blogging the latest news and technology for
sustainable construction and net zero energy

Energy Efficient: argon-filled windows

June 19, 2010

An essential part of a sustainable renovation or retrofit is installing quality, energy-efficient windows.  It is no secret that windows are responsible for many leaks in a building envelope and often show up as a deficiency in home energy audits.  There are a few major attributes that an energy-efficient window will have in order to eliminate drafts and help maintain indoor temperatures.

The most recent innovation in efficient window technology is a triple glazed, vinyl or fiberglass frame, with low e- coated panes and filled with argon.  Triple-glazed means the window will have three panes of glass separated with space in between them, one pane will be inside the building, one outside and one in between.  The spaces between the window panes are usually around 1/8” thick and will be filled and sealed with argon.  The argon gas is particularly effective in insulating and will slow down the convection of heat in the air from the first pane (exterior) to the second pane and even more from the middle pane to the interior surface of the window.  The low-e coating will prevent harmful UV rays from penetrating interior space.  The UV rays are responsible for glare and heat gain inside a home.  

Some of the best energy efficient windows on the market today include several windows from Serious Windows fiberglass and vinyl collections.  The windows from the fiberglass collection exceed the Energy Star standards up to four times.  These windows can lower energy bills and even decrease the size of the necessary HVAC unit.  It also will contribute to LEED credits.

Passive house standards use this type of window to combine with their superinsulated walls.  A Passive House window with a U-value of .8 W/(m 2K) or less guarantees high thermal comfort.  
Windows may be the most expensive component to your renovation but choosing the right ones can really pay off.  Don’t be afraid to make the investment and take advantage of the new
Home Energy Retrofit Act.



Sustainable Home Energy Audit

June 10, 2010


Before beginning any sustainable renovation on your home, be sure to identify which aspects of your home contribute to the most energy deficiencies.  By completing a home energy audit a professional will assess what aspects of your home need to be corrected.  An energy assessment report can tell any homeowner where they should invest their money in a sustainable renovation in order to see the most economic return in energy bill savings.

Some may sugg...

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Engineered Flooring for Sustainability

June 1, 2010

When choosing solid hardwood flooring it is important to understand the source of the wood and how it is processed into flooring.  The Forest Stewardship Council does most of the research for the consumers and certifies wood flooring products that come from sustainable sources.  Sometimes the more exotic species that are FSC certified are very expensive if they do exist.  An alternative to this expensive wood flooring is engineered hardwood flooring. 

Engineered hardwood flooring is made ...

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Sustainable Retrofit Tax Credits

May 13, 2010

Federal and local incentives to renovate a home have been few and far between, until now!  On March 6, 2010 the House of Representatives passed the bill for the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act.  This bill offers tax credits to homeowner’s willing to invest in energy efficient upgrades in their home.  Consider upgrading insulation or replacing windows in your next renovation and receive rebates from the government.  However, be wise in your decision to jump on this opportunity as even with the...

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Sustainable Countertop Materials

May 4, 2010

Modern Eco Friendly Countertops -- When considering a green kitchen or bathroom renovation, it is important to understand what makes a sustainable countertop and what materials are available.  Also a large portion of a kitchen renovation budget could be consumed by the countertop you choose to install.  Fortunately, eco friendly countertops are available for a range of prices; including do-it-yourself options that can save you thousands.

Many countertop materials such as granite and marble...

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Partial Green Kitchen Renovations

April 22, 2010
Traditionally the kitchen is the focal point of any home, and it is often the first place that homeowner’s seek to renovate with intentions of increasing the equity of their home.  While green kitchen renovations typically cost between 10 and 25k dollars, they really do result in immediate economic return through lowered utility bills and will increase the value of your home when it’s time to sell.  Some may shy away from green kitchen renovations because of the costly initial investment....
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Welcome to the Sustainable Construction Blog!

April 22, 2010
This website will cover many interesting aspects of sustainable construction practices as new products and technology are implemented into the construction industry.  Follow along as breaking news stories and products are analyzed and reviewed.  This blog was created by Architectural Engineering student John Noriega in order to interact with other professionals in the industry and discuss sustainable construction.  The blog is also made to appeal to America's homeowners as it will discuss the...
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John Noriega © 2012 Sustainable Construction Blog.   Blogging the latest news and technology for sustainable construction and net zero energy.

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