Anti-Burglary Windows and Doors: Why More People Are Choosing Them

Whether it’s the family home, or your small business, it is very important that you make sure your premises are adequately secure. In addition to being distressing, burglaries on your home or business can be incalculably expensive. 

Thankfully, advances in fenestration technology have made windows and doors safer and more secure than ever. Having the best possible anti-burglary windows and doors can drastically reduce your exposure to burglaries. Good security is an investment you do not want to cut corners on.

All of these features have been rigorously tested to ensure they uphold the highest US and European safety standards.  In this article, we take a look at some of the most popular and effective safety and security features.

What Are Anti-Burglary Windows and Doors?

Anti-burglary windows are windows which have been designed in accordance with the German industry-standard DIN EN 1627 scale. The scale is a six-point rating system which determines a window’s ability to withstand burglary.

A window’s ability to withstand is known as its Resistance Class (RC).  The scale measures from RC1 through RC6. Simply put, the higher the RC number, the more resistance and protection the window offers against any potential burglar.

Here at OPEN AWD, we have been providing window and door units for over a decade. We have noticed a steady increase from home and business owners in the interest over the security of their property. We have always endeavored to provide our clients with as much safety and security as advances in technology have allowed. Recent advances in the industry, however, have brought about dramatic improvements in the security of windows and doors.

In addition to providing you with the most contemporary, elegant, and heat-efficient windows and doors that the industry has to offer, we are happy to announce that we will also be to provide some of the safest and most secure windows and doors available. Working alongside manufacturers in Europe, we have added anti-burglary windows to our range.

How Do Anti-Burglary Windows and Doors Work?

 

Shockproof and Breakthrough Resistance

Image of a man hitting a window with an axe.Anti-burglary windows contain extra layers of polycarbonate glazing on the exterior panels as well as in between each layer of glazing. These layers, which are tear-proof, increase the window’s shockproof and breakthrough resistance.

Unlike most traditional glass, this tempered and glazed glass will not shatter into pieces. Instead, it simply absorb and withstand concentrated blunt force. It can withstand this for considerable time before it begins to show cracks.

As a result, burglars will need to spend a considerable amount of time with heavy-duty tools trying to break-in—all of which cause noise and unwanted attention. Crucially, though, the glass does not shatter which means that making an opening big enough so that they could then gain entry into the house will be significantly more difficult.

Burglar-resistant glass and constructions can of course be fabricated for use in doors, e.g. patio doors to ensure that every potential entry into your home can be made more secure.

To see what we mean in action, take a look at this video or click on the picture.

 

Anti-Burglary Fittings

Image of a high security door.

Strong glass is not the only additional safety precaution or feature of these windows. These windows will be fitted with extra steel-mounted frame fittings and locking points in the internal corners. More fittings and locking points makes it significantly more difficult to force open a window. 

All of these features will make almost any traditional attempt at breaking into your home—with a crowbar, for example—completely useless. These features can be very discretely integrated into the unit. This means that your windows and doors can maintain their slim sight-lines. The multi-locking point system also has the added bonus of making the window more airtight.

We can also provide anti-burglary fittings, such as pads. These prevent drilling. If you choose a higher RC rating for your windows—say, RC3 or above—burglars will need more advanced hardware.

Examples of these would be high-performance power-tools such as sabre saws or grinders to successfully break into your home.

Pictured inset: high security door. Click to enlarge.

 

 

Burglary, Opportunism, and Improving Your Home’s Security

A greatly underestimated truth of home burglaries is how opportunistic they are. Burglars are professional opportunists who know an opportunity as soon as they see one. We have this idea of burglars craftily breaking into our homes during the night. However, in reality, burglars are much more likely to gain entry into our homes during the hours of work, between 9am and 4pm.

Similarly, most burglars will not carry tools with them, as tools make a quick getaway less likely. Burglars depend upon old or faulty locking points in windows and doors. What might surprise most people to learn is that human error plays a major role in most burglaries. An unlocked door, or a window which has not been closed properly is a perfect opportunity and a quick win for a burglar.

Remember: burglars only have to be lucky once. Don’t give them an opportunity. Even with the most secure windows, no home is completely safe. By reducing the possibility, you are greatly reducing the probability.

 

Contact Us

While your overall satisfaction with our product is incredibly important to us, so is your safety. Here at OPEN, we don’t believe that you need to compromise functionality, safety, and security in order to have stylish or aesthetically pleasing windows.

If you are interested in anti-burglary windows, please contact us at 718-403-0300 or email us here and someone from our team would be happy to talk you through your options.

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

What The Future Of Windows In The U.S. Looks Like

Image exterior of very cotemporary home at night

For as long as we have been living with roofs over our heads, we have been finding ingenious ways to improve our living spaces. One of the most important and innovative building technologies was the invention of the window. Created in ancient times, the first windows were crude and inefficient. However, they were incredibly helpful in that, for the first time, people could allow light into their homes. 

They are no longer crude holes in the wall or ceiling, simply allowing the wind and the rain in. They are incredibly innovative technologies which allow us to keep wind and rain out, allow light and fresh air in, and help retain heat and make our homes comfortable. Windows are how we look out at the world, and how the world sees us.

However, as technology progresses and both manufacturers and homeowners become more conscious of efficiency, sustainability, and energy conservation, it seems certain that window technology will continue to evolve over time. In order to understand where window and door technology in the U.S. might go next, it is important to take a quick look at how far it has come

 

A Brief History of Windows

 

Image of an old Roman window glass plate

Pictured inset: an early Roman window. Source.

In many ways, the history of modern windows is also the history of modern glass. The oldest evidence we have of glass being used in windows dates back to circa 100 AD, to Egypt, where the Romans were using crude and non-see through slabs of brown glass in their windows.

14th Century: It took almost another millennium for relatively see-through glass to appear in windows across Medieval Europe. Mostly used in churches and in the homes of the rich, glass was still very difficult and expensive to manufacture. As a result, it would not come into widespread use in homes for another few hundred years. Panes of glass were often set in wooden window frames with accompanying mullions.

19th Century: The Industrial Revolution helped to expand the glassmaking techniques which were cropping up around Europe. A basic version of ‘float glass,’ (which would be invented in the following century), appeared in England and began the process of automating glass production. Around this time, the first insulated glazing unit (IGU) was designed. For the first time, glass windows were cheaper and easier to produce and became a standard component of most homes. One of the most famous examples of how glass became quickly seen as a building material was The Crystal Palace, built in 1850 in England.

