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Double Hung Windows for Landmark Townhouses

Open AWD: Experts in Historic Window Replacement

The United States is a country where landmark buildings are highly esteemed yet it’s not uncommon to see neglected brownstone townhouses scattered throughout New York, Boston, or San Francisco.

For over 14 years, Open AWD has been trying to right this wrong by supplying first-class windows and doors to homeowners and architects seeking to restore landmark projects to their original beauty.

Take, for example, an old townhouse in Brooklyn Heights. The owner is tired of drafts and leaks, and they would like to replace them. No element of renovation – or even construction – is harder than choosing which windows are right for your home, and there is much to consider. 

Open AWD: Your Partner in Landmark Renovations

Landmark Windows and Doors

In many towns and cities, there are areas where double-hung windows are required due to each city’s historic zoning regulations. In many cases, only double-hung windows are permitted, and local landmark commissions strictly enforce this.  It is crucial to understand your local zoning regulations before ordering anything. 

Windows and doors on the front facade should be designed to complement the architecture of the building and the surrounding subtly and effectively. You can read more on some design options for double-hung windows below.

The Case for Double Hung Windows

True Double Hung WIindow. The original design and functionality, combined with the modern capabilities of the IGU double-circuit seals and hardware, are both classic and modern.

True Double Hung Window

Single Hung Window. Based on our opinion and our research,  people often only use the lower sash. As a result, if the upper sash is rarely used, a single-hung window is a much better idea. In terms of soundproofing and energy efficiency, it will require less hardware and, as a result, will come with a lower price.

Single Hung window

Simulated Double Hung Window. We developed a combination of traditional-looking windows and technical Eeuropean style. Because of their construction, simulated hung windows can actually be more energy-efficient than true double-hung windows. This is because they have more moving parts, which increases the likelihood of air leaks. The sliding sashes allow air to enter or escape, especially if the windows are older and have not been properly maintained or weatherstripped. A huge difference is a sach multipoint locking system where the sash is pressed tightly against the frame along the entire perimeter and does not slide along the guides in the frame. This allows us to achieve the best thermal and sound proofing performance. We use limiters, which ensures safety; all our windows comply with the New York code requirements.

Simulated Hung Window

Insect screens are available for any opening types.

Considerations Beyond Style

Wood. The main advantage of using wood for landmark windows is that it can be customized to match the exact measurements of the original window. Firstly, there’s wood, a classic choice with various types such as Scandinavian pine, ash, and oak. Also, we use teak, mahogany, and other exclusively sorted woods.

However, it’s important to understand that a wood window is always a wise choice. 

Wood/Wood-Clad Windows

Cladded Wood. For a more modern look and industrial style, a combination of wood with metal cladding can provide both coziness in the inside of the house and style on the outside. Seamlessly blending with the architecture, wood-clad metal windows are also resistant to environmental challenges. 

Brickmolds. It is an exterior trim that is typically used to finish and seal the openings of exterior doors and windows and provides an attractive transition between the door or window and the siding on the home. It was invented during the time when brick was the common siding on a home and it covered the gap between the door frame and the brick siding. It served the same purpose for window installations.

Brickmolds option available at Open AWD

Hardware solution

Sash Locks

Double or Single hung windows come with locks  that secure the window when it is closed. These locks are essential for ensuring the window remains shut and also provide an added layer of security to the building. Sash locks are mechanisms located at the meeting rail that secure the two sashes together when the window is closed. They ensure a tight seal and improve security by preventing unauthorized access from the outside.

Double Hung Hardware

Balances. Traditional double-hung windows are counterweighted, using two window balances concealed within the window frame. The weight of the balances help offset the sash’s weight, making it easier to open and close the window.

The Weight and Chain balance system was the first type of balance system installed in sash windows. If your home has older wood windows they may operate with a cord and weight or chain and weight balance system. 

