Protecting those inside: Specifying blast hazard-mitigating windows


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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The emergence of disclosure in green design


With the release of the latest version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating program, the concept of ‘disclosure’ has taken center stage as the next big topic in the ongoing discussion of how sustainable buildings are defined and evaluated. Sharing the stage are new tools that have emerged to help measure the ‘greenness’ of building products.

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Introducing the Passive House system: A new standard for building green


The architectural community is at a tipping point. Specifiers and their design teams are moving closer to super-energy-efficient performance across a spectrum of building types and portfolios, including the ‘deep energy retrofits’ of recent years. This is good news—U.S. commercial buildings account for 72 percent of domestic electricity use and 36 percent of natural gas consumption, according to a 2008 report by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and they contribute an eye-popping nine percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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