Volume 11, Issue 8 - October 2010

feature


It’s Not Easy Being Green
Industry Companies are Rewarded for Offering Energy-Efficient Products in This Year’s Green Awards

“Green isn’t just having a single really great attribute. Green is complex and it’s about integration.” These are the words of Arlene Stewart, one of the judges in DWM magazine’s green product awards (for more on the judges, see box on opposite page), used to describe one of this year’s DWM green product award winners.

Nominees were selected based on nominations from industry companies, as well as selections from DWM editors who reviewed hundred of products.

Meet the Judges


Kerry Haglund is a senior research fellow at the Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR) at the University of Minnesota. She has been with CSBR since 1998 and is involved in most of its research projects She also serves on the board of directors for the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and is a member of NFRC, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and Window and Door Manufacturers Association.
Arlene Stewart is president of AZS Consulting Inc. She also serves a regular columnist for DWM magazine. Her firm, established in 2000, specializes in energy-efficient and sustainable building compliance, advocacy, certification, training and promotion. She is known as an energy code advocate, promoting the use of window and glazing technologies to construct high performance homes and buildings.  A nationally certified Home Energy Rating System rater as well as Florida certified in both residential and commercial ratings, she evaluates and tests homes in north central Florida.
Tara Taffera is editor and publisher of DWM/Shelter magazine. She has covered the door and window industry since the magazine was founded ten years ago and also serves as vice president of editorial services for DWM’s parent company, Key Communications Inc., and oversees the company’s environmental efforts as green officer.


The list was then narrowed down to a limited number of nominees in a variety of categories. Information about the nominated products was provided to industry judges. The judges also were asked to evaluate the company’s commitment to overall environmental sustainability, use of third-party verifications, the accuracy of the company’s promotional materials and other factors.

The nominees and winners are listed below.

Window Manufacturer Category

Winner

Kolbe and Kolbe Millwork Co. - Windquest® Series Energy Performance (EP) Windows
Wausau, Wis.

Kolbe says its Windquest Series casements, awnings and rectangular studio windows are available as Energy Performance (EP) units and its triple-glazing system helps achieve insulating values nearly twice those currently required by Energy Star®. The windows exceed 2010 Energy Star criteria for all U.S. climate zones, meet an R-PG50 rating, and allow for a maximum air infiltration of only 0.01 cubic feet per minute, according to the company. In addition, Windquest EP windows qualify for the Department of Energy’s R5 Volume Purchase Program.
www.kolbe-kolbe.com

What the Company Says
Commitment: Kolbe is dedicated to practicing and promoting environmental stewardship—in our workplace, in our suppliers and sources, and in the energy-efficient, durable, high-quality products that we build.

Product: These windows exceed 2010 Energy Star criteria for all U.S. climate zones, and qualify for the Department of Energy‘s Volume Purchase Program.

Accuracy: Kolbe’s Windquest EP products meet or exceed the necessary ratings to qualify for Energy Star certification. In addition to Energy Star ratings, Kolbe’s practices, people and products support green building guidelines, such as outlined by the: American National Standards Institute, Green Building Initiative™, International Code Council, National Association of Home Builders, U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Green Building Rating System. Kolbe also has LEED-accredited professionals on staff.

Additionally, most of the components used in Kolbe’s products are sourced from within 500 miles of its factory; BetterVue® fiberglass screen mesh attained GREENGUARD® certification; standard glass contains 25 to 30 percent recycled content; pine and other wood species available wood products are all renewable resources and sourced from managed forests; and Kolbe has achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain-of-Custody certification.

“Kolbe and Kolbe has synergy between elements, finding a balance among them—new and replacement products, energy and impact performance, technical information and marketing.”
—Arlene Stewart

“[The company’s] website seems to be free of greenwashing …. For an impact window, it has a thin profile … Combines energy efficiency and structural performance.”
—Kerry Haglund

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Honored Nominees (Window Manufacturer)
Simonton Windows - Energy Tax Credit Glass Packages
Parkersburg, W.Va.

