These days, it’s not enough to provide recycling bins to your tenants. You need to show that your buildings have met certain environmental standards like the LEED and ENERGY STAR certifications. Potential and even existing tenants want proof that the space they’re leasing meets certain standards for energy efficiency. This assures them that they are not overpaying for heating and cooling. It also lets them know they can expect comfortable temperatures year-round. Additionally, if they value being conscious of energy waste and protecting the environment, they may require that the commercial spaces they rent are owned and managed by businesses promoting these same values.
Two widely-recognized standards tenants want to see when gauging buildings’ energy efficiency are LEED and ENERGY STAR. Before we dive into more about these programs, let’s first explore how window film can positively impact energy savings and building comfort.
How Window Film Makes a Big Impact on Energy Savings in Buildings
If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around the fact that something as thin and discreet as window film can have a big impact on energy savings, here’s a very telling fact that tells the story. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), around 30 percent of buildings’ energy usage is lost due to the heat that escapes or enters windows. This proves that windows are a major source of energy loss in buildings.
Made of multiple micro-thin layers of vinyl film, window film insulates windows while still allowing for high light transmission. High-quality window film rejects solar heat and UV rays and prevents hot and cold spots for improved comfort. In addition, it reduces glare and filters out UV rays that cause skin cancer and faded furnishings.
Because of the way it works, window film can significantly impact energy savings. The DOE even identifies window film as a top-tier technology for energy conservation with one of the fastest paybacks of any energy-saving solution, with an expected ROI in as quickly as three years. With 3M™ Window Film, for example, you could save $1 to $2 per square foot of film installed or as much as 19 kWh per square foot of glass.
LEED Certification & Window Film
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally recognized green building rating system, provides objective third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies to improve performance in specific areas. These include energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Tenants, the public, and other businesses that work with yours will all recognize LEED certification and associate it with your achievement of higher building standards.
Installing high-quality window film can help your building or business earn points toward a variety of LEED credits. These include credits for reducing light pollution, improving thermal comfort, optimizing energy performance, rejecting UV rays, and other credits.
Improve Your Energy Star Score with Window Film
ENERGY STAR, a government-backed program established in 1992, both promotes and recognizes energy efficiency. Through the program, thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions that improve air quality and protect the climate.
ENERGY STAR’s goal is twofold. It aims to help the environment, but it also helps consumers and businesses save money by incorporating energy-efficient practices and products in buildings.
The 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score helps property owners and businesses assess their buildings’ energy efficiency. A score of 50 is the median. If your building scores below 50, it means it’s performing worse than half of similar buildings in the nation. A score above 50, on the other hand, indicates it’s performing better than 50 percent of its peers. A score of 75 or higher demonstrates top performance and means your building may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.
Factors like the number of occupants, size, and location of your building are used to calculate the score. Then the rating system compares the amount of energy used by other buildings meeting similar criteria. Because window film can significantly improve buildings’ energy efficiency, it can help boost your ENERGY STAR score.
Learn More About Achieving ENERGY STAR & LEED Certifications
General Solar Company remains one of the most highly regarded window film companies in the Washington DC area since 1969. In that time, we have built a reputation for professionalism, integrity, and exceptional service. We serve clients in Washington DC, Montgomery County, Rockville and Bethesda, Maryland, and surrounding areas. To schedule an appointment for a free estimate, give us a call today at 301-231-9500 or contact us using this form.