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 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

The idea behind 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 has to 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 and Assembling

As you can see, our team worked diligently to assemble the product in our warehouse. Although the process was new for us,  as a team of problem solvers with decades of accumulated construction experience, we patiently and carefully assembled the unit.

Below, you can see some pictures of the process and of the final product.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Contact Us Today

 

 

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 Restoration Projects: Everything You Need To Know

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 city like New York risks losing some of its 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.

 

 

A Brief History of the New York Landmark Preservation Movement

 

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?

 

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 Landmarks

 

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 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 restoration projects. 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 your the existing building. 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

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 



Greene Street, SoHo, Manhattan

 

Photograph of 10 Greene Street showing its windows

We were also delighted to be a part of a landmark 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.

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.

The Top Five Advantages of Tilt and Turn Windows

Picture of a slimline tilt and turn window.

Tilt and Turn windows are perhaps the most versatile, functional, and aesthetically pleasing of all contemporary window types. Having been standard in Europe for some time now, the popularity of Tilt and Turn windows is increasing across America.

In addition to being very elegant, they’re very versatile windows. They feature a hinge mechanism which allows them to be opened two ways: turned inwards, like a casement window, or tilted so that the top of the window is angled into the room. The tilt option provides an opening for ventilation and also has the added benefit of increased airtightness and security.

Before we look at their unique benefits, we’ll quickly explain exactly how they work.

How Tilt and Turn Windows Work

Equipped with profile cylinders, Tilt and Turn windows have a free-wheel function integrated into their handles. This allows them to move seamlessly between the closed and tilt positions. In its closed position, pointing south, the handle has a 180-degree range of movement. At 90 degrees, the ‘turn’ position, the window can be opened inward, like a casement window. At 180 degrees, or facing upward, the window is in its tilt position, which means simply tilts inwards. Now, let’s see what this means for your home.

1 Optimum Window Ventilation

Profile of slimline, open window.

One of the biggest benefits of Tilt and Turn windows are the varied types of ventilation possible. As mentioned above, with Sliding or Double-Hung windows you lack the precision and control which Tilt and Turn windows provide. With two different ways of opening—tilting and turning—you can determine just how much air enters your home, helping you to cut down on energy costs. Another excellent benefit of these windows is that in the ’tilt’ position, cool air can enter your home, but rain cannot.

2 Airtight and Energy Efficient

Tilt and Turn windows are an incredible 10-30 times more airtight than standard double hung windows found in most American homes. Excellent design, robust locking points, and more efficient air seals prevent air and water infiltrating your home. This minimizes potential or unexpected damage associated with wind or rain. Airtight windows also help reduce unwanted heat loss and complement the performance of your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system. This means that your home will be significantly more energy efficient. These windows make an excellent choice where energy consumption is a concern, and a perfect choice for passive houses.

3 Excellent Soundproofing

Soundproofing is one of the most important (and often neglected) aspects of window design. Because sound travels through the air, it is important to get windows which will form an effective barrier against sound coming into your home.

Due to increased airtightness and the possibility to use triple-glazed panels, this window system often have much better soundproofing. For reference, with the correct component configuration, sound attenuation comparable to a concrete wall can be achieved with these windows.

3 Maximum Security

Tilt and Turn windows have a multi-point locking system. This means that there are multiple locking point situated within the frame. While this allows for the windows to be locked in the ’tilt’ and ‘turn’ positions, the robust internal mechanism affords the window greater security. These features significantly decrease the chances of a burglar breaking into your home via your windows.

With greater security comes greater possibilities. Because of these additional locking mechanisms, it is much easier to create more secure, oversized Tilt and Turn windows. Unlike Sliding or Double Hung windows, Tilt and Turn windows manage to be secure AND provide maximum ventilation.

4 Make The Most of Natural Light with Oversized Units

Due to their above average load-bearing capacity, Tilt and Turn windows work exceptionally well as oversized units. Thanks to their design, the windows can withstand up to an unbelievable 550lb in the ’tilt’ position. Most other systems are simply unable to handle comparable loads and so must be made at standard sizes. Anything more could compromise their structural integrity.

