Building knowledge and connections
  • California Clean Water Agencies Champion Clean Energy Initiative

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) is spearheading a statewide initiative to better educate the public, regulators, and local, state and federal leaders on the role they need to play in achieving new state and national clean energy goals.

    In Governor Jerry Brown's 2012 State of the State address, he called for "…a goal of 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020." In President Barack Obama's 2012 State of the Union address, he set a goal of having 80 percent of all Americans' electricity provided through clean energy by 2035. California's clean water agencies are listening and responding to the demand for clean energy.

    Many of California's publicly owned clean water agencies and wastewater treatment plants are successfully generating clean energy to offset their individual agency needs. Wastewater plants are identified as resource recovery agencies producing energy in the form of biogas, biosolids, and methane. They are also able to produce energy when processing foods, fats, oil and grease provided by restaurants and residents.

    "California's clean water agencies are ready to be active partners at the state and national level to achieve these clean energy goals," CASA President Gary Darling said. He added, "Local wastewater treatment and recycled water facilities are the ideal places to look at when investing resources into clean energy generation. Increased clean energy production at local wastewater facilities is just one of the ways we are protecting the environmental and local waterways."

    CASA's initiative is not only aimed at educating about the value of clean energy, but it will identify opportunities in public forums to advocate for investing in its members' clean energy production, as well as removing any obstacles for funding and production.

    "Clean energy production is a relatively new industry, both the public and the decision-makers need to understand dollars invested today will reap benefits in the future by helping to significantly reduce our reliance on traditional, and rapidly dwindling, energy supplies such as oil," Darling said.

    In April 2009, a Water Environment Research Foundation report stated, "The energy potential contained in wastewater and biosolids exceeds by at least five times the energy used to treat it." Currently, some California wastewater facilities are striving for a net zero energy consumption, literally becoming energy neutral by generating their own heat and power and even having excess energy available for outside use.

    "This is an exciting time for California's clean water agencies," said Darling. "We have the opportunity to be part of our nation's transformation from energy users to energy producers by expanding our everyday resource recovery work practices. Waste to watts, that's our vision."

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  • Holcim (US) to Present, Exhibit and Receive Industry Award at World of Concrete Trade Show

    WALTHAM, Mass., Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Holcim (US) Inc. will be recognized as an industry leader at this month's World of Concrete (WOC) trade show held in Las Vegas, Nevada with the distinction of presenting, exhibiting and receiving an award for innovative research and product development. A variety of events at WOC will highlight Holcim's advancements in quality and sustainability strategy.

    "Holcim is excited to have a highly-visible presence at this year's World of Concrete event," said Bernard Terver, president and chief executive officer of Holcim (US). "We are committed to leading the industry through innovations in sustainability, safety, and design strategy. WOC allows us to share these developments with likeminded professionals and collaborate on advancing common goals."

    Steve Morrical, senior technical service engineer, will be recognized by Concrete Construction Magazine as one of the Most Influential People of the Year. Morrical's role on ACI committee 306 "Cold Weather Concreting" was integral to producing the guide, the first update in over twenty years. The guide provides contractors, engineers and suppliers with information pertaining to the proper methods of placing and protecting concrete in cold weather environments, as well as the most current information on in-place testing methods and cold weather admixture systems.

    Tim Cost, senior technical service engineer at Holcim (US) will share his expertise in concrete incompatibilities and related testing in a new World of Concrete Education Program. The seminar will highlight simple testing and resolution processes for dealing with this common source of concrete performance issues.

    Morrical will receive his award Tuesday, January 24, at 4:00 p.m in the Concrete Surfaces & Decorative Pavilion. Cost's presentation "Incompatibility of Concrete Materials – Evaluation, Resolution, and Related Testing" is on Thursday, January 26, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., room N119, in the North Hall.

