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New Green Building Products — January 2009

Cool new products on display in Vegas: Windows, fans, PV modules, and ICFs

Posted on Jan 21 2009 by Martin Holladay

LAS VEGAS, NV — Wandering the trade show floor at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas today, I stumbled upon several intriguing new products. Here are four of them.

Serious Energy windows

Serious Energy, a window manufacturer that recently acquired Alpen Windows, has made several improvements to Alpen’s line of windows with pultruded fiberglass frames. Windows from Serious Energy (formerly known as Serious Materials) are available with Heat Mirror glazingWhen referring to windows or doors, the transparent or translucent layer that transmits light. High-performance glazing may include multiple layers of glass or plastic, low-e coatings, and low-conductivity gas fill. from Southwall Technologies.

If you choose Serious Energy’s 1125 glazing — a Heat Mirror product that amounts to quintuple glazing (two layers of glass and three layers of mylar film with low-e coatings) — you end up with an amazingly low whole-window U-factorMeasure of the heat conducted through a given product or material—the number of British thermal units (Btus) of heat that move through a square foot of the material in one hour for every 1 degree Fahrenheit difference in temperature across the material (Btu/ft2°F hr). U-factor is the inverse of R-value. somewhere between 0.08 and 0.09 (equivalent to R-11). Serious Energy has obtained NFRC ratings on all of their Heat Mirror windows. Plan on spending at least $1,000 for a casement window with 1125 glazing.

Ventergy fans from American Aldes

American Aldes ( has a new series of supply ventilation fans and exhaust ventilation fans called the Ventergy series. All Ventergy fans meet Energy StarLabeling system sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy for labeling the most energy-efficient products on the market; applies to a wide range of products, from computers and office equipment to refrigerators and air conditioners. requirements. The fans can be ordered to meet precise ASHRAE 62.2A standard for residential mechanical ventilation systems established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Among other requirements, the standard requires a home to have a mechanical ventilation system capable of ventilating at a rate of 1 cfm for every 100 square feet of occupiable space plus 7.5 cfm per occupant. ventilation requirements for a specific home; each fan is delivered with plastic flow control valves — constant airflow regulators — to deliver the required airflow.

A PV module that is bi-directional

Sanyo ( is now selling a new two-directional photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. module, the HIT Double. The translucent PV panels are usually used for solar awnings and shade structures. HIT Double modules generate electricity on both sides; most of the power is generated on the side facing the sun, but a small amount of additional power is generated from light bouncing off pavement and hitting the underside of the panels.

Logix ICFs have high R-values

A manufacturer of insulated concrete forms (ICFs) called Logix manufactures a line of ICFs (the XRV line) with high R-values. The XRV forms can be ordered with the following foam thicknesses: 2 3/4 in., 4 in., 5 in., 6 in., 7 in., and 8 in. The interior EPSExpanded polystyrene. Type of rigid foam insulation that, unlike extruded polystyrene (XPS), does not contain ozone-depleting HCFCs. EPS frequently has a high recycled content. Its vapor permeability is higher and its R-value lower than XPS insulation. EPS insulation is classified by type: Type I is lowest in density and strength and Type X is highest. thickness can differ from the exterior; for example, it’s possible to order Logix ICFs with 2 3/4 in. of foam on the interior and 8 in. of foam on the exterior. The ICFs with the highest available R-value have 8 in. on both sides, for a total R-value of 66.

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  1. Martin Holladay

Jan 22, 2009 2:39 PM ET

Re: Cool new products from the International Builders' Show
by Mark Piepkorn

See the GreenSpec product listing for Alpen Windows here:
and a full-on review of them from Environmental Building News:

Kudos to Logix for the imbalanced ICFs that put more insulation to the outside, where it belongs. More insulation is better, certainly, but using the increased insulation on the cold side instead of distributing it evenly on both sides of the mass is more better. The only manufacturer I was aware of with that kind of option was VariantHouse from Germany.

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