August 08, 2019

What’s Next in Window and Door Design and Performance?

by Joe Erb

Earlier in July, Quanex’s Hector Cortez broke down the impact that California’s Title 24, Part 6 will have for new homes and buildings in the coming decade.

“California Title 24, Part 6, scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2020, will require that all new buildings achieve Net Zero Energy (NZE) levels by 2020 for residences and 2030 for commercial buildings – once again pushing the envelope in terms of efficiency,” he wrote. “With fenestration accounting for significant impacts on heating and cooling loads, window and door requirements continue to tighten.”

For California window and door makers whose products don’t qualify for the stringent U-factors demanded by the new regulation, some rethinking and retooling will be required. Different system design and component selection can help here, like switching metal spacers to warm edge, or switching from air to argon for insulating glass filling.

But what else will be required to meet codes like that in California? This development has gotten the Quanex team thinking about other ways that window and door technology will need to advance as new regulations grow more stringent. California right now is an outlier in the United States, but plenty of global markets are making moves toward requiring extreme performance from windows and doors.

Questions like these led DWM magazine to ponder whether the era of double-paned glass was coming to an end in an interesting, lengthy cover story. It’s worth a full read, but the short answer is “no.” The piece detailed newer glass technologies for double-pane IGU like electrochromic glass and low-E coatings on additional panes as means to keep double pane viable for years to come. There’s also “skinny triples,” an emerging technology that includes a very thin, nonstructural center lite to deliver performance like that of a regular triple-pane IGU without the additional system design and architectural concerns.

We’ve seen success with some of these technologies already, and it’s likely we’ll see them continue to gain traction as fenestration professionals seize the advantages. Combined with proven warm edge spacer technology, advanced vinyl framing systems and more, there are viable paths for manufacturers to economically hit higher-performance targets today and into the future.

We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled at this year’s GlassBuild show in Atlanta, September 17-19, for conversations around some of these trends. And be sure to stop by the Quanex booth, #2517, to see how we’re helping professionals succeed in a high-performance future.

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Posted: August 08, 2019 by Joe Erb Filed under: California, energy, glass, Glassbuild