Efforts Continue to Include Curtainwall, Storefront
in Building STAR
May 27, 2010
Earlier this week the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus
Coalition (HPBCCC) hosted a luncheon in Washington, D.C., to discuss
how Building STAR legislation can bring both energy savings as well
as job creation for the commercial construction industry (CLICK
HERE for related article). The Building STAR legislation has
also seen support from a number of industry associations, as it
offers a number of opportunities for the glass and glazing industry.
"Commercial construction is in rough shape. Industry unemployment
is averaging 25 percent and is above 50 percent in some markets,"
says Kurt Shickman, director of research for the Energy Future Coalition,
a non-partisan energy policy coalition, funded by the U.N. Foundation,
aimed at bringing diverse stakeholders together behind the issues
of clean energy, energy efficiency and energy security. "Building
STAR rebates are designed to not only create jobs, but to do so
quickly after passage. We estimate that Building STAR will create
150,000 to 200,000 jobs, primarily in construction, by the end of
2011. These are high-skill, homegrown jobs that pay good wages."
According to Shickman, Building STAR includes a two-tiered rebate
for punched-hole windows that meet climate-specific efficiency levels.
"We were careful not to take a one-size-fits-all approach to
setting the window performance levels that qualify for a rebate.
Rebates for Tier 1 windows are $150 per window. More stringent Tier
2-qualified windows would earn $300 per window in rebates (CLICK
HERE for more information and details on all the rebates in
However, one concern that has been raised regarding the Building
STAR legislation is the fact that curtainwall and storefront products
were not included. Shickman says steps are being taken to address
"The Building STAR coalition has been working with a number
of glass industry groups and experts to develop a rebate for curtainwall
and storefront windows. We expect that there will be opportunities
for further consultation with Congress before passage, and we will
work in good faith to get the results of that collaboration included
in the legislation," says Shickman.
Groups, such as AAMA, have taken an active part in working to advance
the use of high-performance glazing materials, which can help create
"According to the Energy Information Agency, buildings account
for nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United
States and more than 70 percent of electricity use," says Rich
Walker, AAMA president and chief executive officer. "As an
active participant in the National Institute of Building Science's
- High Performance Buildings Council, AAMA has worked with our allies
in the building community to raise awareness of these issues to
policymakers, building owners and the public."
Walker adds, "Congress first addressed high-performance buildings
in Section 914 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. NIBS brought together
approximately 100 private sector and governmental organizations
in a High Performance Buildings Council to perform an assessment
of existing and new high performance building standards. Task forces
examined the state-of-the-art of buildings and how to improve buildings
in the areas of cost effectiveness, safety and security, sustainability,
accessibility, functionality, productivity, historic preservation
and aesthetics. NIBS then prepared a report to Congress on next
steps and tasked its High Performance Buildings Council to carry
forward the work in concert with the building industry (CLICK
HERE to read that report)."
Walker says AAMA strongly supports efforts by Congress to authorize
and appropriate funding to allow more progress through energy efficient
products, including the High-Performance Building Congressional
HERE to read more about Building STAR.
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