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IYOG Spotlight on High-Performance Glazing

The United Nations International Year of Glass (IYOG) 2022 celebrates the essential role of glass in society. This month, as part of NGA's continued support and celebration of IYOG, we’re spotlighting high-performance glazing.

What is High-Performance Glazing? 

According to the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) “High-performance, energy-efficient window and glazing systems are now available that can dramatically cut energy consumption…: they have lower heat loss, less air leakage, and warmer window surfaces that improve comfort and minimize condensation. These high-performance windows feature double or triple glazing, specialized transparent coatings, insulating gas sandwiched between panes, and improved frames. All of these features reduce heat transfer, thereby cutting the energy lost through windows.” The Windows and Glazing Resource Page covers basic concepts for specifying window and glazing systems, particularly energy-efficient windows.

JW Marriott exterior

Above: JW Marriott, Nashville. Photo by Chad Baumer.

High-Performance Glazing in the Building Code 

High-performance buildings are no longer optional. Building codes require it. Owners and occupants increasingly demand it. And our global sustainability depends on it, say industry sources. Read an article with examples of building projects incorporating high-performance glazing from Glass Magazine.

Insulating Glass 

interior glass and metal
UCLA Anderson School of Management. Photo by Brian Peregrina, Giroux Glass.

The glass industry offers numerous solutions to improve the performance of insulating glass in buildings. “Can we make the IGUs better thermally? We can play with coatings, with glazing, with the system, and to some degree with the whole building,” Stephen Selkowitz, principal, Stephen Selkowitz Consultants, affiliate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says. Read more.
NGA Energy Code Consultant Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting concludes “…the cumulative energy savings from triple glazing in northern climates will be significant over the life of the window as well as deliver better comfort to occupants and resilience in the face of more extreme weather” in Triple Glazing and Embodied Energy.

Resources on High-Performance Glazing

On-demand webinars

  • Watch the on-demand Thirsty Thursday webinar Designing with Multi-Cavity Insulating Glass Units presented by Joe Erb of Quanex Building Products. 


  • Watch Energy Building Codes: Next Steps for High Performing Glass and Facades, a Thirsty Thursday webinar presented by NGA Energy Code Consultant Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting. Read the related GTP Alignment in US Energy Conservation Codes ASHRAE 90.1 and IECC, which provides information on the codes’ use as national model codes, and their compliance paths for commercial and residential buildings, both new construction and existing buildings.


Get Involved in Advocating for High-Performance Glazing