window

How NOT to Install Windows in a New Home

Posted on January 29,2015 by ab3 in flashing

I see a lot of interesting stuff at construction sites and in people's homes. I also see stuff I never got to see because people send me photos. I like photos! Remember that ice chest someone had incorporated into a duct system? That was sent to me. So are the first two photos in this article.

Presumptive European Superiority Syndrome

Posted on January 29,2015 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.

Part 5 of GBA’s Passivhaus Video Series

Posted on January 29,2015 by GBA Team in Baczek

At the Passivhaus job site in Falmouth, Massachusetts, architect Steve Baczek specified triple-glazed Makrowin windows from Slovakia. The windows were installed as "in-betweenies," and the perimeter of each window was sealed with Siga Wigluv tape. To make sure that the installations were watertight, each window was tested with a garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle after it was installed.

What Should I Do With My Old Windows?

Posted on January 29,2015 by user-756436 in Historic preservation

If you’re trying to lower your energy bills, you have probably plugged many of your home’s air leaks and have added insulation to your attic floor. Now you may be wondering, “What should we do about our old windows?” Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question. Sometimes it makes sense to leave old windows exactly the way they are. Sometimes it makes sense to repair the windows’ weatherstripping and add storm windows. And sometimes it makes sense to replace old windows with new energy-efficient windows.

PHIUS Posts Window Data

Posted on January 29,2015 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.

Installing Windows the Right Way

Posted on January 29,2015 by ScottG in condensation

Brian Beaulieu would seem to be well on his way to enjoying a high-performance house in southern Maine. The double-stud walls are 10 1/2 inches thick and insulated with mineral wool. The exterior air barrier is the taped Zipwall system, backed up with airtight drywall on the interior for a second line of defense against air leakage. Beaulieu has invested in top-quality tripled-glazed Intus windows suitable for Passivhaus designs. And it's here that Beaulieu has run into a problem.

Intus Introduces a Wood-Framed Window

Posted on January 29,2015 by ScottG in Intus

Intus has introduced a new triple-glazed window, the Premier 78 Alu Mira Advanced, which combines a pine frame, high-density foam, and exterior aluminum cladding. Intus says the windows, which are manufactured in Lithuania with lumber from Germany and Austria, are suitable for Passivhaus construction. The argon-filled glazing has a U-value of 0.088, and when combined with the frame has a U-value of 0.14, the equivalent of about R-7.

Is the Passivhaus Program Truly Innovative?

Posted on January 29,2015 by ab3 in air leakage

Last month, Joe Lstiburek gave the fifth annual Twitterview from his crawl space. (Peter Troast of Energy Circle has published the transcript of this year’s event.) One of the pearls of wisdom dispensed by Joe was that, “Passivhaus is the only place where real innovation is happening.”

New Low-e Coating Would Boost Glass Performance

Posted on January 29,2015 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.

Do Europeans Make Better Windows Than We Do?

Posted on January 29,2015 by ScottG in Passivhaus window

It should come as no surprise that Europe, home of the Passivhaus standard, produces some outstanding windows. Some builders of high-efficiency houses in North America turn to European window manufacturers for their glazing, even though some U.S. and Canadian producers also offer high-performance products of their own. Is there a way to compare the performance data on windows from these two sources? That’s what Steve Young, now planning a Passive House in Climate Zone 5, would like to know.

Rating Windows for Condensation Resistance

Posted on January 29,2015 by user-756436 in AAMA

Condensation forms on a surface when the temperature of the surface is below the dew point of the air. During the winter, when the coldest surface in a room is often the window, it’s fairly common to see water droplets or ice on window glass — especially in a room with elevated indoor humidity. Condensation is more likely to form when indoor relative humidity is high. That’s why it’s more common to see condensation on a bathroom window than a bedroom window.

Looking Through Windows — Part 7

Posted on January 29,2015 by user-961160 in Bieber

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the 11th article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.] There’s a popular saying here in Maine — “we’re all set” — to signify that the current situation is perfectly fine. Window selection had so far been the most time-consuming and vexing aspect of the EdgewaterHaus project. That was all behind us. We had made a final decision on an Optiwin-designed Bieber-manufactured Passivhaus-certified windows.

Looking Through Windows — Part 6

Posted on January 29,2015 by user-961160 in Bieber

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the tenth article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.] Enough suspense on windows. It’s a Bieber! And yes, that’s our final decision. We’ve made a sizable cash deposit and started precise shop drawings for the windows.

(At Least) 3 Things Are Wrong With This Window Installation

Posted on January 29,2015 by GBA Team in Building America

Last week, GBA published a photo of a recently installed window in an new house under the headline, “What's Wrong With This Picture?” The photo showed the window from the interior. Some of the flexible flashing material was visible on the rough sill and the rough jamb. The list of problems outlined below was prepared by James Steacy of IBACOS.

Looking Through Windows — Part 5

Posted on January 29,2015 by user-961160 in passive house

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the ninth article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.] Strike up the band: we have – finally – achieved the Passivhaus standard with Unilux windows! Marc Rosenbaum, our energy consultant, ran the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) energy modeling software and arrived at a heat load of 4.74 KBTU/sq. ft./year, a mere 0.01 below the 4.75 limit. Talk about a photo-finish squeaker!

Video Series: Replacing a Window in a Brick House

Posted on January 29,2015 by GBA Team in brick house

Brick walls can seriously complicate window installation and can sometimes confuse even the most experienced builders. Fortunately for us, Mike Sloggatt, who has thirty years' experience working on brick houses, was available to show us how to assess the situation and do the job right.

Looking Through Windows — Part 4

Posted on January 29,2015 by user-961160 in passive house

[Editor's note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the eighth article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.] We have been comparing two window options for EdgewaterHaus: German-manufactured Unilux windows, and Canadian-made windows from Thermotech Fiberglass. I’ll talk about Thermotech in this blog; a previous blog discussed our impressions of the Unilux windows.

Study Shows That Expensive Windows Yield Meager Energy Returns

Posted on January 29,2015 by user-756436 in net zero

An architectural cliché from the 1970s — the passive solar home with large expanses of south-facing glass — is making a comeback. In recent years, we’ve seen North American designers of Passivhaus buildings increase the area of south-facing glass to levels rarely seen since the Carter administration. What’s the explanation for all this south-facing glass? We’re told that there’s no other way for designers to meet the energy limit for space heating required by the Passivhaus standard: namely, a maximum of 15 kWh per square meter per year.

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