Windows on the Future Keeping up with Window Innovation

Windows—the number, shape, tint, and finish of the glass—are as much a factor in a building’s overall character as its architectural design and construction materials, and can either add or detract from a building’s curb appeal. Even the most beautiful windows lose a lot of their appeal if they’re not properly cleaned and maintained, and sometimes older models need some help to counter the realities of a modern city. Today, windows are available that can help reduce noise and UV rays, along with the usual wind, rain, and snow. Changing or upgrading your building’s windows is no weekend project—it’s expensive and time-consuming, and requires a certain amount of legwork to understand what’s on the market and what’s best for your building. As with any major improvement project, a well-trained professional can be a great help in navigating your project.

Window, Window, on the Wall

Although a wide array of styles and shapes of windows are currently available on the market, selecting the right window style for your building depends on its age and the preferences of its residents.

According to Frank Manzella of Thermo Roll Window and Door Corp., a commercial window manufacturer in West Babylon, some of the most popular types of windows being installed these days are “tilt-and-turn windows, especially in the new buildings. They can tilt inward like a van door for cleaning, and tilt outward at the top for ventilation. The hardware is made in Europe and we hold a U.S. patent.”

As the tilt-and-turn models are requested more and more, says Manzella, consumers are getting away from the more old-fashioned double-hung windows. “The double hung has a bar that goes across the pane,” says Manzella, “and has been the most popular design since the days of Abraham Lincoln. The tilt-and-turn window looks more like a picture window, and operates so it’s like three windows in one.”

Dennis Gagne, vice president of commercial sales for Pella Windows & Doors in Manhattan, says his company specializes in aluminum-clad wood windows, which feature an aluminum exterior and a solid-wood interior. While popular with certain older buildings, aluminum-clad wooden windows are limited by size. “We find ourselves installing those in a very small percentage of [new construction] because of the size limitations of this particular product,” says Gagne. “And most of those products, we find, are aluminum-clad, casement-type windows.”

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