The United States Department of Energy has awarded $1.2 million to Dow Corning Corporation to develop an insulating façade system that may significantly increase the energy efficiency of commercial buildings.

The funding will assist Dow Corning in the development of a silicon-based high-efficiency building insulation system which could be used in retro-fit and new construction applications. The insulation project is focused on achieving thermal resistance values of R-40 or greater for exterior insulation and finish systems, which would make building façades as many as eight times more energy efficient.

“We commend Secretary Chu and the Department of Energy’s commitment to reducing energy usage of U.S. buildings,” said Stephanie Burns, Dow Corning chairman, president and CEO. “These DOE investments will help the United States take another step towards economic recovery, energy independence and a cleaner environment.”

Dow Corning’s energy efficient insulation material is one of 58 projects awarded more than $76 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding by the DOE to support advanced energy-efficient building technology projects and the development of training programs for commercial building equipment technicians, building operators, and energy auditors.

“These projects will help the United States lead the world in advancing energy-efficient technologies,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Energy-efficient commercial buildings will help our country cut its carbon emissions and energy costs while the training programs will upgrade the skills of the current workforce and attract the next generation to careers in the emerging clean-energy economy.”