20th Century:

By the 20th century, fenestration technology had begun to rapidly accelerate. This was due to a combination of advances in technology, cheaper building materials, and a booming construction industry. Though there were numerous innovations within the fenestration industry during the 20th Century, the most important of which were:

Image of machines unloading float glass from a conveyor belt

  • 1940s: First commercially viable Double- and Triple-Glazed IGUs appear on the market. For the first time, manufacturers have found a way to significantly reduce U-Factors (the rate at which heat is lost through a pane of glass).
  • 1950s: Float Glass, arguably the most important innovation within glass technology, is pioneered and perfected in England. The method involved pouring a ribbon of glass on top of a bed of molten tin. There, under its own weight, it flattened and smoothed out into large panels which could then be cut. Float glass is the primary way that much of today’s glass is manufactured. Float glass made larger window sizes possible.
  • 1960-1980s: The first time window coatings began appearing on the market. Glass which had been coated with chemicals in order to limit the amount of natural light and glare entering a home first entered the market. By the 1980s, Low Emissivity (better known Low-E) coatings were developed by spraying microscopically small layers of silver onto the glass. Low-E coatings reflect UV rays (heat) from the sun, making them an excellent choice for those in warm climates. Similarly, in winter, when maintaining a warm interior temperature is important, they will reflect the heat back into the home. Interest in coatings grew out of a concern for rising energy costs.
  • 1990s: Shading systems such as awnings and fins were developed as a way of controlling the amount of solar heat gain and limiting the amount of shade. 

Image: Float glass being unloaded. Source.

In addition to all of this, there have been smaller, but equally important developments within the industry. Each of these have dramatically improved the performance and longevity of the average window and many have become standard today.

Thermal Efficiency

Illustration of the cross-section

As outlined above, there have been a number of developments which have improved the thermal efficiency of windows and doors. One of the most important has been the development of thermal breaks–a material inserted within the frame which slows down the process of conductive thermal energy loss.

This signified a huge step forward in window and door technology. Equally important as this are Low-E coatings (mentioned above) and triple-glazed units. Each of these technologies work together to produce the most thermally efficient windows.

High Security

Image of a high security door.

Without a doubt, multi-locking point systems have been one of the most impactful developments within fenestration security.

In combination with anti-burglary fittings and anti-breakthrough glass, multi-locking point systems have become popular and effective ways of helping homeowners ensure their homes are safe and secure.

Soundproofing

 

Image of a cross section of an interior door.

Because sound travels through the air, designers and manufacturers have sought to make window door units as airtight as possible.

With modern technology, it’s possible to make windows as soundproof as a 12 foot concrete wall. It is important that the IGU is configured and installed correctly to ensure maximum soundproofing.

Hurricane Resistance

 

Image of lumber hitting hurricane windows

Hurricane resistant glass, which is both laminated and tempered, was designed for homes situated in extreme climates. The insulated glazing unit is specially designed to withstand the force of high-speed flying objects–particularly at speeds seen during hurricanes.

The window itself is also structurally reinforced to withstand the pressure. To test their impact resistance, machines are used to send lumber poles at high-speeds at the windows. If the glass is eventually compromised, it smashes into tiny pieces, rather than shards, which are more dangerous.

Maintenance

Profile of slimline, open window.

 

Historically, windows had to be cleaned from the outside. This can be dangerous to do. This is particularly true of windows on commercial buildings which often reached considerable heights.

Cleaning these is dangerous and often expensive. Contemporary window styles such as tilt and turn windows open inward. As a result, this means that they can be safely cleaned from the inside.

 

 

What Will The Next Window Trends and Innovations Look Like

 

Image of an ultra-slim cladded sliding door system.

Many of the major advances in window technology were borne out of necessity–specifically the need to make windows more efficient and more easily available for consumers. This was particularly true in Europe, where much of the innovation occurred, and where energy costs are higher. Higher energy costs means that the average homeowner in Europe is forced to take more of an interest in the performance of his or her windows’ efficiency than their average American counterparts. 

Take Germany, for example. With regards to energy consumption, Germans are allowed to use a certain amount of energy at a fixed price. After using this, the price rises significantly. This is the case in many other regions, too. Here in the US, 40% of energy consumption is spent heating and cooling homes.As a result, more efficient windows represent the best line of defense against this. By investing in more efficient, longer-lasting windows, homeowners can hope to keep their energy bills to a minimum. Similarly, some governments and municipalities have even started to offer incentives such as grants and tax breaks to individuals who choose to invest in solar panels or more efficient and eco-friendly windows. 

As the new administration here in the U.S. turns its attention towards greener and more sustainable forms of energy, it is not entirely unlikely that higher demands are made on windows manufactured in the U.S. As this article in Forbes (“Why Homeowners Should Install Triple-Glazed Windows Their Home”) points out, just 2% of American homeowners opted for triple-glazed windows in 2016. With tech companies continuing to ‘disrupt’ everyday technologies, there is even a potential further down the line. Innovations such as for ‘smart’ glass and windows or even electrochromic glass which utilizes the energy which passes through it may become standard.

Regardless, more and more American homeowners are seeing the value in investing in more efficient windows for their homes. Here at Open AWD, we believe this is a trend which is going to continue to grow year over year.

How Minimalism Changed Window and Door Aesthetics

image of living room with large slimline windows

From the slimline smartphone you carry in your pocket, to almost any recently made item you have in your home, the minimalist aesthetic has become so ingrained in what we expect of the products we buy and the spaces we interact with, that you may not have even noticed it. No other aesthetic has done more to make people conscious of how they choose to furnish, decorate, and live in their homes. And nowhere is the minimalist aesthetic more prominent now than in modern windows and doors which emphasize slim profiles and narrow sight lines.

Regardless of whatever style of home you live in, windows and doors do a lot to complement or enhance the aesthetic. As more and more homeowners opt for modern-style homes, window and door manufacturers are moving away from windows and doors with thicker profiles. The move away from this towards clean, straight lines, reflects a trend–a growing interest in homeowners and architects towards the simplicity of minimalism.



How Minimalism Changed Window and Door Aesthetics

 

For the past few centuries, window and door technology remained largely unchanged due to the limits of the material most often used in them–wood. As advances in technology came with the twentieth century, steel, and then, much later, metals such as aluminum, created new possibilities for windows and doors. Not only in functionality, but also in aesthetics–most notably, the possibility of slimmer profiles. Favored by architects for its strength, durability and its sleek beauty, steel, in particular, became synonymous with modern, elegant homes.

