Volume 46, Issue 9 - October 2011


Energy Efficiency, Sustainability Are Focus of Façades Design Conference

The 2nd Façades Design & Delivery Conference was filled with several examples of best practices and projects, attendees say.
The conference, organized by IQPC and co-sponsored by USGlass magazine, took place September 7-9 in Los Angeles.

“The primary theme is really energy-efficient façades using techniques and solutions from around the world,” says Udi Paret, vice president of business development for Pythagoras Solar.

About 70 people attended the conference, says Mic Patterson, director of strategic development at Enclos Corp. He noted that the tightly honed attendance is deliberate. “It’s a very focused group, and they want to keep it close-knit and hands-on,” he says.

“The need for open and honest dialog is important when a conference like this is held,” adds John Rovi of Curtain Wall Design & Consulting Inc. “There were two occasions to exchange ideas between the panel and audience, to talk through some of these issues.”

Paret noted that the attendees shared a “genuine interest and desire to drive towards more energy-efficient façades and net-zero-energy buildings. This created an environment of open and effective discussion.”

This conference has successfully picked up on where the first conference left off, Patterson adds. “I’m seeing things emerge and become trends, like shading systems, building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), new photovoltaic (PV) products and rationalization of complex façade geometries. BIPV is coming on slowly. Electrochromic glass seems to be moving fast, with some significant improvements in cost and availability imminent. Energy efficiency is increasingly about energy balance—daylighting and solar gain. A new version of COMFEN by LBNL is proving to be a robust front end conceptual design tool for architects and facade designers (see page 16). There also has been more dialogue on double-skin façades and project delivery.”

Integrated project delivery was a major topic of discussion, says Allen Davidson, architectural products manager at W&W Glass LLC. “Architects are looking for façades to be integrated in project delivery,” he says. “A lot of projects have been discussed, [with] their architectural challenges, such as the Sea-Tac central terminal, the Gugenheim and the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center. Energy-efficient innovations in Europe also [was] a topic of discussion.”

Energy Star® Ratings Now Available for Multifamily Buildings
Officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced August 30 that new multifamily high-rise residential buildings are now eligible to qualify for an Energy Star rating.

“This is a very significant milestone for the Energy Star program and a welcome one for promoting the use of Energy Star-qualified fenestration,” says Jeffrey Inks, vice president of code and regulatory affairs for the Window & Door Manufacturers Association. “It’s also extremely important to promoting energy-efficient retrofits of existing construction.”

While high-rise multifamily is only 5 percent of the U.S. residential market, there is still a large chunk of carbon to be captured, says Arlene Z. Stewart, president of AZS Consulting Inc. ”Since most units only have one exterior side to the building envelope, in actuality, they are 27-percent less efficient than single family on a per unit basis,” she says.

An important fact to keep in mind regarding this program is that given high-rise buildings designed for multifamily occupancy are constructed with commercial fenestration products, this new Energy Star certification applies to the building itself and not the products used to clad the building, says Mike Turner, vice president of marketing of YKK AP America Inc. “This is a common specification error that appears on commercial buildings when greater energy efficiency is desired. Buildings seeking this certification will need to incorporate commercial products that perform at least 15-percent better than code,” he says.

To qualify for Energy Star, new or substantially rehabilitated multifamily high-rise buildings must meet energy-efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and be designed to be at least 15-percent more energy-efficient than buildings that meet the ASHRAE energy use standard.

© Copyright 2011 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.