Fun Fact: Prior to the invention of this counterbalance system, the operable sash had to be propped open with sticks, hinge systems

How do cord and weight window balance systems work? 

Windows with cord and weight balance systems have a box built into each side of the window (the jambs) where cast iron or lead weights are suspended. The weights are attached to a cotton cord that extends up the jamb, over a pulley, and onto the operable sash. 

Weight and chain balance for double hung windows
  • Configuration Flexibility
  • Unit Size Flexibility
  • Reliability & Maintenance
  • Historical Authenticity
Spring Balance For Double Hung windows

Spring Balance Key Features

  • Constant force
  • Pre-Tensioned or adjustable types available
  • Provide  assistance on sash lift
  • For use on tilt in and conventional
  • Colour options on tubes
  • Can be fittered to most timber
  • Aluminum vertical sliders
  • Telescopic type available

Double sprung balances provide
greater mechanical aid. The Torso II
product offers up to 80% reduction
in manually applied force.
Ø5/8″ Tubes – 10.0 lb to 100 lb.





OPEN Architectural Windows and Doors: Making your architectural plans a reality.

Introducing Railings System

Introducing Railings System

OpenAWD Team is proud to present a new line of our products – RAILINGS SYSTEMS.

Sophisticated design, unbeatable quality, rapid assembly and excellent safety – that is what OpenAWD Railing stands for. So, take the time to discover our wide range of certified glass balustrades, baluster railings, handrails, glass adapters and glass clamps, as well as our many other innovative solutions for top-quality balustrades.

OpenAWD Railing’s system is suitable to all your needs thanks to its flexibility and a wide variety of combinations. Thanks to their modular design, you can mix and match components in any way you wish, creating truly unique balustrades. That is how, together, we bring your vision to life.

Size Matters: Why Architects Choose Oversized IGUs

Size Matters: Why Architects Choose Oversized IGUs

As technology continues to change, so, too, do our windows. Innovative solutions continue to make possible that which seemed impossible, and even unimaginable, a decade ago. Perhaps the most apparent change within the window industry is the transition from windows being a solely functional part of our homes to being an integral part of your home’s design and aesthetic.

One of the most important developments has been the advent of the oversized IGU. Widely used in retail outlets and showrooms, oversized windows are an exceptionally effective way of emphasizing a building’s design, and illuminating and highlighting the building’s interior design. Increasingly, however, more architects and homeowners alike are becoming interested in what oversized windows can do for their homes.

Why Choose Oversized IGUs?

Why Choose Oversized IGUs

There are many reasons why people look for oversized IGUs. A major part of why oversized IGUs are so sought after and used within retail spaces, such as shops and showrooms, is because they offer stunning, uninterrupted views.

As a result of this, they are occasionally used in buildings with modern designs. This is because larger windows allow properties to showcase what’s inside. Newer buildings are often designed to facilitate larger windows for this purpose. 

Standard-sized windows simply cannot match the appeal, or the design possibilities, that oversized windows offer. Oversized units provide a greater sense of openness within a space. Likewise, with increased light and views, they blur the lines between a building’s interior and exterior. Again, this is perfect if you have something inside you would like to show off, or, on the other hand, if you would like to better enjoy the surrounding views.

This means they’re also perfect if you have a view, or your property overlooks your garden, or is situated next to the coast. Additionally, oversized IGUs offer significantly more wind resistance than standard sized windows. They are designed to withstand extreme weight loads and weather conditions. 

Here at Open Architectural Windows and Doors, we are excited to share our new range of oversized IGUs with you. We are now able to provide IGUs of up to 10.5ft x 61ft. All units are processed, tempered, laminated, printed, coated and cold bent. Our uniquely oversized IGUs are designed to give architects maximum freedom. By removing the need to only use standard sized windows, it creates new possibilities within design. What was previously unimaginable, has now become a reality.

Picture shows a licensed and certified crew installing an oversized IGU curtain wall on an OPEN AWD project on the west side of Manhattan.

