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Guardian’s Keynote at GANA’s BEC Conference

Net Zero Envelope

Commercial Facade Value Chain

I  just returned from the BEC Conference in Las Vegas and wanted to share a few golden nuggets from the show floor. Although there were a number of interesting presentations, it was the Keynote by Guardian President Scott Thomsen, entitled “State of the Glass and Glazing Industry” that I found captivating. Thomsen’s address felt fresh and truly relevant to the evolution of the glass and glazing industry.

Thomsen, at the helm of Guardians Global Flat Glass Group is advocating a different way of doing business, based on what he called the “Battle for the Wall”. He defined this effort as the increasing competition of various materials for exterior wall space. He noted that there are a number of systems that are gaining market traction, such as stucco, stone, precast, etc. In addition, the latest ASHRAE standards attempted to reduce the maximum prescriptive window to wall ratio from 40%, down to 30%. This limiting attempt, was a narrow and short sighted view of a how to improve building energy efficiency.

Guardian is determined to support our industry as a whole, to maintain the window to wall ratios and grow that percentage of glazed area by enhancing the communication, cooperation and integration of the supply chain.  This new approach also advocates and embraces the innovation of game changing products like those from View, which are installed with our own Net Zero™ Envelope Systems from BISEM.

As a Guardian partner, I have experienced this strategy first hand, and felt the company’s engagement and support for super energy efficient envelopes.  They are perfectly in line with what I see as the future of the glass industry. They have made a direct commitment by shepherding disruptive technologies from cool ideas by scientists to cost effective, manufactured, tested products.

In summary, what I took from this exciting and relevant conversation was a reminder that Glaziers must be involved in the early phases of design, as the mechanical and electrical systems are developed. We have to bring our expertise and understanding to the table and advocate for more day lighting and visual light transmittance through the use of high efficiency glazing systems.

Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero, Net Zero Energy Design, News, Nick's Opinions, Sustainable, Uncategorized 7,933

Net Zero Envelope TM

The latest issue of Glass Magazine highlighted one of BISEM’s mid-rise retrofit projects. Turner Construction used our Net Zero Envelope to create a beautiful, energy efficient new facade for an aging, leaking; building that looked like something out of Stalin’s Russian. The system used high performance Low E Glass by Guardian Industries and ACM Panels to create a beautiful collage of colors and geometric designs. The flexible grid and cassette system allows for simple removal of any panel on the wall. It also accommodates Electrochromic Glass and Photovoltaic Panels into a pre-wired BIPV Curtain Wall system.

 Please take a look at the article: Glass Magazine

Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 1,508

BIPV and the Glass Industry

There was an article today in Glass Magazine that talks about BIPV and the glazing industry. See the LINK. The glass business moves slowly, and the idea of electrifying curtain walls, is a little too scary for most glaziers. The only way to make Net Zero Envelopes a viable option is to educate the architectural community, and give glaziers tools or systems to make the process simple.

I am presenting a PV Curtain Wall seminar the the NGA’s Glass Build America show in Las Vegas on September 14th (Solar Power Symposium). There will be four hours of product description, industry standards, and the trends established by some of the largest manufacturers in the US. I hope you can make it. I will show you how to make it simple!

Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 1,215

SMUD & BISEM-USA complete first ever PV Curtain Wall Retrofit project in USA

Net Zero Envelope - BISEM-USA Curtain Wall Retrofit at SMUD Headquarters

BISEM-USA just completed the first ever BIPV Curtain Wall Retrofit (LINK to full article) in the United States. This sustainable installation was completed in partnership with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) architectural teams. The UL Approved System is a tested waterproof integration of energy generating photovoltaic panels into a proprietary screen wall, that can be installed onto ANY vertical curtain wall in North America. The installation is very cost effective, and competitively priced with rooftop PV.

There are 338,000 office buildings in the US that account for more than $1.2 billion square feet of vertical wall area. This innovative Net Zero Envelope™ solution makes that existing building stock available to produce energy. As developers recognize the ROI (return on investment) of energy efficient retrofits, existing vertical walls are a logical place to capture the energy of the sun to augment the electrical supply of the building.

There is a revolution happening in the building products industry. Super efficient scientific discoveries are be transformed from lab tested ideas, to cost effective mass produced products. An example is Guardian Industries with their unique mix of technical research ability, and decades of price sensitive manufacturing. BISEM is teamed up with corporate giants like Guardian, to provide expertise in system design, installation procedures, and product testing.