Simonton Windows says it created the Energy Tax Credit (ETC) glass packages as an option in mid-2009 for a wide variety of its replacement windows and patio doors. Simonton products ordered with the ETC glass packages are Energy Star qualified and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) to meet a U-factor rating of 0.30 or less, and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.30 or less.
www.simonton.com

Crystal Windows and Doors - Ultra R-5 Vinyl Window
Flushing, N.Y.

The Crystal Ultra R-5 Vinyl Windows are available through the Department of Energy’s R-5 Volume Purchase Program and to the company’s existing customer base as well as potential customers. The company says the product is a result of concentrated development efforts and investment over the past several years. Recent energy improvements include extensive and ongoing thermal testing of all products.
www.crystalwindows.com

Thermal Industries - Park Avenue Collection
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Thermal Industries describes its Park Avenue Window Collection as the “Greener Choice” for homeowners looking to replace their windows. The Park Avenue Window features solid uPVC construction. The fusion-welded, multi-chambered construction prevents air leakage, water infiltration and energy loss, according to the company. The window sashes and frame chambers are filled/wrapped with Dow Blue* High R-Density Extruded Polystyrene Insulation.
www.thermalindustries.com

Andersen Windows - Andersen 100 Series
Bayport, Minn.

Andersen Windows’ 100 Series patio doors and windows feature environmentally responsible and third-party certified construction, an economical price and energy-saving performance, according to the company.

Officials say the overall amount of recycled content in the series is certified by Scientific Certification Systems and ranges from a minimum of 18 to 24 percent pre-consumer recycled glass and wood fiber content.
www.andersenwindows.com


Door/Door Systems Category

Winner

Craftmaster Interior Doors - Green Doors
Chicago, Ill.

CraftMaster’s line of green doors is made with sustainable materials, recycled content and low-VOC primers and adhesives. In addition, the company says the doors produce low-formaldehyde emissions.

The environmentally friendly doors are available in all of the company’s raised panel, molded door designs. In addition to standard hollow core construction, CMI offers CraftMaster Green Doors with a solid GreenLite™ fiberboard door core. The rigid, lightweight core provides the heft, weight and sound-deadening properties of a solid wood door, according to the company, and is made using wood obtained from forestlands that are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
www.cmicompany.com

“The Craftmaster Green Door series is an environmentally and resource-efficient alternative to solid core doors (recycled content, no added urea formaldehyde, low VOCs, sustainable materials).”
—Kerry Haglund

What the Company Says
Commitment: CMI demonstrates leadership in the green movement by using sustainable materials throughout our production processes, and has earned third-party certification for no added urea formaldehyde and the use of recycled content. In addition, CMI works hard to conserve energy in our manufacturing network and to reflect our respect for natural resources in the operations of all of our facilities.

Product: To meet or exceed green building industry standards, builders and remodelers can specify CraftMaster Green Doors, which are made with sustainable materials, recycled content, and low VOC primers and adhesives. They are available in all CraftMaster molded door designs.

Accuracy: CMI works closely with third-party testing agencies, such as Scientific Certification Systems and the Composite Panel Association, to ensure its products comply with industry green building guidelines. CMI avoids using generalities; instead, the company works to be specific, accurate and relevant.

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Honored Nominees (Door/Door Systems)
Gorell Windows & Doors -
6300 Series Ultra Master III™ Sliding Patio Doors
Indiana, Pa.

Gorell says its 6300 Series Ultra Master III sliding patio doors are precision engineered to provide exceptional energy efficiency and comfort. Thick-walled vinyl frames with multiple structural hollows and sash corners are sealed robotically at high temperatures to ensure that the doors are highly energy efficient. Multiple weather seals applied to the door panels provide enhanced insulation and eliminate drafts, according to the company.
www.gorell.com

Simpson Doors - Simpson Simulated Divided Lite Doors
McCleary, Wash.
Simpson says it has expanded options for its exterior French and sash wood doors, with one of its latest innovations—Simpson Simulated Divided Lite Doors.The company says the wood doors capture the elegance of a true-divided lite with a single glass unit, allowing the doors to achieve higher energy efficiency ratings than similar doors and meet hurricane design pressure requirements.
www.simpsondoor.com

G-M Wood Products - Pro-Eco™
Newaygo, Mich.