For much of the last fifty year, minimalism was once only popular amongst architects designing modern and contemporary homes. Over the past decade, however, homeowners have also begun embracing it. This is a trend that we here at Open Architectural Windows and Doors have noticed. The idea that windows and doors were simply functional is quickly changing. Most homeowners, now, accept and are excited by the idea that windows and doors can actually complement their home’s aesthetics.

Here at OPEN AWD, we try to reflect the aesthetics of minimalism in our windows and doors. Here are some of the most notable benefits the minimalist aesthetic has had on windows and doors.

 

Emphasize Views, Not Hardware

 

 

Photo of house with slimline sliding system .

You don’t need large, oversized windows to be able to enjoy the views from your home (although they certainly help). Even smaller windows which have slimmer frames can provide your home with great views. To put it simply, less window frame means more glass. More glass on display means more views.

Advances in window technology–specifically in the strength of materials such as steel and glass–mean that unobstructed views are now easier to achieve. It is our firm belief that windows should emphasise views, not hardware. 



 

Maximize Natural Light

 

Image of large glass and steel doors

A seriously under-appreciated feature of having windows with slimmer profiles is the additional light it brings into your home.

Not only does light change the feel of a space, it can dramatically transform the overall feeling within a home. Slimline windows reduce the need for artificial light. Rooms with more natural light give the appearance of being bigger spaces.

This gets right to the heart of the minimalist aesthetic of doing more with less. This is to say nothing of the many health benefits of getting enough natural light.

 

 

 

 

Open Up Your Home

 

Image of two steel interior doors.

In addition to brightening up your home, and allowing you to enjoy the views outside, minimalist aesthetics has made it easier than ever to open up, or brighten, your home’s interior. This is possible in a number of ways, but most obviously with interior doors. For a long time, when people thought of interior doors, they thought of solid wooden doors–occasionally with a slim glass panel.

Recently, though, architects and homeowners have begun embracing the possibilities offered by interior steel doors. Minimalism is about thoughtful and economical design. It favors emphasizing clean lines, symmetry, and formal simplicity. Slimline interior steel doors, which open up spaces and simultaneously create a sense of privacy within the home, are a perfect example of doing more with less.

 

 

Do More With Less With Our New Super Slim Sliding Door System

Image of a building with oversized windows and sliding doors.

Our new slimline system is the epitome of doing more with less. Available in a combination of fixed, sliding, hinged, frameless, and curtain wall, this system promises unparalleled sight lines.

Its 1 inch, thermally broken middle posts means that you can now enjoy thoroughly unobstructed views. Individual units are 12ft x 10ft. Additional custom-made oversized units also available. This means that you can construct exactly the kind of facade you want and be in control of your view.

In addition to being flush with the wall, fully submerged thresholds means that drainage systems can be  integrated and completely concealed.

To learn more about it, you can watch the video here.

 

Contact Us Today

 

If you would like to find out more about our products, contact us today. Someone from our team would be happy to set up a free consultation for you.

Open Architectural Windows and Doors: Proudly supplying custom window and door solutions for over a decade.

Cladded Windows And Doors: Everything You Need To Know

Photo of house with slimline sliding system .

It’s easy to understand why more and more homeowners and architects favor slim profile windows and doors. However, windows which combine functionality and style with elegant, slim profiles aren’t always the easiest to find. This is particularly true for those who prefer wooden windows and doors. With its natural beauty, wood can provide a specific look or warmth, particularly inside the home, that materials such as metal or vinyl simply cannot. To solve this problem, cladded windows were developed to provide all of the natural beauty of wood with the strength and durability of metals such as aluminum, copper, and bronze.

If properly maintained, wood can last for decades, if not centuries, but it will need regular maintenance. Going between the extremes of harsh winters and hot summers, wear and tear becomes evident on wooden windows. This is why if you’re looking for truly ultra-slim wooden windows that will last, you should consider the benefits cladded windows can offer.

 

What Exactly Are Cladded Windows?

 

Illustration of types of materials available for cladded windows

Cladded windows are, without a doubt, one of the most important innovations in the history of windows. Cladded windows are wooden windows which have been fitted with a metal, or occasionally vinyl covering on their exterior. The covering, or cladding as it is known, provides an additional degree of thermal insulation and weather resistance for the windows.

Cladding effectively protects the wooden windows from the elements and maximizes their longevity. Essentially, this means that you get to have all of the benefits of a durable material such as aluminum (or copper or bronze) on your home’s exterior as well as being able to enjoy the look and feel of wooden windows inside your home.

To achieve maximum longevity with our cladded windows, we use extruded aluminum which is welded onto the frame prior to powder-coating. This allows for a uniform, flush, and exceptionally slim and durable window profile. This is in contrast to roll-form aluminum which is much cheaper but significantly less robust.

 

 

 

What Are The Benefits of Cladded Windows?

 

 

Ultra-Slim Profiles

 

Image of an ultra-slim cladded sliding door system.

Perhaps the most sought after  benefit of cladding is how it can be used to create exceptionally slim and completely flush profiles on windows and doors.

Take our own sliding door system, for example. The OPEN m40, is comprised of cladded wood-aluminum. Its beautiful 1¾” wooden frame contains a robust, supporting internal aluminum frame. The wooden exterior provides all of the natural beauty of wood while aluminum offers additional strength and durability.

As a result of this, the aluminum cladding will ensure that the door needs little or no maintenance and will be watertight and perfect for all seasons.

To learn more about it, read our article on it here.

 

Cladded Windows Are More Efficient

 

Wooden windows already have a relatively high level of thermal insulation. However, alu-clad windows have a thermal break between the wood and the aluminum. This means they are significantly more thermally effective. The layer of cladding will help stop any unnecessary drafts or ‘cold spots’ within the home. As a result of this, your home will be more energy efficient. Cladded windows will often have a lower U-Value which means optimal comfort for you and your home. Another aspect of their efficiency is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you won’t need to constantly maintain cladded windows. 

Below you can take an in-depth look at a recent alu-clad project we worked on in Tribeca in Manhattan. Open Architectural Windows and Doors supplied hundreds of windows and doors for this new build project. The oversized, cladded windows and slim profiles offer unbroken views of the city. In keeping with the aesthetic of the neighborhood, Open AWD supplied oversized arch-top windows for the top floors of the complex.



Improved Durability

 

 

photograph of exterior aluminum windows.

Pictured inset: Exterior of Alu-clad curtain wall system which OPEN AWD for a development in Tribeca, Manhattan.

Cladded windows are some of the most durable windows available to buy. Whether it’s a simple residential project, or a larger, more high-value project, cladded windows have an almost unmatched longevity. They are an investment in your home’s future. By investing in them, you are ensuring that your home’s exterior won’t depreciate as quickly as it would with standard wooden windows.

