Looking In on Window Design

Building & Construction

Looking In on Window Design

Windows have evolved far beyond their ability to let in light and air. Today’s windows are one of the most important features of a building when it comes to energy efficiency, weatherability and UV resistance. Let’s take a look inside the window.

Energy Efficiency

What if your window could be inherently energy efficient? Higher efficiency in design is always one of the most sought-after characteristics for any window. Wood, steel and aluminum can be good choices, but many manufacturers prefer polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for the energy-efficient properties.

The hollow cavities of vinyl frames can be filled with insulation, which makes them thermally superior to standard wood frames. PVC is also a poor thermal conductor and resists heat and cold. Vinyl window frames with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers will keep sunlight from breaking down the material. They don’t require painting and have good moisture resistance – two more reasons why PVC or vinyl may be a better choice.

Weatherability and UV Resistance

Another reason PVC is preferred for windows is it’s inherently weather-resistant. But like all thermoplastics, be sure to consider environmental factors before selecting a PVC compound since they all impact the material in different ways.

For example, if the windows will endure high temperatures and abundant sunlight, you’ll want a PVC compound with UV stabilizers or UV light absorbents to offset the impacts of UV radiation. Look for a rigid vinyl formulation that’s made for years of outdoor weathering and chemical and flame resistance.

A Word about Compliance

Any windows that don’t abide by the certification standards set forth by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA,) NSF, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or the Fenestration & Glazing Industry Alliance (FIGA) should not get a second look.

These certification entities test products, conduct research and use an expansive body of knowledge to determine industry standards and specifications for vinyl windows and doors. A good material solutions provider will have an expert working knowledge of these standards and stand ready to work with you to meet them.

Take a Closer Look

The next time you have a choice to make about window design, consider the energy efficiency and weatherability of PVC. The best materials solution provider offers technical support to meet your goals, and custom solutions for just about any application. Looking for support on your next window design? Request a consultation today.

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