Balcony glazing pays back its carbon footprint

Balcony glazing pays back its carbon footprint on average in 3 years 6 months already. It may take only a couple of years to reduce the carbon footprint for housing on a permanent basis, if the balcony has been furnished with glass panels. According to Ramboll Finland Oy’s study, the payback period for the emissions caused by the Lumon 5-type balcony glazing system during its life cycle is 1,2 – 9,7 years, on average in 3 years 6 months in Canada.

The glazed balcony will bring savings in energy, and eventually in emissions. The payback period refers to the length of time required for these emission savings to equal the emissions generated during the product’s life cycle. After this, the balcony glazing’s net emissions will be negative, i.e. net proceeds available.

Lumon has become alert to energy and environmental issues

Interest in energy savings and the carbon footprint of buildings has lately increased due to the directive guidance on energy efficiency. As a result of this, companies have become aware of these issues and had several studies carried out on the environmental properties of products.

Lumon Oy has been alert to these issues at an early stage: an energy savings study was carried out in 2010, and a carbon footprint estimation in the spring of 2012. The former study revealed that balcony glazing saves energy. The latter study showed that the product is also advantageous with regard to the carbon footprint. In a way, the result was no surprise as the main balcony glazing materials, glass and aluminum, are totally recyclable. Another benefit is their existing and functional recycling system. At present, these materials are already successfully recycled,” sums up M.Sc. (Tech.) Kimmo Hilliaho, Energy Specialist and Leader of Research.

The starting point in the study’s carbon footprint estimation was a 64 sqm high-rise apartment in Tampere, Finland. The apartment is equipped with a typical Lumon 5-type balcony glazing system consisting of six glass panes. Thanks to glazing, the example object’s energy savings for the winter of 2009–2010 totaled 4.6 kWh/m2/a, while they amounted to an average of 1.9–10,4 kWh/m2/a in Finland. Moreover, the study carried out by Ramboll deals with the consideration of the environmentally friendly properties of Lumon solutions when determining the points granted by the globally well-known LEED environmental certification system for properties.