Manufacturer Ramps Up Production for Heat Mirror Windows
Insulated glass windows constructed with Heat Mirror technology can reach insulation levels similar to walls. As the demand for high performance windows increases, Alpen High Performance Products, has recently expanded its Alpenglass insulated glass unit production in Colorado. Alpenglass combines Heat Mirror suspended coated film with high-performance low-e glass technologies to deliver superior performance as a cutting-edge building shell solution for commercial and residential window projects.
Heat Mirror technology, which was invented by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, suspends one or more lightweight films inside the airspace of an insulating glass unit to create multiple “super-insulating” chambers. The films utilize nanoscale coatings of metal to reflect heat back to its source. The technology can be combined with a wide range of glass types and gas fills that allow consumers and architects to choose the right level of insulation, visible light and solar control for their specific needs.
Alpenglass insulated glass units (IGUs) incorporate Heat Mirror technology as part of Alpen’s unique line of energy efficient fiberglass residential and commercial window solutions. Also, with increased production of Alpenglass/Heat Mirror IGUs, the company will supply a greater number of commercial glaziers and institutional/commercial window companies with this product on a national level.
Additionally, the company has collaborated with Kensington HPP in Vandergrift, Penn. to address industry demand for ultra-high-performance glass products featuring Heat Mirror in the Eastern U.S. The collaboration will further strengthen the supply chain for Heat Mirror technology across the country, providing Eastern and Western U.S. manufacturing sources via two experienced and longstanding fabricators of the product.
All this provides outstanding winter insulation and superior solar control that results in year-round energy savings and enhanced comfort you can feel. Depending on the number of films and the type of inert gases added within, Alpenglass™ with Heat Mirror can achieve R-values ranging from 6 to 20, which can insulate as well as typical walls.
“From its inception more than three decades ago, Alpen has been a proud and preferred fabrication source for Heat Mirror IGUs,” said Brad Begin, CEO of Alpen. “Following Eastman/Southwall’s decision last summer to exit Heat Mirror manufacturing, we have made significant investments to increase our own production capabilities in order to meet growing demand for super-insulating, energy efficient glass products, while broadening our ability to produce other high-performance glass combinations featuring emerging technologies.
“Our facility in Denver is now producing a broad range of Alpenglass options to support the continued growth of our fiberglass window and door lines, as well as to expand our commercial glass market share across the U.S.,” continued Begin. “As a company we will continue to make these types of investments, in alignment with our strategic goal of providing consumers and building professionals with practical, cost-effective commercial access to new and cutting-edge glass and window products.”
In total, it is estimated that nearly 250 million square feet of Heat Mirror glass has been installed worldwide since the product’s introduction by Southwall Technologies Inc. in the late 1970s. Specially manufactured using a state-of-the-art glazing system that secures a unique film between sheets of glass, Heat Mirror offers unprecedented thermal insulation, exceptional occupant comfort and protection from UV infiltration. Insulating glass made with Heat Mirror technology can achieve up to R-20 performance values, and has been recognized by Popular Science as one of the “Top 100 Inventions of the Millennium” for its contribution to exceptionally reducing the energy load on homes and buildings.
Alpen’s involvement with the product since 1981 has led to the integration of its Alpenglass in notable building projects at locations including the National Gallery of Art, the New York Stock Exchange, the Empire State Building, and the LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy certified David and Lucile Packard Foundation building. Alpenglass provides some of the highest commercial glass insulation performance currently available in North America, with a super-insulating suspended film technology that facilitates a “self-tuning” of the building envelope to buffer solar heat gain or loss. Multiple films can also easily be employed to reach the stringent performance requirements of LEED, Passive House, Net Zero Energy and other sustainable construction and energy efficient building standards.
Alpen’s window packages, which “insulate like walls” and offer full frame window package performance at up to 9.1 R-values, integrate advanced glazing technology with a wide range of design options for residential and commercial projects. Providing exceptional condensation and air infiltration resistance, noise reduction and structural performance, Alpen windows additionally offer warm winter interior glass surface temperatures for colder climates. The complete line of Alpen window solutions incorporates features and options like pultruded fiberglass frames, closed-cell foam insulation, marine-grade glazing sealants, hermetically sealed high-performance spacers, low-e coated glass, and high-performance inert gas fill.
According to Begin, Alpen’s broader mission is to continuously expand its offering of multiple high-performance glass options, through the integration of cutting-edge glass and frame technologies such as dynamic glazing solutions and daylight redirection technologies, along with the latest advancements in lightweight framing materials. Combined, these features empower Alpen windows to act as “wavelength selective filters.” Alpen’s window and glass lines provide glass R-values as high as 20, directional “tuning,” 99+ percent UV blockage, unparalleled radiant comfort, and superior condensation resistance.
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