T window system design, a manufacturer must possess a keen eye for technical innovation, as well as an ear for market demand.

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 and interviewing their customers to better understand consumer wants and needs. Testing laboratories are also being utilized to simulate sever 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 or “LowE” glass, which filters harmful ultraviolet rays, is slowly becoming an industry standard.

New products have been introduced specifically to meet market needs. For example, Ecker introduced the twocolor window to the New York market after consumers requested a more aesthetically appealing product. Landmark casement windows address a niche market that needs to replicate the existing windows in buildings whose renovations are regulated by the Landmark Preservation Guidelines.

In many new 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 step down hospital sills are recent innovations that have made windows more energy efficient and secure. To make the most out of new product advances, we have joined other companies in requiring installation and service crews to update their skills each year.

EXAMINING NEW ADVANCES in technology will help manufacturers 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 gas filled window systems are another innovation that in the near future will dramatically increase water performance.¤