New and Underutilized Building Envelope Technologies

The following building envelope technologies are underutilized within the Federal sector. These technologies have been identified by FEMP as the most promising for Federal agency deployment. Review each technology for potential facility energy savings.

Additional information is available by clicking on the individual technology, including technology application, key factors and considerations for deployment, and points of contact.

Technology Benefits Application Weighted Score
High R-Value Windows Highly insulated windows triple pane R5 or greater (U value 0.22 and lower) windows Appropriate for deployment within most building categories. These windows should be considered in building design, renovation, or during window replacement projects. 65
Cool Roofs Cool roofs that stay cool in the sun by minimizing solar absorption and maximizing thermal emission while lessening the flow of heat from the roof into the building and reducing the need for space cooling energy in conditioned buildings. Cool roofs may also increase the need for heating energy in cold climates. For a commercial building, the decrease in annual cooling load is typically much greater than the increase in annual heating load. Applicable in most building applications. 53
Window Films A spectrally-selective film used to decrease heat gained through a window Appropriate for deployment within most building categories and should be considered in building design, renovation, or during window replacement projects. 53
Colored Paint for Heat Reflective or Absorptive Applications New technology allows paint to be any color in the visible spectrum, yet have either absorptive or reflective properties in the heat spectrum. Applicable in most building applications. 47
Green Roofs Vegetation on the roof reduces heat load and adds insulation to the roof. Also reduces storm runoff from roof. Appropriate for deployment within most building categories with higher roof to conditioned floor area ratios and should be considered in building design, renovation, or during roof replacement projects. 33
Aerogel Insulation - Piping, Ducts, and Buildings Aerogel products displace current insulation material. Aerogel insulation tends to be far thinner than current insulation because the thermal conductivity of the aerogels is so low. Appropriate for deployment across piping, ducts, and within most building categories. It should be considered in building design, construction, or major renovation. 28
Smart Windows Electrochromic glass uses electrical energy to transition between clear and darkened states. Darkened glass transmits less light and reduces heat gain when darkened, especially in dual-pane windows. Appropriate for deployment within most building categories and should be considered in building design, renovation, or during window replacement projects. 25

Ranking Criteria

Ranking hinges on three major attributes derived from specific capabilities and qualities of that technology in the Federal marketplace. Each attribute is weighted and scored individually. The ultimate ranking score is a summation of scores and weightings of each attribute, such as:

  1. Federal Impact (50% weighting): Combination of energy savings potential and applicability in the Federal market.

  2. Cost Effectiveness (30% weighting): Relative cost of the implementation and average expected return typically reported in case studies as simple payback period.

  3. Probability of Success (20% weighting): Combination of the qualitative characteristics scored separately and averaged to determine probability of success. Criteria include strength of supply chain, knowledge base, implementation difficulty, and customer acceptance.