Subscribe to USGNN!

USGNN Original StoryProposed Bill Could Mean More Energy-Efficient Glass and Glazing in West Virginia Schools

Legislation is currently pending in West Virginia that would amend the Code of West Virginia to allow county school boards to enter into energy-saving contracts and extend them by 15 years. If passed, the new law could help move the county schools toward the use of energy-efficient glazing.

The legislation (H.B. 2872), encourages "energy-conservation measures" to reduce energy consumption operating costs of the facilities. Included in the allowable measures are storm windows or doors, caulking or weather stripping, multi-glazed windows or doors, heat-absorbing or heat-reflective glazed and coated door or window systems or other door or window modifications that reduce energy consumption.

Curtis Wasner is a project manager at General Glass Co., a contract glazier in Charleston, W. Va. He says having legislation in place such as the proposed H.B. 2872 would help encourage more green building throughout the state, including school systems.

"We've seen a big shift toward green building here, from the performance of the metal to the performance of the glass," says Wasner, who says of the last few school installations they've worked on energy-efficient glazing systems were used. "We're trying to encourage green building with everyone," he adds.

Others are a bit more cautious when it comes the pending legislation.

"On the surface, it sounds like a good thing. Any time we can try and reduce costs and energy demand, especially for the school systems, it allows them to save money for the other things that they need," says Mike Holt, a project manager with Central Glass Co. in Charleston, W.Va. "The important thing with this, though, is to make sure it's done correctly on the legislative end and that it's implemented where it's actually needed. Schools that were built 50 years ago were not designed with energy conservation in mind, so just replacing the windows may not necessarily solve all of the problems the structure may have."

Holt adds that with new construction energy-efficient glazing systems are in almost all of their jobs.

"When it comes to building new schools the design is most important and today, most all of the schools are built with insulating glass."

The bill, which was introduced last week, has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Judiciary.

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.