As we mentioned above, wood requires more-or-less annual, if not seasonal, upkeep. This often includes staining, sealing, or re-painting. This is particularly true in harsher climates. But this is simply not the case with cladded window, which need no maintenance because they are weather-resistant. The fact that the materials we use (aluminum, bronze, and copper) are completely non-porous (unlike wood) the windows suffer significantly less wear and tear over time.

 

Pictured: Alu-clad custom window and curtain wall system. Click to enlarge.

 

Improved Aesthetic Possibilities 

 

Image of an open bronze-clad window.

 

Aesthetically, cladded windows have a major advantage over standard wood and even standard aluminum windows. Cladded windows are custom-made to suit each home.

This means you get the best of both worlds. The look and feel of wooden windows within your home’s interior, as well as a robust, high-value metal to suit your home’s exterior.

Whether your home’s facade is brick, concrete, wood, or siding, cladded windows can be made to complement any exterior. They can be made to a wide range of different shapes and sizes.

Pictured: copper-clad windows at The Fitzroy, Manhattan.

 

Case Study: The Fitzroy, Manhattan

 

Below, you can see some pictures from a project Open Architectural Windows and Doors worked on two years ago in Chelsea in Manhattan.

The striking copper-clad oak windows bring the building’s façade to life. It added a distinguished look to the building’s exterior and complemented the unique terra-cotta brickwork. 

This large-scale project boasts over 200 custom copper clad windows, and numerous other copper finishes. The beautiful copper-clad windows  are a perfect marriage of functionality and style. The double and triple glazed glass and superior installation ensures that the windows are soundproofed from the busy exterior, and allow for energy efficient heating and cooling.

As you can see from the picture, copper-clad window age gracefully over time as their patina becomes more and more pronounced.

To learn more about this project, click here.

 

Pictured below: Copper-plated bronze clad windows and doors at The Fitzroy. Click to enlarge.

 

Contact Us Today

 

This image contains wooden windows and Manhattan is in the background

If you would like to learn more about cladded windows, please contact us today at 718-403-0300 or send us an email us here to set up your free consultation.

We know that no two people have the same tastes which is why all of our cladded windows are completely customizable. 

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

 

Interior Steel Doors and Partitions: Why More People Are Choosing Them.

Image of large glass and steel doors

With all of the work that goes into ensuring you get the perfect windows and doors to suit your home’s exterior, it can be easy to overlook your home’s interior. Although ultra-slim profile windows and doors will help bring light into your home, without the right interior doors, that light won’t be distributed evenly throughout your home. This is where interior steel doors and partitions come in. Not only will they brighten it up even further, interior doors and partitions offer additional privacy as well as a greater sense of space within your home.

Whether it’s to add a modern element to a more traditional home, or to add an industrial finish to a more modern style of home, interior steel doors and partitions can be a great way to transform the feel of your home’s interior. This article will give you some helpful tips on what to look out for when it comes to considering interior doors and partitions for your home.

 

The Beauty of Interior Steel Doors 

 

Aesthetically, slimline interior steel doors and partitions, which feature large glass panels and minimal sight lines, offer unrivalled potential for your home’s interior.

As a result of this, they have seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years and it’s not difficult to see why. Steel-framed interior doors and partitions are an exceptionally versatile way of doing more with less in your home. 

Steel’s strength means that slimmer and sleeker frames and sight lines can be achieved easier than with wood for example. Smaller frames mean more glass on display. More glass means more light, which means a brighter home that looks and feels more spacious.

This not only suits modern homes, but also homes with industrial or even mid-century looks.

Hinged, Sliding, Bi-Fold, or Partition?

 

Interior Steel Doors

 

An ideal way to maximize space and light within your home, our sleek interior Steel Door will open any space up. Interior steel doors look at home in every environment. Whether it’s to separate the living room from the kitchen; to seal off and display your walk-in wardrobe; or even just to bring some much-needed light into a room.

These doors are available as hinged, sliding, or as bi-fold (sliding-folding). Each has their own unique benefits and appeal based on your tastes and the amount of space available in your home. Sliding doors are an excellent choice where space makes a hinged door difficult to open.

Assembly brackets can be built into the wall, ensuring that the door can be seamlessly incorporated into any living space. Perfect for both classic and contemporary homes, our slimline, powder-coated steel-framed interior doors create privacy without sacrificing any natural light.

Our doors are custom-designed to suit your home’s aesthetic or specific needs and and can be finished in any standard RAL colour.

 
Perfect for a walk-in wardrobe or simply to brighten up and connect spaces. Click to enlarge

Partitions

 

Our custom-made, ultra-slim interior steel room partitions are the ideal way to separate spaces within your home. Furthermore, whether it’s to add light into a hallway or a room, or simply to add a sense of privacy into a bathroom, interior steel partitions enhance every environment.

 

Custom-Made Is Better Made

 

Everyone knows that custom-made is better made. Open Architectural Windows and Doors work with each client to design doors and partitions which reflect their unique tastes. We don’t believe you should have to settle for a cookie-cutter approach to interior doors and partitions. We value your tastes and our goal is to help you create doors and partitions which reflect that. Available in a variety of metals, our doors and partitions are completely customizable. This includes everything from the style of door, down to the type of metal, glass, muntin, and handle.

 

Muntins

Choose from different muntin types and thicknesses to ensure that your door or partition reflects your aesthetic. Muntins plays an important role in the overall aesthetic of doors and partitions. Below are three popular styles of muntin. Click to enlarge.

 

Metals

Available in Bronze, Stainless Steel, Brushed Steel, Polished Steel, and Corten. Learn more about our most popular types below. Pictured below, from left to right: Powder-Coated Steel, Stainless Steel, Corten, and Bronze.

 

Handles

We offer a vast selection of sleek and elegant door handles for your interior door. Custom-made to suit your interior. We also offer a variety of locking systems. Below is simply a selection of some of our handles. Click to enlarge.

 

Additional Concerns

There are certain styles, and colors that will be more suitable for certain rooms and home. For example, rooms in which children play, or the risk of falling is greater (bathrooms and showers), it is important to choose doors or partitions with child-friendly (safety) glass. Similarly, with regards to wine cellars or cabinets, where room temperature is a concern. We can help you find the right door or partition for your home.

 

Recent Interior Steel Door Projects

 

Below you can see a selection of photos of recent custom profiles designed for our clients. As you can see, each unit has exceptionally slim sight lines. Elegant and sleek, our custom-made interior steel doors and partitions can be tailored to suit any environment.

Click to enlarge.
 
