Window film for glass is one of the most cost effective means of reducing solar heat gain in buildings and in reducing the amount of energy used in running HVAC systems. Now a new software program is available to predict the expected savings with solar film installation and to calculate the return-on-investment (ROI), especially for installations on large commercial buildings.

With their Demand Analyzer program Bekaert Specialty Films can provide prospective customers with a detailed written report that includes their estimated energy savings and pay back period. This sophisticated new energy simulation software package calculates ROI has been two years in the making involving many hours of solar performance specification input for all architectural films supplied by Bekaert Specialty Films and other leading film manufacturers.

Demand Analyzer is based on the US Department of Energy's DOE-2 building energy simulation program. Recognised in Australia it is considered the most reliable method available for determining energy savings. The DOE-2 program calculates energy use and operating costs of every hour of the year using typical weather data for a specific location, including those in Australia. The system simulates the energy performance of buildings and displays the results in various types of graphs and reports.

This powerful system can assist consulting engineers, architects and specifiers in designing energy-efficient buildings and developing new heating, cooling and lighting systems. The DOE-2 program is internationally recognised for the accuracy of its algorithms and its effectiveness in modelling energy-efficient buildings, HVAC systems and energy conservation methods.

Bekaert window film installers can now give customers clear, reliable data on anticipated ROI for different types of film simply by inputting information about a building. The programs calculations assess more than 75 different variables about the property, including area, size and placement of windows, type of window glass, HVAC system details, thermostat settings, insulation and more. It even factors in occupant density and the type of office equipment in use.

According to Peter Wotton, Managing Director of Bekaert Specialty Films, the calculated ROI can be surprisingly fast. "In some Demand Analyzer situations, the pay back period with the use of window film has been only a matter of months, and the predicted energy savings have been much greater than expected on large buildings," he said.

Making Demand Analyzer available is a major step forward for the window film industry. The reports not only show anticipated energy-savings, they also detail all the input data. "Financial aspects always play a large part in the decision-making process for managers of commercial buildings," Mr Wotton commented. “Being able to provide energy analysis based on concrete data is an impressive and credible way to present our products and offer sound justifications for the investment."

The program employs algorithms that allow it to evaluate an enormous number of different types of glass and glass-to-film combinations. Commercial customers are able to compare the performance of various films in their environment. If you are interested in a Demand Analyzer report on your building, contact your local installer of Bekaert Specialty Films. You will be surprised how quickly your investment will pay for itself.

- Infolink Architectural online