Windows: a look at sustainable preservation
In any window renovation project, the team can take a series of steps to choose the appropriate direction.
- Consider the resources available to improve the performance of windows in existing buildings.
- Evaluate different approaches for repair, re-glazing, storm windows and replacement.
- Compare the design, energy savings and life cycle environmental criteria to address when making decisions.
- Apply these resources and analysis in an organized way to help make clear recommendations.
window repair, rehabilitation, and replacement
The cost of providing exterior or interior storm windows, or even replacing the single pane glass in an historic window, can be less than full replacement and offer similar energy savings.
relevant work at penn state
At the Borland Building at Penn State, we used replica replacement windows to replace the deteriorated originals, match their appearance, and improve energy performance.
relevant work in center city
At the former Strawbridge & Clothier Building, we cleaned and sealed the original steel windows and added interior storm sash with low-E glass to reduce heat loss and improve comfort.
life cycle assessment of residential windows
The key factors in a Life Cycle Assessment for windows address:
1. Impact on environment by production
2. Embodied energy in manufacturing and installation
3. Longevity and expected life for in-place use
4. End of use options
Wood windows have a fraction of the environmental impact caused by new PVC or aluminum windows, including CO2 during manufacturing and use of raw materials, especially when considered over a long time span.
key criteria scoring method
Once research has been done to determine the energy savings, LCA and cost for each option or approach, it is useful to set up a matrix with the relative value for each option based on the key criteria, such as Preservation, Energy Savings, Life Cycle Impacts, Appearance and Long Term Cost. A scoring method can make the difference clear for each approach.