Glass Magazine: Best Green Project

The owner of this year’s “Best Green Project” winner, 915 Broadway Street, found themselves faced with a challenge: the 4-story multi-tenant commercial office building, constructed in 1979, featured 6,000 square feet of single-pane windows which offered little insulation from exterior temperatures. Those temperatures, in Vancouver, Washington, could reach 90 degrees in some rooms during hot days. They needed a solution that would be cost-effective and prioritize occupant comfort; enter Alpen High Performance Products.

Alpen performed a modified retrofit on the building using secondary windows, its WinSert Plus product, dramatically improving the project’s thermal performance and occupant comfort. Winsert incorporates super-insulating, high-performance and lightweight fiberglass frames and uses “thin” glass laminated with high-performance films to improve existing single-glazed or lower-performing double-pane windows by up to five times the existing performance levels, says Craig Maierhofer, vice president of business development for Alpen. 

The benefits were measurable. After the retrofit, the building experienced a 13.4 percent reduction in building energy use, improving occupant comfort throughout the building. “On a record-breaking 115-degree day, the entire fourth floor measured within one degree of setpoint at 72 degrees, where it would typically reach as high as 90 degrees on a 95- to 100-degree day,” says David Berg, vice president of property management.

“Alpen’s WinSert is an innovative solution to update existing building performance,” says Glass Magazine Judge Kayla Natividad, architectural technical services engineer, NSG Pilkington. “The addition of a secondary insert allows for reuse of existing materials, limits waste, results in less embodied carbon than full replacements, and improves operational performance.”