The White House takes action to reduce carbon emissions, increase clean energy, and improve public health. FreMarq Innovations manufacturing firm says bill misses the single most critical element in a net-zero economy: commercial windows and curtain walls.
ST. MERRILL, Wis., Aug. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The Biden Administration recently introduced the Climate Smart Buildings Initiative. Unfortunately, these efforts will have limited benefits without addressing commercial windows and curtain walls. The bill proposes systematically modernizing public buildings by "increasing on-site clean electricity generation, adding the latest clean energy technology… installing efficient lighting and insulation, and installing and integrating electric vehicle supply equipment."(1) "Commercial building systems like lighting and HVAC are routinely updated and replaced, but windows and curtain walls are expected to last for up to 50 to 100 years without replacement," says Todd Frederick, Founder and President of FreMarq Innovations, who after 40 years of being in the industry develop the most economic and energy efficient curtain wall and window system for commercial building in the market today.
Curtain walls have become the standard in commercial buildings, however due the conductivity of the aluminum framing it is the most inefficient part of a building's façade.
A well-constructed building facade with an adequate thermal break can reduce energy consumption by 50%, which is especially impactful because building climate control is one of the top energy demands.(2) The thermal efficiency of windows and curtain walls has a consequential and ongoing impact on energy consumption.(3)
"The building sector alone generates nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions annually," Frederick says, "more than any other sector. If we are really going to hit our carbon emission reduction targets this needs to be addressed today. "
Historical Upsurge of High Rises…and Their Downfall
In the beginning, high- rise buildings solved a significant problem. They accommodated larger properties on a smaller land footprint, making them more affordable to build and operate in densely populated areas. Unfortunately, their steel and glass construction created energy-inefficient fenestration (arrangement and design of windows and doors in a building).
According to research from the University College London's Energy Institute, "Electricity use, per square foot of floor area, is nearly 2.5 times greater in high-rise office buildings of 20 or more stories than in low-rise buildings of six stories or less…and gas use also increases with height, by around 40%. As a result, total carbon emissions from gas and electricity from high-rise buildings are twice as high as in low-rise." While double-paned windows have added minimal efficiencies, the energy efficiency of high rises buildings falls far short of potential.
"In the 70s the R-Value of single paned windows was R-1—and in the 80's with the development of double pane glass, a windows R value increased to R-2," said Frederick. "Today, after 50 years the R-value of a window performance has only improved to less than R-3."
Frederick saw the economic and energy drain caused by inefficient commercial windows and curtain walls and set out in 2016 to solve this problem. He identified the biggest hurdle not as the glass itself but in the design and engineering of the framing. His team spent six years researching and developing the most energy-efficient framing system available on the market for both new and retrofit construction.
The innovative products have pushed the boundaries of what many architects and builders thought was impossible. With FreMarq's standard Zero•Net™ systems, a COG (center of glass) of 0.24 can now provide an assembled U-Value of 0.28 (R-3.6) or better. Their Zero•Net™ R7 products exceed the thermal performance of current standard systems by three times. They have identified and stopped the "weak link" in curtainwall performance with their FortMax™ thermal barrier framing systems. These systems provide assembled U-Values as low as 0.14. (All reported U-Values calculated per NFRC 100.) It took the market 50 years to improve energy performance from a R-1 to R-3, it took FreMarq six years to reach an R-7.
The ramifications of inefficient windows and curtain walls in commercial properties is expensive for business owners, investors, and tenants. By contrast, high-performance windows and curtain walls systems allow buildings to save energy, lower carbon emissions, lower operating cost, have more satisfied occupants, and maintain better occupancy rates.
To highlight the difference between an inefficient system and a high-performance system FreMarq has developed an Energy Savings Calculator. This calculator estimates annual emission of carbon and energy costs, and can be found via FreMarq's website: http://www.fremarqinnovations.com
"The policy priority should be to ensure the best available windows and curtain walls are installed in each new building or retrofit projects," says Frederick. "The economic and carbon-emission ramifications for not addressing commercial windows and curtain walls are too astounding to be ignored. The fastest and only way to net zero is to conserve energy."
About FreMarq Innovations:
FreMarq Innovations is an innovate architectural framing company founded in 2016 to develop an energy-efficient curtain walls and windows that were previously deemed "impossible." Not only did they engineer and patent it, but they also made it available to all the architects and building owners — and they did it in less than six years. Find out how this technology, combined with architectural engineering and ingenuity, can create buildings that can last, perform and serve: visit https://fremarqinnovations.com/
1. The White House. "FACT SHEET: White House Takes Action on Climate by Accelerating Energy Efficiency Projects Across Federal Government." 03 Aug 2022, whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/08/03/fact-sheet-white-house-takes-action-on-climate-by-accelerating-energy-efficiency-projects-across-federal-government/.
2. Planas, C; Cuerva, E; Alavedra, P; "Effects of the type of facade on the energy performance of office buildings representative of the city of Barcelona." December 2018, Section 4.1. sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2090447917301259/.
3. Ihara, Takeshi; Gustavsen, Arild; Jelle, Bjørn Petter; "Effect of facade components on energy efficiency in office buildings." November 2015 Applied Energy 158:422-432
Karla Jo Helms, JOTO PR Disruptors, 727-777-4619, [email protected]
SOURCE FreMarq Innovations