Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Program launched the R-5 Windows Volume Purchase Program that gives fenestration manufacturers an opportunity to be listed as preferred vendors for the following types of buildings: associations, K-12 schools, local/state agencies, federal government, builders/contractors, non-profits and universities. The goals of the R-5 program are to save energy, reduce the costs to buyers for R-5 windows and low-e storm windows, provide business to manufacturers, create jobs and develop a market for energy-efficient products.
In accordance with December 18, 2009 specification requirements provided by the U.S. DOE, to be considered for the R-5 Volume Purchase Program, all 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 compliant with and/or 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.
All windows must be offered at a fixed maximum price and provide a 20-year warranty on the full IG system. Regarding the warranty, the current language reads: "(glass) warranted against visible obstruction through the glass caused by defect or failure of the air seal around the glass. Provider has option to repair, replace, or refund the glass."
Triple Advantage with Super Spacer
Many IG manufacturers have already added or are in the process of adding triples to their product mixes to achieve the improved U-values, condensation resistance, and sound dampening properties to meet increasingly stringent energy regulations. With R-5, now there is yet another reason to take the leap to three panes.
But, what is the most efficient way to begin fabricating triples to meet R-5 requirements?
Super Spacer®, of course, and here are three reasons why: Quality Assurance – 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. Edgetech provides a unique option to produce triples with Cushion Edge, a version of Super Spacer with a groove in the middle that suspends the third lite of glass. With Cushion Edge, there are no additional moisture vapor paths like other spacer systems and no additional worry about seal failure. Cushion Edge’s unique design also enables fabrication of triples with only one spacer rather than two. Production Efficiencies – With metal spacers, efficiently fabricating triples properly can be difficult to achieve because units must pass through an oven press to bond the sealant to the glass and the temperature must be finely tuned each time to ensure a proper seal in the center section. If the proper temperature is not used the chance of seal failure increases dramatically. On the other hand, Super Spacer bonds with pressure alone and there is no need to apply heat – saving energy during production and ensuring a consistent adhesion for all four moisture vapor transmission paths.
Energy Efficiency/Sustainability – The no-metal formula of Super Spacer offers the warmest edge of glass temperature, as well as long-term durability/sustainability. 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. Adding triples may not be as simple as 1-2-3, but with Super Spacer manufacturers can more efficiently build triples that are cost-effective and meet the requirements of R-5. Learn more about the challenges and rewards of triples.
The R-5 Volume Purchase RFP went out in October 2009 and first-round proposals are due February 19, 2010. Awards will be announced in March 2010 and a Phase II RFP is scheduled for February 2011. More information can be found at www.r-5windowsvolumepurchase.com.