As a commitment to proving energy solutions through the use of windows, an Australian Fenestration Rating Council (AFRC) has been established, modelled on successful fenetration councils in the UK and USA.

“Energy used in buildings accounts for almost 27 percent of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions,” says Tracey Gramlick, Australian Window Association (AWA) director and a pivotal player in establishing the council. “By 2010, emissions from buildings due to energy consumption are estimated to increase by 48 percent above 1990 levels.

“The AFRC will be vital in ensuring the glass and window industries make a positive contribution to this alarming energy issue. It will administer uniform, independent rating and labelling systems for the energy performance of windows, doors, skylights and attachment products.”

Gramlick says technologically advanced dynamic glazing systems are already beginning to transform the market and are making a hit overseas. “These range from coatings with switchable properties such as electrochromic glazing, to mechanical shading systems fabricated into the air gap of an insulating glass unit, or thermochromic glazing that changes transparency in response to temperature changes,” she notes.