Contact: Heather West, 612-724-8760,

Common Questions from Architects

As an aluminum window and curtainwall manufacturer, we assist the design team with technical product information and guidance on products’ proper application in their buildings. Here are some frequently addressed topics our team receives from architects and solutions our industry can offer.

• How can we improve energy performance? 

With the adoption of new energy codes and the increased emphasis on building efficiency, we can discuss the thermal performance of window or curtainwall systems early in the design stage. When the frame and glass are selected, we can provide the system U-factor for building energy models and code compliance.

• How can we enhance accessibility? 

For projected windows requiring ADA accessibility, the design team is interested in the maximum or minimum vent size, window hardware options, and the hardware location. We can supply products to meet the operating force, reach limitations and limited motion requirements of ICC/ANSI 117.1, “Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities” standard.

• How can we safely add daylight to behavioral health designs? 

In behavioral health care facilities, architects are interested in learning about window products that include tamper-resistant and ligature-resistant features. We can offer hardware, glazing materials and between-glass blinds, along with the window and glazing infills that meet AAMA 501.8 “Standard Test Method for Determination of Resistance to Human Impact of Window Systems Intended for Use in Behavioral Care Applications.”

• How can we advance sustainability? 

Architects have an increased interest in material transparency. We can respond with documentation, such as for Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Health Product Declarations (HPDs).

• Can we customize? 

Architects seek customized aesthetic options to provide depth or decorative features on the flat windows’ exterior surface. We can suggest applying snap trim or formed aluminum trim to the window face. In curtainwall, decorative metal panel infills and curved glass also can be incorporated into the designs.

• How can we best protect people inside? 

Architects want to know about products tested or designed to provide greater security and protection. We can provide bullet-resistant glazing for schools, hurricane-protective glazing products for coastal regions and blast mitigation for government buildings.

• Can we protect birds outside, too? 

With more states and cities adopting bird-friendly ordinances, architects want to understand the available options. We have several effective glass choices that combine daylighting, performance and bird deterrence.

• Can we renovate? 

When re-using existing buildings, architects often request historic windows that include muntin grids or accessories, such as receptors or panning frames. We also can provide solutions that preserve the aesthetic and improve operation with simulated hung windows as projected units with offset glass planes as replacements.

• Do we offer continuing education courses? 

Architects are eager to learn. We can help them stay current and maintain their licensure with AIA-approved continuing education presentations, like window wall versus curtainwall or ADA accessibility. While on-demand courses are convenient, it’s nice to see more firms return to in-person presentations.

Our industry has the knowledge to answer architects’ questions and product solutions to address their needs.