Designing better commercial fenestration through thermal design

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Fenestration—such as windows, curtain walls, window walls, sloped glazing, storefronts, and doors—affects building energy use through four basic mechanisms: thermal heat transfer, solar heat gain, visible transmittance, and air leakage. Product designers, architects, and specifiers must reconcile the interplay of these factors to arrive at, or verify, optimal thermal performance.

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Protecting our historic glazing

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According to the National Park Service (NPS), “when historic windows exist, they should be repaired when possible. When they are too deteriorated to repair, selection of the replacement windows must be guided by Standard 6 [of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation].”

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Fire-protective glass and increased color clarity

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Modern architectural designs favor open spaces and natural light throughout large buildings. Now, even enclosed interior areas like offices, corridors, and stairwells are using interior glass to open up otherwise windowless spaces. This requires fire-protective glazing that offers not only life safety, but also visual and color clarity.

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Protecting those inside: Specifying blast hazard-mitigating windows

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Exposed to the extreme pressure released by an explosive mass, elements of the window or curtain wall assembly work together to withstand the blast load and dissipate its energy. Laminated glass takes the brunt of the blast force, the framing connections and glass bites work together to keep the lites in their frames, the mullions and sashes adequately deflect to handle the assembly’s changing shape, and window hardware transfers load to perimeter framing.

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Using modern wood for historic restoration

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When it comes to historic preservation projects, architects and installers can find themselves at a loss. Wood is the most traditional material, but also notoriously unstable. It has a tendency to warp and becomes vulnerable to rot, decay, and insects. Some replacement products are more durable, but far from historically accurate, such as aluminum-framed windows.

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