Over 25% of the heat from homes and public buildings escapes through the windows so, with the rising costs of energy and increasing environmental awareness, more emphasis than ever is being placed on ways to save energy in all types of domestic, commercial and public buildings. Government regulations specifying minimum requirements for the energy efficiency of new buildings are being gradually tightened and at the same time, emphasis is being placed on the importance of improving existing housing stock. Requirements for thermal insulation in refurbishments such as replacement windows have also been tightened and various schemes have been introduced to encourage homeowners to improve efficiency.
Energy-efficient glass can play an important role in achieving these targets for thermal insulation of homes.
Window Energy Ratings or WERs, which take account of solar gain, were introduced in 2006 and they provide a good indicator of how energy-efficient windows for homes can be. The Window Energy Ratings Scheme is based on a scale of A+ through to G, with A+ rated windows being the most energy-efficient.
There are several products available which are designed to improve the thermal insulation of homes, however, without doubt the most well-known energy-efficient glazing product is Pilkington K Glass™. This unique energy-efficient glass is still one of the UK’s best-selling low-emissivity glass products and can be used in combination with Pilkington Optiwhite™ to make up the Pilkington energiKare™ double glazing units.
Window Energy Ratings are not applicable for use in public or commercial buildings where there may be both heating and cooling requirements. For these, a product from the Pilkington Optitherm™ range meeting the U-value specification, or alternatively a product from our Solar Control range may be required.
For more information visit Pilkington's website.