|Turn function of the window|
While the windows are not officially certified by the Passive House organization, their performance metrics are comparable to windows that are.
There are 3 main metrics for analyzing window performance. U-value is a measure of a window's ability to keep heat from escaping the house, lower is better. It is the inverse of R-value, a metric commonly used with insulation. SHGC is Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, a measure of the fraction of heat from the sun that makes it into the house. VT is visual transmittance, a measure of the amount of light from the sun that makes it into the house.
The eastern and western windows have U-values of 0.088, an SHGC of 0.4 and a VT of 0.58. The northern and southern facing windows have U-values of 0.105, an SHGC of 0.5 and a VT of 0.74. Originally, the SHGC of the southern facing windows was going to be higher, but there was concern about too much solar gain in the spring and fall when the sun is lower in the sky.
Why did we choose Intus? There are no American-made windows that meet the performance requirements of our Passive House, so we had to look at European manufacturers. Wood framed windows were too expensive. That left us with UPVC. We looked at Intus, Shuco and Unilux. Since we have no idea which if any of these companies will still be in business in the US 10 years from now, it ultimately came down to cost. Intus was 25% less expensive than the second place finisher, Shuco. We ended up paying about $50/SF of glass, but that includes a large slider and two doors. I was surprised at how affordable these windows were.
|You can see the "tilt" function in the top left window. The windows are nicely shaded in June.|
Our architect Jamie also designed a beautiful curved overhang like the brim of a hat on the south side of the house to provide just the right shading for the first floor windows for the time of year and position of the sun. We have been at the house during these hot summer days and have seen the upstairs windows perfectly shaded by the roof overhang and the large slider in the dining room perfectly shaded by the hat brim as well. I look forward to feeling the sun shining in brightly in the colder months to warm our New England winter bones.