The U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Green Proving Ground (GPG) program has selected 20 building technologies to test in buildings to help decarbonize the built environment. Among the selection are several window retrofit technologies that aim to improve the performance of a building’s exterior envelope.
GSA officials say that this year’s program focuses on American-made technologies in seven areas, including window retrofit, onsite renewables, high-performance, and grid-interactive efficient buildings, among others. These technologies will be tested in real-world buildings.
“Across the country, we’re turning federal buildings into testbeds for clean energy innovation, which will mean more good jobs, savings for taxpayers and a healthier planet for our kids,” says GSA administrator Robin Carnahan.
The GPG program uses a sizable real estate portfolio to assess innovative building technologies in actual environments, assisting GSA and the U.S. Department of Energy in validating the technical merits and potential for widespread adoption of viable technologies.
Window Retrofit Technologies
GSA chose three window retrofit technologies to test, including vacuum-insulating glazing from Pilkington, R14 interior window retrofit system from Vitro Architectural Glass and a secondary window framing system from Indow.
The technologies were selected in response to GSA’s request for information, which sought recommendations of technologies that could improve the operating efficiency of commercial buildings while promoting healthy workplaces; enable whole-building electrification; facilitate greenhouse gas reductions; and provide on-site energy generation and storage systems. The Inflation Reduction Act funds the program in an effort to support GSA’s goals of achieving a 65% reduction in greenhouse gas by 2030 and net-zero operational emissions by 2045.
Reducing Energy Loss in Buildings
The government’s push for energy-efficient technologies comes with the need to reduce persistent energy loss in buildings. Studies show that the built environment is responsible for an estimated 40% of annual global carbon dioxide emissions. Anas Al Kassas, founder and CEO of Inovues, told USGlass magazine that experts estimate “as many as 70% of all buildings have inefficient glazing, contributing to more than $57 billion in energy loss in U.S. commercial buildings alone each year.”