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Product Review: Windows

8 sustainable glazing products

Product Review: Windows

8 sustainable glazing products

  • Hurd. An online glossary and comparative chart of various insulating glass options supplements printed materials that illustrate and explain the best use of each option for residential projects. The company also offers continuing education courses through www.aecdaily.comen2 and in person via its Architectural Services Group. Pictured Fixed windows with ComfortGlaze glass and dividedlight grilles. 800.223.4873. www.hurd.com.

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    Hurd. An online glossary and comparative chart of various insulating glass options supplements printed materials that illustrate and explain the best use of each option for residential projects. The company also offers continuing education courses through www.aecdaily.comen2 and in person via its Architectural Services Group. Pictured Fixed windows with ComfortGlaze glass and dividedlight grilles. 800.223.4873. www.hurd.com.

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    Hurd. An online glossary and comparative chart of various insulating glass options supplements printed materials that illustrate and explain the best use of each option for residential projects. The company also offers continuing education courses through www.aecdaily.com/en/2 and in person via its Architectural Services Group. Pictured: Fixed windows with ComfortGlaze glass and divided-light grilles. 800.223.4873. www.hurd.com.

  • Pella. The companys Web site provides information about basic performance options and benefits the best use of its Insulshield windows energy tax credits and a complete list of products that qualify for those credits. Its Architectural Services Division also offers consultations and tools to select products. Pictured Architect and Designer series casement and fixed units. 800.374.4758. www.pella.com.

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    Pella. The companys Web site provides information about basic performance options and benefits the best use of its Insulshield windows energy tax credits and a complete list of products that qualify for those credits. Its Architectural Services Division also offers consultations and tools to select products. Pictured Architect and Designer series casement and fixed units. 800.374.4758. www.pella.com.

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    Pella. The companys Web site provides information about basic performance options and benefits the best use of its Insulshield windows energy tax credits and a complete list of products that qualify for those credits. Its Architectural Services Division also offers consultations and tools to select products. Pictured: Architect and Designer series casement and fixed units. 800.374.4758. www.pella.com.

  • Simonton. Online tools include PDFs of the companys Energy Starqualified glass options across all product lines by climate zone and of those that qualify for federal tax credits. The site features a description of the components employed to achieve efficient windows and a downloadable consumer brochure about Energy Stars window certification program. Pictured ProFinish Brickmould 600 series. 800.746.6686. www.simonton.com.

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    Simonton. Online tools include PDFs of the companys Energy Starqualified glass options across all product lines by climate zone and of those that qualify for federal tax credits. The site features a description of the components employed to achieve efficient windows and a downloadable consumer brochure about Energy Stars window certification program. Pictured ProFinish Brickmould 600 series. 800.746.6686. www.simonton.com.

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    Simonton. Online tools include PDFs of the company's Energy Starqualified glass options across all product lines by climate zone and of those that qualify for federal tax credits. The site features a description of the components employed to achieve efficient windows and a downloadable consumer brochure about Energy Star's window certification program. Pictured: ProFinish Brickmould 600 series. 800.746.6686. www.simonton.com.

  • AMSCO. The company provides performance data for all of its window products online and offers a section to help educate consumers about highperformance windows including a glossary of window terminology. Demonstration kits for its dealer network show the difference between clear glass and the manufacturers CozE highperformance glass. Pictured Renaissance series composite windows. 888.822.6726. www.amscowindows.com.

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    AMSCO. The company provides performance data for all of its window products online and offers a section to help educate consumers about highperformance windows including a glossary of window terminology. Demonstration kits for its dealer network show the difference between clear glass and the manufacturers CozE highperformance glass. Pictured Renaissance series composite windows. 888.822.6726. www.amscowindows.com.

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    Krause Johansen

    AMSCO. The company provides performance data for all of its window products online and offers a section to help educate consumers about high-performance windows including a glossary of window terminology. Demonstration kits for its dealer network show the difference between clear glass and the manufacturer's CozE high-performance glass. Pictured: Renaissance series composite windows. 888.822.6726. www.amscowindows.com.

  • Owens Corning. The company eschews a onesizefitsall approach with online tools and glazing options within its new Innovision series to match window performance values to each elevationexposure and optimize energy efficiency and comfort. Also available is a downloadable Manufacturers Certification Document to supplement purchase receipts to help claim energy tax credits. Pictured Innovision fiberglass windows. 800.438.7465. www.owenscorning.com.

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    Owens Corning. The company eschews a onesizefitsall approach with online tools and glazing options within its new Innovision series to match window performance values to each elevationexposure and optimize energy efficiency and comfort. Also available is a downloadable Manufacturers Certification Document to supplement purchase receipts to help claim energy tax credits. Pictured Innovision fiberglass windows. 800.438.7465. www.owenscorning.com.