Johnson Controls Inc. is using BISEM-USA’s  system to add energy production to buildings that, until now were unable to generate electricity on site. The PACE program, administered by Ygrene and supported by the Carbon War Room supplies funding for cost effective retrofits of old, inefficient buildings. The money saved from lower energy bills, is used to pay for the cost of the building retrofits!

We are on the path to Net Zero Energy buildings. Join us!

Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 1,500

GSA’s Commitment to Net Zero Energy

AIA 2012  Net Zero Envelope Solution

AIA 2012 Net Zero Envelope Solution

I attended the AIA National Convention in Washington DC this year with my new Net Zero Envelope partners, Guardian Industries, Pythagoras Solar, and Soladigm. Take a look at the video: BISEM-USA AIA 2012. We are building the walls of the future now, and the first implementations are happening for the General Service Administration or GSA.

While I was at AIA 2012, I listened to Dirk Meyer (National Advisor Building Enclosures) for GSA give a 6:30 AM presentation on exterior enclosures. I am a certified curtain wall geek, so I was up at 5:30 to make sure I heard every word of his presentation. The Federal Government is leading the way in exterior envelope efficiency, and Dirk provided insight as to their goals and direction. GSA now requires Performance Based Contracts for Deep Energy Retrofits. The government wants to build 100 year buildings that live up to their Design Excellence Program. GSA does not design its own projects, they rely on the architectural community and building systems experts, like BISEM-USA to provide 100% of the design and specifications to meet the ‘Dignity, Enterprise, Vigor, & Stability’ of America’s buildings.

The buildings of the future will provide opportunities for behavior changes through building controls that are tuned to the occupant’s needs and requirements. The exterior envelope is a critical piece of this puzzle.

I am excited about the challenge, and our cost effective Net Zero Envelope solutions ready to meet it!


Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 1,211

Breaking Down Net Zero: Reality or Wishful Thinking?

 By Ashley Halligan, an analyst at Software Advice

www.bisem-usa.com Sustainable building is becoming more and more of a focus, both from a private organization sector and governmental perspective. Furthermore, net zero is becoming an eager approach to building and design initiatives–that is, net zero consumption–meaning that over the course of a year (the benchmarking period) a building has produced as much energy as it’s consumed. 

 It seems overly eager, but there are some considerable achievements happening coast to coast. Additionally, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires all federal buildings achieve net zero by 2030, and all commercial buildings by 2050. So, it’s become a largely expected achievement over the next few decades. 

 Using McCormick’s recent achievement of converting a 363,000 square foot distribution center to a net zero facility as an example, the Sustainable Manufacturing Manager at McCormick says, “The most important maneuver in a net zero makeover is to focus on energy efficiency first, reducing consumption–making a facility as efficient as possible.” Addressing inefficient operations and upgrading things like HVAC and lighting systems. 

 After the facility retrofits were made, McCormick had a series of photovoltaic solar panels (PV) installed that produced enough energy to equalize the consumption/production ration. 

 In the case of new building initiatives with the ultimate goal being to achieve net zero consumption, the experts suggest four major considerations to keep in mind throughout the design, construction, and post-occupancy stages: 

  • Pre-design initiatives and meetings should integrate the insights of all key people involved in a project including: stakeholders, board members, chief officers, bankers, designers, builders, and management team insists Anderson.
  • Implement precise cost-modeling early on in the project planning phase. Energy prediction can be difficult to accurately calculate pre-occupancy. Bisson says, “Energy modeling allows you to better figure out how to reduce cold air, absorb sunlight, and understand insulation.” 
  • Don’t miss financial incentives or funding opportunities. Some projects can benefit from state and/or federal funding or tax incentives. In fact, Bisson suggets, “You can build a net zero energy building–with state incentives–at very close to the same cost as traditional construction.”
  • There will be challenges along the way and regular oversight is essential. Performance can wander over time. Crawley reminds us, “It requires a commitment from the building owner and operator to ensure the design intent is carried out.”

Read the original story here to hear what the experts say about the future of net zero building. 


Ashley M. Halligan
Facility Management Analyst
Software Advice

(512) 539-0016

Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Guest Articles, Net Zero Energy Design, Sustainable 1,087

BISEM Net Zero Curtain Walls at AIA:


PV Curtain Wall

Energy Efficient Curtain Wall

BISEM-USA is at the 2012 Washington DC AIA Conference this year, and what is of great interest to us is the development of market leaders defining a new way to create sustainable buildings.