    WOC attendees visiting the Holcim (US) booth will also be the first to see Holcim's new Forecasting application supported by Android, Apple iOs, Windows 7 Mobile and certain BlackBerry devices through web browsers. The application offers a GPS location feature and four-day forecast and favorability conditions for pouring concrete. The forecast factors in the weather conditions and dryness factor with concrete data to provide users with quantifiable and easily shared information. This application will be provided free of charge.

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  • List of Top 10 States for LEED Green Buildings Released

    U.S. Green Building Council releases list of top U.S. states for LEED-certified projects in 2011

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) today released its 2011 list of top 10 states for LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita, based on the U.S. 2010 Census information. The District of Columbia leads the nation, with more than 31 square feet of LEED-certified space per person in 2011, with Colorado being the leading state, with 2.74 square feet per person in 2011.

    Other top states include Illinois, Virginia and Washington, with 2.69, 2.42 and 2.18 square feet of LEED-certified space per person, respectively. The top LEED states per capita, including the District of Columbia:

    Sq. ft. of space to earn LEED-certification in 2011
    District of Columbia 18,954,022
    Colorado 13,803,113
    Illinois 34,567,585
    Virginia 19,358,193
    Washington 14,667,558
    Maryland 11,970,869
    Massachusetts 13,087,625
    Texas 50,001,476
    California 71,551,296
    New York 36,538,981
    Minnesota 9,591,445

    In December 2011, USGBC announced that LEED-certified existing buildings outpaced their newly built counterparts by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis. A focus on heightened building performance through green operations and maintenance is essential to cost-effectively driving improvements in the economy and the environment.

    For the full list of LEED-certified projects visit:

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  • The Urban Land Institute Joins Forces with the Greenprint Foundation to Create ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance

    Member-to-Member Information Exchange Measures Energy Use, Carbon Footprint of Commercial Portfolios

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is enhancing its commitment to environmentally conscious development with the transfer of the activities and assets of the Greenprint Foundation into the newly formed ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance. With this action, ULI is continuing the operation of a unique industry-to-industry initiative through which leading real estate professionals exchange information and measure individual building and portfolio performance on the basis of energy use and carbon emissions.

    The announcement of the transfer of the Greenprint Foundation's activities and assets to the institute was made today at ULI's headquarters office in Washington, D.C. The ULI Greenprint Center will be incorporated into ULI's broader Climate, Land Use and Energy (CLUE) initiative. The center will carry on the Greenprint Foundation's mission, which is to lead the global real estate community in the use of greenhouse gas reduction strategies that support the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) goals for global greenhouse gas stabilization by 2030. The ULI Greenprint Center will continue to advance the Greenprint Foundation's goal of a 50-percent reduction in building emissions by that date. Currently, the energy used in buildings represents one-third of all global energy consumption.

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  • 10 Green Building Predictions for 2012 from Earth Advantage Institute

    PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource that has certified more than 12,000 homes, announced its annual prediction of 10 green building trends to watch in 2012.

    1. Urban density. Filling in the spaces is the name of the game as homeowners and builders opt to create more living space through the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), laneway homes (bordering the back lane behind the main house), and build on infill lots. All this because the younger crowd and the empty nesters are opting to settle in the city where they can be closer to cultural activity, mass transit, more sustainable lifestyles, and other like-minded people.

    2. Green multifamily homes. As a corollary to the urban density trend, Earth Advantage Institute has seen a large spike in Northwest multifamily building certifications this past year. The increased interest by building owners and operators in energy efficiency savings coupled with 2011's 17% growth in multifamily homes (McGraw-Hill) means that we can expect to see a rise in certifications in this sector, especially in progressive regions.

    3. Energy upgrades start to drive home remodels. Builders and remodelers who are plugged into changing consumer preferences (smaller homes, reduced energy bills) have been able to capitalize on energy upgrade work. They have moved into the energy audit and residential retrofit market by either expanding their service offerings or, in the case of large West Coast remodeler Neil Kelly, creating entirely new service groups. In the Northwest, demand has increased, leading to significant new energy improvement business for these firms. Remodelers see such work as a driver to help bring in more remodel leads.