Another recent custom profile, a shop drawing, and a rendering. Click to enlarge.
 

Find the Right Interior Doors and Partitions for Your Home

 

Image of two steel interior doors.

We know that no two people have the same tastes which is why all of our interior steel doors and partitions are customizable. From the style of door, to the frame material, everybody wants to find the find right one for their homes. For more information about steel in general, you can read our article on steel windows here.

Contact us today at 718-403-0300 or send us an email us here to set up your free consultation.

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

 

Everything You Need To Know About Window Testing

As any homeowner knows, there is nothing more frustrating than bad, leaky windows. Windows which allow in drafts, create cold-spots, allow condensation, damp, and mold to gather, and don’t provide adequate resistance to noise pollution, are windows you don’t want in your home. And, as anyone who has ever lived in a typical New York City apartment can tell you, standard double-hung windows provide little protection from any of the above. Even windows which look great aren’t immune to these defects. As a result, windows must undergo rigorous window testing to ensure they are adequately protected and have been correctly installed.

Conducting window testing is one of the most crucial and effective ways of ensuring that windows and doors fitted in your home perform as needed and  expected. Few people know what exactly window testing means is or just how important for their home it is. Knowing what it is, and knowing that your windows have been rigorously tested according to strict standards, can bring homeowners great peace of mind.     

What Is Window Testing?

 

Windows and doors often represent a significant portion of the facade of the average home. With larger buildings, windows, doors, and curtain wall systems can constitute up anywhere from 50-100% of the building’s facade and envelope. As a result of this, they make up an important component of the architecture and represent a considerable amount of the overall construction costs. Similarly, careful attention needs to be paid to ensure that windows and doors are airtight, watertight, and able to withstand significant wind-loads. 

To put it simply, window performance testing is exactly what it sounds like: using various testing methods to determine the efficacy and efficiency of a window’s performance. Window testing is carried out in order to make sure that an optimum level of comfort can be maintained within the home. There are various methods of testing a window’s performance, each of which will be explained in more detail below. 

 

Why It Matters

 

It is hard to overstate the importance of window performance testing. According to a study by the National Fenestration Rating Council, the average American spends anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 on energy bills each year. 45% of that goes to heating and cooling their homes.

If the windows in your home are old, weren’t installed properly, or have fallen into disrepair, this number increases. Badly designed, poorly installed, and even windows which were not tested correctly, can significantly impair how efficient your windows are. In addition to costing you more money in energy bills, their inefficiency means that they are also harming the environment. 

The North American Fenestration Standards is the body which dictates the guidelines around fenestration standards for all residential projects in North America (US & Canada). In addition to NAFS, each jurisdiction is governed by its own specific rules and regulations.

For example, all windows and doors installed in buildings in New York City must meet the requirements of the NYC Energy Conservation Code. For more on that, see here

 

What We Test For

 

Here at Open Architectural Windows and Windows, we fully understand the importance of testing. All of our windows are rigorously tested to ensure that they meet all US and regional standards and codes. Each specific jurisdiction has their own codes. There are two main ways for testing window performance–laboratory and field testing. Both laboratory and field testing are used to test specific components and potential issues with a windows’s performance.

Lab Testing

 

As it suggests, laboratory testing is carried in a lab under specific conditions. Often, these conditions will be designed to mimic conditions of the climate in which the windows will be installed. Lab testing is an important step because windows can because the testing conditions and variables can be easily controlled. While we are involved in the testing process, tests are carried out at certified, independent laboratories.

Wind Load Testing

We use machines which mimic high wind loads to place enormous amounts of pressure on windows during testing. The wind loads will usually be higher than winds the windows are likely to ever encounter. The level of testing will usually be determined by the building’s structural engineer. This will depend on the building’s location, shape, the size of the IGUs, as well as the window-to-wall ratio.

Thermal Efficiency Testing

A thermal chamber is used to help determine the thermal efficiency of the windows. Thermal efficiency is determined by calculating its U-Value. Thermal testing is a particularly important step as it helps to ensure that the windows will provide optimum comfort to the occupants of the property. 

Water and Air Infiltration

In order to test for water and air infiltration, jets of water and air are sprayed onto the exterior of the windows. Negative pressure will be applied in the interior to see whether or not any water or air makes it through to the interior. Water and air tightness are some of the most important testing aspects. They need to be rigorously tested in any window. Not testing properly can result in drafts or water damage. Over time, this can lead to corrosion to the interior and surrounding areas. Another very important factor to consider is comfort: without air and watertight sealing, temperatures within the home will be very unstable. In some instances, this may even lead damp, mold, first, or ice on the interior of the window. 

Cycle Testing

Cycle testing involves the use of machines to continuously open and close the windows over a set period of time. The aim with cycle testing is to ensure that windows perform exactly as well after the testing as they did before it. This is a very important step as we won’t sell and windows which haven’t been rigorously tested for performance issues.

Field Testing

 

Field testing will be carried out once a licensed installation team has installed the windows. Field testing is an opportunity to rigorously test the windows once they have been integrated into the building envelope. In some cases, field testing will produce slightly different results than lab testing. Although measures are taken to mimic the conditions and climate in which the windows will be installed, minor variations can occur. This is often a result of varying weather conditions and installation issues. 

Water & Air Tightness

 

Much like the water and airtightness testing mentioned above, water and airtightness are also tested during the onsite window installation process. This is to ensure that the results from lab testing can be recreated once a licensed and certified installation team have installed the windows.

To do this, we recreate the chamber in the lab. Then, we apply jets of water and air to the exterior of the windows. Using negative pressure inside the building, we can then test to see if either wind or water appears inside.

 

Additional Testing Methods

There are several other types of customized testing available. Not all will be necessary for each customer but each offers its own unique peace of mind.

Acoustics

One of the most common things we hear from customers is their issues with noise pollution. This is particularly true in places such as New York City. Traffic, low-flying planes,  loud talking, even noisy neighbors. All of these can be dealt with more effectively via well-made windows which have been tested according to our standards. In lab testing, we subject the windows to very high levels of sounds in order to determine how much sound the windows block out. This process produces an Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class (OITC) rating. We work with each individual client to determine their specific OITC rating.

Limiter Testing

Limiters, sometimes known as window restrictors, can also be tested. Testing for this can be useful where there is a particular concern that young or vulnerable people are at risk of falling from a window. 

Resistance Class Testing

Windows can be tested for how breakthrough resistant they are. This is important to consider if safety or security is a concern.

