glazing

Presumptive European Superiority Syndrome

Posted on April 21,2015 by Stephen Thwaites in glazing

UPDATED on October 22, 2014 with an Addendum.

[Editor's note: The author of this article, Stephen Thwaites, is a window manufacturer. His company, Thermotech Fiberglass Fenestration, is located in Ottawa, Ontario.]

Most of the world, especially the green building community, assumes that “European” implies “more energy-efficient.” When it comes to windows, this automatic presumption of superior energy efficiency is both so common and so misplaced that it deserves a name: the Presumptive European Superiority Syndrome.

PHIUS Posts Window Data

Posted on April 21,2015 by ScottG in glazing

Passive House Institute U.S. has posted detailed performance data about windows online for ready access by builders and designers. The Certified Data for Windows program is organized by manufacturer, and includes key values such as the window's solar heat gain coefficient, its center-of-glass U-factor, and its whole-window installed U-factor.

New Low-e Coating Would Boost Glass Performance

Posted on April 21,2015 by ScottG in glass

Public and private researchers in Oregon have been awarded a $150,000 grant to continue work on a new coating process for architectural glass that would reflect infrared radiation without blocking as much visible light as current coatings.

Green Basics Skylights

Looking Through Windows — Part 1

Posted on April 21,2015 by user-961160 in glazing

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the fifth article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.] When we first began looking at windows for our Passivhaus project, we started with a list of 15 window manufacturers. We whittled the list down to two: Schüco, which on paper looked like the best European-style window, and Pella, the best North American style window.

Cool Window and Glazing Products from the AIA Convention

Posted on April 21,2015 by AlexWilson in BIPV

I just spent three days at the American Institute of Architects annual convention in Washington, DC, including a fair amount of time at the massive trade show there. I didn’t make it all the way through the acres of exhibits over the eight hours or so I walked the floor, but I saw some really interesting products. I’m highlighting here a few of the windows and glazing-related products I found.

Window Performance 4 — Dealing with Edge Losses

Posted on April 21,2015 by AlexWilson in double glazing

Over the last three weeks I've focused on the major strategies for improving the energy performance of windows: adding extra layers of glass, increasing the thickness of the airspace between the layers of glass, adding low-emissivity coatings, and replacing air with a low-conductivity gas fill. These strategies all help to reduce heat flow through an insulating glass unit (IGU), and if we do a really good job with these strategies we can achieve center-of-glass R-values of R-5 or higher.

Window Performance — Part 3

Posted on April 21,2015 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 21,2015 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.

Are High-Performance Windows Worth Their High Cost?

Posted on April 21,2015 by ScottG in glazing

Randy George is in the final planning stages for a new house he will be building this summer in Vermont, and from the sound of it he won't have much trouble staying warm through those long winters. In addition to R-45 walls, an R-65 roof and R-20 slab, the house will have air infiltration rates lower than one air change per hour at 50 pascals of depressurization. Although not quite meeting the Passivhaus standard, that's extremely tight construction.

All About Glazing Options

Posted on April 21,2015 by user-756436 in glazing

Everybody has an opinion on windows, and there’s a lot to talk about. Which frame material do you prefer: wood or fiberglass? Do you like double-hungs, sliders, or casements? Who provides better warranty service, Marvin or Pella? Window selection is a complicated topic, so I'll approach the issue in small bites. In this article I’ll focus on glazing.

Windows That Perform Better Than Walls

Posted on April 21,2015 by user-756436 in glazing

UPDATED on March 18, 2015 The common perception that windows are “energy holes” is a bad rap. Since today’s high-solar-gain triple-glazed windows gather more heat than they lose, good windows perform better than an insulated wall. After all, a wall can only lose energy, while windows can gain energy during the day to balance energy lost at night.

High-Solar-Gain Glazing

Posted on April 21,2015 by user-756436 in glazing

Homeowners can now receive a federal tax credit for 30% of the cost of new energy-efficient windows. The credit was authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed by President Obama in February.

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