Advantages of Oversized IGUs

Oversized IGUs provide a greater degree of thermal resistance than standard-sized windows. For example, a single oversized IGU will provide greater thermal insulation than multiple, smaller IGUs. This is due to weak spots or joints, which can allow air to pass through, thereby reducing the window’s efficiency. Larger IGUs mean fewer joints and weak spots, which means greater thermal efficiency and maximum comfort.

Another benefit of more glass being on display means that solar heat gain can be maximized. Solar heat gain is the amount of heat which enters a building through its window. This will be natural heat, such as sunlight.  With more glass on display, more sunlight can enter the building, heating up the space. This will help you to significantly cut down on heating costs. Additional coatings, such as Low-E coatings, can be added to control the amount of heat retained as well as any glare from sunlight.

Installation of Oversized IGUs

Installation of Oversized IGUs

One of the primary reasons why oversized IGUs are less common is because most window manufacturers and suppliers are simply unable to produce them, let alone install them. As a result, the installation process is usually a little different than with standard IGUs. Designing and manufacturing oversized IGUs requires specialized machinery; installing them requires the use of cranes and machines.

Logistics are also a problem. In cities, entire blocks often have to be shut down to facilitate the transportation of the panels. Only experienced companies are equipped to design and provide oversized IGUs for you. Similarly, only certified and licensed installers are equipped to handle such projects.

Pictures of Oversized IGUs being Installed at an Open AWD Project

Installation of Oversized IGUs - Open AWD Project
Installation of Oversized IGUs - Open AWD Project - 2

Contact Us Today

If you’d like to learn more about how oversized IGUs could benefit one of your projects, contact us today on 929-202-2558 or email us at info@openawd.com for a free consultation.

Let OPEN AWD help you to push your limits and make your project the best it can be.

How Energy Prices and Supply Chain Issues are Impacting the Fenestration Industry

How Energy Prices and Supply Chain Issues are Impacting the Fenestration Industry

As we’re sure you’re probably aware, the construction industry is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic. Shutdowns, supply chain disruptions, delays, rising transportation and energy prices, as well as labor shortages have all come together to result in the perfect storm for construction-related industries. Basic construction supplies such as concrete, bricks, cement–not to mention wood, steel, aluminum, or even copper piping–have seen significant price hikes over the past year. On top of that, shortages and delays in delivery time have added additional costs to contractors, architects, and homeowners.

Although job sites are back up and running, contractors, as well as everyone else in the industry, are now left struggling to stay on top of these issues. Because much of the work within this industry is directly linked to the construction industry, and we deal in many of the same raw materials, the fenestration industry has been dealing with the same issues. Some of our clients have been asking about these issues and what they mean for their projects. So, we thought we would get everyone up to date and provide some insights, from our perspective, on what’s behind these increases and what they mean for our clients. 

As we move into 2022, no one can say for sure how all of this is going to play out. However, we do know how important it is to stay on top of all of this. So, here, we also offer some tips on what you can do to stay ahead of the curve and minimize further disruptions.

A Look At The Figures and the Reasons Behind The Increases

The Figures

Here is a quick breakdown of some of the most notable price increases. These should provide a sense of context for the changes within the windows and doors industry.

  • Steel: Here in the United States, steel prices increased 215% from March 2020 to July 2021, according to Fortune magazine. In Europe, increases were comparable and the price was at a 24 year-high. Steel is expected to rise into 2022.
  • Wood: Lumber peaked in May 2021 at $1,515 per thousand board feet (up over 200%). It then stabilized late in Summer at pre-pandemic prices. However, since September, prices have been rising once more.
  • Glass: The cost of an IGU has gone up four times in the past year. This resulted in a roughly 30% increase in the past year.
  • Copper: To date in 2021, copper has risen by roughly 20%.
  • Shipping: On top of this, also worth mentioning is shipping containers. Even the price of a standard shipping container has quadrupled in the space of twelve months. These increases are largely a result of society reopening and countries rushing to replenish stocks.

