Goal Set with Signing of Energy Independence and Security Act
Among the vehicle fuel and lighting efficiency standards included
in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which President
Bush signed into law yesterday morning, the new law sets a goal
for developing and disseminating "technologies, practices, and policies
for the development and establishment of zero net energy commercial
1) any commercial building newly constructed in the United States
2) 50 percent of the commercial building stock of the United States
by 2040; and
3) all commercial buildings in the United States by 2050."
Zero-net-energy commercial buildings are defined by the law as
high-performance commercial buildings designed, constructed and
1) "to require a greatly reduced quantity of energy to operate;
2) to meet the balance of energy needs from sources of energy that
do not produce greenhouse gases;
3) in a manner that will result in no net emissions of greenhouse
4) to be economically viable."
Unlike the similar H.R. 3221, Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation
Tax Act of 2007, approved by the House of Representatives, there
are no specific references in the Energy Independence Act to windows
or glass products. However, glass industry experts agree that to
become zero-net-energy, reducing energy usage is the first step.
As increased daylighting is one way of reducing the use of electric
lights, highly efficient glass products will play an important role
in creating zero-net-energy buildings.
"Low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is something that is widely
available on the market right now," says Serge Martin, vice president
of marketing of AGC Flat Glass in Alpharetta, Ga.
"I think the next step in insulating value is probably going to
come from triple-glazed [units]," suggests Mike Rupert, director
of technical services for Pittsburgh-based PPG.
John Lewis, technical director of the American Architectural Manufacturers
Association, expects that "highly-efficient low-E glazing with gas
filling" will become more commonly used to create zero-net-energy
buildings. "Framing materials will be driven to provide less conductance
to heat flow," Lewis adds.
For more information about the law, and how it will impact the
glass industry, look for future issues of USGlass magazine.
HERE to read the White House announcement about the President
signing the bill.
HERE to comment on the bill and how you expect it to impact
the commercial glass industry.
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.