Through the looking glass
Green building leads to many benefits for the developer, property owner, and tenant. The economic savings are commonly known; a building that uses resources more efficiently can reduce operating costs. However, as green building consultant and former U.S. Green Building Council board member Jerry Yudelson argues so well in his 2009 essay, “The Business Case for Green Buildings,” for Union Real Estate Investment AG in Germany: “Most people look only at the economic benefit of savings on energy costs, neglecting the mounting evidence that green buildings return higher rents, offer faster leasing, secure greater occupancy and generate higher resale value.”
The same is true for high performing windows and other fenestration products; many people overlook the many benefits of energy-efficient fenestration. For example, buildings using high performing products tend to be more attractive to buyers and renters. Buildings that let in an abundant amount of natural light not only reduce the level of artificial lighting requirements, but have been associated with increased productivity and decreased health issues for occupants.
NFRC Ratings: A Tool to Compare Fenestration
The question remains – how do you choose high performance fenestration? The non-profit National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) provides trusted, third-party energy ratings for both residential and commercial fenestration. If you’ve ever been to the window section of your local home improvement store, or a window dealer showroom, you’ve probably seen NFRC’s residential window labels. These arm consumers with important data on how each window performs. Similar to the Miles-Per-Gallon stickers on new cars, they allow consumers to compare product performance and make educated product choices.
The non-residential design and construction industry also depends on NFRC’s independent ratings. NFRC developed the Component Modeling Approach (CMA) to easily compare the energy performance of non-residential windows that are to be assembled or built on the project site. Using a specialized software program, CMA allows users to create a product virtually using online performance data from pre-approved glazing, frame, and spacer components. The program calculates preliminary whole-product energy performance ratings. Users can change components to compare performance. Once the final fenestration product or system is selected, CMA users can have NFRC certify the ratings.
Continue reading: The benefits of CMA