Vitro Architectural Glass, formerly PPG Glass, donated Solarban® 70 solar control, low-E glass, to Weber State University’s (WSU’s) team that won first place in the energy performance contest of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon® 2020 Build Challenge.

In addition to winning the energy performance contest, the WSU team’s project – now a 2,540 square-foot home in Ogden, Utah – finished fifth overall in the 2020 Build Challenge. More than 70 collegiate teams competed in the 2020 Solar Decathlon.

The WSU team chose Solarban 70 glass for the 2020 Build Challenge project after researching its benefits and determining its cost-saving features and increased efficiency would offer the best solution for meeting the project’s budget and performance demands.

Photography from Weber State University

The windows for the WSU project were supplied by AMSCO Windows in Salt Lake City and contained Solarban 70 solar control, triple-silver-coated low-e glass combined with the AMSCO Studio Series vinyl frame. The windows were maximized on the eastern side of the home to allow more solar heat gain in the winter and limited on the western and southern sides to minimize heat gain in the summer.

“Since 2005, Vitro and its legacy company PPG have supported multiple Solar Decathlon Build Challenge teams in maximizing their energy performance with solar control, low-e glass windows,” said Nathan McKenna, director of marketing and innovation, Vitro Architectural Glass. “The Solarban family of glass features superior thermal control and energy efficiency attributes that are essential to designing sustainable buildings and unmatched in the architectural glass industry.”

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has hosted 10 Build Challenge contests since 2002, challenging collegiate student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The Build Challenge energy performance contest score represents the combined total of five related sub-contests, including: energy efficiency, energy production, net-zero plus energy, demand response and off-grid functionality.
The WSU team estimates it will cost approximately $9 per month, or slightly more than $100 annually, to power the home through its connection to the electrical grid, which is a drastic reduction in annual energy costs compared to similar homes in Ogden.

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