According to the US. Department of Energy- Buildings Data Book 2011, commercial buildings consume 18.2 quadrillion BTUs and spend over $179 billion per year meeting energy demands.
Since 53% of commercial buildings have single-pane glass and these buildings experience a typical 20% total energy reduction with an interior window retrofit then 1.92 billion BTU annual savings is possible.
These energy savings equate to the following reductions per US Environmental Protection Agency-Clean Energy Calculations and References:
- 115 million metric tons of CO2
- 267,000,000 barrels of oil
- 22.4 million cars
- 29 coal fired electric plants
Interior windows are installed on the inside of existing buildings with little or no disruption to the occupants. They are installed in less than an hour and require no special skills or trades. The existing window is, in effect, recycled; utilizing the energy benefits of the existing glass and multiplying it to create a terrific energy barrier. Comfort is always improved to building occupants by eliminating hot and cold zones, reducing street noise and controlling solar heat gain.
The idea of interior window systems has been around since the advent of the residential storm window but commercial systems use higher performing materials, are custom fit and are installed in buildings with hundreds if not thousands of windows.
These systems save energy in buildings for three reasons:
1. Air Infiltration Reduction: Small cracks in the window frame and glass areas act like holes in a barrel of water; allowing water to leak out. An interior window system prevents this from happening in the openings.
2. Insulation Improvement: By placing a window pane behind an existing one, a dual pane insulated glass unit is created which triples the insulating properties. This takes a window with an R=1 rating to an R=3 rating.
3. Solar Heat Gain Control: The sun’s light energy travels through the window and is absorbed in the building creating heat energy. This is sometimes desired in the winter months but is not usually wanted during the summer.
The potential to create immense energy savings in the commercial building sector is enormous. It’s not quite as easy as changing a light bulb but the savings potential is even larger than using LEDs.
Contact Thermolite today to discuss the energy savings potential in your building.