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High Performance Commercial Fenestration Framing Systems

Description: A major objective of the U.S. Department of Energy is to have a zero energy commercial building by the year 2025. Windows have a major influence on the energy performance of the building envelope as they control over 55% of building energy load, and represent one important area where technologies can be developed to save energy. Aluminum framing systems are used in over 80% of commercial fenestration products (i.e. windows, curtain walls, store fronts, etc.). Aluminum framing systems are often required in commercial buildings because of their inherent good structural properties and long service life, which is required from commercial and architectural frames. At the same time, they are lightweight and durable, requiring very little maintenance, and offer design flexibility. An additional benefit of aluminum framing systems is their relatively low cost and easy manufacturability. Aluminum, being an easily recyclable material, also offers sustainable features. However, from energy efficiency point of view, aluminum frames have lower thermal performance due to the very high thermal conductivity of aluminum. Fenestration systems constructed of aluminum alloys therefore have lower performance in terms of being effective barrier to energy transfer (heat loss or gain). Despite the lower energy performance, aluminum is the choice material for commercial framing systems and dominates the commercial/architectural fenestration market because of the reasons mentioned above. In addition, there is no other cost effective and energy efficient replacement material available to take place of aluminum in the commercial/architectural market. Hence it is imperative to improve the performance of aluminum framing system to improve the energy performance of commercial fenestration system and in turn reduce the energy consumption of commercial building and achieve zero energy building by 2025. The objective of this project was to develop high performance, energy efficient commercial fenestration framing systems, by investigating new technologies that would improve ...
Date: January 31, 2010
Creator: Manteghi, Mike; Kumar, Sneh; Early, Joshua & Adusumalli, Bhaskar
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department