    4. Deployment and testing of new materials. Although architects and builders are eager to try new energy-saving materials and systems, these products require significant testing to ensure that the materials and benefits will last the life of the building and to avoid litigation. As a result, national labs and university research departments are partnering with builders to create test beds and sensor-filled buildings that log the energy performance of new materials and equipment. Portland State University's mechanical engineering department recently partnered with a local builder to measure the effects of phase change material used as insulation in a duplex passive house, while Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories is constructing a test bed that will track all performance aspects of new materials and equipment.

    5. Consumer friendly home energy tracking devices. The introduction of the Apple-like Nest Learning Thermostat, and Belkin's Conserve Insight energy use monitor that tracks energy use by appliance, are two of many sensor-based energy and water monitoring products for the home that are easy to use and help save money. Large electronics players like Fujitsu and Intel are also developing products, among others.

    6. Energy education for commercial tenants. The growing adoption of commercial building energy disclosure (New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Austin) has building owners/operators and utilities seeking effective ways to educate tenants on saving energy. Technology can only go so far in conserving energy without tenant participation.

    7. Transparency in home marketing. The increasing use of smart devices by consumers to instantly access information at a home site means that buyers are much more informed and can see through any greenwashing claims. Those builders, remodelers, and real estate professionals who can clearly educate their clients about the benefits and features of energy efficient, green homes will be those who earn the buyers' confidence.

    8. More accurate appraisals. The old-school appraisal criteria based on a drive-by look at a home – view, approximate square footage – no longer holds. The ability for sellers and buyers to ask their banks for a green-certified appraiser (Certified Residential Green Appraiser) means that the lending community will buy into the idea of the additional value and return on investment offered by new certified homes and remodels.

    9. Broader adoption of residential energy ratings for homes. Energy labeling systems are appearing in many states, offering a miles-per-gallon style estimate of a home's energy consumption for homebuyers and homeowners. The Energy Performance Score and the Department of Energy's own Home Energy Score have been rolled out in different climate zones across the U.S. to encourage homeowners to compare energy use and undertake energy upgrade work.

    10. Smart grid-compatible high-performance homes. According to Smart Grid News, household appliances (heating and cooling systems, refrigerators, electronics, hair dryers) account for 60 to 90 percent of the residential electricity consumption in the U.S., depending on whose reports you read. Increasing numbers of those appliances are becoming "grid-aware" and are gaining the ability to monitor and report their own usage and to increase or decrease their electricity usage by remote command.

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  • New GreenGuard® RainDrop® 3D Improves Water Drainage by 50 Percent

    Advanced design sets new standard for water drainage performance in premium building wrap technology
    ATLANTA (Jan. 17, 2012) – GreenGuard® announced today significant product design improvements to its RainDrop® 3D premium building wrap that increase water drainage performance by 50 percent compared to other weather barrier wraps in the construction industry today.

    GreenGuard’s RainDrop 3D product was the first building wrap to feature distinct drainage channels for improved moisture management back in 2004. “Once again, we are bringing a significant change in performance to the market with our newest generation RainDrop 3D building wrap technology,” said David Dewulf, Director of Marketing, Strategic Growth and Sustainability for Pactiv.

    “This third-generation RainDrop 3D design not only drains water 50 percent faster, it achieves 14 percent faster drying of exterior walls and achieves improved air resistance as well – delivering better performance in all three key categories,” Dewulf explained. The enhanced drainage channels provide outstanding durability and won’t crimp, collapse or flatten, no matter how tightly siding is nailed to the wall. RainDrop 3D is the ideal weather barrier under siding, stone or stucco. Product drainage testing was conducted by an independent IAS accredited testing lab.

    RainDrop 3D also meets all 2012 building code requirements for an air barrier, water-resistive barrier, and a drainage wrap, which helps eliminate the need for multiple products and reduce material and labor costs.

    GreenGuard products are designed to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings and serve as air and water barriers. The sustainability focus of the GreenGuard line helps builders and contractors achieve green building certification through greater material efficiencies, smarter construction practices and reduction of energy consumption.

