We recently sat down for an interview with Dave Murtough, Pella’s Staff Architect to talk about their involvement in the Green Life Smart Life project and their new HurricaneShield products.
The Green Life Smart Life house isn’t just being built green. It’s also being built to withstand the brutal winds of coastal Rhode Island. Thanks to Pella, the house’s windows will accomplish both with style.
“We’re extremely pleased to be involved with Green Life Smart Life,” Pella Staff Architect Dave Murtough recently told us. “We believe the concept of green building can bring this country out of its current financial slump. Green building is where construction is headed. Through the Green Life Smart Life project, we want to bring more awareness of green building to the public.”
The house will feature Pella’s Architect Series windows, patio doors and transoms with HurricaneShield impact-resistant glass. The HurricaneShield system will protect the home from the elements by sandwiching an advanced polymer between its two layers of glass. Pella stands so firmly behind this approach that it will gladly demonstrate how a HurricaneShield window can withstand an impact equivalent to that of an eight-foot two-by-four traveling at 50 feet per second. This is crucial, because the International Building Code, on which the Rhode Island Building Code is based, began to require that windows be “impact-resistant” several years ago. Rhode Island adopted these provisions for our area of the state three years ago. Specifically, the code requires that a window must withstand the force of… you guessed it, an eight-foot two-by-four being shot out of a cannon at 50 feet per second!
If the glass ever does shatter, the window’s polymer interlayer will hold the pane of glass together, which will prevent any damage and injury that could result from water, wind and debris entering the home.
The cool thing about HurricaneShield glass is that it doesn’t visually call any undue attention to itself. To the everyday observer, it looks like an ordinary window. “People expect to see something different, like wires, bars, a noticeable film, but our system requires none of that,” says Murtough.
So aesthetically, we’ll sacrifice nothing. But what we’ll gain is significant. Not only is the glass impact-resistant, but it’s also more secure than the glass in an ordinary window; an intruder may be able to shatter the glass, but would have an incredibly difficult time actually penetrating it. Some insurance companies actually will lower their premiums when they know this glass is present.
HurricaneShield also dramatically eliminates outside noise, and what’s more, the energy efficiency benefits are significant. The windows feature Low-E insulating glass, they meet ENERGY STAR guidelines, and they block out nearly 100 percent of harmful UV rays, so we won’t need to worry about fading furniture, carpet or window treatments. Murtough adds that the windows allow the home to retain the warmth provided by the “good” UV rays. While the windows cost 30 to 45 percent more than traditional windows, says Murtough, in the long run, the difference will be offset by energy bill savings.
Green Life Smart Life is honored that it will serve as Pella’s very first installation of its redesigned HurricaneShield double hung window.
Pella’s Charlie Milot tells us that Pella and other manufacturers originally modified their existing designs in order to comply with IBC codes. “The resulting windows used brace clips, which are large metal pieces connecting the frame of the window to the sash. The clips prevent the sash from being forced room-side in the event of a blast of wind, but they are unsightly and, in many cases, difficult to operate.”
“The redesigned HurricaneShield window,” he continues, “integrates the bracing system into the checkrail of the window. The hardware is still there, but it is invisible. The window looks and acts like a regular window unless you try to pick it up. It is very heavy. Like all impact-resistant windows, it requires additional installation steps that involve screwing the frame of the window into the rough opening at regular intervals. This ensures that the frame will not separate from the house in the event of an impact from, for example, a tree branch.
You can examine Pella’s Green Commitment here. Murtough notes that Pella products use third party-certified and/or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood (the goal, he says, is to be 100 percent FSC certified) and 100 percent recycled aluminum. Waste materials are turned into sawdust, animal feed and more and sold to other companies.
Filed under: Energy, Green, Green Building, Green Products, LEED, Recycling | Tagged: Dave Murtough, Green Building, green windows, LEED for Homes, Pella, Pella Hurricaneshield Windows | Leave a Comment »