Fire Resistance

For additional peace of mind, windows can also be specifically tested for their fire resistance capability

 

Contact Us Today

 

If you’d like to learn more about our windows or the testing process, contact us today on 718-403-0300 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.

Size Matters: Why Architects Choose Oversized IGUs.

Image showing a view of skyscrapers as seen through an oversized window.

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?

 

Image of people on a crain installing an oversized IGU

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

 

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

Contact Us Today

 

If you’d like to learn more about how oversized IGUs could benefit one of your projects, contact us today on 718-403-0300 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.

 

 

Everything You Need to Know About Glass Types and Performance Ratings

When people first began putting single panes of glass in windows almost two thousand years ago, they performed the relatively simple task of keeping the inside of homes wind and rain free. Fast forward to today and advances in technology have meant that glass can be manipulated and customized to be more efficient, retain more heat, better soundproofed, as well as being an effective way of keeping intruders out of your home. All of these things are done via a combination of more efficient manufacturing processes, coatings, gases, better-constructed IGUs, and higher-performing glass. 

If you’ve ever wondered about glass types or performance ratings, we’re going to explain them to you in plain language in the hope that you will have a better understanding of exactly the kind of glass you need for your windows and doors. We know that when you begin looking into it, it can be difficult to know that you are choosing windows and doors which not only look good, but perform well over time. Should I choose double or triple glazing? High or low U-Value? Tempered, laminated, or impact-resistant? Do I need to consider Solar Heat Gain Coefficient? 

As purveyors of high-quality windows and doors, we thought we could share a little of our expertise with you. Our article will explain in plain language some of these essential questions for you and give you a better understanding of what you need for your home.

Understanding Glass Performance

First, there are some ideas and principles that you’ll need to have a working idea of. These will help you better understand what type of glass might be suitable for your environment and climate. 

 

 U -Factor

Diagram of U-Factor values

U-Factor (also known as U-Value) is one of the most important aspects of choosing windows and doors. It measures how effectively a window can retain heat inside a home and reduce heat loss. The lower the number, the more heat it retains. So, a window with a U-Factor of 0.20 will retain heat better than one with a value of 0.5. The climate you live in plays a very big role in determining the U-Factor you’ll need your windows to have. More on this below.

Windows have an enormous effect on a wall’s R-Value. R-Value is the rate at which a material resists heat passing through it. A high R-Value means the material (e.g. insulation) is effective at resisting heat flow. As you can see from the diagram, windows with a lower U-Factor can dramatically increase a wall’s R-Value. 

 

Illustration of solar heat gain and visibility transmittanceSolar Heat Gain, Visibility Transmittance, and Gases

 

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is simply the amount of heat that enters a home via its windows. Most of this heat will be natural heat (radiation) from the sun. The lower the number, the less heat it lets in. Conversely, windows with a high SHGC level will allow more heat into the home.

Visibility Transmittance is a scale which helps determine how clear the glass is. This can be affected by things such as Low-E coatings (more on these below), which slightly reduce clarity. For more information on this, you can read about it on the Department of Energy website.

Though not strictly a feature of glass, Gases play a very important role in the overall performance of windows and doors. Traditionally, the space between panes of glass was left empty. However, advances in technology have shown certain gases (which can be denser than air) can actually reduce heat loss in your home.

The most commonly-used gases are argon and krypton. Of those, the most widely used gas is argon. Argon has been shown to significantly reduce unwanted heat loss. Argon has a thermal conductivity rate 67% lower than air. In windows which have been filled with argon, argon usually makes up roughly 95% or more, with air usually comprising 5% or less.

 

Choosing The Right Glass Type For You



 
Despite what you might want out of a window, there are several important factors which you need to address. Some of these factors are more or less out of your control. The most important factor here is what kind of climate you live in. If you live in a very cold climate, for example, you should consider investing in windows that will minimize heat loss and increase the amount of heat that can enter your home. What this means, then, is you want a lower U-Factor and a higher SHGC. In warmer climates, this means that you would be better off with windows that have a higher U-Factor and a lower SHGC.

Regardless of your climate, however, everybody should consider investing in high-quality, well-made windows. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems represents a whopping 40% of the average homeowner’s energy bills. This is a huge proportion and investing in more efficient windows will drastically cut this.

 

How Many Panes?

Cross-section of a passive house window.

It should go without saying that two panes are better than one. Single glazed windows arose out of necessity but, over the course of the past century, have been largely replaced by more efficient, double-glazed windows. Modern and more scientific methods for manufacturing glass and window frames have meant that windows can actually bear more weight but have even smaller frames, which is what most people want.

Triple-glazed windows are, of course, even better again. People living in colder climates with harsh winters, in particular, should strongly consider investing in. More glazing will add more weight to the windows, provide another layer to be filled with argon gas, and another opportunity for more Low-E coating. Each of these aspects will dramatically improve its overall thermal efficiency.

A third layer of glazing will also significantly  reduce the amount of condensation on the inside of your windows. It will act as a more effective barrier against noise pollution, which is particularly important in built-up and urban areas.

Low-E Coatings

Although natural sunlight can bring in some much sought after sunlight and heat, it also brings in ultraviolet rays which cause floors, walls, and fabrics (sofas; cushions etc.) to fade over time. These rays also can cause harm to our skin. To combat this, microscopically-thin, completely see-through, metal coatings were created to lessen the impact of this. Low-E (low-emissivity) coatings use silver to reflect heat. In summer, it reflects the heat entering a house; in winter, it reflects the heat leaving. In essence, it functions very similarly to a thermos (which often contains silver)–it allows you to maintain the desired temperature inside. Warm when you want it to be warm; cold when you need it to be cold.

Within Low-E coatings, there are a number of different ways to adjust the amount of heat which passes through your windows. This can be achieved by adding additional layers or by altering which panels are coated. The level of protection you need will depend on your environment and whether or not your house is in the shade.

Styles

Various types of windows.There are many different window styles available. Each style comes with its own unique benefits. Some styles will suit more traditional homes better; whereas others will be more at home on more modern and contemporary buildings.

As you’ll see from the pictures below, choosing ultra-slim profile windows will ultimately have quite a different impact on your facade than choosing slightly thicker, more traditional ones.

There has been a trend towards more slimline windows in recent years. In our experience, this is a trend which has increased year on year. As a result of this, muntins—which were historically used as structural components to divide panels of glass within a window—have become slimmer.

 

Pictured from left to right: Vanderbilt Avenue, The Fitzroy, and 10 Greene St. Open Architectural Windows and Doors worked closely with the architects to come up with windows and muntins which reflected a holistic design aesthetic.

