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Architectural Record Featured INOVUES' Window Retrofit Solution in "Conquering Carbon"

Architectural Record, “the #1 source for news and information about architecture and design” published the article “Conquering Carbon” recently, highlighting the role building facades play in meeting the stringent carbon reduction requirements in New York City. The author Barbara Horwitz-Bennett featured INOVUES' non-intrusive window upgrade solution as one of the first cost-effective retrofit strategies that building owners can adopt in response to the requirements of Local Law 97 (LL97): "Owners may also consider newer window retrofit technologies such as a highly compact, lightweight glass/glazing retrofit system that mounts to the existing glass, creating a hermetically sealed insulating gap that performs like that of a factory-made insulating glass unit. Because there is no window removing/replacement involved, it can be done without disrupting building operations or occupants. Further, the technology is less expensive and faster than a conventional window retrofit, and provides a better return on investment.” Key takeaways from the article:

  • The path to sustainability in existing buildings runs through the building envelope: "Air infiltration, heat loss, and solar gain through the facade account for up to 43 percent of a commercial building’s lighting, cooling, and heating loads." ... “Façade Tectonics Institute President Helen Sanders, Ph.D., expects that improving envelope performance in existing buildings—particularly those with old, single-glazed, non-thermally broken, leaky facades–will become an important strategy to achieving both the near-term 2024 targets and the longer-term 2030 targets."

  • Facade retrofits will increase as a carbon-saving measure to meet LL97 required levels by 2030: “While there are many measures that building owners can take to slim down their carbon profile . . . , many agree that facade improvements are key to achieving LL97 compliance, particularly with stricter requirements going into effect in 2030. To put things into perspective, Bocra points out that 75 percent to 80 percent of New York’s large buildings should be able to meet 2024 carbon levels with relative ease, but before 2030, around 80 percent of these buildings will need significant retrofits and likely facade work.”

  • Economic penalties help make the case for investing in the building envelope: “Putting things in perspective, the legislation completely changes the cost-benefit analysis for envelope retrofits for existing buildings. Whereas previously, it was hard to justify costly envelope retrofits based on energy savings alone, now, with fines factored in, it is much easier to make the case for investing in the building facade.”

  • Building envelope retrofits allow for downsizing HVAC and other systems: “Without first properly upgrading an otherwise conventional envelope, nearly all changes to HVAC and possibly other building systems have a good chance of being grossly oversized, mis-coordinated, and wasteful of money, energy, emissions, and space.”

Read the entire article here.


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