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Building Envelope

Revenue from investment in more energy efficient building envelopes continues to grow steadily, up 9% globally from 2012 to 2013 and 12% in the United States.

Global 2013 revenue for energy-efficient building envelopes – the elements that separate a building interior from the exterior environment, including insulation, glass, walls, and roofing – was estimated at $15.2 billion. This does not include most code-compliant construction spending, as what were once advanced technologies have become routine. Instead, the analysis focuses on leading zero net energy building development, high-efficiency homes, commercial energy retrofits, and “Smart Glass” window material for optimizing heat gain and loss. The result represents a conservative assessment of how advanced construction materials contribute to advanced energy. Thus the market assessment here should be regarded as conservative and understating the full market size.

In the United States, U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the regularly updated International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) are increasingly setting the standard for state and local building codes and/or self-imposed corporate policies. These types of programs have driven advanced energy building envelope revenue of $10.8 billion in 2013. This subsegment shows 8% year-over-year growth across zero net-energy buildings, commercial building energy retrofits, and high-efficiency homes (new and retrofit).

This total also includes $88 million in Smart Glass revenue, quantified for the first time in 2013. As identified by Navigant Research, Smart Glass, also referred to as switchable, dimmable, or dynamic glass or glazing, varies the light transmittance and thermal properties of windows across a spectrum. Unlike static glass that is designed to improve the thermal and daylighting performance of buildings, but is restricted to set parameters, smart glass has properties that can be varied depending on changing ambient conditions and the needs of users and occupants. Switching states to allow more or less light through the glazing unit can occur in timespans ranging from seconds to minutes, depending on the size of the glazing area and the technology employed.

Over the long term, revenue from new commercial zero net energy buildings with energy efficiency goals is forecast to grow at a 13% compounded annual growth rate through 2025.

Economic Impact