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What's the Word on Thin Triples?

Upcoming presentation to provide the latest information for residential applications

As energy conservation codes continue to become more stringent, the window and door industry is looking ahead to new technology, including the transition from double to triple insulating glazing units (IGUs) in colder climates. According to NGA’s energy code consultant Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting, “There are a number of considerations with moving to triple glazing including cost, manufacturing changes, frame modifications, weight and more. There are significant efforts underway to ease the transition, whether that is using traditional triple glazing or the newer concept of ’thin triples’ using a thin glass middle lite.”

Thin triples look to achieve similar thermal performance of traditional triple IGUs, but deliver a product that is not as heavy, not as wide, and will fit in the existing pocket of a normal sash. “With the thin triple, you get about an R-8 center of glass,” says Steve Selkowitz, principal, Stephen Selkowitz Consultants, affiliate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “And if you have a slightly wider glass package, you can add two pieces of thin glass (making a quad IGU) and get R-14 center of glass. … This is great news as it offers new opportunities for glass to provide improved thermal comfort, reduced HVAC size and deeper energy savings.”

At the NGA Glass Conference: Miramar Beach January 24-26, Selkowitz will present considerations for the practical application of thin triples in commercial and residential construction. 

The presentation sponsored by Pilkington|NSG, will focus on thin triples, with specifics about potential energy savings, embodied and operational carbon numbers, new opportunities for using thin glass for retrofit applications, as well as structural, impact and safety testing results of thin triples. The upcoming 2023 transition to ENERGY STAR V7 with 0.22 U-factor requirements in cold climates provides new opportunity for innovation in IGU design with thin triples, as do trends in building codes. Register for the NGA Glass Conference: Miramar Beach to participate in this discussion.

Related Resources

WATCH: New IGU Technologies for Carbon Reduction and Zero Net Energy

READ: Triple Glazing & Embodied Energy, including a calculation of the embodied energy compared to the energy savings in commercial and residential applications.