Window replacement can be a significant expense, but it can also provide an opportunity for dramatic energy savings. Westover Companies, owner of more than 10,000 apartments and nearly 1,000,000 square feet of commercial office space in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, recently experienced these benefits first-hand by installing 514 replacement windows in its office building located at 475 Allendale Road in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
After evaluation in 2011, Westover knew the existing, non-thermally broken bronze aluminum windows with 5/8” clear glass weren’t holding up to the bitter Pennsylvania winters and hot, humid summers. Recognizing the need for a more thermally efficient option that would provide enhanced comfort and energy savings for the building’s tenants, the company reached out to two long-time window experts—Steve Rehman, sales representative for MI Windows and Doors, LLC (MI); and Jeff Carlson, owner of Multi-Housing Window and Door, Inc.
With over 60 years of combined window experience, Rehman and Carlson put their heads together to ensure the owners got the most suitable windows for the property.
“To formulate what Westover was looking for and to better understand what our installation process would be, we installed several prototype windows: something I recommend for every project,” said Carlson.
Carlson and his team installed windows of different types and glazings throughout the building so Westover could adequately compare its options. One of the windows Carlson’s team installed was MI’s 1650 vinyl picture window with R-5 extreme glazing and bronze laminate exterior.
MI’s 1650 replacement windows with R-5 glass meet ENERGY STAR® requirements in all regions of the United States. The R-5 glazing package features triple-pane glass, Low E, and argon enhancement, making it one of the most energy-efficient options on the market today. Carlson’s prototype installation of the 1650 is what led to Westover choosing the window for its project.
“We installed the potential replacement windows next to the building’s existing aluminum windows, which allowed people to compare the heat transfer in all of the available options. MI Windows and Doors’ product provided a noticeable difference—between 10 and 15 degrees,” said Carlson. “Looking at a building with 514 windows, everyone quickly realized the impact these windows would have on the building’s energy costs and comfort levels.”
Energy and comfort weren’t the only consideration when selecting windows for the project; style was also a factor. The two-story low rise office building has an earth-tone brick exterior and the new windows had to look as good as the original bronze aluminum windows. “MI Windows and Doors’ bronze laminated windows not only offered enhanced energy savings, but the color was a perfect match for the look of the building,” said Carlson. Additionally, the white interior color allowed for brighter interior spaces and limitless color schemes for each room.
Carlson and his team replaced the windows in three phases. The first two phases were completed in February and September of 2012. The final phase was completed in April of 2014.
“Window replacement wasn’t the only capital expense Westover had to incur over the past several years, so we mapped out a replacement plan that allowed them to cost-effectively replace the windows over several years,” said Carlson. Westover was so pleased with the outcome and performance of the windows that they have installed similar windows in three other buildings since the start of the Allendale project.
According to Carlson, the installation of MI Windows and Doors’ 1650 windows was easy. His crews replaced three groupings of windows a day. They started by removing the glazing from the existing windows. Next, they removed the existing sashes and mainframes, and the bare openings were cleaned and prepped for the new windows. The new MI windows were then set into the openings, aligned and fastened into place. Finally, window mulls and architectural sill covers were installed followed by caulking to ensure a weather-tight seal.
In total, thirteen different sizes of MI’s 1650 picture windows were installed on the project, and all of them are covered by the company’s 10-year glazing and laminate warranty.