Oversized window units can add a dramatic effect to your home’s facade. Some of the many benefits of oversized window units include unobstructed views, maximized natural light as well as added solar heat gain. With more glass on display, your home will naturally benefit from the sun’s rays.

5 Maintenance

Tilt and Turn windows are also easier to maintain than most other window types. By opening and tilting inwards, Tilt and Turn windows can be cleaned much more easily and safely than other windows. and much more safely than other windows.

Because they often lack a partition in the center, (unlike double-hung windows), the unbroken surface area makes it easier to clean the panes. No need to risk to climbing up on a ladder or paying a small fortune for a window-cleaner.

Find Out More

If you would like to find out more about how Tilt and Turn windows can benefit your home, contact us today at 718-403-0300 or email us here and someone from our team would be happy to talk you through it!

Designing the Perfect Entry Door

Photograph of black, wooden entry door.

Deciding on an entry door for your home can be one of the most important choices you have to make for your home. Although some people might think of doors as simply functional components of a home, they are much more than that. Doors are an integral part of any home’s exterior. The first thing people notice as they enter your home, doors greatly contribute to a first impression and the overall feeling of a space.

With so many different materials and styles to choose from, it can be hard to know you’re choosing the right one. You will need to consider the type of door, the materials, what you need it to do, whether it is safe and secure, and that it will perform well.  The ideal door for your home, then,  will be a perfect marriage of functionality and aesthetics, carefully tailored to your unique needs. If you’ve gone to all the trouble of designing and decorating your perfect home, why settle for a less than perfect door. 

Choosing The Right Material For Your Entry Door

The materials you choose for your front door will greatly determine how safe, secure, weather-resistant, and durable your door will be. Choosing the material is a crucial step when considering purchasing a door for your home. Doors make a dramatic difference to the appearance of your home and, more importantly, how you feel about the way it looks. We’ll first look at some of the different materials you can choose for your door and figure out which might be the perfect fit for your home.

Wood

Vanderbilt Avenue Entry Door

There is a reason the popularity of wooden doors has remained undimmed for thousands of years. They are the most traditional and timeless choice and their beauty is often unsurpassed. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, advances in technology now mean that wooden doors are now as efficient and durable as more contemporary materials such as aluminum, composites, and other materials.

Ornate accents are often added to wooden entry doors in order to complement or add a flourish to the facade. Although there is a level of upkeep in wooden entry doors, finished and treated properly, they can last a lifetime. Wooden entry doors are perfect if you would like to make a statement.

Some of our most popular choices include:

  • Oak 
  • Teak
  • Mahogany
  • Birch
  • Fir
  • Maple
  • Cherry
  • Ash
  • Scandinavian Pine

Click to enlarge.

 

Steel

beautiful villa.

Beloved for their versatility and strength, steel doors are the sturdiest, most fire-resistant, most secure, and most long lasting doors available on the market. In addition to this, steel doors offer exceptional thermal performance thanks to their thermal break. This means that they both retain the heat and keep the cold out, allowing you to keep the heat in your home at the optimal level for comfort. 

Another major factor in steel’s increasing popularity is its strength. Unlike with the most popular and widely used material (wood), it is possible to have exceptionally thin sight-lines with steel doors. Steel’s natural strength means that it can be both exceptionally slim and robust. The combination of slimness and added security is simply not possible in wooden doors.  

Finally, with steel, you also have a significantly higher degree of customizability. You can choose from different frame thicknesses, high-performance glass, improved weather-stripping, as well as a range of factory-applied finishes. It is precisely for these reasons that steel doors have become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners searching to add a modern or contemporary flourish to their exterior facade.

Here at Open AWD, we are happy to provide you with the following steel doors:

  • Galvanized Steel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Corten Steel

 

Cladded

photograph of copper-clad entry doors.

An increasingly popular choice, cladded doors give you and your home the best of both worlds. Our cladded doors are available in a wide variety of different materials such as bronze, copper, and aluminum. With cladded doors, the wooden door frame is supported by a robust frame, designed with a metal of your choice. The wooden interior provides all of the natural beauty of wood while, on the exterior, a weather-resistant metal offers additional strength and durability. Cladding ensures that the door needs little or no maintenance and will be watertight and perfect for all seasons. Cladding is also a popular choice for sliding doors.

