Volume 9, Issue 9 - October 2008
E Y E O N E N E R G Y
Selling a Greener Window
Rising energy costs and fears of global warming are leading cities, states and consumers toward energy-efficient construction practices. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), greenbuilt homes will account for up to 10 percent of new construction by 2010, and two-thirds of all home builders expect to be involved in green building to some degree by the end of 2008. Factors such as state regulations, tax rebates, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits and personal expression are also driving consumers to greener living spaces.
On July 17, California became the first state to enact a green building code (see story on page 26). Aspiring to increase energy efficiency and reduce water consumption, the new energy standards increase the stringency of former statewide standards by 20 percent.
Examples of California’s mandatory
requirements for windows
How do windows fit into the LEED equation? First, a home must qualify for ENERGY STAR® by either achieving a specific home energy rating-score or having a combination of features that meet specific performance levels. Once ENERGY STAR qualifications are met, there are two ways a home can gain LEED points:
1. A home energy rating score showing it exceeds the minimum performance of an ENERGY STAR home. Windows influence this score through variables such as U-factor, SHGC, orientation and size; and
2. Individual home features (insulation, windows, water heater, etc.) that exceed ENERGY STAR performance levels. Windows can contribute two or three points if their NFRC-rated energy performance values meet specifications.
Apart from regulations, tax incentives and LEED credits, some homeowners also see going green as a way to express their personalities and lifestyles. Windows can play a part in this self expression.