07/16/2001

Through the Looking Glass

Creative solutions for window problems

 

In Application
Therm-O-Lite windows by Maine Glass are designed as a cost-effective option to full window replacement and come in fixed and operable models. Their patented design features vinyl frames, tight seal construction, and various glass options. In addition to energy savings, the custom-made windows provide drastic reductions of exterior noise infiltration, uncomfortable drafts, and hot spots. The interior windows can be installed in any weather, with little or no downtime; they upgrade inefficient windows beyond the standards available from standard window replacement windows. Therm-O-Lite windows eliminate the high costs associated with total window replacement.


The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has placed Therm-O-Lite windows on the Federal Supply List.

We are all aware of window upgrade needs for our homes. We know the benefits associated with adding insulative qualities to our windows. Not until recent times has there been an architecturally acceptable, cost-effective option for commercial buildings to increase comfort, dramatically reduce noise infiltration, and pay for these improvements with energy savings.
Typically, buildings have focused on saving energy with automation systems and more efficient chillers and boilers, but have not, until recently, looked at the basics of insulating the windows or curtainwall. Window replacement has been considered and used as a last resort by many properties. However, window replacement is a very costly and disruptive solution, generally only used when windows have deteriorated beyond acceptable limits. The better paybacks for window replacement typically run around 20 years, putting them far beyond consideration as an energy conservation measure.


There are several alternatives to window replacement that have proven beneficial and should be a viable consideration for buildings of any age. The most common, basic, and inexpensive is the plastic that shrinks to the window frame. Thousands of these kits have solved problems in Class C and D buildings for years.


A more permanent, more attractive solution is interior insulating windows, also called retrofit "inside storm windows." There are various interior products that are all about the same price and perform quite well. Some are glass products, and some are acrylic. The frames vary from aluminum to vinyl to wood. The aluminum and wood frames are available in a variety of colors. The vinyl frames have been somewhat limited in color selection; however, the overall insulative performance of vinyl and wood are superior to aluminum.


The attachment design is a major consideration. There are some very creative products with well-detailed attachments having minimal profiles. These interior windows blend beautifully with the prime windows, making the retrofit window "transparent." A well-designed interior insulating window is normally acceptable to all Historic Preservation organizations. Fixed and operable models are available. Interior insulating windows can be an attractive upgrade to the interior aesthetic of a building.


The applications are expanding for the retrofit window industry. One of the better products offers a between-the-glass blind option that can be operated manually with a twist knob, remotely, or automatically with a solar sensor. Between-the-glass blinds are terrific at reducing solar heat gain.


The installation process is also a consideration. There is a range of difficulty. Installation can be a very clean and quick procedure. There should be little, if any, downtime for the building.
Working with a company that has a good track record and experience with installation of the product is very important. Like most products, windows are only as good as the people working with you on the project. At least one distributor offers a free energy evaluation that not only gives the cost of the product, but also details the projected energy savings.

Stephen P. Duerkop, CPM, is president of Maine Glass Corp. (www.maineglass.com), Park Ridge, IL (888-825-6975). His past experience includes senior management at JMB Realty Corp., with responsibility for properties of all types throughout the U.S. mainland.

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 
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