BISEM Exec Presents a Cost-Effective Path to Net Zero during IGMA/GANA Meeting

Glass Magazine
March 7, 2016

Nick Bagatelos, president of BISEM Inc., offered a cost-effective path to net zero during a joint keynote presentation at the Glass Association of North America’s Annual Conference and Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance Winter Conference. The meetings were held Feb. 28-March 5 in Indian Wells, California.

Reaching net zero building goals requires a full system, full building approach. “Key when you talk to architects about net zero design is to understand it’s not about adding one piece or one element,” Bagatelos said.

This holistic approach to building design was commonplace prior to the introduction of central heating and air conditioning, Bagatelos described. There was a paradigm shift in architecture in the 50s that led to major reliance on HVAC. “Before the war, buildings were designed around climate. After, we just said, we can push a lot of air through buildings,” he said. “The way people built buildings changed.”

Net zero is pushing another paradigm shift in design, back in the other direction. “We can use technology to go back to where we were 100 years ago, when buildings were designed around climate,” Bagatelos said.

The building façade industry plays a critical role in driving this shift to net zero, as it offers the products that make net zero goals possible. Through products such as photovoltaics, dynamic glasses, sun control systems and high performance glasses, the façade industry is able to provide energy generation, to tune solar heat gain and to bring daylighting into the building. “We now have the possibility to make the building skin drive the HVAC,” Bagatelos said.  

The façade industry should also look beyond providing net zero solutions to providing net zero solutions that are cost effective, Bagatelos said. BISEM has developed a method of creating a net zero prefab office space that can bring the price down to $150 per square foot, similar to the cost of a standard office building.

“My vision has always been to bring super cost-effect solutions to bring zero energy to the wall,” Bagatelos said. 

For more coverage, read Glass Magazine's tweets from the meetings