G-M describes Pro-Eco as the green solution for professional-grade door systems including door frames, brick mould, mull posts, side lites, transoms, etc. The company says Pro-Eco is a high-quality certified renewable substrate, double-primed with a premium low-VOC latex acrylic exterior primer. The product is 100 percent re-manufactured with pine from sustainable managed forests.
www.gmcompanies.com


Extruder/Profile Category

Winner

Mikron Industries - EnergyCore™ Replacement Window System
Kirkland, Wash..

The EnergyCore replacement window system is designed to help window manufacturers deliver superior thermal performance compared to fiberglass, rigid PVC and wood frame materials, according to the company. The EnergyCore fusion insulated system utilizes an air-cell insulating core designed to create a superior-performing thermal barrier. EnergyCore-enabled window frames improve full window U-factors by almost 15 percent over hollow vinyl window frames, the company claims. The EnergyCore system is expected to exceed future 2013 Energy Star standards.
www.mikronvinyl.com

“This product is an innovative and competitive alternative to fiberglass and wood. Environmental stewardship and comparative information is defined on [the company’s] website in its Green Smart program.”
—Kerry Haglund

What the Company Says
Commitment: Since the 1970s, Mikron has been committed to protecting the environment through improved vinyl material performance lengthening product lifespan, delivering superior energy efficiency, encouraging material recycling from in-house and customer production scrap returns, and through eco-friendly packaging.

Product: First, EnergyCore-enabled window frames can significantly improve full window R-values. EnergyCore’s K-Value, a measure of thermal conductivity, is an extremely low .23 K. Second, when combined with high-performance glazing, such as insulating glass using Truseal Duralite spacers, the EnergyCore system can achieve an R-6.7 window. 

Accuracy: To ensure our claims are accurate, Mikron conducts independent lab tests to meet National Fenestration Rating Council standards for thermal conductivity of the frame material and overall window energy performance as measured by U-factor and R-value.

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Honored Nominees (Extruder/Profile)

Royal Window and Door Profiles,
Thermoplast Division - The Eco-Window
Woodbridge, Ontario

Royal describes its Eco-Window as “the only complete R5 Window System that combines sustainability, high energy performance, high condensation resistance, high structural and water resistance, recyclability (post industrial, post consumption).”

The Eco-Window product line offers R values from R3 to R5. The company’s website offers an Energy Savings Calculator to assist with finding the right product for the right climate zone.
www.thermoplast.com

Chelsea Building Products -
Therma-Core Composite Reinforcement System
Oakmont, Pa.
Therma-Core is a proprietary, scientifically engineered PVC composite, compounded and extruded as an alternative to metal reinforcements. Offering the same advantages as metal reinforcements, but without the constraints of steel and aluminum, the reinforcement is manufactured from a highly mineral filled formulation to provide superior thermal properties, according to the company. The extruded profile virtually fills the cavity, significantly reducing occurrence of convection within the cavity air space. The reinforcement delivers a structural rating of R35 on a 40- by 63-inch double-hung window, according to the company. The material also can be recycled.
www.chelseabuildingproducts.com

 


 

Spacer Category

Winner

Edgetech IG - Super Spacer® Premium
Cambridge, Ohio
Super Spacer is a dual-seal warm-edge spacer system that uses a high-performance acrylic adhesive for its structural seal, backed by a moisture vapor seal. The all-foam construction of Super Spacer is non-conductive, blocking heat flow through the window. Based on third-party testing Edgetech says Super Spacer provides the warmest edge of glass temperature; lowest effective thermal conductivity (0.166) and total IGU U-value in the industry (0.278); and highest condensation resistance out of dual-seal spacer systems according to third-party testing.
www.edgetechig.com

“Product has enhanced thermal performance, gas retention and durability, verified and tested by a third party.”
—Kerry Haglund

What the Company Says
Commitment: Edgetech I.G. is committed to embarking on proactive continuous improvement initiatives that improve product performance and production efficiencies, while minimizing environmental impact.

