Window technology first of its kind for commercial buildings

Windows play a significant role in a building's energy use; in 2010, 2.55 quads of energy were lost through windows—the equivalent of more than 20 billion gallons of gasoline.  

Window manufacturer Traco, a division of Kawneer (an Alcoa company), has developed the OptiQ Ultra Thermal Window series for the commercial buildings sector, reports the U.S. Department of Energy. These windows offer thermally optimized frames, high-performance glazing, and are designed to accommodate double pane or triple pane insulating glass.

The OptiQ delivers as much as a 40 percent increase in energy efficiency compared to existing commercially available, double-pane, low-emissivity windows. The OptiQ windows are the first R-5 windows for the commercial buildings sector that achieve an architectural structural rating. The windows are made from aluminum and are designed to never rot, warp or buckle due to moisture and weather exposure. They also attain outstanding condensation resistance, which is ideal for healthcare and education applications where condensation and mold are significant concerns.

Prior to the introduction of the OptiQ, R-5 windows were not available for commercial buildings and were only available for residential use. Higher structural requirements for commercial buildings relative to residential buildings make it more difficult to develop thermally insulated windows. The OptiQ currently offers two models of windows; the AA 4325 entered the market in 2012, and the AATM 5450 was introduced at the June 2013 American Institute of Architects National Convention in Denver. Commercializing and deploying highly insulated windows such as the OptiQ provide commercial building owners and operators with more energy efficient options to reduce heating and cooling expenses. The introduction of the OptiQ series pushes the bounds of thermal performance for commercial windows, making R-5 windows available for entirely new markets.

Further cost reductions are expected for commercial windows as manufacturing volumes increase, driving the market toward additional advances in energy efficient window technologies.

Topics: Energy Recovery & Heat Recovery Ventilation, Energy Saving Products, HVAC - Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation, Insulation, Office Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Trends and Statistics, Technology, Thermal Envelope - Building Envelope, Urban Planning and Design, Ventilation, Windows - Glass and Glazing Strategies and Systems

Companies: U.S. Department of Energy

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