DOE awards PPG $2.1 million to help automate PV manufacturing

ppgThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded PPG Industries’ industrial coatings business $2.1 million award to help design and pilot a rapid photovoltaic (PV) module assembly process that uses automation to eliminate time and labor from the current assembly process.

PPG will use the funding, delivered through the DOE’s SunShot Initiative, to develop liquid encapsulants that will enable PV modules to be manufactured without the need for capital-intensive laminators. PPG will match each dollar committed by the DOE, resulting in a total public-private investment of approximately $4.3 million in the project.

PPG is partnering with Flextronics International, Inc., a leading global solar module manufacturer, to design and test a pilot line at Flextronics’ Milpitas, Calif., facility that will produce 60- and 72-cell modules. PPG and Flextronics expect to increase module throughput by a factor of four at half the capital expense of the existing process.

The SunShot Initiative, which is funded through the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), seeks to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade. The PPG award is part of a $13 million investment in five projects to strengthen domestic solar manufacturing and speed commercialization of efficient, affordable PV and concentrating solar power technologies.

Collaboration key to vacuum-insulated curtainwall construction

In an effort to provide better-performing building envelopes, a collaborative effort has led to the first successful testing of a vacuum-insulated high-performance thermal curtainwall system. Working closely with Dow Corning Corporation and Guardian Industries Corp., BISEM-USA recently completed independent testing of the BISEM Vacuum Wall system.

This is the first structurally glazed unitized curtainwall in North America using vacuum insulation technology to undergo industry-recognized and accepted independent performance testing for air and water resistance, and structural, seismic and thermal performance. The system was tested in accordance with AAMA 501, as published by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). Completion of the commercial testing provides the proof necessary to ensure that architects can specify this solution with confidence.

The collaboration began when Dow Corning Sales Representative Chris Combs introduced the new Dow Corning Architectural Insulation Module – featuring Dow Corning Vacuum Insulation Panel (VIP) technology – to Bagatelos, an accomplished curtainwall assembler and integrator and longtime user of Dow Corning brand products. Bagatelos immediately saw the potential.

With the Dow Corning insulation technology selected for the wall spandrel, Bagatelos looked to Guardian Industries for suitable complementary vision glass options. Guardian Industries – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of float, coated and fabricated glass for the commercial, residential and automotive markets – developed a prototype for the system that combined its vacuum-insulated glass product with SunGuard SuperNeutral 68 Low-E glass coating to meet the challenging requirements of commercial high-performance wall installations. While the vacuum-insulated glass product is currently under development, Guardian has plans to commercialize it in the future.

With the latest technologies from Dow Corning and Guardian, BISEM developed the new curtainwall with a system approach, providing outstanding thermal performance and also meeting industry established performance criteria for air and water resistance, and structural and seismic performance.

The BISEM Vacuum Wall system brings together the Dow Corning and Guardian products, along with frame, gasketing and thermal break. It features removable rigid components with good thermal properties. The test chamber walls also utilized Dow Corning DefendAir 200 liquid-applied silicone air and weather barrier on wall substrates, along with the Dow Corning Silicone Transition System to ensure a weathertight transition between the curtainwall and the surrounding chamber wall substrates, allowing the test specimen to be readily isolated.

BISEM contracted with an independent testing facility, Architectural Testing, Inc., to conduct performance testing on the BISEM Vacuum Wall system mockup. Actual structural tests and validated thermal modeling confirmed that the curtainwall would remain in place on the building for both specifically prescribed and overload conditions, without over deflecting, while also providing a complete envelope that defends against air and water infiltration and can meet stringent thermal performance goals.

According to Chris Dolan, director of commercial glass marketing for Guardian Industries, collaboratively designing and testing with technologies backed by proven, warranted performance led to a fully integrated solution. Successful completion of this high-performance curtainwall is a testament to the potential for energy-efficient façades and glass systems – and the potential of collaborative projects.

Generate BIM files for any glass configuration

ppgPPG Industries is trying to make designing with glass easier for architects. It has created a new library of building information and modeling (BIM) files and enhanced PPG Glass eVIEW, its suite of Web-based design tools to allow architects and designers to generate custom BIM files for any conceivable PPG glass configuration.

The BIM library, which is hosted on third-party specification sites such sweets.com and Autodesk Seek, contains downloadable REVIT(R) architectural files with colors and specification data for more than 170 commonly specified PPG glass configurations.

