Southwest Michigan USGBC Branch Hosts AIA Accredited Course

Architects from Kalamazoo, Mich., and surrounding areas attended a continuing education course provided by West Michigan Glass Coatings, an authorized 3M dealer, of Grand Rapids yesterday, which was held at the USGBC’s Southwest Michigan Branch offices.

“Does anyone know where window films got their start?” asked Amanda Nawara, business development consultant for West Michigan Glass Coatings. “The product actually grew out of a metallic film that was used in the space program.” She explained to attendees the many benefits of window film, such as the reduction of temperature imbalances indoors, reduction of glare from windows and providing a uniform, polished appearance on buildings.

Amanda Nawara with West Michigan Glass Coatings talked to attendees about the benefits of window film during an AIA presentation.

Nawara also talked about energy savings calculations to determine return-on-investment. “Depending on whether you live in a warmer or cooler climate, your investment will net a two- to five-year payback when using window film,” she said. Of particular interest to the audience was her claim, “You can obtain points for LEED projects, mostly between 1-2.”

Next, Joe Bockheim, Sr., discussed the differences between safety and security films and their uses for keeping broken glass contained in bomb-blast resistant and hurricane-resistant applications.

The program wrapped up with a demonstration of various films and how they allow daylighting but block UV rays.

“According to the DOE, window film is the fourth top energy-saving product,” said Bockheim, explaining that the main benefit is HVAC costs will be significantly reduced for the life of the film.

The Southwest Michigan Branch will next host of tour of Prairie Ridge Elementary School, the first LEED gold building in Kalamazoo on May 22.