With more stringent energy requirements for new residential buildings anticipated nation wide, Energy Efficient Glass has emerged as a godsend for all involved with the building industry.

Resigned to solutions such as overhauling designs, altering house orientation or reducing window sizes, those most effected by this legislation are unaware of the many benefits of Energy Efficient Glass such as double glazed, coated and toned glass.

For example, in Victoria, ‘Res-Code’ legislation introduced by the State Government in March 2002 sets a 4 Star rating for medium density housing developments. This requirement is expected to increase from a 4 to 5 Star for all new dwellings in 2004.

Complying with such legislation is posing some great challenges to builders, architects and designers looking for cost effective ways to conform – and with current design trends leading to greater use of glass, Energy Efficient Glass allows customer expectations to be met and cutting edge designs to be maintained.

Ian Koochew, Executive Director of the Australian Glass & Glazing Association , believes that anyone looking for methods of achieving a four-star energy rating should look no further than Energy Efficient Glass.

“By using methods other than Energy Efficient Glass, the overall cost of meeting the legislation can cost as much as $3,300 for the average house*. Alternatively, by spending as little as $1,100 on glass, the same level energy rating can be achieved and the legislation comfortably met.

“In fact, utilising the correct glass can see a house with a lower-end energy rating jump as many as 3 stars!” Ian said.

Environmentally, the advantages of this legislation and the use of Energy Efficient Glass will play a considerable role in the government’s policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently, Australia’s use of Energy Efficient Glass is the worst in the western world. It is estimated that in Victoria new energy standards will reduce the State’s annual Greenhouse emissions by 40,000 tonnes over a ten-year period. This is the equivalent of removing 500,000 cars from service or the planting of 3 million trees. These benefits would be much greater if other states adopted a similar approach.

The end consumer will also benefit greatly. Over the years, windows have undergone a technical revolution. It is now possible to have lower heat loss, less air leakage, and warmer window surfaces that improve comfort, save significant money on energy bills and minimise condensation – while continuing to flood a dwelling with natural light.

Legislation aside, with ‘green’ awareness of increasing importance to consumers, products such as Energy Efficient Glass also give those in the industry a distinct marketing edge when designing and constructing a home.

“Members of the construction industry should be actively promoting and encouraging the use of Energy Efficient Glass in the use of all new buildings. Not only as a means of conforming to legislation, but as a way of giving the consumer a more comfortable home,” Ian said.

*Based on figures obtained from an average home by FirstRate.