BY ROBERT ECKER, PRESIDENT ECKER WINDOW CORP.Every year many manufacturers strive to proved consumers with products that offer more for their window dollar.
By working closely with experts in the aluminum and glass industries, window manufacturers continue to develop products that set new standards for energy efficiency,aesthetic appeal and consistent operation.
The top manufacturers are constantly retooling to keep abreast of the latest product technology. Testing laboratories are also being utilized to simulate severe environmental conditions and performance test the window systems. Stronger aluminum alloys have made heavy commercial (HC) windows available to more buildings at a much lower cost. Lowemissive (Low E) glass, which filters harmful ultraviolet rays, is slowly becoming an industry standard.
New products have been introduced specifically to meet market needs. For example, twocolor windows were developed after suggestions from many consumers. Landmark casement windows address a niche market that needs to replicate the existing windows in buildings where renovations are regulated by the Landmark Preservation guidelines.
In many cases, innovations take the form of improvements that go unnoticed by the uneducated consumer but improve the window in both form and function. Today’s electrostatic paint application process eliminates pitting or corrosion on the window surface. Balance plugs (small plastic washers) are a simple feature that has made balancesystem servicing obsolete. Scooping (overlapping) extrusion corners and stepdown hospital sills are recent innovation that have made windows more energy efficient and secure.
Examining new advances in technology will help manufactures. Meet the market needs of the future. Firerated heatresistant safety glass, that will replace wirereinforced glass, is one of the new products on the horizon. Argon gasfilled window systems are another innovation that in the near future will dramatically increase window performance.¤