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Government Supports Window Film for Security and Energy Efficiency in School Buildings

Children in a classroom with a lot of windows to illustrate energy efficiency in school buildings

With the need for increased security and improved energy efficiency in school buildings, various branches of the government are recommending window film as a viable solution. Here are four government entities or reports that are singling out window film for school building envelope and glazing improvements.  

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School Building Glazing Security

1. The Federal Commission on School Safety

In 2018, the Federal Commission on School Safety began a mission to better the safety of our schools with a layered approach of protective measures, school programs, and school safety policies. 

To speak to the protective measures, the general safety of a school is enhanced when the exterior windows are secured to stop intruders from accessing the building. According to the Final Report of the Federal Commission on School Safety, “Replacing any non-reinforced glass windows with tempered, wire-reinforced, laminated, or bulletproof glass and applying blast-resistant safety films can strengthen windows to increase the protection they provide.” 

2. The Sandy Hook Advisory Committee

Compiling lessons learned from several fatal school shootings, The Sandy Hook Advisory Committee stated that an active shooter only represents one major risk students and staff face in today’s school settings. 

While the committee recommends that historical events help inform safe school design and operations, with the added worry of natural and man-made disasters, they also believe it’s vital to account for a wide range of risks. To have a comprehensive school safety plan, planning for the future must be proactive, not reactive. In short, the safest school buildings we can have are resilient buildings, encompassing the:

  • Building design and construction plans 
  • Perimeter security of the building 
  • Access points of the building
  • Secondary building perimeters 
  • Building’s surrounding area
  • Building interior 

For the exterior of school buildings, the report recommends designing “windows, framing and anchoring systems to be shatter-resistant, burglar resistant, and forced entry resistant to the project forced entry standards, especially in areas of high risk. Whenever feasible, specify force entry resistant glazing on all exterior glazing.” And calls out window film specifically: “Resistance for glazing may be built into the window or applied with a film or a suitable additional forced entry resistant ― ‘storm’ window.”

School Building Energy Efficiency

3. U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)

Transitioning to building energy efficiency, the GSA composed a case study around the benefits of solar control window film. This study showed that when applied to a building, there was a reduction in heat gain/heat loss due to the film’s ability to adsorb and or reflect solar energy. If your school is located in a warmer climate, the energy savings in school buildings total about 29% of your HVAC costs with solar window film. 

4. Department of Energy (DOE) 

Commissioned by the DOE, the Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide provides practical ways to improve energy efficiency in school buildings and several other building types. The DOE created these guidelines to advance the energy performance of existing buildings. 

U.S. school districts pay over $8 billion a year in energy costs — so making these often outdated buildings more energy efficient is highly beneficial. Among the many retrofit solutions that the guide highlights, Low-E window film is listed. A simple, sustainable, cost-cutting solution like lining your school windows and glass doors with Low-E film can improve energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption and costs, and even improve occupant comfort for students and staff.

What’s more, there’s a way to improve the safety and energy efficiency in school buildings simultaneously. With today’s push toward sustainable and environment-friendly solutions, investing in energy-saving products that also harden your building’s exterior is a no-brainer. Dual function solar and security window film adds additional energy-saving benefits along with added protection from intruders and natural disasters. That’s a win-win! 

Security and Energy Efficiency Glazing Solutions in School Buildings 

With Uncle Sam giving a thumbs up for the use of window film for security and energy efficiency in school buildings, it’s time to assess your building’s security pain points and environmental impact. At NGS, we provide custom solutions to meet your facility’s needs for various concerns. Let our experts assist you with practical and cost-friendly products that improve your building’s security, energy efficiency, and structure.

Want to learn more? Watch our webinar, “Defend Your Glass: Check out our security and solar window film products.


Photo by Thirdman from Pexels

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