Commercial Windows Attachment (SGS) Initiative

Executive Summary

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) engaged Navigant Consulting, Inc. (Navigant) to undertake an introductory market assessment of a new product initiative: Window Attachments, which includes products installed in commercial and residential markets. This study focuses on secondary glazing systems (SGS), which are commercial single-pane window retrofits installed on the interior side of a building. SGS products improve the performance of existing windows without replacing existing glass, window frames, or altering the exterior appearance of the building. The study’s goal was to conduct initial market research to confirm product performance, barriers, and market information sufficient to inform a preliminary market baseline.1

There is roughly 80 billion square feet of existing commercial space in the United States, including approximately 2 billion square feet of single-pane glazing. NEEA estimates roughly 470 million square feet of single-pane glazing in 3,400 existing commercial buildings in the Northwest region, establishing a substantial potential market for these window attachments. 

Objectives and Approach

The study focuses on the following five research objectives:

  1. Assess overall product performance
  2. Investigate strategies for sizing the regional market
  3. Refine understanding of market barriers
  4. Understand product drivers
  5. Identify leverage points within the existing supply chain

Navigant first conducted a literature review on the SGS technology, with a focus on product performance and existing potential in the Northwest. This review included an analysis of the Commercial Buildings Stock Assessment (CBSA) and expected growth of secondary glazing products from other secondary research to estimate the size of the national and Northwest markets. Next, the research team conducted interviews with a sample of project participants selected from the manufacturer installation data. Navigant conducted interviews with the three prominent SGS manufacturers, building owners, and installers. The interviews aimed to gather information related to product performance, market drivers and barriers, market sizing and baseline assumptions, and SGS supply chain. 

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