Berkeley Lab Hosts Summit to Help Increase Adoption of Efficient Window Technology

June 7, 2023

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently hosted a summit to showcase the benefits of vacuum insulated glazing (VIG) — a type of highly insulated window glazing that utilizes a vacuum as an insulating layer between window panes — and the likely challenges preventing its widespread adoption on the market. A wide cross-section of stakeholders was present at the summit, consisting of industry, building professionals, practitioners, academia, researchers, and decision makers.

Berkeley Lab researcher Charlie Curcija helped organize the event, and participated in a panel presentation and group discussion on current industry standards and the state of the art in development. Other presentations included highlights of the Department of Energy (DOE)-funded activities, updates on ongoing research featuring researchers from several national laboratories including Berkeley Lab, National Renewable Energy Lab, and American and Australian universities, and perspectives from manufacturers and industry practitioners.

Robert Hart, co-organizer of the event and Berkeley Lab researcher, provided updates on ongoing research related to VIG technology. During the summit, researchers led discussions to identify the three fundamental challenges for the technology: 1) societal challenges, 2) market challenges, and 3) research challenges, and to discuss the steps needed to address these challenges in the near future. One of these steps will be to create a 5-year plan to accelerate VIG market adoption with the program goal of "VIG 5-in-30," i.e. bringing the market share of VIG up to 5% by 2030. A follow-up meeting to produce a roadmap for the wider availability and adoption of highly insulating windows is also in the planning stages.

“The VIG Summit provided an excellent opportunity to discuss challenges to technology development and wider adoption, highly insulating windows and VIG glazings in particular,” said Curcija. “Through the support from DOE and collaboration with other researchers and industry, we hope to start moving the needle of wider adoption of highly insulating windows to save energy and help decarbonize the economy.”

A report detailing the discussions and responses to these challenges is now available online. Recordings of Day One and Day Two of the summit can also be viewed on online.