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Tilt turn windows with good visible transmittance

ranson | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

Can anyone recommend manufacturers of quality, energy efficient, tilt turn windows with good visible transmittance. If I’m going to put a hole in my wall for a window, I don’t want to fill it with a thick frame and dim glass. The NFRC website lists 64 manufacturers of tilt-turn windows, and I don’t know where to start. I’m designing for zone 5. I am cost sensitive, but willing to pay for quality.


P.S. Am I just cynical, or is the NFRC website specifically designed to prevent consumers from easily comparing different manufacturers side-by-side? They clearly have the data to make ranked lists based on performance metrics.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    If a high VT is your only criterion, you want single glazing without a low-e coating. In most areas, however, this type of window is now illegal.

    Most people have a few other issues they care about, including U-factor and SHGC. Choosing the right glazing always involves compromises.

  2. ranson | | #2


    I'm afraid I don't understand where your answer came from. I asked for a quality, energy efficient tilt turn window with good VT. That's three criteria in my first line.

    It is tricky to make an energy efficient window with good VT. Some manufacturers try harder than others. For example, I have two brands of U .20 double-hung windows in my house with low SHGC. They have visibly different frame widths and glass tints.

    Energy efficiency is an important aspect of home design, one I care about deeply. However, enjoyment and comfort can't just be discarded. I've been in homes with gray windows (or no windows), and the experience is dreary.

    I'm personally ignorant as to the best manufacturers of tilt turn windows. I stayed in a B&B with tilt turn windows, so I know that I like them. I'm confident that I can get energy efficiency, because I know they've been used successfully in passive house designs. But I'm not the first person to research these windows, and I'm hoping that others can tell me what windows compromised VT least while meeting their energy efficiency and quality goals.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    We need more information.

    Do you want double glazing or triple glazing?

    Do you want any particular maximum U-factor?

    Do you want any particular minimum SHGC?

    Do you want any particular maximum SHGC?

  4. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #4

    My new house has Intus triple pane tilt-turn Windows. I don't recall the VT number. But you certainly don't notice any tint or lack of clarity. They are really nicely made with very robust hardware.

  5. ranson | | #5

    Stephen, thanks for the input on Intus.

    I just did a comb through the NFRC website, looking for two criteria. U.47 I figure this is a good starting place for further research.

    On the list:

    Zola Thermo uPVC ValueLine Tilt & Turn
    Thermo Clad Value Line/Classic Clad/Classic Panoramic/Thermo Panoramic Tilt &Turn

    Unilux AG
    Design Line 0.8 Dual Action Window
    Design Line 0.7 Dual Action Window

    Architect Series Wood Tilt-Turn

    Geneo/DK Tilt-Turn Window

    CS 68 / CS 77 / CS 86 HI Dual Action

    Eforte Vinyl Dual Action

    HH Windows & Doors
    68MM & 78 MM Tilt-Turn

    Euroline Windows Inc.
    4700 ThermoPlus Hybrid Tilt and Turn Window

    Deluxe Windows
    SGI-060 Tilt & Turn

    DBP Partners Ltd
    M Sora Comfort 3 TT

    I haven't heard of half of these. Time to dig in and see what they actually offer.

  6. pkelecy | | #6

    John, what did you end up going with? I'm on a similar quest as you, looking for a good, energy efficient T&T window that doesn't have an overly thick frame. Compared to the casement windows I currently have (and plan to replace), I would lose 15 to 20% of my daylight opening going with a typical European T&T. Hoping to avoid that. Thanks!


  7. ranson | | #7

    I haven't picked yet. I'm still very much in the planning stages.


  8. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #8

    John. I checked and the Intus Efiorte windows we installed had a VT of .709 and SHGC of .49, if that helps any.

  9. user-4405197 | | #9

    We are building in Oakland County Michigan (zone 5) starting next month. We opted for Klearwall windows (distributor of windows from Munster Joinery in Ireland). They are the uPVC Future Proof line triple pane tilt/turn, U value = 0.137, SHGC = 0.61, VT = 71%. Pretty reasonable quote, considering the quality of window we're getting. The domestic quotes we received were only slightly lower for poorer performing windows.

    For reference: for SHGC = 0.49, VT = 64% and for SHGC = 0.39, VT = 57%

  10. pkelecy | | #10

    Brian, those specs are very good, almost too good. Are those for the whole window or just the glass? Also, how are the frames on those windows (thick like other T&T windows)?

  11. drewintoledo | | #11


    Unless price is no barrier you might as well toss Zola out of the equation.

    I'm not sure the size of your project, but the minimum order size is $25,000. To this, you would need to add $5,800 for shipping by sea container from the factory in Europe to your building site.


  12. 52Dave | | #12

    I would suggest Inline Fiberglass LTD as a viable option. Although the company is based in Canada, freight for the windows I purchased, shipped to the northeast was not unreasonable. Frame construction is pultruded fiberglass with foam injected, great viewing area and frame thickness minimal comparing to other types of construction. Company uses Cardinal for its glass. I have Casements that I am happy with but was initially exploring tilt and turn as well.

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