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  • Window Watch – North American windows for Passive House projects

    Filed under Uncategorized
    Sep 27

    Our mainstays are the insulated fiberglass peoples:

    Thermotech Fiberglass and Serious have provided thermal performance data, and have supplied windows for Passive House projects.  I don’t know of any Passive House projects that have actually used Duxton or Accurate Dorwin. Inline may be supplying their frames. Duxton uses AFG, Cardinal, or PPG glass.  Not clear where A/D are getting their glass.

    On the wood window front, euro-style manufacturer HH Windows out of Seattle might be suitable; they can use Cardinal LoE-180 triple pane glass, and their frame U value is about 0.273 Btu/h.ft2.F.  It is rumored that THERM calcs are available upon request.

    I searched the R-5 windows program web site for residential, new-construction, casement windows deliverable to Oregon.   The following companies came up:

    • Amerimax
    • Four Season Sunrooms
    • Jeld-Wen
    • MI Doors and Windows
    • Monda
    • Ply Gem

    If any of these companies can put some flavor of Cardinal 180 triple-pane glass instead of the usual 366 (low solar heat gain) we might have a very cost-effective nigh-Passive House window at least for northwest marine climate.

    (Milgard and Atrium have told us they cannot offer it at this time.  This appears to be at least partly a regulatory issue, they don’t have NFRC ratings of their windows with this glass and it would cost a lot to recalc the whole product line.  For Portland at least, the Alternative Technology Advisory Committee might offer a way forward.  Also, for Passive House projects we aren’t generally interested in sliders or single-hungs because they don’t air-seal well enough.  Casement, tilt-turn, and fixed would be a good start.)

    I also asked Cardinal Glass if they could point me to manufacturers who could deliver a window with1 3/8 inch Lo-E 180 glass to the Pacific Northwest.  I got a call back from the Hood River sales manager.  He suggested:

    For wood windows:  Jeld-Wen custom wood window division

    For vinyl windows:

    • Vinyltech (British Columbia)
    • Innotech (British Columbia)
    • Mercer (Beaverton OR)
    • VPI (Spokane WA)

    Currently available Imports from overseas / rest of world, known to the Watch to have Certified Passive House Windows.

    Hi Graham-The REHAU Geneo PHZ series is a PHI certified window with German
    profiles that are stocked in Canada and now available for fabrication
    in the US.  The frame is made from RAU-FIPRO, a high-tech composite
    that was developed for the aerospace industry and is supposed to
    combine the strength of fiberglass with the weldability of vinyl.West Coast Vinyl Windows (WCVW) is the fabricator down in the LA area:
    http://www.westcoastvinylwindows.comPremier Window Group is the representative in the Seattle area:

    Here is some REHAU product data:

    and the PHI certificates:

    WCVW also makes its own glass units.  I’ve been told they have access
    to PPG Sungate 400 and is the only US fabricator authorized to use the
    Swisspacer listed in the PHI Certification.  They haven’t priced the
    windows yet, but expect them to be close to fiberglass.  I worked with
    both PWG & WCVW on a recent window replacement of 12-story apartment
    building here in Portland and found them great to work with.


    Non-Passive-House-Certified (or status-unknown) Imports of interest:
    All window manufacturers serving the North American Passive House market are beseeched to provide frame performance and glazing options data in the following format suitable for entry into PHPP.  Energate and Enersign I think have the most exemplary PHPP data charts on their web sites.  Here is an Excel template with handy unit conversion tab.
    Manufacturers or anyone who has compiled data, I invite you to download the template, enter data, save-as .xls and re-upload to Google Docs with share setting “anyone with the link.”  I would suggest to use a separate workbook for each manufacturer’s info.  Then post the link as a comment below, and I can then install it in the Watch proper.

3 Responses to “Window Watch – North American windows for Passive House projects”

  1. Nice work Graham! Very informative. The future looks bright.

  2. Thanks for tilting the window open and letting the cool refreshing breeze of knowledge flow in.

  3. Hey, you’re the goto expert. Thanks for haningg out here.

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