventrow™ ventilator, along with a modification to the 1600 SunShade® and InLighten® Light Shelf. 

GlasWeld Systems chief visionary officer Mike Boyle attended to promote the green benefits of their glass repair equipment.

“We’re bringing [glass] repair to light for architects, and there are even quite a few glass manufacturers here as well who didn’t know that this was available,” said Boyle. “Repair really is a very green process in itself.”

Despite the economy, Boyle said attendance was high—numbering around 10,000.

A number of industry companies took part in the special demonstration project, “High Performance School of the Future, Today.” Designed by Project FROG, a San Francisco-based design firm, the 1,282-square-foot “learning space” incorporates the latest concepts in eco-friendly, sustainable features and products.

PPG’s Solarban 70XL glass was used because it can transmit sunlight while blocking more than 70 percent of the sun’s heat. 

YKK AP America in Austell, Ga., also was involved in the project. Among the systems was the company’s Cradle-to-Cradle-certified ThermaShade sunshade system.

Just prior to the show it was announced that the update to USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification program, LEED 2009, had passed member ballot and will be introduced in 2009. It includes a series of technical advancements focused on improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and addressing other environmental and human health outcomes. www.usgbc.org 

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