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Today, eco-conscious homeowners are demanding smarter and more sustainable building practices. Builders, architects and remodelers are at the forefront of creating these dream homes, but integrating sustainability throughout the design and construction process can be a challenge. 

We interviewed Kolbe Windows & Doors to gain valuable insight on eco-friendly solutions and innovative features. Together, we explore how to achieve sustainability across various design aesthetics, ensure responsible product lifecycles and embrace exciting new technologies that will transform the way we build.

How can builders and architects ensure products are recycled or disposed of responsibly at the end of their lifespan?

The entire lifecycle is critical when specifying a product for its eco-conscious qualities.

The first step is to select sustainable products at the time of the build. Builders and architects must also consider the labor and energy that go into the production, maintenance and deconstruction of their products. If a product ultimately includes a supposedly green material, but the process to manufacture, upkeep or recycle is demanding or wasteful, it may not be a responsible selection.

Minimal hardware with hidden hinges, neutral tones and natural materials also helps declutter the door, emphasizing a functional and harmonious aesthetic.

Photo Credit: Kolbe

What are some innovative features in current windows, doors and skylights that specifically address sustainability concerns for homeowners?

Switchable privacy glass is available as an option from many window and door manufacturers today. In its obscured state, the glass also controls the amount of sun entering and warming a space, while still providing diffused natural light.

Our company is also preparing vacuum insulated glass for launch later this year. This glass option has the potential to offer advanced performance capabilities, transforming the way we think about energy use in a building.

Photo Credit: Kolbe

How can eco-conscious products integrate with different design aesthetics?

Many sustainable products reflect contemporary styles with thinner frames, larger glass and stationary units.

To achieve traditional aesthetics with sustainability in mind, there are options like simulated divided lites. Though they have been part of the industry for decades, these can replicate the intricate designs of historical true divided lite windows and doors, without interfering with the newest, most efficient glass technologies.

Photo Credit: Kolbe

How can windows, doors and skylights be designed for easy maintenance and potential upgrades to improve energy efficiency over time?

When possible, units should be designed for simple, non-destructive disassembly to allow for replacements or adjustments. For example, windows that use a dry glaze process can have their glass replaced much more easily and safely.

Further, exterior finishes and specialty glass coatings can also be considered to offer low-maintenance ways to enhance and preserve the look of your windows and doors.

Photo Credit: Kolbe

What are some of the exciting technologies you see on the horizon for windows, doors and skylights that will further promote sustainability in the building industry?

Kolbe is thrilled to be offering vacuum insulated glass later this year. We are eager to see how leaders in sustainable design apply this technology.

Other emerging technologies can automatically respond to outside stimuli like sunlight, temperature and precipitation, and these could apply to windows and doors. There is a need to innovate how these technological integrations are powered, too. For some, adding a window component that pulls more energy from the grid simply isn’t preferable. Solar power is one alternative among others we hope to see in the future.

Photo Credit: Kolbe

By partnering with industry leaders like Kolbe Windows & Doors, builders, architects and remodelers can empower homeowners to achieve their dream sustainable spaces. This commitment to responsible building practices benefits the environment and ensures the longevity of these eco-conscious homes for generations. To see what sustainable solutions our members offer, visit www.openuptoperformance.com/manufacturers.

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Webinar: Understanding Window, Door & Skylight Certification

The Understanding Window, Door & Skylight Certification webinar is designed to help architects and remodelers understand the benefits of window, door and skylight certification and how certified products can enhance their projects.

Register Now

Find Manufacturers

Find window, door, and skylight manufacturers. 

Find Manufacturers