Archive for the 'Greenbuilding' Category

Solar Power from your Windows

The research and innovation teams working on Solar power are making progress with practical and effective solutions.  Multiple teams across the globe are focused on thinner materials and concentrators that can take sunlight and turn it into electricity.

Read About it all right here –>

New Lighting Techology Could be An Alternative to CFL’s & LED’s

By now everyone is becoming aware of the antiquity and inefficiency of incandescent light bulbs. Over 90% of the energy used to power incandescent bulbs is radiated as heat. Many studies have been released that show the incredible impact that Compact Florescent Bulbs can have on energy savings. Some states and even a country have gone so far as to ban incandescent light bulbs.

Two problems arise with new lighting technology. CFL’s contain trace amounts of mercury which makes them incredibly hazardous and difficult to dispose of. LED technology is very promising as there are no hazardous materials to worry about, however it still remains rather expensive to implement.

While we await the pricing of LED technology to fall to more affordable levels a new promising technology has just received its patent. ESL™ technology uses accelerated electrons to stimulate a phosphor coating on the inside of a standard glass light bulb. The technology causes the surface of the glass bulb itself to glow and emit light; this is different than incandescent bulbs, which run a current through a filament inside the bulb, and LED lighting, which stimulate semiconductors to produce light.

With a greener manufacturing process and a 6,000 hour lifespan, these bulbs have the potential to be one of the best lighting alternatives. Look for ESL™ Bulbs to arrive to market around September of 2008.

-WFO

Is it Accurate?

Accuracy counts… in some things.

-“He missed by a mile!

-“We were close…”

-“Looks good to me…

These expressions are one thing when stated by your sports caster or weatherman but quite another if you heard your accountant or surgeon make such statements. Accuracy is important, even vital in some instances.

The window film industry has suffered from inaccuracy, inflated paybacks, unfounded statistics, and misapplied specifications among many other things. For instance, how many times has someone misapplied single pane 1/8th inch glass specifications saying that a 15%vlt window film will block 80% of the total solar energy when the window that is being considered is dual pane? If you did then you certainly missed this one by a mile for the total solar energy rejected on insulated clear glass is closer to 71% not 80%! “Well, we were close” you may say… Hardly! What if this was a 40,000 sq foot project? The results would be different, one would be accurate and the other would be inaccurate.

This scenario can create a chain reaction of misinformation such as an inflated payback or ROI (return on investment). Statistical data becomes inaccurate when we do not take the time to generate factual data. We then have a problem because once someone discovers that we have taken liberties with specifications it erodes our credibility as a whole. It is much more beneficial to not only bring accurate data to the table so to say, but to also be able to verify that the data is accurate and explain why that is so.

For years now the window film industry has measured most of their published specifications on 1/8″ clear single pane glass. We blogged why this was the common practice and the reasoning and benefit behind it. There was always a need for a standardized specification and standardized testing that could be verified by a neutral 3rd party to be both accurate and at the same time recognized by agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE). This was a crucial step in leaving old practices behind and moving a head in the promotion of accuracy. It was also vital so that single-region measurements would not be mismarketed to the general public and misinterpreted as total solar performance data.

A landmark occasion has arrived for the window film industry. There is a neutral 3rd party organization to certify window film performance specifications not just on single pane glass but on dual pane glass as well. The National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) is a non-profit organization that administers the only uniform, independent rating and labeling system for the energy performance of windows, doors, skylights, attachment, and applied window film products. Currently, there are two window film manufacturers with certified products listed in the NFRC Applied Films Directory. This accurate data can be used to not only compare the total performance of one film to the next, but it can also be used to calculate the glass’ affect on building performance and the return on investing in window film.

We have come a long way from presenting our customers with a specification card that in most instances does not apply to their glass situation and yields an inaccurate result. NFRC Certified Films are now recognized by the DOE as an energy saving device and in time, will qualify to be rated as Energy Star products. Consumers can rest assured that they are being given the most accurate and relevant data to date so the they can be confident in their buying decision.

-vc

Which Is Greener?

Green is gold in the eyes of many marketing departments. As a result companies are changing their names to include the word “green.” The color green is splashed onto literature, business logos, and websites in an effort to re-brand company and product images so that they align themselves with the energy conservation movement. While conservation is viewed as the right thing to do, not all industries are doing the right thing when it comes to marketing their products.

There is no arguing that windows are one of the largest contributors to heat gain and heat loss in a building’s envelope. Excessive heat gain contributes to the cooling load and under performing glass can have a profound affect on the energy efficiency of a building or a home. So what does the marketing department of your regional window company tell you to do? Go green man! Replace those windows and upgrade to energy efficient performance glass, do the right thing, save money, save energy, and help to preserve the environment.

So is this the greenest solution? Well consider that it takes more than ten times the amount of energy to produce a piece of performance glass (this does not include the energy and resources needed to produce the framing unit) than it does to produce enough window film to cover the same opening. In addition to this consider that the old windows need to be removed, thrown into a landfill where the unrecycled plate glass sits in state forever.

Window film can reject up to 80% of the Total Solar Energy increasing the performance of your existing windows without having to re manufacture new glass. When compared to removal and replacement, window film is the much greener solution of the two choices. If your goal is to LEED Certify your home (LEED EH) or existing building (LEED EB) window film can get you up to 6 LEED credits towards your project by using window film as the greener alternative.

-Window Film Online