The Path to Drawdown: High-Performance Glass
Construction and buildings generate 38% of the total global CO2 emissions and 35% of total energy use. Much of this energy-use in buildings is the result of heating and air-conditioning, lighting, information and communications systems, security and access systems, fire alarms, elevators, appliances, and (indirectly) through plumbing.
In most buildings, some of this energy used in heating and cooling is wasted through windows. Windows, even when closed, are very inefficient compared to insulated walls at keeping room temperature in and outside temperature out - by a factor of ten or more.
High-performance glass solves this problem by replacing conventional plain glass. High-performance glass uses any of several technologies that can reduce heat flow through glass, including multiple layers, low-emissivity glass, tinted glass, and vacuum glazing.
High-performance glass is already widely adopted in wealthy countries. In the rest of the world, a faster and wider installation of high-performance glass can help reduce a substantial amount of GHG emissions by 2050:
- In 2018, 5 billion square meters of high-performance glass was installed in residential buildings, and 130 million sq. meters in commercial buildings
- By 2050, 13.7 billion sq meters should be installed in residential buildings and 7.5 billion sq meters in commercial buildings
If this scale can be achieved by 2050, high-performance glass can avoid 12.6 gigatons of emissions and save $3.9 trillion in energy costs over building lifetimes for an installation cost of $10.8 trillion.
PGT Innovation (stock ticker: PGTI) manufactures and supplies premium windows and doors. Their impact-resistant products can withstand some of the toughest weather conditions. Headquartered in North Venice, Florida, they serve leading dealers, distributors and homebuilders across the US.
PGTI's Role in Drawdown
Through their subsidiary brands, PGT manufactures an extensive range (pp. 7-8) of windows and doors that can withstand impact (even during hurricanes) and energy efficiency.
PGT’s impact-resistant products combine heavy-duty aluminum or vinyl frames with laminated glass to ensure structural integrity, which provides protection from wind-driven projectiles, protecting people and property, while providing expansive, unblocked exterior views that other forms of protection, such as shutters or wood coverings, do not provide. They also reduce energy loss due to changing external temperatures and energy efficiency that can significantly reduce cooling and heating costs, as evidenced by the energy ratings that their products have received.
PGTI: What We Like
PGT has a track record of acquisitions that have expanded their reach into the high-performance glass market:
- They acquired WinDoor in February 2016, a provider of high-performance, impact-resistant windows and doors to five-star resorts, luxury condominiums, high-rise multi-family buildings, hotels and custom high-end single-family homes
- Their acquisition of US Impact Systems, Inc, an established fabricator of impact-resistant storefront window and door products, happened in September 2016
- The acquisition of Western Window Systems, an award-winning designer and manufacturer of premium contemporary doors and window systems, enabled PGT to expand beyond their geographic focus on Florida
- In February 2020, PGT acquired NewSouth, a manufacturer and installer of factor-direct, energy-efficient windows and doors, including both impact-resistant and non-impact residential products.