In a milestone vote by the California Energy Commission, window film will now be incorporated into California state building code (Title 24). This is the first time window film has been recognized as an energy-efficient building product by a state building code authority. Window film is an easy way to instantly reduce energy consumption, glare, UV exposure, and solar heat gain.
According to the new building code, starting in January 2014, window film will require a certification label from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). This label will list the film’s U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), and Visual Transmittance (VT) like it does for every manufactured fenestration product. The code also requires a 10-year warranty certificate and compliance with visual quality standards set forth by the IWFA-International Window Film Association. (Learn more about IWFA’s visual quality standards for window film here.)
Economical energy savings was the driver for this change to California’s state building code, especially after ConSol released an independent study earlier this year stating that window film is the No. 1 cost-effective way to reduce energy in a commercial building in California. Window film was found to be even more effective than upgrading HVAC systems, using additional R-38 insulation, or using sealant/caulking. And with 70 percent of California’s buildings being built before 1980, window film will be high on the list of improvements for retrofit projects.
To make sure building owners and facilities managers get the right type of window film and the expected 10-year warranty required by California, the IWFA is already offering additional training and accreditation to window film installers across the state.
What do you think about window film being incorporated into California’s state building code? Do you think other states will be considering this change as well?