Deceuninck North America LLC has introduced a new vinyl-framed interlinked double-sash window system that it believes exceeds anything on the market when it comes to thermal performance, energy efficiency, structural performance and sound performance.
Depending on which window option is used, Deceuninck said the windows can offer a thermal performance value that exceeds R-14 without the use of exotic films or gases — which the firm says is an industry first.
“We believe it is the most significant evolutionary step in windows since insulated windows,” said market development director Philip Morton. “We think it redefines the performance of what we normally think of as windows.”
The blinds and screens in the new Genius window system line are on slats in the 2-inch space between the two windows.
“There is a linkage connecting the sashes for simple one-handed operation. Because of that, we are able to put the screen system and the blinds inside the window,” Morton said May 17, when Deceuninck unveiled the Genius window system at the American Institute of Architects show in Washington.
But importantly, he said, “You do not have to open the window to adjust the blinds. You can adjust them remotely from a remote touch on the bottom of the window frame” that faces the interior of the home or building.
The product — developed in less than a year — is aimed at both the residential and commercial markets. But company executives expect that some of the first applications will be in the commercial market for multifamily housing, educational institutions, senior housing, hospitals and health-care facilities.
“I definitely see opportunities in the commercial market segment where codes are pushing for better thermal performance and green performance,” said Deceuninck President and CEO Filip Geeraert.
Hospitals and health-care facilities also are a potential market for the windows — “where you want to have some restrictions [on patients], but still want to have full ventilation,” Morton added.
The Monroe, Ohio-based compounding, tooling and extrusion company said it will most likely start taking orders for the Genius windows in the fourth quarter, after it concludes further testing and fine-tuning of the product.
“We expect it to be ready by the fourth quarter,” Geeraert said. “By year-end, we expect to have a handful of fabricators, maybe five or so, certified to make the windows. It is the epitome of form meeting function.”
The highly aesthetic-looking double-sash windows, which right now come in four different styles, open simultaneously from the inside with at single hand crank, with the inside window opening inward, and the outside window opening outward.
“The inside sash and the outside sash are linked together so that when you open one side, the other side opens,” said Morton. That linkage can be disconnected, he said, if someone wants to only open the windows on the inside — for example, in winter months.
The Genius windows' thermal-activated vent system uses a bi-metal coil, often used in houses before the development of the thermostat.
“The vents automatically open to either the inside or outside depending on where the air is warmer. If the outside is warmer, the outside vent opens and the other vent will no longer open.” and vice versa, Morton said.
In addition, the Genius windows offer a structural wind load resistance in the range of DP-130 or more and a sound-transmission reduction in the range of the low 40s in sound-transmission class ratings.
“That makes them ideal for hotels near airports” or in downtown areas, Geeraert said.
Deceuninck has five patents pending on the window design that it has already filed in the U.S. and intends to file in Europe, Turkey and Russia.
“It's a simple concept,” he said. “We want to make sure that our intellectual property is protected.”
“We saw a need for products that are more and more thermally responsible,” Morton said. “And that has changed the way we think about what a window is and what a door is in the building envelope and in the building configuration. We wanted to design a window that becomes part of the energy solution for the building.”
In designing Genius, Morton said Deceuninck “added some interesting twists to what visually appears to be an in-swing window with a turn handle” that can be found in European markets.
“The concept of the double-sash window has been around for years, but in most of them you have two different-sized windows and you have to open the inside window and reach inside to open the outside window,” Morton said. “It is a simple concept taken to a new level. It is designed around the gear and lock system.”
“It will redefine what a window system is about and how we think and how we describe window systems,” said Geeraert. “In our view, Genius has now reset the bar for window systems in terms of thermal performance and functionality.
“Everything is possible with this window system,” he said. “Genius exceeds whatever is available in aluminum or wood.” The window can be made in a large variety of colors, which is why the company used a non-traditional color, purple, when it unveiled the windows at the show, he said.
The Genius windows will come in four styles:
* Vertical hung, opening on the left or right.
* An awning hopper style, where the inside window pivots horizontally across the bottom and where the outside window pivots from the top, creating an awning-effect.
* A venting picture window that opens on both sides like an upside-down V.
* A picture window that opens only for cleaning on the inside and where the outside window stays closed.
Morton said people can put in different kinds of glass, even triple-glazed or krypton glass. “If you've got double-glaze, you will go beyond R-10 for a thermal rating. But I suspect most folks will go with low-emissivity, argon gas-filled glass,” which will give them an R-10 rating, he said.