The Houston VA Regional Office serves a population of 759,739 Veterans in 90 counties of southern Texas, the Republic of Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, and administers a variety of services and benefits including Compensation and Pension, Home Loan Guaranty, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment. Other services provided include specially adapted housing grants, benefits counseling, fiduciary/guardianship services, outreach services for the homeless, elderly, minority Veterans and women Veterans, and public affairs.
1. Client Challenge:
The facility was experiencing severe condensation on the exterior of its single pane windows. Every morning, when the air conditioning began cooling the building, condensation formed on the exterior of the windows as a result of the large temperature differential between the interior and exterior as well as the humidity for which Houston is well known. Frequently the condensation was so thick, occupants could not see out of the windows
The owner was headed down the path of replacing all of the windows but after seeing the cost involved they approached Envocore’s customer, a local Energy Service company (ESCO) that has a long standing relationship with the facility, and asked if they could provide assistance. After a conversation with the ESCO, Envocore stepped in right away with a viable solution at less than half of the cost of new windows.
2. Building Envelope Solution:
Supplemental Window Installation including Exterior Cleaning, Wet Sealing & Solar Shades
A supplemental window system, in which new window panes are built and installed to create a triple pane (double pane is also possible) was proposed, along with window shades to reduce solar heat and glare. During the test installation of a few windows, the condensation began to dissipate within minutes of installing the supplemental panes.
3. The Results:
The project encompassed over 450 windows of various shapes and sizes along with solar shades. The site no longer experiences issues with condensation and is managing the solar heat gain and glare with solar shades. Additional benefits include increased occupant comfort and control, and of course very significant energy savings that were generated by the more efficient windows. The building owners have also subsequently changed the thermostat settings by 2 degrees because the supplemental windows and solar shades are performing so well.