    For more information on GreenGuard building products, to order product samples, architectural binders or literature, please call 1-800-241-4402 or visit the GreenGuard web site at

    About GreenGuard® and Pactiv
    GreenGuard® and the color green are Pactiv Corporation’s registered trademarks for its line of building products.

    Pactiv Corporation is a leader in the foodservice/food packaging markets it serves. Pactiv’s foodservice/food packaging offers one of the broadest lines in the industry, providing food packaging for the supermarket, packer/processor, institutional, foodservice, and restaurant industries. Pactiv is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Reynolds Group Holdings Limited. For more information, visit

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    Pigments include a warranty against fading and designed to provide bolder, brighter colors

    Anaheim, CA — January 17, 2012 - Parex USA, Inc. the parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, LaHabra , El Rey, Teifs, and Merkrete today announced the launch of the Parex ColorFast Pigment System.

    The new ColorFast pigments are designed to meet the needs of projects requiring bolder, brighter colors. This system increases the range of color options, creating a broader spectrum of more vibrant colors. The advanced technology behind the ColorFast Pigment System incorporates an inorganic blend of high-quality pigments to help avoid unsightly fading issues.

    “ColorFast pigments provide unparalleled quality, durability and performance,” said Heidi Larsen, Product Manager. “Discerning architects, owners and builders can now specify vivid colors with superior fade resistance for their premier projects.”

    ColorFast pigments can be used with any Parex finish or coating. Aside from the increased color palette, the ColorFast System offers longer lasting color (UV fastness), enhanced opacity, increased water resistivity, and improved tack for less dirt pick-up. When used with Parex Exterior Finishes or Coatings, Parex USA offers an unprecedented anti-fade warranty with ColorFast pigments. With the environment in mind, all Parex ColorFast pigments are VOC and APEO-free.

    To learn more about the Parex Colorfast Pigment System, visit

    About Parex USA, Inc.
    Parex USA, Inc. Parex USA, Inc., a California Corporation, is a subsidiary of the ParexGroup, a division of Materis, S.A., a French Corporation. The ParexGroup is one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals and ready-to-use mortars for the construction industry. With over 45 manufacturing sites in 18 countries the ParexGroup employs more than 2,700 industry professionals who are the corner stone of this thriving global organization. For more information regarding Parex USA, Inc. visit

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  • Cooper Lighting's LED Products Featured on DesignLights Consortium's Qualified Products List

    The Company continues to invest in energy-efficient LED lighting solutions to support sustainable design practices.

    PEACHTREE CITY, Ga., Jan. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cooper Lighting, an industry leader committed to delivering innovative products and driving transformational technology in the lighting industry, is pleased to announce its products represent approximately 50 percent of the recommended commercial LED models on the DesignLights™ Consortium (DLC) Qualified Product List (QPL). The DLC, a collaboration of Canadian and United States utility companies and regional energy efficiency organizations committed to raising awareness of the benefits of efficient lighting in commercial buildings, publishes the QPL as a resource for program administrators to assist in selecting high-quality, high-performing solid-state lighting products for their energy efficiency promotions.

    The mission at DLC is to help builders, architects, designers and commercial property owners from across the nation implement improved design practices in all areas of the commercial lighting market. By providing supporting members with resources and information on reliable LED solutions, the DLC hopes to ensure that high-quality, energy-efficient lighting design becomes commonplace in all lighting installations.

    Originally modeled after the Department of Energy's (DOE) ENERGY STAR® program for solid-state lighting products, the QPL covers categories that ENERGY STAR doesn't include in its program. Each of the products listed on the QPL must be a high-performing commercial LED product and must meet the DLC's minimum performance requirements. The program requires a third-party independent evaluation from product test reports by accredited labs as evidence of performance, including efficacy and color with LM-79 reports and lumen lifetime with luminaire operating temperature and LM-80 reports.

