The current administration has emphasized that energy efficiency – as an energy policy – is both strategically and economically important for this nation. Buildings use 40 percent of this nation’s energy for cooling, heating, lighting, and ventilation; therefore it is imperative that we use our resources wisely through appropriate building design and use of energy efficient products.
In consideration of this fact, NFRC is pleased to announce that a recent study reveals that using the Component Modeling Approach can help to improve building energy efficiency.
The independent study, recently conducted by the Heschong Mahone Group (HMG), indicates that CMA offers important benefits for construction professionals. The HMG study reveals that the use of CMA provided an increase of 11.7 percent in energy compliance margins compared to default fenestration rating values. While this study was confined to buildings in California, it strongly implies that similar results can be achieved elsewhere.
This is an important benefit because it provides users with greater accuracy and assistance in meeting requirements for above-code incentive programs.
The 11.7 percent additional compliance margin was obtained by modeling an office building with 20.8 percent window-to-floor area ratio. Additional compliance margins were found to be generally associated with buildings using more fenestration. The conclusions that can be drawn from the study include the following:
- Higher compliance margins. For buildings in the state of California, fenestration modeled with the CMA program can provide an increase in compliance margin by 11.7 percent compared to other available options.
- More accurate HVAC loads modeling and sizing. CMA provides the most accurate values of window energy and visible performance, meaning more accurate thermal load estimates and right-sized HVAC systems.
- More benefits from above-code incentive programs. For performance-based energy incentive programs such as Savings By Design, where financial incentives are available to building owners when efficiency exceeds minimum thresholds, energy efficiency is likely to be boosted as a result of CMA use, which provides designers the ability to accurately rate fenestration, and avoid the use of more punitive calculation methods. That means more incentive dollars (to a maximum of $108,373 for the largest project utilizing the most glazing included in this study) for the increased compliance margins.
The wide scope of advantages CMA brings to the marketplace makes it an exciting innovation that is likely to gain traction across the country. How would you use the more accurate energy performance ratings provided by CMA?
--Jim Benney is the National Fenestration Rating Council’s chief executive officer. He has been involved in developing product and performance standards for the window and glass industry for more than 25 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.