DOE Launches $2 Million Prize to Advance Cost-Effective, Energy-Efficient Commercial Windows 

Washington D.C. (February 21, 2024) – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched the American-Made Building Envelope Innovation Prize—Secondary Glazing Systems, which will award up to $2 million to encourage production of high-performance, cost-effective secondary glazing systems to improve efficiency of commercial windows.  

Sponsored by DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO), the inaugural Building Envelope Innovation Prize targets novel solutions for commercial window upgrades to enable equitable decarbonization and optimize building envelopes for electrification. 

The goals of the Envelope Prize are to (1) produce high-performance secondary glazing systems for inefficient windows, (2) improve equitable access to retrofitting by reducing product and installation costs, (3) increase comfort and resilience for buildings. 

Secondary glazing systems currently on the market can improve energy efficiency without needing to remove existing windows, but the potential of this technology has not been fully realized. The goal of this prize is to spur development of next-generation secondary windows that increase building resilience and comfort and decrease energy consumption—all while being highly cost-effective.   

“While secondary glazing systems currently exist, they are a small portion of the market and are not widely adopted, despite costing markedly less than a full window replacement,” Marc LaFrance, Windows Technology Manager for DOE’s Building Technologies Office, said. “This prize will improve equitable access to efficient retrofit technologies by reducing product and installation costs.”  

Explore the DOE prize announcement for more information. 

About the Prize 

The Building Envelope Innovation Prize was developed and funded by BTO as part of its overall mission to reduce the carbon footprint of the U.S. building stock while maintaining or improving affordability, comfort, and performance. The prize is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of the American-Made program. The American-Made program fast-tracks innovation through prizes, training, teaming, and mentoring and by connecting the nation’s entrepreneurs and innovators with America’s national labs and the private sector.  

February 21, 2024