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  • AEC Daily Sets New Records

    Courses taken on AEC Daily’s website grew by 41% in 2011 and all indications are pointing to continued growth for 2012. AEC Daily is the North American leader in A/E/C (architecture / engineering / construction) education with 77% of learners coming from the United States and 13% from Canada.

    “Last year, we issued hundreds of thousands of learning credits” said Jeff Rice, president of AEC Daily, “and due to the growth in sustainable construction we are also the largest online provider of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) education for LEED professionals.”

    Chris Swigert from Perkins+Will said “I want to say how much I appreciate the courses you offer. All of my friends are off at Greenbuild trying to fulfill their credits and I have been diligently working towards my credits everyday right here at my desk. I have found most all of them very informative and interesting.“ Clearly, architects appreciate the convenience of web-based learning. Plus in these economic times, they also like the cost – free.

    AEC Daily is also known for its exceptional commitment to high quality education. That is one of the reasons why they are the only company to have won the American Institute of Architects (AIA) AIA/CES Award for Excellence for Internet Platform Providers.

    But it is not just architects. The entire construction design community looks to AEC Daily for their learning needs. Courses are either certified or designed to meet the requirements of dozens of professional organizations. While architects represent the majority of credits earned on AEC Daily, other design professions are growing quickly. Engineers took 93% more courses and interior designers grew by 71% in 2011.

    About AEC Daily:
    AEC Daily is the largest provider of FREE online continuing education to construction professionals. Courses are available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and credits are automatically tracked and reported. Architects, engineers, interior designers and other construction professionals rely on AEC Daily to maintain their accreditation with ease.

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    Revolutionary Hydrophobic and Photocatalytic Properties Benefit the Environment

    Anaheim, CA – January 10, 2012 – Parex USA, Inc. the parent company of leading building material brands; Parex, LaHabra , El Rey, Teifs, and Merkrete today announced the launch of its latest innovative product, AquaSol™ Enhanced DPR Acrylic Finish and Coating.

    AquaSol™ is a revolutionary new acrylic finish and coating with enhanced hydrophobic and photocatalytic technology. The unique formulation behind AquaSol™ is the result of extensive research and development to create an acrylic finish that is water repellent, heat reflective and smog reducing.

    With exceptional hydrophobicity, buildings specified with AquaSol™ are cleaned with rain or any water source. As water hits the finish, it simply beads off the exterior wall and takes any dirt or soil in its path with it. Buildings remain clean, dry and aesthetically pleasing longer.

    The photocatalytic properties in AquaSol™ initiate an oxidation process that decomposes organic and inorganic pollutants (smog) in the environment. This literally breaks down smog molecules, using nature’s sunlight, creating a cleaner environment.

    AquaSol™ has also been formulated with an exclusive mix of raw materials to reflect the sun’s heat and UV rays. This process reduces the exterior wall surface temperature keeping a building cooler by reflecting up to 15% more UV rays when compared to standard acrylic finishes. This heat reflective technology also contributes to superior fade resistance and durability.

    "AquaSol™ demonstrates Parex USA’s ongoing commitment to product innovation," said Heidi Larsen, Product Manager. "Pairing hydrophobic, heat reflective and photocatalytic technologies, not only provides an aesthetically beautiful product but it is also beneficial to our environment. AquaSol™ is sure to take the façade industry by storm.”

    About Parex USA, Inc.
    Parex USA, Inc. Parex USA, Inc., a California Corporation, is a subsidiary of the ParexGroup, a division of Materis, S.A., a French Corporation. The ParexGroup is one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals and ready-to-use mortars for the construction industry. With over 45 manufacturing sites in 18 countries the ParexGroup employs more than 2,700 industry professionals who are the corner stone of this thriving global organization. For more information regarding Parex USA, Inc. visit

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  • Duradek—A Practical Product in Colors That Comfort

    In late 2011, Duradek, the original Walkable Roofing Membrane introduced two new colors in its Ultra Cork line of 60 mil Vinyl that caught on faster than any other color in the company’s 37 year history.

