A new website intended to help architects, building engineers, and manufacturers develop and make better use of energy-efficient glazing and façade systems in commercial buildings is now available. Developed by the Windows and Envelope Materials Group of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD), at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), "Low Energy, High Performance Building Façade Solutions" is designed to help the building industry apply lessons learned from EETD's advanced research to façade design best practices. It is the result of a collaborative multi-year program funded by the Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research Program.
"New fenestration technologies and systems that optimize the synergies between the façade, lighting, and mechanical systems can deliver high performance throughout a building's lifespan," says Eleanor Lee, Staff Scientist and Deputy Group Leader in the Building Technology and Urban Systems Department. "These 'integrated' solutions represent a key opportunity to significantly reduce energy and demand, helping to move us toward our goal of zero net energy buildings by 2030."
Glazing and façade systems have very large impacts on all aspects of commercial building performance. They directly influence peak heating and cooling loads, and indirectly influence lighting loads when daylighting is considered. In addition to being a major determinant of annual energy use, they can have significant impacts on peak cooling system sizing, electric load shape, and peak electric demand. Because façades are prominent architectural and design elements, and because they influence occupant preference, satisfaction, comfort, and health, the design optimization challenge is more complex than with many other building systems.
Learn more about EETD's research on low-energy, high-performance building façade solutions at facades.lbl.gov. The site includes downloadable guidebooks, research reports, and windows- and facades-related design software.