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    Owens Corning. The company eschews a "one-size-fits-all" approach with online tools and glazing options within its new Innovision series to match window performance values to each elevation/exposure and optimize energy efficiency and comfort. Also available is a downloadable Manufacturer's Certification Document to supplement purchase receipts to help claim energy tax credits. Pictured: Innovision fiberglass windows. 800.438.7465. www.owenscorning.com.

  • JeldWen. The company a 2010 Energy Star Partner of the Year offers an energy resource section on its Web site with information on the energy tax credits a tutorial on glass performance guidelines on Energy Star zone requirements and a list of qualified models. The site also lists thermal performance ratings for all of its window products. Pictured Custom wood window with metal cladding. 800.535.3936. www.jeldwen.com.

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    JeldWen. The company a 2010 Energy Star Partner of the Year offers an energy resource section on its Web site with information on the energy tax credits a tutorial on glass performance guidelines on Energy Star zone requirements and a list of qualified models. The site also lists thermal performance ratings for all of its window products. Pictured Custom wood window with metal cladding. 800.535.3936. www.jeldwen.com.

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    Jeld-Wen. The company a 2010 Energy Star Partner of the Year, offers an energy resource section on its Web site with information on the energy tax credits, a tutorial on glass performance, guidelines on Energy Star zone requirements, and a list of qualified models. The site also lists thermal performance ratings for all of its window products. Pictured: Custom wood window with metal cladding. 800.535.3936. www.jeld-wen.com.

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    Mr. Janis Miglavs

    Milgard. Designed to take the guesswork out of optimizing window efficiency and matching units to the home’s climate, 3D/3D Max Energy Packages address energy efficiency through the three dimensions of a window: frame, product design, and glazing unit. Package components include technologies with low-E glass, argon gas fills, and proprietary foam spacers. Pictured: Fiberglass Ultra series. 800.645.4273. http://www.milgard.com/.

  • Andersen. The EcoExcel energy performance package includes all windows that qualify for the federal energy tax credit and an online service to verify compliance with the tax credit and save the manufacturers certification statement. Andersen also sponsors Windows in Sustainable Design Design Principles and Federal Tax Incentives an AIAapproved continuing education course at www.architectces.com. Pictured 400 Series Woodwright doublehung windows with LowE4 glass. 800.426.4261. www.andersenwindows.com.

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    Andersen. The EcoExcel energy performance package includes all windows that qualify for the federal energy tax credit and an online service to verify compliance with the tax credit and save the manufacturers certification statement. Andersen also sponsors Windows in Sustainable Design Design Principles and Federal Tax Incentives an AIAapproved continuing education course at www.architectces.com. Pictured 400 Series Woodwright doublehung windows with LowE4 glass. 800.426.4261. www.andersenwindows.com.

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    Krause Johansen

    Andersen. The EcoExcel energy performance package includes all windows that qualify for the federal energy tax credit and an online service to verify compliance with the tax credit and save the manufacturer's certification statement. Andersen also sponsors "Windows in Sustainable Design: Design Principles and Federal Tax Incentives," an AIA-approved continuing education course at www.architectces.com.  Pictured: 400 Series Woodwright double-hung windows with Low-E4 glass. 800.426.4261. www.andersenwindows.com.

  • Ply Gem. Online features primarily for consumers include a window search tool and a viewabledownloadable brochure about glass technology all windows qualify for tax credits. A software program for dealers includes the ability to simulate or confirm performance values and options. A special kit helps pros explain the tax credit to customers and includes a leavebehind to assist homeowners with claim paperwork. Pictured Mira Premium series. 800.999.8400. www.plygemwindows.com.

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    Ply Gem. Online features primarily for consumers include a window search tool and a viewabledownloadable brochure about glass technology all windows qualify for tax credits. A software program for dealers includes the ability to simulate or confirm performance values and options. A special kit helps pros explain the tax credit to customers and includes a leavebehind to assist homeowners with claim paperwork. Pictured Mira Premium series. 800.999.8400. www.plygemwindows.com.

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    Ply Gem. Online features, primarily for consumers, include a window search tool and a viewable/downloadable brochure about glass technology; windows can be configured to qualify for tax credits. A software program for dealers includes the ability to simulate or confirm performance values and options. A special kit helps pros explain the tax credit to customers and includes a leave-behind to assist homeowners with claim paperwork. Pictured: Mira Premium series. 800.999.8400. http://www.plygemwindows.com/.

  • Marvin. The Performance Education Handbook available online and in print includes design pressure DP ratings Energy Star ratings glass performance and NFRC certification and labeling for the companys entire product line among other performance topics. The site also lists products that qualify for energy tax credits. Pictured Aluminumclad wood windows. 800.346.3363. www.marvin.com.