Windows with functioning muntins in them are known as authentic divided lites. Muntins were originally a practical solution. However, as technology advanced, and the materials for window frames become stronger and efficient, it was unnecessary to actually use multiple glass panels. Instead, it became possible to use one, large glass panel. To recreate the same aesthetic effect of divided lites, simulated divided lites were created. These rest on the window and look almost completely identical to true divided lites. However, they don’t form a structural part of the window.

Another types, although less popular, is grille-between-the-bars. This type features an internal, between the panes. This creates a similar look to muntins, but these windows will be particularly easy to clean.

In some cases, people want windows which don’t have muntins. The benefit of this, of course, is unobstructed views. You must also remember that windows aren’t just how you see the world–they’re how the world sees you. Windows do make a difference to your home’s facade, so spend some time thinking about which would suit yours best.

For a more on the specific types of windows styles available ( Double-Hung, Tilt and Turn etc.,) please click here.

Soundproofing

Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings are the measure by which we determine how something—in this case a window or a door—stops the flow of sound. When choosing windows for your home, it is important to take several things into consideration. For people whose homes are within earshot of traffic, car horns, low-flying airplanes, sirens, construction noise, or even loud neighbors, your home will be subject to much low-frequency (i.e. loud noises from a distance).

Many windows are unable to withstand such low-frequency noise. If that’s the case, then your window might only let it unwanted noise, but could also cause vibrations, too. In this instance, you would need a lower STC rating. When choosing windows, it is important to discuss your needs with whomever is designing and installing your windows.  Moreover, you should consider windows which have additional coatings and layers. This will ensure optimum sound-proofing.

For more on this, see this article.

Safety and Security

There are a variety of different glazing options available which will add additional safety and security to your home. The most important of these are laminated and tempered glass. 

Laminated glass is glass which has a very high breaking point. In fact, even after repeated heavy blows, the glass will not smash and shatter. Polyvinyl butyral, which is a strong resin, is used to bind tempered glass glass together to create a glass which is highly durable. It is often used in anti-burglary windows. Anti-burglary glass has a ranking system it uses to measure a window’s security. This is called its Resistance Class (RC) rating and it is graded from 1 (least secure) to 6 (most secure).

Tempered glass is up to four times stronger than regular glass. Unlike regular glass, it doesn’t crack. It smashes into very fine, granular pieces. This means that it is much less likely to cause damage if it shatters. Tempered glass is important for wherever there is a significant risk of someone falling—such as a shower, for example.

If you live in a coastal area, or an area in which you are at risk of storms or stormy weather, impact resistant glass is something you should consider for your home. Debris and other flying objects can cause serious harm and do serious damage if they make contact  with windows. Impact resistant glass contains laminated glass but will often also be tempered. Windows with this of kind of glass, designed specifically for high-risk environments, will also need more robust frames also for the necessary strength.

In terms of Decorative glass, tinted and frosted glass are popular choices for some. They are particularly popular choices for bathrooms, studies, or any room in which privacy (and light) is important. These types of glass can also add a flourish to doors.

 

Once You’ve Chosen Your Glass

 

To be clear, having double or triple glazed, thermally-broken windows, Low-E coatings, well-constructed IGUs, are very important factors when it comes to windows. However, it is imperative that you have licensed and certified specialists install your windows. This will ensure that they are properly installed and completely airtight, windproof, leakproof, and that there is sufficient weather-stripping. 

Similarly, it is equally important that your home’s insulation be as thorough as possible. Good windows can only be effective with good insulation, and vice versa.

 

Contact Us 

If you’d like to discuss this further, and learn more about the ideal type of windows for your environment, we’d be happy to give you a free consultation. Just give us a call on 718-403-0300 or email us at info@openawd.com and someone from our team will be in touch.

 

Introducing: Open AWD’s Exclusive Custom-Made Furniture

Having originally started off as a seller of windows and doors, Open Architectural Windows and Doors has, over time, begun doing more and more bespoke work for its clients. From slimline railing systems, to custom-made furniture and specialized interior work such as fabricated medicine cabinets and even shower partitions, we have consistently provided unique products and services to meet the individual needs of everyone we work with. 

Often, many architects and homeowners we work with find that they need a product which simply doesn’t exist. Being problem-solvers, our goal has always been to ensure that we can help you, the client, come as close as possible to achieving your vision for your project. If we can help our customers create something unique, we will.

So, when a client recently asked us to design some custom made furniture for them, we were more than happy to offer our expertise and draw on our vast supply network to help them design a sideboard unit.

Check out the video below which details the ideas behind the design and the process.

 

 

Our Furniture Design Process

Sideboard Table

Our idea for the piece was to keep it as simple and as elegant as possible. We used the same approach we take with our windows and doors–elegant, minimalist design and slim sight lines. 

As you might imagine, the design process is slightly different from windows and doors. There are subtleties of furniture design which don’t exist with windows and doors, and vice versa.

On the other hand, however, there are many commonalities. At Open Architectural Windows and Doors, all of our work must adhere to three basic principles:

  • Elegance
  • Functionality
  • Performance

The minimalist principle of ‘less is more’ underpins all of our work so we wanted to create a piece with minimal, high-quality material, smooth lines and no visible welding. Ease of use and practicality were also integral to how we approached the project.

Working alongside the client, we were able to come up with a design which they felt perfectly captured their idea.

Production

Below are some pictures of the production process which was handled by a furniture manufacturer according to our specifications.

Click to enlarge.

 

Click to enlarge.

Contact Us Today

 

So, if you’ve got an idea for custom-made furniture for your home, or would simply like to learn more about how we could help, please send us and email or give us a call today on 718-403-0300.

Open Architectural Windows and Doors can help you make your dreams a reality.

 

Landmark Windows and Doors: Everything You Need To Know About NYC’s Landmark Preservation Commission

NYC Landmarks Preservation Logo

 

As anyone who has ever spent some time in New York can tell you, the city is constantly changing. From one year to the next, companies come and go, old buildings fall and new ones rise. Each city block tells a thousand stories, and each year, the cityscape continues to evolve. This is because change is a crucial part of what makes New York one of the most innovative and remarkable cities in the world.

It’s a simple fact that a constantly-changing cities risk losing some of their identity. This is particularly true in a city such as New York, whose identity is bound up in its buildings. Thankfully, there are laws in place which regulate the renovation or restoration of buildings which have been designated landmark status. The authority is known as the Landmark Preservation Commission. If you’re considering landmark windows and doors for your home, make sure you read all of this for tips on the process.

 

A Brief History of the New York Landmark Preservation Movement

 

Landmark windows and doors.

