Next Generation Window and Building Envelope Systems
March 17, 2021
Energy Research and Development (500)
Electric Program Investment Charge - EPIC
William Goetzler, Kristin Landry, Micah Turner, Palak Thakur
This report examines advanced window and building envelope systems and recommends further research activities to hasten their broad market adoption. This study:
Assessed the current state-of-the-art and future technology options in windows and building envelope systems.
Evaluated the barriers to commercial-scale use in California. Identified the market segments that present the most promising opportunities.
Recommended research, development, and demonstration initiatives to overcome identified, existing barriers to broad adoption.
Incorporating research from primary and secondary sources, emerging energy-efficient technologies were investigated in three spaces: windows, insulation, and air sealing. Primary barriers to high-performing products include high costs, lack of customer awareness of their benefits, manufacturer reliance on market pull (where the market needs a product and designers then make a product to fill that need), and lack of stricter energy-efficient building codes. If these barriers can be overcome, next-step markets to target include the passive house community in the near term and the retrofit space in the long term. High-potential implementation opportunities exist in prefabricated wall retrofits for multifamily housing and housing with thin building envelopes, such as manufactured homes.