SpecTheEdge.com, an online resource from Technoform, offers research-based educational materials for architects, specifiers, and design and building professionals seeking to improve the thermal performance of windows, curtainwall, storefront, and other fenestration systems to create more energy-efficient and comfortable buildings.
As the name suggests, SpecTheEdge.com recommends that high-performance fenestration systems should first focus on the edge of fenestration systems to achieve the best results. “We want to help building professionals specify window systems that deliver a lifetime of improved thermal performance, reduced condensation, and optimized thermal comfort,” said Technoform’s Helen Sanders, Ph.D.
Visitors to SpecTheEdge.com can learn more about designing with and specifying high-performance fenestration systems by exploring the online library of case studies, specification documents, and technical articles. Those interested in gaining greater knowledge can take the course, “Edge of Perfection: Designing High-Performance Façades.” After successfully completing this continuing education course, participants will earn 1.0 Learning Units for health, safety, and welfare through the American Institute of Architects (1.0 LU AIA/HSW). This course is also offered as an in-person accredited presentation by request.
“The window frame and edge of glass are critical to creating a high-performance window system and is fundamental to its overall performance,” Sanders continued. “Too often, the emphasis is placed on the center of glass. Regardless of what is done with the number of panes, coatings, and gases, if the frame and edge of glass are not well-insulated, heat and cold will find a way through.”
She elaborated, “If a dam does not span the entire width of a stream, the water simply flows around the structure—heat works much the same way. Regardless of how well you stop the flow of heat through the center of the glass, if the frame and edge of glass are not well insulated, the heat will flow through the edge of the window, finding the path of least resistance.”
Technoform’s Bill Blazek added, “A dual-pane fenestration system designed with the right thermal spacer components and thermal breaks can achieve the same performance as a non-thermally broken triple-pane system with an aluminum spacer.”
Offering examples of effective components, Blazek said, “Incorporating our hybrid plastic stainless steel spacer, TGI®-Spacer M, between the glass panes improves the thermal performance of the insulating glass unit without sacrificing durability or design flexibility. In addition, using polyamide thermal breaks to separate aluminum extrusions in the window system reduces the flow of thermal energy. Technoform’s many standard and custom polyamide profiles can improve performance by addressing all forms of energy loss through conduction, convection, and radiation.”
To learn more about designing and specifying fenestration systems with high thermal performance, please visit SpecTheEdge.com and download the “Spec the Edge” brochure (PDF).