|No other quality is more readily associated with steel windows and doors than their narrow sightlines. Architects have incorporated Steel Windows due to this attribute in every sort of building over hundreds of years, and have designed the gracefulness of steel windows into countless architectural styles. Ironically, the minimal aspect of steel windows and doors is derived from the incredibly massive strength of the material. The aesthetic virtues achieved by use of steel windows cannot be duplicated in aluminum, wood or vinyl alternatives. The look of steel windows and doors is not simply distinctive, it is unique.|
Steel windows and doors are stronger than any alternative material. By direct comparison, they are three times stronger than aluminum. This advantage permits Steel Windows to use immense glass lights, often in spectacular openings, while maintaining narrow sightlines. Hardware fastened to steel windows and doors will not pull out, and ventilators do not distort or rack with age.
|Any building team that has experienced project delays caused by racked, inoperable or otherwise damaged windows can appreciate the relative problem-free installation of steel windows. Almost without exception, steel windows arrive at the job site without the kinds of structural defects associated with alternative materials. Steel Windows can be installed just as economically. Depending on building design, steel windows often add to overall structural integrity.|
The design flexibility offered by steel windows and doors, together with exceptional durability and life cycle, make steel windows and doors an excellent choice in renovation projects. Original steel windows can be replaced with units which match historically, while offering state of the art finishing pretreatment and factory applied finishes, improved weatherstripping, new muntin designs, and glazing with high performance glass. Steel is often selected to replace wood windows to improve sightlines or provide extended durability. In fact, steel windows and doors can often be designed to recreate the aesthetic feeling of wood, yet provide additional integrity to the structure.
|Modern technology with metal pretreatment processes and top coats enable manufacturers to produce windows and doors which will remain virtually maintenance free. Members of the Institute can provide a variety of factory applied, corrosion inhibiting finishes including galvanizing, electro-coat (e-coat) primer, powder coatings, urethane enamels and more. And factory finishes are not just durable, they’re beautiful as well.|
|Steel window manufacturers offering fire rated designs provide independent laboratory fire labels with their products. Fire rated windows are not confined to fixed lites. They can be fabricated in a variety of operable designs. (Consult individual manufacturers for specifications.)|
|Hardware options are not limited by the nature of the window material. Steel windows can accept any style, any type of hardware that can be imagined. Manufacturers have access to a seemingly unlimited variety of handles, operators and closing devices. In addition, exact hardware replacements for windows half a century or older are often available. Just as important, the hardware fastened to steel windows does not tear out or loosen with heavy use.|
|Steel windows and doors can be designed to meet the most stringent building requirements for both blast resistance and impact resistance. The strength and durability associated with hot rolled steel sections make the product an ideal choice for this special building application. (Consult individual SWI companies for product specifications and testing data.)|
|Because steel windows and doors are inherently more durable than almost any alternative material used in construction, their life cycle is unsurpassed. A benefit of using steel windows and doors is the low total cost of ownership. In Europe, classical architectural examples over a century old contain original steel windows & doors. In North America, steel windows remain highly functional after three generations. Older steel windows are replaced in certain cases only to take advantage of new glazing, finishing or ventilator technology. Properly installed and maintained, steel windows and deterioration are essentially contradictions in terms.|
|Prison and detention facility designers and planners must meet rigid criteria for window performance, regardless of the level of security required for a detention facility. Steel window manufacturers who offer detention products have worked together with the architectural community to create windows of exceptional strength without sacrifice to contemporary aesthetic demands and functional requirements such as vandal resistant ventilators. Custom engineering and fabrication permit a wide variety of window designs.|
|Steel windows have been selected for use in the most contemporary settings, in very traditional structures, and in gothic themes. Steel windows can be used on the building exterior and/or the interior. Several members of the Steel Window Institute also fabricate doors from the same steel window sections. Steel windows and doors have been used in municipal buildings, museums, churches, private homes, commercial buildings, schools and universities, transportation terminals, manufacturing facilities, hospitals and retail stores.|
THERMAL PERFORMANCE – ENERGY AND SOLAR HEAT GAIN
Today’s steel window manufacturer has recognized the importance of energy conservation in the fenestration marketplace and addressed these issues within their industry accordingly. Today’s hot rolled steel window is designed not only for superior strength and aesthetics but also energy efficiency. Due to their supreme strength, steel window profiles have been afforded the luxury of narrow siteline designs which, in turn, mean there is a larger amount of glass available to the architectural design of the building. The larger amount of glass available in the window system in combination with today’s high performing glass possibilities, results in an extremely energy efficient solution for today’s energy requirements with steel windows. The naturally low thermal transmission of steel, weatherstripping, double insulating glass with energy efficient coatings and gas filled spaces will provide excellent U-value results for the heating portions of the country and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient values for the cooling portions of the country and everywhere in between. As future building code standards demand tougher energy requirements, steel window manufacturers can adapt and utilize triple glazed glass units and thermally broken frames to remain code compliant. Owners and architects have historically selected steel windows for their projects because of their elegant features obtained through strength, unique design theme opportunities available through versatility and their life cycle endurance afforded through durability. Today’s owner and architect can retain all those aforementioned attributes, while receiving the energy efficient solutions they need.