Tracking the Performance of R-5 Windows

August 10th, 2012 | Category: Featured Content

The window industry runs on numbers: U values, solar heat gain coefficients, R values and visual transmittance just to name a few. Throw in doubles, triples and surfaces of glass, and there is definitely a plethora of factors to consider when both making and purchasing a window. Even the Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on what companies can or cannot claim when it comes to energy savings so that’s another set of numbers to consider. This all makes Robert Maynes, director of marketing and international sales, Mathews Brothers in Belfast, Maine, particularly happy to be involved in a project that will track home performance data, including the energy savings of his company’s R-5 windows, over the next year.

Mathews Brothers is a participant in the Department of Energy’s Volume Purchase Program, commonly referred to as the R-5 program, and was lucky enough that its factory is located an hour and a half from the site of an interesting project. It is one that has many parties collaborating together on a program that is seeking to serve as a model for energy efficiency. The company is participating in the rehabilitation of a former veterinary clinic at the old Brunswick Naval Air Station, named Brunswick Landing, and is working with a variety of suppliers in this effort, led by Dow Corning and including insulation manufacturer Dryvit and the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems. The rehab of the former clinic is designed to test the efficiency of a new vacuum-insulated wall paneling system and the entire facility will be subject to a year-long test of energy efficiency.

Maynes says he was thrilled that company president Scott Hawthorne donated 34 units, 17 fixed over 17 awnings, for the project that are triple glazed, single layer low-E, with an argon fill and a U value of .2 and utilize the new EnergyCore technology from Quanex Building Products. But what he is most excited about is the data he will have at his disposal a year from now.

“You never get good hard data from homeowners,” says Maynes. “With all the stuff going on with the FTC, no one has good hard data to work from. So with all the monitoring going on at this project we will have a good handle on it [energy savings the R-5 windows provide.]

Maynes says all the windows have been installed and the project continues with the remainder of construction.

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