Was the R5 Window Program a farce?
For those who might not know in 2008 the Feds started a R5 Window program. R5 requires either double pane/argon/hardcoated, or more reasonable triple pane (either triple glass, or double glass with a plastic film in between.
These were supposed to be available, since a number of manufacturers "jumped on board" last summer.
Last summer I talked to a manufacturer who acted like he had never heard of the program which I think is rather absurd. It's like a car manufacturer not hearing about upcoming technology that will get you 60mpg.
Ok, I can accept delays, but here it is a full year later, and I just received my Anderson Product Guide, and the U value shows that there is not a single window that even comes close.
Note: R5 is the inverse of the U factor. To be considered appropriate for the government program the U must be less than 0.22 for a moveable unit and less than 0.2 for a fixed unit. I saw only a single 0.28 in Anderson, most are P0.3.
R5 is a huge performance increase and the program required production at a cost price of <$4SF.
Has anyone a clue as to what has happened to this program?
Anyone interested use search words: R5 Windows Volume Purchase Program
No, the "R5" program is not a farce; it is alive and well and is now going under the name "High Performance Windows Volume Purchase Program".
Essentially, there is no particular glazing configuration required by the Fed (this is a Department of Energy Program), as long as the whole window thermal performance is 0.22 or lower for operable units, and 0.20 for fixed. While it's a good rule of thumb to say that U = 1/R, that's not really the case, as there are a variety of factors which determine the overall U value of a window or door.
That being said, there are a number of manufacturers who have tested and comply with the DOE's criteria. Due to window framing conductivity, overall IG space and spacer material, this U value can be met with anything from 1 lite of Low-e with Argon fill (in the case of Mathews Brothers Company), to 2 lites of Low-e with Krypton fill (as is the case with other manufacturers). Obviously, there will be a difference in cost between those two options.
The challenge for the builder/remodeler now is finding the best solution to the overall performance goal. Instead of asking, "How much is your triple glazed, double Low-e, Krypton filled unit?", the question now should be, "How much is your U 0.22 unit?" In other words, why pay extra to achieve the same performance?
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