The New York City Landmark Preservation Commission was established in 1965 at the urging of then mayor, Robert F. Wagner. Mayor Wagner wanted a system in place to stop the destruction of culturally, historically, or architecturally significant buildings. Though similar movements stretched back as far as the nineteenth century, it was only after the demolition of the original Pennsylvania Station (in order to make way for Madison Square Garden) that a series of laws were put in place to ensure that the rich, storied history of New York and its architecture could be preserved for future generations.

The establishment of the LPC was widely seen as one of the most important steps in creating a framework for promoting the unique architecture you still see in New York City. The city’s architecture is one of its most important assets. Tourists from around the world come just to see it.

Image: Pennsylvania Station (circa 1910s) courtesy of Wikipedia

 

What Falls Under The Remit Of The NYC LPC?

 

Map of NYC landmark districts.

It might surprise you to learn that, according to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, there are over “37,000 landmark properties in New York City. Most of which are located in 149 historic districts and historic district extensions in all five boroughs.” This includes entire historic districts, (e.g. South Street Seaport District), interior landmarks (e.g. The Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library), and scenic landmarks (e.g. Central Park).

A quick look at the map should give you a sense of just how many landmarks there are in the city.

For a full list of the landmarks, and to see if your property falls within a historic district, you can explore the interactive map here.

Image: Map of NYC Landmarks courtesy of LPC

 

 

Stipulations Regarding Landmark Windows and Doors

 

Properties and districts which fall under the remit of the Landmarks Preservation Commission are subject to stringent guidelines. Because of the rules and regulations, landmark windows and door projects can be some of the most time-consuming and laborious projects.

As a result of this, very few contractors are actually prepared, or even equipped, to carry out the work needed on landmark windows and doors. Between permits, paperwork, and red-tape involved, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and for the project to lose momentum.

However, with careful planning, and by only employing contractors who know what they’re doing, you can easily complete your project with everything up-to-code. Violations of Landmark Laws can come with heavy fines for property owners.

How Good Window and Doors Contractors Navigate Landmark Projects

 

Landmark restoration projects are delicate and time-consuming tasks. These buildings were designated landmark for a reason–often because of their beauty. A good contractor will seek to preserve the craftsmanship of the past and not only restore it, but update it with all of today’s technologies and materials.

Experience

The single-most important quality, before anything else,  is experience. If a contractor doesn’t know how to their due diligence, doesn’t understand the building code, or how to navigate the city’s labyrinthine permit process, then your project might run into some major problems.

Research

A great deal of research needs to be done on each landmark restoration project before work can begin. For example, you will first need to look up the original plans for the building. Researching the original design will give you a better sense of what the building, and often the entire district, originally looked like.

Architectural Adjustments

Working with an architect, you can then have drawings of any proposed work drawn up. You should indicate any and all changes you propose to make to the facade or interior.

Submitting Your Proposal

Before you can begin your work, the Landmarks Preservation Commission stipulates that you must first submit all architectural plans to them for approval. The LPC allows for a margin of error of roughly 5% with regards to the details. This means that they require you to stick very closely to the building’s original plans. 

Improving Upon The Past

Once the LPC approves your project, work can begin. It is very important to use all available modern construction technologies to improve upon the the existing landmark windows and doors. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Using high-quality materials for restoring brick or plaster work.
  • Ensuring that any facades of new windows and doors are absolutely airtight, waterproof, soundproof, and wind-resistant.
  • Using innovative and thermally efficient insulation.
  • Making use of well-designed modern locking systems.

 

Our Work 

 

300 East 5th Street, Manhattan’s East Village

 

Exterior shot of 300 East 5th Street landmark windows

Open Architectural Windows and Doors have worked on multiple  landmark restoration projects. The most recent of which are 300 East. 5th Street, in Manhattan’s East Village, and a property on Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn.

To give you a sense of what work on a designated landmark building entails, here is a short run through of the restoration process of 300 East 5th, in Manhattan’s East Village. In 2019, Open AWD, working alongside the architect, replaced the entire facade. This included windows, doors, and all of the ornate brickwork and cornices. The previous owner had carelessly covered over all of it with inexpensive siding and concrete. As you can see from the picture below, they had turned it into a mess. They had effectively removed all evidence of the building’s former beauty. Having been built in 1874, the building had, over time, grown uglier and had come to look severely dated. All installation work was carried out by trained and licensed specialists.

You can see a ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture’ below.

 

 

 

 


Vanderbilt Avene, Fort Greene, Brooklyn

 

Exterior shot of building's front elevation.

This Queen-Anne style carriage house on Vanderbilt Avenue in the Fort Greene neighborhood in Brooklyn was one of the most stunning and unique landmark restoration projects we got to be a part of. Built originally to house horses and coachmen, the building later became the Brooklyn Veterinary Hospital before being transformed into the bespoke home you see today. We used simulated double-hung windows and designed an oversized, arched entry door with fixed panels. Because we used triple-glazed windows, we opted for heavy-duty German hinges to ensure that the doors could take all of the weight. The sash can hold up to 650 lbs per sash.

We also recreated a stunning ocular window on the building’s first floor and designed striking, arched steel doors on the rear elevation. All installation work was carried out by trained and licensed specialists.

 

 

 

 

 



Greene Street, SoHo, Manhattan

 

Photograph of 10 Greene Street showing its windows

We were also delighted to be a part of another landmark windows and doors project on Greene Street. Greene Street is located in in SoHo’s Cast Iron District in Lower Manhattan.

John B Snook, one of New York City’s most esteemed architects, originally designed the building over a century and a half ago. 10 Greene Street features typical, double-hung windows, and three classic, solid wooden doors on its first floor.

We redesigned and replaced each of the building’s 39 windows with more modern and efficient windows. We used custom-made brickmold to help us stay closer to the building’s historic look. Similarly, we carefully reproduced the design on the classic wooden doors on the first floor. All installation work was carried out by trained and licensed specialists.

Click on the images below to enlarge and see some of the details and drawings.

 

 

 


Contact Us Today

 

Photograph of black, wooden entry door.

Even if you don’t own a landmark designated property, we can still help you. Some people hire contractors with extensive landmark restoration experience. This is particularly true where accents or ornamental work are concerned. We have worked brownstone buildings, for example, which aren’t landmark. They do, however, require much of the same attention to detail as landmark properties.

Open AWD has worked with many homeowners and architects who wanted to achieve a certain look. There are a variety of different options we can provide that would help lend a distinguished look to your home. If you would like to learn more about landmark restoration projects, call us on 718-403-0300 or email us here. We’d be delighted to discuss your ideas with you.

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