LBNL Report Number
Of all building envelope elements, windows always have had the highest heat loss rates. However, recent advances in window technologies such as low-emissivity (low-E) coatings and low-conductivity gas fillings have begun to change the status of windows in the building energy equation, raising the average R-value (resistance to heat flow) from 2 to 4 h-ft2-F/Btu. Building on this trend and using a novel combination of low-E coatings, gas-fills, and three glazing layers, the authors developed a design concept for R-6 to R-10 super windows. Three major window manufacturers produced prototype superwindows based on this design for testing and demonstration in three utility-sponsored and -monitored energy-conserving homes in northwestern Montana. This paper discusses the design and tested performance of these three windows and identifies areas requiring further research if these window concepts are to be successfully developed for mass markets.