Supply Chain Backlog

Supply Chain Backlog

If there’s one thing the past year has shown us about the way our global supply chain works, it’s that everything is a little more interrelated and complicated than most people think.

The first, and most obvious reason, for the supply chain and price increase issues we’re encountering now is the pandemic.

As the pandemic spread across the globe in early 2020, more and more countries went into lockdown, shutting down hundreds of thousands of businesses as well as industries.

Immediately, manufacturing was scaled back and production levels dropped in line with the decreased need for construction materials.

But as time went on, and economies began opening up, and construction projects re-commenced, manufacturers–which for many reasons weren’t at pre-pandemic staffing levels–struggled to keep up with the renewed demand for materials.

As a result of this, orders became back-logged and now there are many manufacturing plants across the globe which are backed up for the next six months. 

Finally, labor shortages here in the US (specifically delivery drivers and installation teams) have put further strain on the system. 

Unprecedented Energy Prices

Unprecedented Energy Prices

The second, as important but less well-known reason, is due to an issue with skyrocketing energy prices. As many will already know, heavy industry manufacturers use tremendous amounts of energy to produce materials such as steel, copper, or glass.

Most of this is done by using natural gas, electricity, and coal–the prices of which have reached all-time highs over the past sixteen months. In Europe, natural gas has soared almost 250% since January 2021–with some regions seeing an increase of up to 500%.

Aluminum and steel production are very energy-intensive, and the hike in electricity costs has seen them raise their price per ton to offset these new costs. Coal, which is also used in these industries, has seen its price increase five-fold in the past year. The world’s largest consumers of coal, China and India, are heading into winter with considerably lower stock—a fact which could put even more pressure on an already-strained industry. Similarly, Asian economies are using more natural gas than usual in an effort to bolster their post-pandemic recovery. To add to this, Russia, which supplies 35% of Europe’s natural gas, is at full production capacity and still struggling to meet demands.

Striving For Quality and Efficiency

As you can see, each part of the process has seen considerable price hikes. More importantly, each part has a significant knock-off effect on the rest of the industry. Although they have begun to stabilize somewhat, prices are still very volatile. For context, right now, most quotes for construction materials expire in less than two weeks. With window and door companies always striving to keep their prices competitive, and customers always looking for the most value, we know that price volatility is bad for both businesses and customers. 

Supply chain issues and volatile energy prices are set to continue into 2022. As a result of this, architects and homeowners should consider the upsides of locking in prices sooner rather than later. Currently, many companies are only willing to honor quoted prices for around 14 days. Some companies are turning to Materials Price Escalation Clauses in their contracts in order to hedge against future price increases.

This type of clause effectively factors in potential price increases so that the customer can be aware of price volatility. The customer agrees in advance to price increases if material costs escalate. However, in these types of contracts, customers are granted a ‘get-out’ clause by agreeing upon a maximum price increase. This could be, for example, 10%). If the price rises above this, the customer is no longer bound to the contract. This contract has become popular precisely because it factors in the volatility. This means that entire contracts don’t have to be rewritten as a result of minor increases. This can save companies, architects, and homeowners considerable time.

Contact Us Today

Here at Open Architectural Windows and Doors, we are working very hard with all of our suppliers to minimize potential delays or any additional expenses to our clients. We have been working with all of our clients to highlight the volatility. Also, we try to remind them that, if the past year has shown us anything, waiting for prices to return to normal isn’t always the best strategy.

Our products are not something we feel we can cut corners on. Premium quality products remain at the heart of our business model; it will always be our number one priority for our customers. Do you have a project in mind and would like to speak with someone about it? Give us a call today at 929-203-4989, or email us at info@openawd.com for a free consultation. We’re confident that we can still help you to get your project done as timely and efficiently as possible.

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