R-5 Window Site Goes Live

May 28, 2010

With an official progam launch taking place at the National Association of Home Builders headquarters in Washington, D.C. yesterday, the Web site featuring manufacturers accepted in the U.S. Department of Energy's Highly-Insulating R-5 Windows and Low-e Storm Windows Volume Purchase Program is now live.  With links to more than 30 manufacturers, the site is designed to provide builders, agencies, energy retrofitters and volume buyers a convenient source to look for more energy efficient products at cost-effective prices, officials state.

"The volume purchase program brings new and emerging technologies to the mainstream market at competitive prices," says Graham Parker, project manager for DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which is managing the effort. "High performance windows are ready to enter the market at just the right time–when the nation is trying to address energy efficiency, job creation and savings for consumers."

"The Department of Energy has played a key role in rapidly advancing window technology in the past few years. This program will help move these technologies into the marketplace, providing significant energy savings to homes and businesses across the country," adds Roland Risser, DOE's Building Technologies Program Manager. " This initiative will help drive demand and increase the number of offerings available to builders and project developers."

The volume purchase program is part of a multi-year integrated DOE strategy to transform the market for high efficiency windows, officials state. The initiative is designed to facilitate the broader deployment of these windows by pairing manufacturers with buyers looking to purchase large volumes of windows and by setting performance expectations for two new types of energy efficient windows. By doing so, DOE sees this program providing support for window manufacturers to help overcome the initial costs associated with producing windows at an even higher efficiency levels.

The program includes both R-5 (U value 0.2) windows and low-E storm windows. When replacing windows or building a new building, R-5 Windows can reduce heat loss through the window by 30 to 40 percent compared to a typical R-3 window available today, according to DOE. In situations where full replacement is not an option, low-E storm windows over existing windows can be used to reduce heat loads by up to 20 percent. The savings for both R-5 windows and low-E storm windows are a significant improvement over products available today—and many meet DOE's price premium target of less than $4 per square foot, it reports. With higher energy performance and lower purchase prices, windows can become an even more cost effective measure for building retrofits.

The volume purchase program received significant interest from manufacturers, the building industry, and other key industry stakeholders, DOE reports. More than 50 eligible proposals were submitted from suppliers; with over 30 suppliers meeting all program requirements currently listed on the Web site ready to sell windows products.

Windows that are part of the program must have National Fenestration Rating Council thermal performance certification and minimum structural certification in accordance with the AAMA/WDMA/CSA North American Fenestration Standard.  All storm windows must have their glass type registered in the International Glazing Database created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.