Apartments Behind the Double-Glazing Curve in Residential Sector

A large stock of multifamily units in the U.S. are ripe for glazing retrofit, according to Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) results released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

More than half of the multifamily buildings in the study are reported as using “single-pane glass” in their windows.

Eleven million of the 21.1 million units in apartment buildings with five or more dwellings have single-glazed windows. The smaller-scale apartment complexes, those with two to four units per building, fared even worse. Fifty-nine percent (or 5.6 million of the 9.4 million) of these units use single-glazing.

Only 47.4 percent of units in the larger apartment category have double-pane glass in their windows, and that percentage drops to 39.4 percent when focusing on the smaller-scale buildings.

This puts the multifamily segment behind the curve when looking at the overall residential picture.

According to the report, about 70 million of the nation’s more than 118 million single-family homes, apartments and mobile homes now have double- or triple-pane windows. That represents roughly 59 percent of all homes in the U.S. Double-pane windows can be found in 68.5 million U.S. homes, according to the survey, and 1.2 million homes have triple-pane units. Single-pane windows still exist in 48.5 million homes.

Among all U.S. households, 37.7 million have ten to 15 windows. About 28.4 million have six to nine windows, and 17.6 million have three to five windows. Roughly 3.7 million homes have 30 or more windows.

EIA’s 2015 RECS Household Survey examined more than 200 energy-related items from more than 5,600 households.