University Window Upgrades Save Energy

In an effort to save energy, University Facilities and Services has engaged in a five-year window replacement program. The program began in 2014 in buildings across the River Campus including Meliora Hall, Rush Rhees Library, Strong Auditorium, Gavett Hall, and Sage Art Center. Overall project goals include saving energy costs, improving cooling and heating methods, and reducing the buildings’ (and the University’s) carbon footprints.

This past summer, the windows in Harkness Hall were upgraded to the University’s standard, Peerless Windows.  The clear insulated glass units are filled with argon gas and have a high-performance low-emissivity coating. The insulated glass eliminates moisture on the inside and greatly improves the thermal performance of the window.

Harkness Hall with original windows
Harkness Hall after window upgrade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This project resulted in an 80% reduction of heat transmission because of the insulating properties of the new windows. The project also reduced ultraviolet transmissions by 66%, which will protect the building’s interior from sun damage. The fading transmissions were lowered by 42%, which will preserve the materials of the building’s interior and preserve the building’s integrity. Program Manager Joseph Viterna explains, “This results in a reduction of heating and cooling loads, as well as extending the life of the materials and furnishings within the rooms.”

Window replacement projects save money in energy costs as well as provide maintenance cost avoidance. In addition to the savings in cost and energy, Viterna outlines multiple benefits including:

  • Carbon footprint reduction resulting from energy savings
  • Improved contamination control due to less outside infiltration
  • Improved temperature control in office spaces and labs, tighter humidity control for critical processes
  • Improved building comfort
  • Improved safety, window operation and glass integrity
  • Improved protection of building furnishings
  • Improved barrier to potential insect infestation
  • Cosmetic improvement to legacy buildings

The next window replacement project in this ongoing program will be happening this summer in the Bausch and Lomb Annex.

 

Written by Isabel Lieberman, Class of 2021

 

 

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