Architects and specifiers can use the files to configure customized monolithic or multi-pane insulating glass units (IGUs) combining PPG clear and tinted glasses with SOLARBAN(R) solar control, low-emissivity (low-e) glasses; SUNGATE(R) passive low-e glasses; or STARPHIRE(R) ultra-clear glass.

For energy modeling, the files can be individually imported into modeled buildings using Revit file parameters such as ultraviolet (UV) light transmittance, visible light transmittance (VLT), solar heat gain coefficients (SHGCs) and U-values. PPG glass configurations also can be modeled with other building materials and components to forecast the complete aesthetic and functional characteristics of buildings using three-dimensional (3-D) modeling and two-dimensional (2-D) drafting tools.

For more information, visit the PPG Ideascapes website or call 1-888-PPG-IDEA (774-4332).

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Receives Recycling Award at Greenbuild 2013

TarkettThe Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, one of the largest and most comprehensive pediatric hospitals and research institutes in the United States, was recently presented with Tarkett’s ReStart Award for returning a total of 53,170 pounds of flooring for recycling. The award was given during a reception in the company’s booth at the 2013 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia.

Tarkett’s annual ReStart Award honors the architect, designer, building owner, contractor/installer, and/or distributor whose project has successfully diverted the largest quantity of flooring from landfills using Tarkett’s ReStart Recycling and Reclamation Program. Projects are tracked through the ReStart process and are the method used for determining winners. To celebrate the success of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital project and efforts of the participants, Tarkett invited representatives from the hospital, architecture firm, installer and distributor to attend Greenbuild and provided airfare, lodging, ground transportation and dinner for each attendee.

Tarkett formally presented the award during a special reception on Wednesday, November 20 in front of invited guests and media. The award itself, designed by Nicole McGee, owner of Plenty Underfoot in Cleveland, Ohio, was made using Tarkett’s Johnsonite flooring scrap.

CertainTeed leads gypsum board industry in environmental claim validations

CertainTeedCertainTeed is the first manufacturer to complete the UL Environmental Claim Validation (ECV) process for its full line of gypsum products. Specifically, UL Environment provided third-party verification for environmental claims including Recycled Content, Regional Materials and Mold Resistance. Additionally, the company secured Permanent Formaldehyde Absorption Capacity validation for its industry-only AirRenew®, which features VOC-scavenging technology that helps improve indoor air quality. The independent, third-party validation process involved rigorous audits conducted at 13 manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and Canada.

CertainTeed gypsum building materials are now listed in applicable categories on UL Environment’s Sustainable Products Database. The online tool allows users to identify sustainable products by product category, company name, product name or evaluation type. The validation process has been completed at all of CertainTeed Gypsum’s manufacturing facilities.

Roof board’s greater flexural strength and pull-through resistance improves job site efficiency

georgia-paciific-gypsumGeorgia-Pacific Gypsum’s recently enhanced DensDeck Prime Roof Board has demonstrated – in third-party tests-significant attributes that boost job site efficiency. DensDeck Prime 1/4-in. fiberglass mat gypsum cover boards demonstrated 2.5 times greater flexural strength, per ASTM C473 test methodology, compared to competitive 1/4-in. gypsum fiber boards. The tests were conducted by PRI, Construction Materials Technologies, earlier this year.

For contractors using DensDeck Prime, the advantage of flexural strength (the ability of a material to withstand bending loads) is that it boosts efficiency on the job site. Additionally, 1/4-in. DensDeck Prime roof board demonstrate 22% more pull-through resistance than 1/4-in. gypsum fiber boards in the fastener system* tested, and are included in more roofing assemblies with RoofNav approvals for wind uplift performance as a cover board than competitive gypsum fiberboard.

Specific attributes include ease in handling, easy scoring and snapping with no special tools required, which means less breakage and waste — all of which can lead to significant time and potential money savings.

The overall durability and performance of DensDeck Prime-demonstrated in its fire resistance, strength, pull-through resistance, dimensional stability and mold resistance– provides a number of other advantages for contractors. For instance, in adhered, single-ply membrane testing, enhanced DensDeck Prime demonstrated an average of 24 percent better bond strength than the original product, when using solvent-based adhesives. (The average is based on 60 sq. ft./gal. coverage rates.) With adhesives applied more smoothly and consistently, contractors gain potential cost savings on the amount of adhesive used and the labor needed to apply it. Also, the mat edge wrap is on the underside of the board, allowing for smoother application of adhesive and a more aesthetically appealing appearance once the membrane is laid down.

