Volume 46, Issue 3 - April 2011


Window Life Cycle Analysis Moves Forward: Further Funding Needed
The industry is getting closer to providing life cycle analysis data for windows, for both the commercial and residential industries (see November 2010 USGlass, page 16), but before research groups can move forward further funding is needed. That was the message from Kerry Haglund, senior research fellow at the Center for Sustainable Building Research, University of Minnesota, when she addressed members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) during their annual meeting in late February. She also spoke to USGlass to offer further details regarding these efforts.

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an analytical method used to comprehensively quantify and interpret the environmental flows to and from the environment (including emissions to air, land, and water, as well as the consumption of energy and material resources), over the entire life cycle of a product (or process or service), Haglund explained.

The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) also is looking into LCA for “different reasons” but the two groups have decided to pool their efforts. “There is a huge overlap in the data we are both collecting on the commercial side so we are partnering with them to collect this data,” Haglund said. The University of Minnesota and the Athena Institute will continue to gather data for the residential market.

“There is no current LCA data for windows in the United States,” Haglund said.

Once the data is gathered it will be entered into the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s LCI national database.

Haglund said everyone from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Star® program to door and window manufacturers have been asking for LCA data.

Last year, the DOE contributed $50,000 to the University’s research efforts and recently EPA has committed to $25,000 more. The National Fenestration Rating Council contributed $7,500 as well.

But more is needed and that was part of the reason for Haglund’s presentation at AAMA.

“We’ve been on hold,” Haglund said. “NIST put their efforts on hold as well so we can catch up.”

When addressing AAMA members, Haglund pointed out that the DOE is looking for industry support.

“The DOE wants to see industry support [funding] for phase one and then they will commit to contribute funds to phase two,” she said.

She added that further progress requires this additional funding. The University is waiting to proceed with its phase one efforts, which Haglund describes as “cradle to gate.” Phase two will consist of “cradle to grave.”

Pilkington North America Becomes Energy Star® Partner
Pilkington North America announced it has become an Energy Star Partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The company says this partnership will ensure its float glass manufacturing facilities that produce energy-efficient products are operated with concern for the environment.

In partnership with Energy Star, Pilkington North America will:

• Measure and track the energy performance of its facilities where possible by using tools such as those offered through Energy Star;

• Develop and implement a plan consistent with the Energy Star Energy Management Guidelines to achieve energy savings; and

• Help spread the word about the importance of energy efficiency.

“Energy Star partners such as Pilkington North America are leading the fight against global warming by improving the efficiency of their buildings and facilities,” says Jean Lupinacci, chief of EPA’s Energy Star Commercial and Industrial branch.

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