The challenge offers up to $2 million to promote affordable secondary glazing systems production. The goal is to improve the efficiency of commercial windows. Graph courtesy of DOE.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has its eye on cost-effective, commercial secondary glazing systems (SGS), with a goal to improve the efficiency of existing commercial windows. The DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) is sponsoring the recently announced American-Made Building Envelope Innovation Prize competition encouraging the production of affordable secondary glazing systems. The challenge offers up to $2 million to promote commercial SGS production.

The Building Envelope Innovation Prize was established by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and EERE’s BTO. It is a part of the American-Made Challenges family of prizes and is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The prize targets innovative solutions for upgrading inefficient windows to enable building retrofits and optimize building envelopes for electrification. The goal is to help establish, support and expand innovation in window systems and push teams to rapidly develop and deploy cost-effective solutions in the secondary glazing systems market.

Prize organizers hosted an informational webinar on Feb. 27, 2024. Marc Lafrance, windows technology manager, BTO, DOE; Sam Petty, management and program analyst, BTO, DOE; Rachel Romero, project manager and senior engineer, NREL; and Emily Welp, project controller, NREL, lead the discussion. Nearly 100 participants tuned in to learn more about the competition. The webinar focused on the rules, eligibility and steps involved throughout the competition, which takes place in three phases.

Phase 1: Design Concept; up to five winners will be awarded a $50,000 cash prize each and eligibility to compete in Phase 2.

Phase 2: Prototype; up to three semifinalists will be awarded a $200,000 cash prize and eligibility to compete in Phase 3.

Phase 3: Commercialization; up to two finalists will be awarded with first place receiving a $750,000 cash prize and second place will receiving a $400,000 cash prize.

Phase 1 submissions are on June 13, 2024, at 5 p.m. ET. Official rules are only available for Phase 1; Phases 2 and 3 are in draft and can be reviewed for feedback until April 25, 2024.

Organizers say anyone interested in participating must review the official prize rules. Only SGS technology products, both static and dynamic, for commercial use and scale are eligible. Window and glass manufacturers are encouraged to apply.

For more information about DOE’s American-Made Building Envelope Innovation Prize, click here.

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