Product: The all-foam, dual-seal construction of Super Spacer is the lowest conductivity spacer system available. Through its continuous improvement initiatives, Edgetech I.G. recently improved its time-tested Super Spacer® Premium product line to achieve lowered thermal conductivity and the highest condensation resistance available in the marketplace—helping customers meet and exceed increasingly stringent global energy-efficiency requirements.

Super Spacer® Premium has been proven worldwide for more than 20 years to provide a longer-lasting seal that keeps units performing longer in the field. The flexible foam construction of Super Spacer allows for the natural expansion and contraction of insulating glass caused by temperature changes, barometric pressure changes, wind loads and snow loads. Where a rigid metal might cause breaks in the seal from long-term stress, Super Spacer is able to bounce back—providing optimal long-term durability and sustainability.

Accuracy: Edgetech I.G. backs its claims by conducting thorough in-house and third-party testing, as well as audits of past projects.

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Honored Nominees (Spacer)

GED Integrated Solutions - Intercept and Intercept Ultra
Twinsburg, Ohio

GED utilizes National Fenestration Rating Council THERM modeling data on the latest simulation software. According to the company, Intercept meets and exceeds the .30/.30 U-value/solar heat gain coefficient requirements for the 2009 and 2010 tax credit. The Intercept ULTRA stainless steel material carries a conductivity rating of 13.63 W/mK, as verified by the NFRC.
www.gedusa.com

Truseal Technologies - Duralite
Solon, Ohio
Truseal Technologies says Duralite®, a third-generation warm-edge spacer system, offers a low U-value rating, a warm edge of glass temperature and condensation resistance. The no-metal, high-performance spacer enables window manufacturers to meet and exceed current and future Energy Star criteria as well as the .30/.30 tax credit requirements.
www.truseal.com

 


 

Wood Products Category

Winner

Accsys Technologies - Accoya® Wood
Dallas, Texas
Accoya wood is made from sustainably grown sources and undergoes a non-toxic patented process to increase its dimensional stability and durability, according to the company. High-performance Accoya wood is guaranteed for 50 years in exterior above-ground use and is suitable for a variety of applications where exposure to the elements is a concern, including doors and windows.
www.accoya.com

 

“Good, holistic commitment to sustainability. The carbon calculator (on their website) to show the environmental impacts due to transportation is educational. Innovative, natural processes of increasing strength and durability of wood.”
—Kerry Haglund

“I was excited to see this product was a candidate. They caught my eye at the AIA show. I thought it was slick and innovative. In fact, it has impressed me more than any other product in the past year.”
—Arlene Stewart

What the Company Says
Commitment: Accsys Technolo-gies, the makers of Accoya wood, use environmental sustainability as the cornerstone for all product development, from sustainably-sourced Forest Stewardship Council wood, to renewable energy use, to recycling of materials used in the Accoya production.

Product: As a solid wood product, Accoya wood is a naturally renewable resource but has performance characteristics that surpass even the most precious tropical hardwoods. Accoya wood’s 50-year above-ground minimum life is due to its outstanding durability and dimensional stability.

Accuracy: Accoya wood sustainability has been awarded the prestigious Cradle to Cradle Certified (C2C) Gold level designation, which was established by environmental consultants McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry.

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Honored Nominees (Wood Products)

Lamboo Inc. - LAMBOO® VUE™
Springfield, Ill

LAMBOO VUE engineered bamboo window and door components offer a material that, in comparison to engineered wood, is 20 percent more stable in climate and temperature changes and has a higher modulus of elasticity, the company says.
www.lamboo.us

Honored Nominees (Wood Products)
Timber Products Co. - GreenT™ Door Cores
Springfield, Ore.

Timber Products offer doors cores that the company says are formaldehyde-free and made with recycled wood fibers. The product is engineered with an innovative, environmentally friendly adhesive, GreenT™ Hardwood Plywood is sourced from sustainable forests certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® and Forest Stewardship Council.
www.timberproducts.com

 


 

Glass Category

Winner

Cardinal Corp. - LoE¯E-i81™ Glass
Eden Prairie, Minn.
Cardinal says its new glass takes center of glass U-factors to 0.20 when coupled with its LoE¯²® or LoE¯³® glass and argon fill in a double-pane unit. Without argon and with or without capillary tubes, the unit still delivers a U-factor of just 0.23—perfect for high altitudes.

