Windows…Not the Microsoft kind!


We received our windows and doors from Europe last week.  I was on the beach jumping the waves and swimming with the sharks (actually, just dolphins).  So, it was Eric and Roland (one of the owners of Intus Windows) and the Leon Home Improvement crew who moved the 1400 lbs of windows and doors into my garage.

See http://arlingtonpassivehouse.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/globalization-of-windows-and-doors-mostly-europeanized/ for more travel information of our super energy efficient windows.

Well, now that they are here, let’s see if they are as good as the Intus folks claimed.  Obviously, we cannot see how well they perform until the windows are actually installed, sealed and undergo a battery of tests.  We can however, examine the physical structure and craftsmanship.

The profiles were built in Germany by Inoutic.

The material is uPVC or unplaticized Polyvinyl Chloride, aka rigid vinyl.  Not all vinyl windows are created equal.  The common type of PVC profiles are extruded by adding platicizers to make it pliable in production but as a result, the platicizers also make them brittle and prone to cracking and deterioration due to ultra violet light exposure.  uPVC on the other hand are stronger, longer lasting and won’t crack or change colors.

Here is one of the casements.  The window opens inward with the one handle that controls 5 different locking points.  You have the options of using it as a hopper window, which tilts the window in from the top for partial ventilation or use it as a conventional casement window.

The windows are heavy but the hardware is well-built, so the operation is very smooth.

Each window has 5 locking points (the steel things above).  Also, if you look carefully, there are three weather seals/gaskets (the gray strips), two on the frame and one on the window sash.  Both of these features should enable these windows to be extremely air-tight when closed.  I look forward to the blower door tests!

The doors features similar locking and sealing mechanisms of the windows.  They are a little space age like and actually quite close what we were looking for: a house door that performs like a refrigerator door.  Again, the door operated very smoothly.

For the more technical folks, here are the windows and doors specs

Windows

  • Triple pane Guardian glass with 2 low-e coatings
  • U= 0.11
  • SHGC=50%
  • Window frame Uf=0.17Btu/h/ft2
  • Warm edge Swisspacers
  • Spacer thermal bridge=0.018
  • Triple gasket seals

Doors

  • Frame Uf=0.23 Btu/h/ft2
  • U=0.11
  • SHGC=50%
  • Spacer thermal bridge=0.019

Overall, the craftsmanship of the frame is very good, the glazing excellent, the gaskets are made of sturdy materials and the hardware operate smoothly.  Now, they just need to perform then Intus can stick it to Anderson, Marvin and Pella.  Although they are probably not operating in the same market as those big guys.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. will there be any over insulation of the frame with these?

    Reply

  2. Hey Mike,

    Did you mean if we are adding insulation to the frames?

    Roger

    Reply

  3. roger,

    adding insulation over the frames can greatly reduce the psi-install value, which can have a dramatic effect on the space heating demand. it’s no. 6 on my ’10 tips to optimize a PH post': http://bruteforcecollaborative.com/wordpress/2011/08/26/10-tricks-for-optimizing-a-passivhaus/

    was just wondering if you were planning this is all.

    Reply

  4. Mike,

    The idea did not occur to us! I think that’s definitely something to consider and easily achieved! I’ll be sure to read your tips more carefully.

    Thanks

    Roger

    Reply

  5. Posted by Susan on 2012/11/09 at 4:53 pm

    At least you had a great experience. As a home owner adding to our existing home, we got the windows way beyond the 10 weeks promised and now we are getting into the cold winter months. The shipping delay, which we weren’t informed of (I had to track it down myself), set the entire project back. What a mess. We were also told that we had to unload the windows out of an 18 wheeler that was going to show up at our house; and I mean unload from the shipping bod. Nice touch, I weigh 120 pounds. To ice the cake we ordered in in-swing french door and guess what, we received and out swing. Yes, the windows are great but we paid a lot of money and Intus didn’t deliver properly. What else is there to say?

    An unhappy homeowner.

    Reply

    • Hi Susan,
      Thanks for sharing your experience. I am so sorry to hear about your experience, it just sounds terrible. I can’t imagine having a construction disrupted like that. I hope this is an isolated incident because I am friends with the owners and want to see their business a success. I will forward your comments to them and I hope if there is something they can do about the situation, they do.

      Roger

      Reply

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