Windows Technologies Subprogram Area
Within the Emerging Technologies research portfolio, high-performance windows are crucial to achieving low-energy buildings. To make significant progress toward the program goal, next-generation technologies must be developed with a specific emphasis on achieving a market-acceptable installed cost to facilitate mass-market adoption.
Windows are responsible for about 10% of energy use in buildings and influence end uses that comprise 40% of building energy use. R&D is needed to enable next-generation windows that have the same thermal performance of most existing buildings’ insulated walls, while also harvesting passive heating contributions in winter and rejecting unwanted solar heat gain in summer.
Windows have a significant influence on a building’s overall energy performance. They also provide an opportunity for efficiency improvement and comfort. Advanced and novel window technologies could yield substantial energy savings while also reducing peak electricity demand in a building’s energy performance. The Windows RDO features three key areas of technology R&D:
- Highly Insulating Windows
- Dynamic Solar Control
- Daylighting and Shading.
Windows comprise the transparent portion of the building envelope, and thus serve many of the same functions as the opaque envelope. Windows serve additional functions not shared with the opaque envelope: admitting daylight, views to the outdoors, natural ventilation, and solar heating that can offset heating energy requirements in cold weather.
R&D, including new material discovery, novel technological approaches, as well as applied engineering, is key to addressing many of the performance and cost challenges faced by industry to produce highly efficient affordable windows that can achieve mainstream market acceptance.