November 10, 2009

Historic Windows with Modern Efficiency

The choice of windows for THE CONCORD GREEN HOME was critically important on many levels. First, the windows had to deliver superior insulating value. Second, they had to have a high solar heat gain coefficient, which measures how much passive solar heat can pass through the glazing during the colder months. Lastly, they had to fit with the historic aesthetic of the home.

The low-e, Krypton-filled Milestone window from Green Mountain Window and Door Co., came out on top on all three counts, even compared to high efficiency windows from major brands favored by environmentally-minded architects and homeowners alike. Perhaps it is because this young firm is located in Vermont, where their windows are "Made in the Northeast for the Northeast".These windows are beautiful. Green Mountain has figured out a way to deliver high thermal performance, all while a) concealing the block-and-tackle balance and tilt-in latch systems and b) including authentic traditional details such as wide rails and narrow muntins. As evidence of the firm's commitment to historic accuracy, they are approved by the Historic Preservation Division of the National Park Service for installations meeting Federal Tax Credit Standards.

Some of my favorite features can be found on their casement and awning windows, which have a charming wood-framed screen that swings in (no fighting with those frustrating screen pins on the exterior of the house) and can be easily taken off its hinges off-season. They've also replaced the unpopular crank mechanism with a historically accurate push-out lever controlled by a friction hinge.
Casement window with interior screen on hinges.

A huge thank you to Green Mountain Window and Door Co. for coming on board as the 7th sponsor of THE CONCORD GREEN HOME. Their generous support will enable the home to have several interior windows as well, which will provide increased ventilation and cooling, and help spread daylight deeper into the home. Of course, both of these benefits will in turn deliver additional energy and cost savings.
A mix of Green Mountain double hung, casement, awning and transom windows
on the rear elevation

One awning window installed, while one awaited its turn.

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