“You get triple-pane performance in a double-pane window,” says a company representative.

LoE¯-i81 is sputtered onto the indoor lite, the #4 surface, thus reflecting escaping heat back into the room and lowering U-factors. Coupled with our LoE¯² or LoE¯³ glass and argon fill, this double-pane unit delivers performance much better than clear triple-pane—a center of glass U-factor of just 0.20 compared to 0.35 with clear triple-pane.

With a center of glass U-factor of only 0.20 (0.23 without argon) and SHGC of just 0.25, an insulating glass unit with LoE¯³-366 and LoE¯-i81 meets the most stringent energy standards—without going to a triple-pane unit, the company says.
www.cardinalcorp.com

“Company has a commitment to energy efficiency. Innovative use of sputtering system (surface #4) to get the same, or close to the same, performance of a tri-pane system by using only two panes.”
—Kerry Haglund

What the Company Says
Commitment: Cardinal’s entire carbon footprint is neutralized within the first 12 months after its products have been installed in North American homes.

Product 1: When sputtered onto the indoor lite, LoE¯-i81™ reflects escaping heat back into the room and lowers center of glass U-factors.

Product 2: LoE¯-i81 allows more window designs to meet current Energy Star guidelines in a double-pane configuration, everywhere in the country, including high altitudes.

Accuracy: Cardinal makes every effort to present product benefits, avoiding current environmental “buzz words.” All Cardinal performance data is arrived at according to independent, industry recognized methods such as the Windows 5.2 program.

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Honored Nominees

AGC - Comfort E-PS™
Kingsport, Tenn.

AGC Glass Co. North America says its new Comfort E-PS low-E glass offers both comfort and energy-efficiency while meeting Energy Star requirements for the northern U.S. region of the and all zones in Canada.
www.na.agc-flatglass.com

Pilkington North America - Energy Advantage™ Low-E
Toledo, Ohio
Combining high solar heat gain and thermal performance, Pilkington says its Energy Advantage low-E is the ideal choice for northern climates. Pilkington’s Solar-E™ also lowers solar heat gain and reduces cooling loads.
www.pilkington.com/na

 


 

Moulding Category

Winner

Moulding and Millwork Inc. - Platinum Prime Mouldings
Aurora, Colo.
Platinum Prime MDF mouldings are Scientific Certification System-certified to contain 100 percent pre-consumer recycled content. This means all fiber used in its manufacturing is a by-product of another forest manufacturing process and requires no additional wood harvesting, according to the company.

The product substrate is manufactured in facilities that carry the Sustainable Forest Management or Forest Stewardship Council certification.

The mouldings use a proprietary water-based finish manufactured exclusively for Moulding and Millwork. Water-based finishes have limited emissions and don’t require solvents for handling, improves air quality for both manufacturers and customers.
www.mouldingandmillwork.com

“The company has a commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. It focuses on manufacturing waste being used by local industries and regional development and distribution to reduce transportation impacts.”
—Kerry Haglund

What the Company Says
Commitment: Moulding and Millwork Inc. is committed to sustainable practices in all of our operations.

Product: Our Platinum Prime MDF mouldings are certified to be manufactured using a minimum 80 percent pre-consumer recycled material, reducing dependence on additional wood harvesting. Our proprietary water-based finish has minimal emissions and does not require solvents for handling, thus improving air quality for both employees and end-users. Platinum Prime MDF mouldings also are manufactured domestically in our three North American facilities, eliminating the environmental impact of long-distance freight.

Accuracy: Moulding & Millwork Inc. and our affiliated businesses are committed to sustainable business practices. We are proudly promoting the use of certified, low-emitting and recycled wood products.

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Honored Nominees
Vi-Lux Mouldings - Cellular PVC Mouldings and Trim
Napanee, Ontario

Vi-Lux says it manufactures and markets maintenance-free cellular PVC products for use in housing and light industrial construction applications across North America. All products are made with virgin materials and the company says its methods of product distribution and customer service are designed to exceed accepted industry standards.
www.vi-lux.com

 

 


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