GANA Joins Zero Energy Commercial Buildings Consortium
December 21, 2009

The Glass Association of North America (GANA) announced it is a new member of the Zero Energy Commercial Buildings Consortium, a group of organizations interested in advancing energy-efficient commercial building technologies, practices and policies. The consortium is working with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and deliver technology, policies and practices to achieve a market transition to Zero Net Energy Commercial Buildings by 2030. The effort is in response to the creation of the Zero Net Energy Commercial Buildings Initiative (CBI) by Congress in 2007. GANA is currently the only commercial glass and glazing industry association with membership in the consortium.

"GANA is actively committed to advancing energy-efficient buildings and technologies over the near future by providing architects with a growing selection of tools for sustainable design," says GANA executive vice president Bill Yanek. "Glass and glazing manufacturers and fabricators have long been developing products for increased energy efficiency. Our membership in the consortium is one more validation of the glass industry's leadership in the green movement."

The consortium was formally launched in 2009 as the outgrowth of a multi-year organizing effort. The consortium brings together a broad range of commercial building stakeholders to collaborate with DOE to accelerate technology innovation, process change and market transformation to advance zero energy performance in new and existing commercial buildings. As a broad-based public/private partnership, the consortium builds on the membership of the High-Performance Commercial Green Buildings Partnership, convened by ASHRAE in early 2009 in response to an earlier DOE invitation to form an industry advisory group.

The consortium's initial task is to compile and review data on current and emerging technologies, systems and practices needed for zero-energy commercial buildings, and to work with DOE to identify the strategies to address cost reductions and non-cost barriers to widespread market adoption of these technologies. Several technologies and systems developed by the glass and glazing industry will fit prominently into the mix.

Additionally, consortium members will work with DOE in the short term to plan, coordinate and assist in implementing a comprehensive strategy to transform energy performance in the commercial sector through:

  • Innovation - Helping to identify and characterize promising new technologies, innovative market mechanisms and effective public policies - and recommending priorities for technology research and development, demonstrations and pilot programs;
  • Demonstration - Proving that technologies, market mechanisms and policies work and are well-documented prior to promoting their widespread deployment; and
  • Deployment - Helping to design, initiate and evaluate deployment programs for proven energy-saving technologies that are promising but underutilized.

"By engaging with the consortium, our goal is to advance glass technologies as being an integral part of the solution to be net zero in commercial buildings by 2030," says Yanek. "There are some who feel that less glass is a solution, but we will be at the table to provide answers and information illustrating that glass is a viable and preferable tool in sustainable design."

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