Even more important to roofing contractors is that DensDeck Prime is the first and only fiberglass-mat gypsum roof board with a 90-day parapet warranty for exposure. The parapet application can be left uncovered, while the horizontal application of product is being completed.

For more information about the family of DensDeck roof boards, please visit the GP DensDeck website.

CertainTeed Ceilings issues industry-first health product declarations

CertainTeedCertainTeed Ceilings has issued the industry’s first Health Product Declarations. The HPDs offer detailed information on the makeup of the vast majority (24) of the company’s ceiling product families and their potential health and environmental impacts, helping architects and designers make fully informed decisions when specifying products. The HPDs will also contribute to important materials and resources credits under the newest version of LEED, which places greater emphasis on product transparency.

The HPDs were issued in alliance with the HPD Collaborative, a customer-led organization committed to the continuous improvement of the building industry’s environmental and health performance, through transparency and innovation in the building product supply chain. The HPD is an open standard that establishes a common reporting language for disclosing information about the ingredients used to construct a building product and their associated health information.

The HPDs join CertainTeed’s industry-leading library of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which have been certified by UL Environment and cover fiberglass Sustainable Insulation® and over 20 ceiling product families. While HPDs evaluate the chemical and material makeup of a product, EPDs provide third-party verification of environmental life cycle data, including a product’s production process impact, usage of raw materials and recycled content, packaging, health aspects and end of life impact.

For more information on CertainTeed’s library of EPDs and HPDs, go to the CertainTeed website.

“The Benefits of Glass” highlights benefits of daylight

Guardian SunGuardThe use of glass as a building material positively impacts learning, healing, productivity and well-being, according to a white paper published by Guardian Industries and the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The findings highlight the significant influence daylighting and outside views have on employees, workers, students, consumers and patients.

“The Benefits of Glass: A Literature Review on the Qualitative Benefit of Glass on Building Occupants” is a compilation of research on the occupational, physical, psychological, economic and social benefits related to daylighting and outside views, as well as other non-energy-related benefits of exterior glass.

“The Benefits of Glass” looks at evidence of improved learning and test scores, reduced hospital stays and increased patient comfort, and reduced absenteeism among the variety of positive impacts of glass on workers, patients, students and consumers. Authors Kathy Velikov, AIA, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan and Julie Janiski, Senior Sustainability Consultant and Project Leader at Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, focused on commonly cited literature to identify consistently proven research outcomes and opportunities for further analysis.

The body of literature encompasses recent research on the following topics: the image of glass used physically and symbolically; the importance of and preference for daylight and views; the attempts to quantify improvements in both human productivity and health as a result of both natural daylight and views. The majority of research investigated – peer-reviewed articles, industry-specific books, government-sponsored resource websites and a number of earlier literature reviews completed on similar topics – dates from 1999 onward and identifies both the state of current knowledge in this area, as well as gaps and opportunities for further work.

Guardian has made this literature review available on www.sunguardglass.com. Guardian SunGuard advanced architectural glass products includes low-E coatings, advanced glazings and tints for commercial applications that offer a range of visible light transmissions for improved daylighting, excellent solar control and a wide variety of colors and performance levels. SunGuard products provide innovative, leading solutions for appearance, economics and energy efficiency, and are available through an international network of Guardian certified Select Fabricators. For more information, visit www.sunguardglass.com.

Uponor Innovations looking for game-changing products, ideas

Uponor InnovationsUponor, Inc. has launched Uponor Innovations LLC — a new, wholly owned subsidiary and corporate enterprise designed to identify emerging markets and create new, game-changing products.

The new subsidiary will not only be exploring ideas that build upon Uponor’s core businesses, but other opportunities as well. Anyone with a good idea, including entrepreneurs, startups, business owners, management teams, investors and funds can submit an executive summary of their ideas via the Uponor Innovations website.

Uponor Innovations hopes to develop new markets and products by providing the resources entrepreneurs and startups need to succeed. This includes staff, funding, manufacturing, marketing, sales, technical support and a national distribution network. Uponor Innovations is not an investment portfolio enterprise, but rather its approach is to pursue involvement through existing Uponor assets and resources.

