Integrated Window Systems: An Advanced Energy-Efficient Residential Fenestration Product
The last several years have produced a wide variety of new window products aimed at reducing the energy impacts associated with residential windows. Improvements have focused on reducing the rate at which heat flows through the total window product by conduction/convection and thermal radiation (quantified by the U-factor) as well as in controlling solar heat gain (measured by the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) or Shading Coefficient (SC).
Significant improvements in window performance have been made with low-E coated glazings, gas fills in multiple pane windows and with changes in spacer and frame materials and designs. These improvements have been changes to existing design concepts. They have pushed the limits of the individual features and revealed weaknesses. The next generation of windows will have to incorporate new materials and ideas, like recessed night insulation, seasonal sun shades and structural window frames, into the design, manufacturing and construction process, to produce an integrated window system that will be an energy and comfort asset.