Various municipalities, including Vancouver, have begun to adopt the Passive House building standard as a guideline or requirement for their buildings. This extremely stringent energy efficiency standard drastically shortens the list of feasible window options to the point where just a handful of window products will meet the cut.
Of the acceptable products, none of them are specifically commercial-grade. As well, the act of importing containers of windows from another continent is not very attractive from a big-picture energy efficiency standpoint, or in view of other construction realities like tight schedules. Better options in the form of locally-product options are needed.
Since 2008, when the dream of creating the most durable, reliable, and thermally-efficient window possible let its founders - a group of building science specialists and window specialists - to form Cascadia Windows, the Langley-based company has manufactured commercial-grade, high performance, fiberglass framed windows. Their current product lines come very close to the requirements for Passive House certified windows - most configurations just about hit the U-value target of 0.8 W/m2K.
Concerned with addressing climate change, Cascadia sees its involvement in the building industry as the area where it can make a positive impact in the world. Its application of technology to the manufacturing of high performance products enables buildings to be more energy efficient than ever before.
While there has recently beosme early-stage adoption of Passive House building guidelines, Cascadia's team has realized that the actual technology to enable energy efficiency must exist before regulations can move to require it. If regulators require something that does not yet exist, all construction would either stop or be illegal by default. By developing new technologies and products companies help to enable regulations and energy standards to become more stringent.
A case in point is Cascadia's new all-fiberglass, commercial-grade, Passive House window and door system. This product line combines all the features of the present product lines into one system that performs thermally better than any of them. What's more, the lessons learned in applying fiberglass technology to commercial projects for the last eight years has enabled Cascadia to incorporate greater strength and fabrication-friendly features into the new product's design. This has resulted in a product that not only performs better, but will be less cost than any of the company's current windows, assuming the same glass units.
The new product - named the Universal Series - will start deliveries in Summer 2017. It may be hoped that the new product series will stimulate more demand for such high-performance components in the North American construction industry.
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