The Future of Green Codes and Net Zero

Bagatelos

Nick Bagatelos told attendees that photovoltaics, particularly vertical walls, will become the future of net-zero glazing.

Today’s seminars, “Fenestration and Today’s Energy Codes and Green Standards,” by David Warden, brand manager of the EnerGfacade product line for YKK,  and “Understanding and Selling Photovoltaics in the Glass Industry” by Nick Bagatelos, president of BISEM-USA Inc. offered Glass Expo Northeast™ 2013 attendees a glimpse of the eco-friendly industry future.

According to Warden, LEED Certification began taking off in 2007 but was stalled by the downturn in the economy. As the economy improves, LEED is gaining in popularity and being adopted by more states. Fixed fenestration, applied in a prescriptive method, is a 40-percent window-to-wall ratio. Codes are training down. ASHRAE, as well as IECC, are pushing to adopt green methods, but really haven’t changed their prescriptive requirements.

Operable fenestration, such as fixed windows and sliding doors, sees U-factors pushed down to about 0.45, but “some companies are pushing that envelope and getting farther down there,” Warden says.

“More codes to come are going to be even more stringent,” he added.

“What they’re doing is looking at adding a true thermal break for curtainwall and storefronts,” he said. “You’re going to see better U-factor performance” in double digits.

For thermal doors, many are entering the market with a U-factor of 0.50, but some are as low as 0.40.

“It’s starting out a new genre within the industry,” Warden said. “Before, you improved the glass to get better performance. The new step, the more economical step, is to update the framing.”

Framing is less square footage in the opening than glass, which results in up-front savings.

According to Bagatelos’ presentation, photovoltaics, particularly vertical walls, will become the future of net-zero glazing.

“I try to tell architects they need to realize when we design walls, throughout history, you have two parameters: heat-gain coefficient and U-value,” he said. “Now there’s a third and that will become part of the business in the next few years, there’s a paradigm shift where you can have generation as one of the parameters.”

In the future, Bagatelos said, glaziers may be looking at the incorporation of smart walls to assist with net zero.

“Sixty percent has been achieved through solar heat gain coefficient, but it is the last 40 percent, or net zero, that we are still reaching for,” he said.

While using these photovoltaics on roof at the perfect angle may provide 100 percent reduction, it isn’t always a viable option, or as large of a space. Vertical smart walls offer another solution.

“We produce 72 percent on a vertical wall versus on the roof … I tell clients some is better than none,” he said. “If you can’t put it on the roof, using the vertical wall still provides results.”

A net zero envelope is a combination of ideas to make the product “utilitarian,” said Bagatelos.

A lightweight grid, made of steel studs and waterproof membrane, as well as photovoltaics offers flexibility to use different cassettes for the varying needs of the building. The removable cassettes can be any type of in-fill.

Bagatelos also noted that some buildings may see a 100 percent, or more, return on investment within two to three years.

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