DOE Seeks Industry Feedback Regarding R-5 Volume Purchase

November 2nd, 2009 by DWM Magazine

The Department of Energy (DOE) continues to pursue the volume purchase project for R-5 highly insulating and low-E Storm windows with the goal of “helping both window buyers and window manufacturers by developing a market for these energy-efficient products at affordable prices.” The first-round proposals are due in December 2009. Awards will be announced in March 2010 and a Phase II RFP is scheduled for February 2011.

According to the program, manufacturers would have the opportunity to be listed as preferred vendors for projects related to government, associations, schools, universities and non-profit organizations.

“In accordance with the October 27, 2009 draft specification requirements provided by the U.S. DOE, to be considered for the R-5 Volume Purchase Program, all units must be offered at a fixed price and provide a 20-year warranty on the glass,” says Tracy Rogers, technical director for Edgetech I.G.

“In terms of performance, units must achieve a maximum 0.22 U-value for operable units and 0.20 U-factor for fixed, which will likely mandate triple-glazed insulating glass.”

Additionally, they must be certified to ASTM E2190 for insulating glass durability, NFRC 100/200 for U-factor/solar heat gain and AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/IS2/A440-05 for air, water and structural performance.

Edgetech is just one spacer supplier who says it can help companies meet these requirements.

“Most IG failures are due to moisture transmission between the spacer sealants and the glass, and incorporating a third lite adds two additional moisture vapor transmission paths – doubling the potential for IG failure over time,” Rogers says. “Edgetech provides a unique option to produce triples with Cushion Edge that removes the added worry about seal failure because it does not add extra moisture paths.”

“Additionally …. Super Spacer’s flexible warm-edge design enables IG units to expand and contract with barometric pressure changes, wind-loads and snow-loads, reducing the amount of stress on the seal and virtually eliminating seal failure – providing the confidence to offer the 20-year warranty required by the R-5 program,” he adds.

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) is encouraging window manufacturers to provide comments related to the program to the DOE.

“Even though the energy benefits of R-5 windows are exponential, their current cost inhibits their widespread acceptance,” says Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO. “With the DOE’s goal of a price premium of $4/ft² compared to current typical ENERGY STAR windows, more R-5 windows will be affordable in the marketplace, thus stimulating demand.”

He adds that the program provides window manufacturers with an attractive incentive to produce these highly insulating products.

“The majority of window manufacturers should consider submitting a proposal to be part of the program by the department’s deadline of December 2009,” says Walker.
The DOE has partnered on this purchase program with the Alliance to Save Energy, Energetics Inc. and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

As part of his presentation to Deceuninck North America customers during GlassBuild America, Graham Parker of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory clarified that the DOE will not actually be purchasing any windows as part of this initiative. The intent is to provide a website to raise awareness of these high-performing, energy-efficient products. While the manufacturers listed on the site must adhere to the programs specifications, (currently under development), the DOE will not require buyers to follow these specifications or offer incentives.
The specifications defining the minimum requirements for successful participation in the program have been provided to interested parties as part of the final round of comments, according to AAMA.

To review these specifications or provide input, please contact Terry Mapes with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory at Terry.Mapes@pnl.gov to be included in the list of interested parties. The comment period ends at 1 p.m. EST on November 13.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the program.

CLICK HERE to read a related article in DWM magazine.



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  1. QSI has been selling and installing replacement windows using glass(1″ triple oa, low-e/clear/low-e/90%+ krypton gas) that provides a 0.1 – U value/ 10 R- Value centre of glass with edgetech spacer for over 10 years, high performance low-e/argon glass since it was available. The consumer wants it and is willing to pay for it based on the comfort which they can see and feel immediately, not based on return of investment.
    Consumers will find it hard to justify based on return of investment. They will justify it based on performance and comfort.

    Terry Bobiak 905 973-2231 for contact

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