As pictured here, copper-clad is an exceptionally elegant choice. This style means that all of copper’s natural beauty is visible on the exterior for everyone to see, and the natural warmth of wood is present on the interior. Copper, much like bronze, is a metal which ages very gracefully. This means that the facade on your building will take on a beautiful bluish-green patina which only gets more beautiful over time. This, combined with the fact it is resistant to saltwater, makes it a perfect choice for those with an oceanfront property.

Our most popular cladded doors:

  • Aluminum-clad
  • Wood-clad
  • Copper-clad

 

Putting The Finishing Touches on Your Entry Door

 

As the revered modernist architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, once said, “God is in the details.” It’s the little things which seem at once simple, but are in fact ornate and beautiful, which separate a good entry door from a great one. Once you’ve chosen your material, you must then begin considering the finer elements. These include decorative accents, handles, and additional safety and security features.

 

Accents

accents on copper clad entry doors.

Now that you’ve chosen the type of your material, you must consider how you would like your door to look. Entry doors are a perfect place to add a few finishing touches such as bespoke accents. here are a wide range of elegant accents which you can add to your door.

Details such as accents on doors say a lot about a home and its owners. Accents are a great place to add a flourish which complements the rest of your facade. They are, for instance, your only opportunity to add a decorative glass element to your facade.

Our team would be delighted to talk through your ideas with you, show you examples, and help you create the perfect entry door for your home.

 

Door Handles

Silver square door handle

After accents, doors handles and door knobs are components which must be carefully considered. It is important to choose a handle or a knob that will match, or at least complement, the aesthetics of your entry door and facade.

While handles are certainly a much more popular choice, knobs are popular amongst those with classic-looking, wooden entry doors. Bronze, copper, and brass remain the most popular choices for door knobs. Also, it is a little known fact that these metals contain antimicrobial properties. This means that they can actually help kill any germs which may be on your handle in a few hours.

If you’re looking for something more modern, steel handles might be a better fit. There are an endless variety of steel door handles available depending on the style of your home. You can learn more about the types of handles, knobs, and knockers we use here. Whatever your needs, we’ve got a huge selection to choose from.

Increased Safety and Security

Image of a high security door.

A great entry door amounts to very little if it is not safe and secure. If you have gone to the trouble of installing a beautiful new entry door, you must ensure that it can keep intruders out.

There are a number of things to consider here. For example,  the material you choose for your door will have an impact on the safety and security of your home. Metal doors, in general, are of course stronger than wooden or composite doors. 

If you opt to have glass in your entry door, make sure to discuss your options to have the glazing reinforced so that it can withstand any attempted break-ins. Glass, while being beautiful, provides intruders with an easier entry point into your home. There are a number of ways to increase the security of your home via your entry door.

Most importantly, an entry door should have a good, multipoint locking system. This means that the top, middle, and bottom of the door can be locked with the turn of a key or the push of a button. Here at Open AWD, we use expertly designed multipoint locking systems from our European manufacturers.

Additional features such as security sets, extra secure hinges, and other anti-burglary fittings can be installed. Each of these additional features will increase the overall Resistance Class (RC) Rating of your entry door.

Locking systems are an equally important component of choosing the right entry door. It is important to consider which type of locking system would be most beneficial for your needs. For many, this will mean a traditional lock and key. For others, however, electronic lock (also known as keyless entry) might suit their needs better.

Contact Us

To discuss your options with one of our project managers, give us a call today or drop us an email. Whatever your needs, OPEN AWD has the right entry door for you.

Introducing: Open AWD’s Ultra Slim Sliding Door Systems

Photo of house with slimline sliding system .

One of the eternal problems within modern architecture has been the quest for slimmer and slimmer sight lines. For a variety of reasons, ultra slim profiles are not always possible to achieve, particularly in sliding door systems. One of the main reasons is that the slimmer the frame, the less overall structural integrity the door will have. This issue becomes even more important when you take operable parts into consideration.