Uponor believes that building an innovative culture internally and externally is a great opportunity to build products and create new processes and technologies that not only help its customers differentiate and grow their business, but also inspire the industry with fresh, innovative and sustainable solutions, and enrich people’s way of life.

SOURCE Awards Winners Announced

Cooper LIghtingCooper Lighting has announced the winners of the 35th Annual SOURCE Awards national lighting design competition. The winners were recognized at LIGHTFAIR International 2012 in Las Vegas, NV. Five professional awards and six student awards were presented.

Top honors in the Professional Commercial Category went to Focus Lighting, Inc., New York, N.Y., and the design team of Paul Gregory, principal designer; Michael Cummings, principal lighting designer; Christine Hope, senior lighting designer; Scott Hay, lighting designer; and Dan Nichols, project manager for the lighting of The Chandelier lounge and bar located at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. In addition, Focus Lighting, Inc. was also honored with an Award of Recognition for the lighting of the Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, located in Los Angeles, Calif. The design team for that project included Paul Gregory, principal lighting designer; Juan Pablo Lira, senior lighting designer; Hilary Manners, lighting designer; and Kenneth Schutz, project manager.

In the Professional Residential Category, top honors went to Robert Singer, president, and Jason Diaz, lighting designer of Robert Singer and Associates, Inc., Basalt, Colo. for the lighting design of a townhome located in Vail, Colo.

Two Honorable Mention awards were presented, one in the Commercial Category and one in the Residential Category. Denver-based RLN and the design team of Rachel Petro Fitzgerald, lighting designer; AnneMarie Dienstbach, project manager; Marc Herndon, lead interior designer; Sarah McGarry, interior designer; and Kristian Barowsky, technical support assistant were honored for the lighting design of the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney, LLP located in Denver, Colo. In the Residential Category, Christopher M. Thompson, principal; James L. Sultan, senior lighting designer; and Kimberly D. Taylor, lighting designer of Seattle, Wash. based Studio Lux, LLC received an Honorable Mention award for their work on the Indian Wells Residence, an 11,030 square foot home located in Indian Wells, Calif.

In the Student Category, students in the design, architectural, lighting and engineering disciplines enter conceptual lighting design installations. Six awards were given: one Winner, two Honorable Mentions and three Awards of Recognition. The team of Francis D’Andrea, Derek Sommers and Austin Weller from the University of Cincinnati picked up the winning honor for their conceptual lighting design project of an upscale health spa titled Full Disclosure. Also from University of Cincinnati, Jennifer Sullivan was awarded an Honorable Mention award for her project of a retail cosmetics store called Orchard Beauty, Orchard Road. In addition, Ali Patterson from Ball State University was honored with an Honorable Mention Sustainable Design Award for her project of a Mountain Spirit Healthcare Facility.

An Award of Recognition honor was presented to the team of Nicolas Payan, Anna Pogorelova and Lawrence Rocha-Benavides from the University of Cincinnati for their COSMOS restaurant while Melina C. B. Pereira, from the University of Cincinnati also won for her Chicago Convention Center – Fulton Square Building Renovation lighting design. Kristin Millican from Mississippi College also received an Award of Recognition for her art gallery project titled A Site Gallery.

The University of Cincinnati students were under the direction of Brian Davies, associate professor at University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Millican was under the direction of Mandy Berdami, assistant professor and program coordinator of interior design at Mississippi College and Patterson was under the direction of Thelma Lazo-Flores, PhD, assistant professor in interior design at Ball State University.

Professional winners Focus Lighting, Inc. and Robert Singer and Associates, Inc. received a $2,000 monetary award. Student winners D’Andrea, Sommers and Weller split a $1,500 award and Sullivan and Patterson were given $500 for their Honorable Mention awards. All winners were presented with a crystal trophy and offered an invitation to attend a complimentary class at the SOURCE, Cooper Lighting’s state-of-the-art education center located at the company’s headquarters in Peachtree City, Ga. The students’ instructors are also invited to attend a class. All winners received national and local publicity.

The annual competition, which focuses on furthering the understanding, knowledge and function of lighting as a primary element in design, requires the primary and predominant use of Cooper Lighting products. Cooper Lighting has held this competition since 1977.

Entries are judged on the blending of aesthetics, creative achievement, technical performance and the degree in which the lighting met the project constraints and design concept goals.