    Joining the initial, organic-looking Ultra Cork Natural that launched this popular pattern, the Ultra Cork Macchiato and Ultra Cork Espresso offer deeper, richer color options to the earthy texture of the Ultra Cork line.

    With the market demonstrating a desire for naturally inspired colors and textures, Duradek also introduced its newest product line with Ultra Forest Floor. The flagship color of this line is Birch, which offers a distinctive blend of subtle earthy, neutral tones with a gentle fossilized leaf pattern throughout, reminiscent of an actual forest floor.

    This unique product is an innovative example of Duradek's leadership in outdoor flooring.

    Exclusively installed by specially trained professionals, Duradek has been the leader in waterproof roofing membranes for over 35 years and provides low maintenance, stylish solutions for outdoor living space.

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  • New Brick Comparisons Bust Common Myths on Home Exteriors

    BIA Compares Pros and Cons of Top Competitors

    RESTON, Va., Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new video and fact sheets comparing brick with other home exteriors debunks the common myths about genuine clay brick versus its competitors. With frank pros and cons on the latest in sustainability features, maintenance needs, costs, fire safety and more, the package stacks brick against the top alternatives -- vinyl siding, concrete masonry, manufactured stone, fiber cement siding and Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS), otherwise known as synthetic stucco.

    BIA's new booklets include:

    The Facts: Brick vs. Vinyl Siding
    The Facts: Brick vs. Fiber Cement Siding
    The Facts: Brick vs. Manufactured Stone
    The Facts: Brick vs. EIFS
    The Facts: Brick vs. Concrete Masonry Veneer

    Eliminating technical jargon, content areas for each product include major myths, strengths and weaknesses in all areas (aesthetics, initial cost, design flexibility, installation, maintenance and repairs, water management, color fading, fire resistance, wind damage, moisture resistance, insect infestation, damage resistance, environmental concerns, insurance issues); physical properties and construction basics; cross-section diagrams; the differences between brick and each product; sustainability comparisons and product performance.

    Link to all fact guides:

    Link to BIA's homeowner resources including how to choose brick, publications and Do-it-Yourself guides:

    Link to BIA's home builder resources including research, education and publications:

    Founded in 1934, the Brick Industry Association (BIA) is the nationally recognized authority on clay brick construction representing the nation's distributors and manufacturers of clay brick and suppliers of related products. Web site: or /703-620-0010.

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  • It's a "Glaring" Problem - Keep Solar Glare Under Wraps with Window Film, and Save Energy Year-Round

    International Window Film Association Shares Tips for Reducing Sun Glare while Lowering Energy Bills

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Window Film Association (IWFA), a non-profit organization, is educating the public on window film use for residential and commercial applications, to reduce harmful solar glare, while delivering significant energy savings.

    "People often wear sunglasses outdoors during winter months to protect from glare and UV rays, but glare is ever-present inside too," said Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA. "With winter sun lower in the sky, it passes directly into windows with damaging effects on furnishings and art, along with unhealthy ultraviolet (UV) rays' impact on people's eyes and skin," he added.

    In northern states, snow on the ground can reflect up to 85% of harmful UV rays upwards, according to the Vision Counsel of America. This magnifies the issue of glare coming into windows, added Darrell Smith. "A simple, cost-effective solution is professionally installed window film to make interior environments more enjoyable."

    Glare issues can be ameliorated by window film, which uses advanced technology to deliver energy savings similar to low-e windows. Window film is available in a range of shades from clear to darker. It reduces glare and still allows adequate light in while blocking UV rays that can harm skin and eyes, and fade furniture, carpets and fabrics.

    According to the IWFA, window films may also eliminate uncomfortable hot spots by blocking solar heat. This enables HVAC systems to work more efficiently. For larger commercial and office buildings, which run heating and cooling systems year-round, energy savings are even more significant.

    For more information on protecting a home or office from glare, please visit online for facts on UV protection and to locate a professional near you who can conduct an energy savings audit and share window film options to best meet your needs.

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Unilock Benjamin Moore