Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) announced that it donated windows made with SOLARBAN 70 solar control, low-emissivity (low-e) glass to a team of students from Weber State University (WSU), which constructed a net-zero-energy home for the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2020 Solar Decathlon.
The school’s team chose Solarban 70 glass after researching its benefits and determining that its cost-saving features and increased efficiency would offer the best solution for meeting the budget and energy-efficiency demands of the project.
“It was important to us to make our selections as practical as possible for other homeowners to adopt on their new construction or window replacement projects,” says Jeremy Farner, a professor of building design and construction at WSU, who guided the team. “Working with our window supplier, we determined that Solarban 70 glass was the best solution to achieve that goal.”
Focused on managing true cost of home ownership, Weber State’s prototype home was designed to nearly eliminate energy bills for occupants. Solarban 70 low-e glass helps cut energy costs by transmitting high levels of daylight into a home, which limits the need for artificial lighting, and by blocking the sun’s solar energy to reduce air-conditioning load.
A standard ¾-inch residential insulating glass unit (IGU) with Solarban 70 glass and conventional clear glass offers visible light transmittance (VLT) of 63 percent and a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.27, meaning the glass keeps more than 70 percent of the sun’s heat energy from entering a building. Lighting and temperature control are two of the largest energy consumers in a home.
The windows for the WSU project, which were placed in the main room, basement and garage, were supplied by AMSCO Windows in Salt Lake City. The construction of the home was completed earlier this year and it was opened for public tours in the university’s hometown of Ogden, Utah, this summer. The residence is now for sale.
Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has hosted 10 contests open to collegiate student teams that design and build efficient buildings powered by renewables and solar technology, while optimizing for key considerations including affordability, resilience and occupant health.