What's the Word at Day 2 of BEC? Green, Green, Green

Yesterday was the second day of the Glass Association of North America's 2007 Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) conference. Max Perilstein, of Arch Aluminum & Glass, and chair of the BEC division told attendees that there were 520 people taking part in the event.

If there had to be a key word to describe this year's conference, it would have to be green, as the majority of presentations tied in, some way, to energy-efficiency, green building design and LEED certification.
One of yesterday's green presentation included a green panel discussion led by Keith Boswell, an architect with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, James Bogdan of PPG and Henry Taylor of Kawneer Co. Inc.

Boswell began the presentation with a discussion on the LEED costs from the architectural and engineering side, and he should examples of projects from his firm that have received LEED ratings.

"LEED is a holistic approach in the design phase," Boswell said. "Our costs are mainly in the research that takes place early on."

The examples he presented showed how elements such as light shelves and sunshades had been used to earn LEED points. High-performance glass, insulating glass units and double-glazed facades have also been used.
Bogdan followed. He explained that the three areas in which glazing can contribute to LEED are: optimizing energy efficiency; using regional materials; and indoor environmental quality. He also noted that the three major drains of energy are interior light, heating and cooling. Products such as new low-E coatings can be used to reduce these costs.
Taylor was the third panelist. He began with a few statistics. In 2006 the AIA set a goal to cut energy costs by 50 percent by 2010 and 90 percent by 2025.

"The costs of green are not that much, but the resulting benefits can be great."
He talked some about the different areas and categories in which LEED points are available for glass, and mentioned opportunities for products such as photovoltaics. "This can be used in lieu of spandrel; it can also be used in skylights," said Taylor. "You can allow in the light and generate energy. It is a cost, but a good cost for our industry."

He encouraged everyone to recommend and suggest these high-performance products whenever they can.

"Five years ago they [architects, owners, etc.] would not have listened to you because it cost more," Taylor said. "Today they will listen to you. Do not be afraid to suggest a better product because it costs more-they will listen."

Other green areas of discussion came from presentations on electronically tintable glass, thermal requirements in curtainwall and insulating glass technology.

The BEC conference concludes today.