So, after much researching, testing, and modeling, Open Architectural Windows and Doors is very excited to announce the launch of our latest range of state-of-the-art sliding door systems. We will be offering two ultra-slim wood-aluminum and aluminum sliding doors, the OPEN m40 and the OPEN s26a.

Both systems have been designed with some of the slimmest profiles possible to achieve with sliding door systems—1” aluminum, and 1¾” for wood-aluminum. As a result of this, your sliding door will be completely flush with the wall. No lip, no threshold, just slim, elegant sight lines.

Both systems have been tested in Europe and testing is currently underway in the US.

 

OPEN m40

 

Open m40

Our new and elegant sliding door system, 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.

Other Highlights Include:

  • Elegant selection of woods and finishes to choose from.
  • Sound Transmission Class rating of 43.
  • Glass is tempered and finished with a low-e heat retention coating.
  • Offers excellent security and fire resistance.
  • Three weather gasket planes with continuous, one-piece full-perimeter weather gaskets.

 

 

OPEN s26a

 

Our other new aluminum sliding door system, Open S-26a, has an exceptionally slim visible section of just 25mm. This minimalist system is particularly well suited to oversized panels (up to 12ft x 10ft). The Open S-26a also has exceptional thermal and acoustic performance ratings. The reinforced, stainless steel rolling area allows for a smoother and easier sliding movement.

Other Highlights Include:

  • Sound Transmission Class rating of 43.
  • Glass is tempered and finished with a low-e heat retention coating.
  • Offers excellent security and fire resistance.
  • Possible to join corner sashes at 90º without a mullion.
  • Available in standard RAL powder coating and in wood-effect.

 

 

Overview

 

 

cross section of sliding door without threshold

 

No Threshold: Our advanced new systems have eradicated the need for thresholds, ensuring elegant sight lines all round. This means that your home can blend seamlessly into your patio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Innovative Locking System: Our concealed locking system means that there will be no bulky and unnecessary fittings visible on your sliding door. The locking systems have a corrosion resistant coating.

 

 

 

 

Close up of the Open M-40 sliding door system.

 

Flush with the Wall:With our new innovative system, our OPEN-m40 model boasts an exposed sash section of only 40mm. This ultra slim profile ensures that it can remain completely flush with the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

Open m40 Cross Section

 

Slimmer Profile, More Glass and More Light: A slimmer profile means more glass on display. More glass means more light and a brighter home. Furthermore, we are also offering oversize sliding doors with glass panels up to 12ft x 10ft. With our new models we can achieve up to 94% glass surface level.

 

 

 

 

U-Value Open m40

 

U-Value: Our new systems boast a U-value of 0.16 up to 0.23 BTU/h∙ft²∙°F.

 

STC:The systems have an impressive Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of 43. This means that the windows will be exceptionally resistant to external sounds, minimizing sound pollution.

 

 

 

Open s26a

Unique Finishes: The OPEN-m40 will be available in a variety of different woods. The OPEN-s26a is available in all standard RAL varieties of custom colors.

 

Maximum Comfort: Open AWD can fit your new sliding doors with the most thermally efficient double or triple glazing available. So, not only will you cut down on energy bills, you will also ensures an optimal level of comfort inside your home.

 

 

 

Find Out More

 

If you would like to find out more about our new sliding doors, contact us today. Someone from our team would be happy to discuss your options further with you.

 

Six Reasons To Invest In High Quality Windows and Doors

This image contains wooden windows and Manhattan is in the background

Choosing high quality windows and doors for your home can be a time-consuming business. Ideally, it will be something you only do once every few decades. This is why it’s important to do it right. With so many factors such as glazing, frame materials, soundproofing, and security to take into consideration, it can be difficult to know that you are choosing windows and doors which not only look good, but perform well. 

As window and door technology continues to become more innovative and efficient, more choices means more opportunities to get windows and doors which look and perform exactly as you want them to. Here at Open Architectural Windows and Doors, we don’t believe you should have to sacrifice aesthetics in favour of functionality and performance, or vice versa. So, we’ve put together a list of the top aspects you should consider when investing in high-quality windows and doors.

