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Raquel Ponte Costa
20 June 2012
After a successful lobbying effort by the International Window Film Association (IWFA) and ConSol, provisions for window films have been included in the proposed text of California’s statewide 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, which was approved on 9 May 2012 and is scheduled to take effect in January 2014.
The proposed 2013 standards - which will be implemented in conjunction with the triennial upgrade of other parts of the California Building Standards Code - focus on several key areas to improve the energy efficiency of newly constructed buildings. To this end, window film is specifically identified as a building product just like glass or roofing materials, but primarily for retrofit for both residential and commercial buildings. It can significantly reduce energy consumption and reduce the effects of glass breakage, glare, harmful UV exposure to the skin and interior fading of furnishings.
Among the items the new building code for window film requires is a National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) certification label, manufacturer’s name, a 10-year warranty certificate, and compliance with the IWFA’s Visual Quality Standards. Although window films are normally used on existing windows, remodelers and contractors can also use the new building code for additional guidance.
Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA explained that “this addition to the code is a major step forward for energy efficiency in California, especially when considering the amount of untreated glass in the state in the majority of buildings. The wide application of window film is a simple way to immediately cut utility demand generation and the resulting reduction of peak demand on utilities and greenhouse gases will further the state’s reputation as an environmental leader.”
This milestone legitimises window film as an energy-saving product in California, and can be used as leverage for equivalent provisions elsewhere in the US and internationally. It also bodes well for window film’s inclusion in California’s anticipated 2014 Retrofit Building Standards Code, which typically references the current New Building Standards Code in its approach.
For more details, check IWFA press release here.