More building owners and developers are placing a high amount of importance on new windows when it comes to increasing both short-term satisfaction and long-term building value, of commercial buildings.
In New York City, buildings that are more than 30 years old often use shades or dark film to control the heat and glare generated by the sun, thus affecting the appearance and views from the building. Replacing the old windows can completely transform the aesthetics of a building. One study from the World Green Building Council found:
- Employee productivity had a 4% reduction in cooler and a 6% reduction in warmer temperatures
- Employees with windows had 46 minutes more sleep
- Employees had a 66% drop in performance when exposed to distracting noise
New windows provide clear views, reduced noise infiltration, and improved thermal comfort. The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that approx 50% of the commercial buildings within the USA have single pane glass in mostly non-thermal aluminum frames. Nearly 60% of existing office buildings were constructed before 1980 and before low-emissivity (Low-E) glass was in commonly use. Today, window systems for commercial buildings typically feature high-performing insulated glazed units with low-e coatings constructed with aluminum frames and thermal barriers. The glazing options for modern window systems help manage unwanted solar heat gain, controls glare, mitigates damaging UV rays and increasing natural light.
A range of 25-40% in energy savings is frequently cited by the DOE for an entire building of energy-driven retrofits. Energy models can help predict payback periods in terms of energy savings specific to windows. Replacing aging windows with modern, high thermal performance units also can significantly reduce Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HAVC) workloads. The DOE estimates that windows account for 39% of the HVAC load for heating and 28% for cooling. Evaluating the benefits of a high-performance window renovation, prior to HVAC upgrades will help save money on purchasing equipment that has been properly sized to meet the building’s reduced energy demands.
High-performance window renovations can contribute to achieving ENERGY STAR®, LEED® and other third-party energy efficient certifications. U.S. buildings consume approximately 40% of the nation’s total energy. A 2014 EPA study estimated that building retrofits could yield more than $1 trillion of energy savings over 10 years, mitigate 600 million metric tons of CO2 per year and reduce emissions by nearly 10%.
Choosing the most efficient window design can be a difficult and daunting task. Product information typically offers window properties such as shading coefficients, solar heat gain coefficients, U-Factors, or R-values, and air leakage rates. However, the actual importance of these properties depends on conditions specific to your building and site. The Adler Windows showroom features products from some of the industry’s top manufacturers, and our experts are here to help recommend the best product for your project without any limitations.