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Secondary Glazing Systems Equip Existing Windows into the Future

Secondary Glazing Systems (SGS) are super-insulating double-glazed interior aluminum windows for commercial building retrofits that are installed without replacing the existing storefront or curtainwall glass, frames, or altering the exterior appearance of the building.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25% to 35% of energy wasted in buildings today is due to inefficient windows, adding up to 10% of total carbon emissions in the U.S. annually.

The SGS target market is single-glazed existing buildings built between 1945 and 1990. For these buildings, SGS is approximately half the cost of replacement and may be installed as a stand-alone energy efficiency measure or as part of an Integrated Measures Package, as in the NEEA Existing Building Renewal Initiative.

SGS is a newer product in the marketplace, so a lack of awareness is limiting its use as an energy efficiency measure. To counteract this lack of awareness, NEEA is working to develop standardized product testing with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to verify performance and to analyze the associated costs and energy savings of SGS.

By providing education about the low-cost energy efficiency benefits and by increasing availability and lowering costs through utility incentives, NEEA will help encourage SGS adoption by building owners, operators, contractors, and design professionals across the Northwest.

NEEA expects to report initial results at the beginning of 2015.