As a thermal barrier, the building envelope plays a critical role in regulating interior temperatures and helps to determine the amount of energy required to establish a comfortable indoor environment. In commercial buildings, the space heating, cooling, and ventilation that maintain that environment account for 34 percent of energy used on site and 31 percent of primary energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. By evaluating technologies such as “smart windows” and “high R-value windows,” which directly influence HVAC requirements, the Green Proving Ground program is finding ways to make the building envelope more efficient.
Published Building Envelope Findings
The Green Proving Ground program, in association with federal laboratories, has subjected the following technologies to real-world measurement and verification in GSA buildings. Links to published results are listed below.
- 17. Applied Solar Control Retrofit Films, January 2015
- 11. Vacuum Insulated Panels, March 2014
- 10. Electrochromic and Thermochromic Windows, March 2014
- 07. High R Value Windows, December 2013