Guardian Glass announced two major collaborations in the last quarter. The addition of Pythagoras Solar a transparent photovoltaic insulated glass, and Soladigm, a leader in electrochomic glass technology. These two additions to the Guardians energy efficient SunGuard products will redefine the way curtainwall systems are designed in the US. The glass industry is changing at a rapid pace in Europe and in the United States. As energy efficiency is recognized as a profit center for owners, Net Zero Energy Buildings will become the standard for building. Companies like Guardian Industries are on the cutting edge of technology. They are a basic material supplier to the construction industry, and when they move, the whole construction industry should take notice. Super energy efficient systems are redefining construction methods. Just as information technology redefined communication over the last two decades, innovation in building technology is making a dramatic impact on the built environment.

PV Curtain Walls that generate electricity while allowing day lighting in a building, and the ability to tune the exterior solar heat gain coefficient is set to revolutionize the way we build walls, just like microprocessors revolutionized the computer. BISEM-USA is poised to take advantage of this growing market with its electrified, UL Approved, cost effective BIPV Curtain Walls. These systems are going to change the world. If you are ready, come join us!!

Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall 1,517

Net Zero Envelope Imagined:

Guardian Net Zero Envelope Solution

Guardian Adds BISEM-USA to thier Advanced Glazing Technology group

I was at the Guardian Industries STC (Science & Technology Center) last week. This is an elite group of 125 scientists that are devoted to developing the most energy efficient glazing products in the world. Hundreds of pieces of equipment, used to test ideas for improving Solar Heat Gain Coefficients, U-Values, Sound Transmittance, and energy generation in transparent envelopes. They monitor twenty nine glass manufacturing facilities across the globe to insure the highest levels of quality.

I was there, as a representative of BISEM-USA to work on Guardian’s Glaziers Advantage program. The program introduces Guardian’s quality control, and vast array of energy efficient products to key glazing installers around the United States.

Guardian manufactures a vast array of glass products, with high performance coatings. Their highly efficient glass is the key component architects use to design beautiful transparent curtain walls, and at the same time, keep up with energy efficient requirements of modern buildings. The next generation of Advanced Glazing Technology, includes Electrochromic Glass and PVGU (Photovoltaic Glass Units).

Their first channel partner in this new world of Net Zero Envelopes was Pythagoras Solar. Pythagoras has a proprietary transparent photovoltaic panel that is encapsulated into an insulating glass unit…or PVGU! The second channel partner is Soladigm Glass. They manufacture an electrochromic glass product that can tune its SHGC and transparency to match the requirements of a building. Both systems require electrification of the curtainwall. BISEM-USA was chosen as the third channel partner to integrate Low E glass, Pythagoras PVGU, and Soladigm’s electrochromic glass into electrified curtain walls.

BISEM-USA started working on photovoltaic curtain wall solutions in 2007. In 2009, we received UL Approval of our electrified walls. Now, in 2012, we are part of a group of globally significant partners that plan to change the way architects and owners think of the exterior envelope. Together we will define the Net Zero Envelope.

Posted 6 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 4,026

Beter “Building the Economy Through Energy Retrofits”

The ability for the State of California to drive progress for Net Zero Energy Buildings in the US is a historic event. California will lead the nation in design, manufacturing and building super energy efficient properties. This legislation will dramatically influence that see change in the building trades.
My company BISEM Inc designs, engineers, and manufacturers photovoltaic curtain walls for large commercial construction projects, so I closely follow the growth of the BIPV market. As the State and Nation move to reduce their carbon footprint, innovative firms will find phenomenal growth possibilities for domestic manufacturing. I have already seen a dramatic increase in sales, and interest from international architectural firms. Thank you Senator de León and Assembly Person Skinner, your legislation will accelerate the process.

Posted 6 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall 1,191

Global BIPV Market for Curtain Wall

BISEM Curtain Wall

BISEM Curtain Wall at Sacramento International Airport-www.BISEM-USA.com

Today the Sacramento Bee reported that the BIPV market will reach $6.4 billion (USD) by mid-decade. We were mentioned in the report as the national leader in photovoltaic curtain wall systems. Check out the article Sac Bee BIPV.

The report estimates that global appetite for BIPV Curtain Wall will grow dramatically through 2020, when the EU will require all new construction to be Net Zero Energy Buildings. Our systems are design to meet that need, and we are excited to be part of this growing trend in America. BISEM has Net Zero Energy Curtain Walls that can make a big difference in the overall sustainable solution for buidling design.

We manufacture cost effective, simple to install solutions that separate us from the rest of the Global Market. Our systems continuously improve through diligent product design and manufacturing excellence.

Posted 6 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall 1,589