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Green Trendsetters 2012
Greenbuild 2012 Highlights this Year’s Leading
Green Industry Trends
Industry leaders gathered at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center
during the 2012 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo for three
full days of sustainable energy discussions. From scooping out the event’s
seminars and exhibitor halls, USGlass magazine compiled the top
five industry trends for 2012.
The Natural Way
The first apparent trend was the exhibitors’ continued goal to make better
use of natural light for doors and windows. Many exhibitors, including
Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®, Saint-Gobain and Technoform, have heightened
their company’s products through the manipulation of sunlight by separating
the rays of light from the heat to improve a building’s comprehensive
thermal performance. The benefit of this trend is that structures no longer
require the consumption of exponential amounts of energy to cool the building.
“I think our industry still has much growth to do when it
comes to leveraging natural sunlight,” said Scott Ingalls, national architectural
manager for PPG Industries. “There are a lot of decisions being made without
looking at all of the pieces of the pie such as what’s the proper amount
of daylighting and how we engineer to that increment.”
Updating the Outdated
Another common trend among Greenbuild exhibitors was a focus on retrofitting
existing buildings’ performance levels by fitting the structures with
green applications. “Out with the old and in with the new” is a phrase
that the retrofitting market is modifying. Instead of demolishing existing
structures and re-building from scratch, exhibitors reported they are
striving to fit old frames and windows with the latest green technology.
This trend curbs waste management by keeping the original structure intact
while improving on the basics. Companies such as Doralco Architectural
Metal Solutions and PPG Industries, among others, continue to hone in
on supplying products for commercial building retrofits.
“There are so many existing buildings that were built without
regard to energy use that need updating to today's standards,” agreed
John Rovi business development manager for Sapa Extrusions North America.
“Retrofitting is a way to update the building with new technologies and
materials that really make a lot of sense.”
Red, White and Bought
Many exhibitors at the conference also proudly proclaimed that their products
are manufactured in the United States. Beyond patriotism, exhibitors are
reducing their carbon footprint by using less transportation and depending
on local material instead of outsourcing to other countries. Not only
do locally sourced materials provide lower shipping costs for the company,
but the U.S. purchase requires less fuel consumption hence becoming more
eco-friendly through the production process. While this trend contributes
to the revitalization of the U.S. economy it also gives companies the
opportunity to take a more proactive role in green building management
during manufacturing. Companies such as Safti First and Polytronix Inc.
were among those pointing out that their products are produced in the
“This is one of the more talked about LEED stipulations,”
said Rovi. “I understand the local materials use less glass to transport
to the job site, but many companies are trying to figure out how to ‘work
around’ that requirement. A project being built in Omaha, Neb., has [access
to] less local products than a project built in Chicago. I'm sure changes
will come about to help offset some of these challenges.”
The Significant System of Solar
The growth of solar glazing was another reoccurring theme presented at
Greenbuild. According to conference exhibitors, the solar glazing market
skyrocketed in the industry in 2012. In hot climates, this glass can minimize
solar heat gain and help control glare. The versatile glazing can also
be used in temperate regions to balance solar control with high levels
of natural light. This method can even eliminate the need for an air-conditioning
system and in turn cuts the cost of the building by saving energy. In
addition to solar glazing other companies such as Pilkington and Skyco
Shading Systems Inc. utilized solar energy by creating a motorized shade
system that automatically responds to solar energy levels.
Defense Against Damage
In the wake of super storm Hurricane Sandy’s brutal presence across the
Eastern United States, some Greenbuild 2012 exhibitors held frequent discussions
about a building’s structural safety performance through tumultuous weather.
Kawneer, for example, provided attendees with further information about
tests and assessments available in the industry to defend against devastation.
The first method Kawneer referred to is static testing, a product assessment
that employs a conventional static testing method used to test fenestration
items. There is also shock tube testing, a moderate cost method that uses
a compressed gas charge to achieve the positive pressure of an explosion
but that usually lacks negative phase effects.
In addition to these two tests, arena testing, the most
realistic and costly assessment, tests an actual explosive charge positioned
at the projected target at a standoff distance providing both of the positive
and negative phase blast effects. Attendees of the 2012 Greenbuild conference
were able to see this year’s sustainable building trends through the exhibitors’
continued efforts to challenge and further their role in the green movement.
Next year Greenbuild will take place in Philadelphia from November 20-22.
YKK Debuts Non-Metal Exterior Curtainwall
Product at GreenBuild
During Greenbuild 2012, which took place in San Francisco,
YKK AP America Inc. (YKK) introduced its latest product, the YCW 750 SSG,
a four-sided, structurally glazed curtainwall system. In an exclusive
product-preview interview with USGlass magazine, Mike Turner, vice president
of marketing at YKK, says the curtainwall system is unique to the marketplace
because it gives the appearance of a seamless glass wall without using
any exposed metal on the outside of the structure. The product announcement
is timely; YCW 750 SSG’s heat-resistant factor, matched with its high-energy
performance rating, complements the conference’s theme of energy efficiency.
“It provides a strong resistance to heat transfer because you’re not bringing
heat through a metal frame from the outside to the inside,” says Turner.
“We’re looking at U-factors as low as .30 in the marketplace.” Turner
notes the best application types for YCW 750 SSG are facades that require
large amounts of daylight. He adds ideal commercial building projects
for the solid glass walls are architectural features such as atriums and
entrance areas. According to Turner, the YCW 750 SSG can be installed
two ways. The first method is the filled-glaze application. This is when
glazing contractors construct the aluminum frame on site and then install
the glass on site. From here the glass is bonded to the frame by the application
of structural silicone or through the use of structural tape. The second
method, meant to reduce the cost of labor, is where glazing contractors
bond the aluminum cassette to the glass in the shop environment. No chemical
bonding is done on site. From there the product goes to the field as a
semi-unitized system. The curtainwall frame structure can be assembled
on site with the bonded glass and glazed aluminum cassette clips and attached
to the frame. “That is not only a great application method to control
the quality of the bond between the frame and the glass but it also speeds
up the assembly in the field,” says Turner. Further information about
YCW 750 SSG was on display at YKK’s booth along side various products
featured in the company’s Energy Saving Tour. The objective of the tour
is to educate architects on the latest energy codes affecting building
design and strategies available to obtain low-energy, high efficiency
commercial buildings. The Energy Saving Tour was launched in Washington,
D.C. at the AIA 2012 Design Expo.
Kaitlan Mitchell is an assistant editor of USGlass
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