Product Guide Windows

Serious Materials Exits the High-Performance Window Business

Posted on April 27,2015 by patrick_mccombe in Heat Mirror

Serious Materials has abandoned its expensive venture into high-performance window manufacturing. Based in Sunnyvale, California, Serious Materials (also known as Serious Energy) entered the building materials market in 2002 with a new sound-proofing drywall called QuietRock. Launched at a time when home construction was booming, the new drywall met with initial success. Serious soon went looking for other building products to sell, including high-performance windows. In 2007 the company acquired Alpen, a manufacturer of fiberglass windows based in Boulder, Colorado.

Window Performance — Part 3

Posted on April 27,2015 by AlexWilson in argon

Over the last two weeks I've covered the major strategies for improving the energy performance of windows: adding extra layers of glass, increasing the thickness of the air space between the layers of glass, and adding low-emissivity coatings. Another important strategy is to use a low-conductivity gas instead of air in the space between the layers of glass. Most commonly argon is used, though krypton is available for the highest-performance windows, and xenon is occasionally used.

Window Performance 2 — the Magic of Low-e Coatings

Posted on April 27,2015 by AlexWilson in glass

Last week I wrote about the early strategies window manufacturers employed to improve energy performance: adding extra layers of glass and increasing the thickness of the airspace between the layers of glass. This week we'll look at a more revolutionary change to window design that appeared in the 1980s: low-emissivity coatings.

The Revolution in Window Performance — Part 1

Posted on April 27,2015 by AlexWilson in windows

I've been working for the past couple weeks on a report on windows — the latest in BuildingGreen's series of special reports on green building (the last one covering insulation). This focus has reminded me just how much we expect of our windows and what an amazing job they do.

Irish Passive House Raises Bar for Eco Design

Posted on April 27,2015 by GBA Team in Construct Ireland

Reprinted with permission from Construct Ireland magazine. Sally O’Leary says that when a site became available near the site of an old family home, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy it. She’d been looking for a site to build on with her husband John. “We always wanted energy efficiency, I think nowadays that’s something that people have to do," she says.

Four Affordable Ways to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Old Windows

Posted on April 27,2015 by Peterbilt in windows

There are many reasons to replace windows, but energy efficiency is not the best reason. Replacing the windows in an older house is one of the most expensive energy upgrades you can make. To improve performance of existing windows, consider storm windows, window films, and exterior roller shades before buying replacement windows. But which option is the best bang for the buck?

New Green Building Products — March 2011

Posted on April 27,2015 by user-756436 in bath fan

It’s been about six months since my last roundup of new green building products. This time I’ll look at two ventilation products (an HRV and a fan), a pressure-balancing grille, and an inexpensive camera to inspect difficult-to-reach areas. I’ll also mention four new North American distributors of European Passivhaus-certified windows.

Architects Discuss Passive Solar Design

Posted on April 27,2015 by ChrisBriley in orientation

It's time once again to share a drink with our two podcasting Maine architects, Chris Briley and Phil Kaplan. In the latest episode of their Green Architects’ Lounge series, Chris and Phil discuss passive solar design as they sip glasses of Philadelphia Brown Ale. After explaining why the glass used for beer bottles should have a low solar heat gain coefficient, Chris and Phil get down to business.

Tax Credits for Window Replacement

Posted on April 27,2015 by AlexWilson in tax credits

Last week, I provided an overview of the 30% federal tax credits that are in place for 2009 and 2010 for residential energy upgrades. Most of the provisions of those tax credits are very good. In the rush to do a lot very quickly, though, some mistakes were made. One such mistake, in my opinion, has to do with the credit provided for window replacement.

Tax Credits for Energy Upgrades

Posted on April 27,2015 by AlexWilson in tax credits

There are some great opportunities right now to upgrade your home energy performance with support from federal tax credits. These tax credits, created as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 greatly expanded tax credits that had been put in place through the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct). Over the next few weeks I’ll describe these tax credits--addressing what they cover and how you can benefit--but also editorializing a bit about some of the poorly thought-out features.

GREEN BUILDING TIP: Pick Windows That Don't Waste

Posted on April 27,2015 by Daniel Morrison in green building tip

**True divided-light windows lose more heat.**

Vacuum-Insulated Windows

Posted on April 27,2015 by AlexWilson in Guardian Industries

Last week we took at look at one way to achieve very-high-performance windows: adding additional layers of glazing and multiple low-emissivity (low-e) coatings. This week, we’ll look at another option that’s even higher-tech: vacuum-insulated glass.

BuildingEnergy: The Best Little Conference in the Northeast

Posted on April 27,2015 by Daniel Morrison in deep energy retrofit

The official theme of this year’s NESEA conference was “Real Solutions, Real Experts.” But that’s kind of a cop-out. NESEA's conference is always filled with experts and solutions every year. The unofficial theme, it seemed to me, was "How Deep is Your Deep Energy Retrofit?"

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