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    Marvin. The Performance Education Handbook available online and in print includes design pressure DP ratings Energy Star ratings glass performance and NFRC certification and labeling for the companys entire product line among other performance topics. The site also lists products that qualify for energy tax credits. Pictured Aluminumclad wood windows. 800.346.3363. www.marvin.com.

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    Marvin. “The Performance Education Handbook,” available online and in print, includes design pressure (DP) ratings, Energy Star ratings, glass performance, and NFRC certification and labeling for the company’s entire product line, among other performance topics. The site also lists products that qualify for energy tax credits. Pictured: Aluminum-clad wood windows. 800.346.3363. http://www.marvin.com/.

FORM OVER FUNCTION?

The answer may have more to do with design features and comfort than it does optimized energy efficiency.

Consider a bump-out breakfast room facing east, surrounded by tall windows to capture views and morning sun. Specifying triple-pane, low-E windows with a marginal SHGC rating (perhaps 0.40 or higher, depending on climate) for that particular circumstance, says Gary Gaiser, an architect with Pella’s Architectural Support Services division, boosts the windows’ ability to retain heat and create a warmer interior surface (thanks mostly to the third pane) while also benefiting from some solar heat gain to achieve a comfortable morning environment, perhaps without the need to jack up the thermostat.

That spec also enhances comfort by mitigating the formation of a “convective current”—essentially, warm room air chasing air cooled by the window’s surface, creating an air stream that most people perceive as a draft from a leaky window. The warmer interior surface of the glass also alleviates radiant heat loss from the occupants themselves—again, a dynamic of warmth trying to heat cooler surfaces or air.

As a result of all that applied science, the home’s heating system doesn’t have to work as hard (if at all) to warm up the breakfast room or take the chill off the homeowners; it may also cut down on the home’s lighting demand. “With the number of glazing options available, you can pick and choose applications for different parts of the house,” says Gaiser. “You get the most [economic] value by specifying the same [high-performance] glazing across the board, except where you need a different spec to address comfort.”

That kind of “spot specing” of windows, and the resulting impact on other systems and comfort, also may allow builders to balance the premium cost of a few triple-pane windows in a breakfast nook against the savings of right-sized (smaller) heating equipment and distribution schemes (fewer and shorter ducts) and perhaps fewer lighting fixtures, not to mention the energy those systems consume. “The initial cost savings could be in the hundreds of dollars,” Vilhauer says.

RULES OF THUMB 

Though windows are only one target among several products and practices toward a top-notch thermal envelope, there are still rules of thumb to follow to optimize their impact.

Southern Exposure: An all-day exposure, per the sun’s path. In heating (i.e., cold) climates, leverage it with a better U-factor (ideally 0.20 or less) but less-efficient SHGC (perhaps 0.50 or higher) to boost heat gain in the winter and offset heating energy; use overhangs or other shading devices to cut down gain in the summer, when the sun is higher in the sky. In cooling (i.e., hot) climates, spec windows with U-factors and SHGC ratings of 0.30 or better and use shading tactics. “If I have to choose between blocking the summer sun and some solar gain in the winter, I’ll elect to block it,” says Texas custom builder Don Ferrier.

Western Exposure: Solar gain mostly in the late afternoon. Bob Saxler, architectural marketing manager at Andersen Windows, advises builders to focus on this elevation first, as it is the most difficult to control. If possible, orient the house and floor plan away from this exposure, such as situating utility areas, bathrooms, and, ideally, the garage on that side, and specify small and fewer operable (ideally casement) windows with efficient U-factors and SHGC ratings to mitigate solar gain and provide some measure of passive ventilation. If you have a view to the west, he says, boost the SHGC even more and look for multiple shading opportunities inside and out.

Northern Exposure: In this hemisphere, the least opportunity for solar gain. A dual-pane window with a standard low-E coating on the inner face of the outside pane (cold climate) or the outer face of the inside pane (hot climate), is sufficient. “We always recommend a low-E window for north-facing windows for its insulating value alone,” says Val Brushaber, director of product management, certification, and architectural development for Hurd Windows & Doors. The number and size of windows can be dictated by views, exterior aesthetics, and floor plan as much as thermal efficiency, though fewer windows is always better in that regard. North is also notorious for prevailing winds, so think about air infiltration and passive ventilation through casement windows (instead of hung units) or fixed windows to lessen leakage.

Eastern Exposure: Rich in daylight, but far cooler than its opposite exposure. You can dial up the SHGC rating to 0.40 or more, especially in heating or mixed climates, while a U-factor of 0.30 is plenty to retard thermal transfer through the window.