1) Holistic Design Approach

Every time we look out through a window, we’re also looking at the window itself.  It is also worth noting out that not only are windows the way we look out at the world, they’re also how the world looks in and sees us. Modern or Traditional, your windows and doors should be made to complement your idea of a perfect home.

Furthermore, an under-appreciated fact of high quality windows and doors is the beauty they add to your home. If you’ve gone to all the trouble of creating your ideal home, why not choose windows and doors which add to the beauty of your home? Standard, run-of-the-mill windows often look out of place on elegantly designed and decorated homes. We believe that windows and doors should be one of the most important parts of your interior and exterior design plans.

 

2) Thermally Efficient Windows Save Money


Cross section of a triple-glazed steel window.

One of the primary benefits of having well-constructed, airtight windows is that they retain more heat and keep the temperature in your home more evenly regulated. This is very important in the colder months of the year. Thermally efficient, airtight windows will prevent heat loss, meaning you can consistently save money on your energy bills. On the other hand, efficient windows also ensure that your air-conditioning unit can operate effectively and efficiently.

Well-made, thermally broken windows should have a minimum of double-glazing, although triple-glazed windows will be even more efficient. Consider windows which have been filled with argon gas. Argon gas is denser than air which means that it can significantly reduce heat loss. Similarly, consider windows with Low-E (Low-Emissivity) coatings. This extra layer will increase the thermal efficiency of your windows.

 

 

3) Environmentally Friendly

 

Photograph of Passive House

 On average, 40% of homeowners’ energy bills are spent heating and cooling their homes. As you already know, thermally-broken windows dramatically reduce heat loss. By reducing unnecessary heat loss and cutting down on your energy bills, you can in turn significantly decrease carbon dioxide emissions. If cutting down on your home energy bills and being more environmentally-friendly is a concern for you, consider investing in passive house certified windows. For more on passive house windows, see our article on them

 

Furthermore, with well-constructed, high quality windows and doors, you can also expect less problems and maintenance issues over time. This can cut down the use of any extra materials you might have to invest in to help fix your windows or doors. 

 

 

4) Safety and Security

 

Image of a high quality security door with multiple locking points

Having the safest and most secure windows can drastically reduce your exposure to burglaries. In addition to being distressing, burglaries can result in financial and irreplaceable losses. Good security is an investment you do not want to cut corners on. Thanks to advances in technology, windows and doors are becoming more and more safe and secure. 

Components such as multi-locking points, anti-burglary fittings, and anti-breakthrough glass have become more popular choices amongst homeowners seeking to protect their homes and families. Unfortunately, many older windows lack many of these features and, as a result, most burglaries are opportunistic.

Burglars know they only have to be lucky once. Don’t give them an opportunity. Consider investing in up-to date, high quality windows and doors. By reducing the possibility, you are greatly reducing the probability.

 

 

5) Comfort and Control

 

Heat transmittance chart

 

An often overlooked quality of good windows is the comfort and control they offer. Badly designed, or even slightly defective windows, can create annoying, and, oftentimes, immutable problems for your home. Areas which are particularly cold in a room, near windows or doors, are known as ‘cold spots’. These are caused by low-quality windows and poor workmanship. The installation process is a crucial part of ensuring that your windows or doors are completely airtight. It should only be undertaken by professionals.

Not only is it important that windows offer airtightness, but also operable sections that allow for you to control the degree of airflow into your home. As discussed, temperature fluctuations can be unpleasant and uncomfortable. It is important that you invest in windows which help you achieve the maximum level of comfort in your home.

 

 

6) Noise-Reduction

 

 Cross-section of window.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 or doors for your home, it is important to do so with an understanding of what STC rating you will need. To do this, you will need 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.

For some people, proper soundproofing can mean the difference in being able to sleep comfortably, even live properly, in their own home. 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.

 

Contact Us Today

 

Finally, it is worth pointing out that, in addition to saving you money by cutting down on your energy bills, high quality windows are also an investment in your future. Beautiful windows create a strong first impression and can make your property more attractive. There is much to consider when choosing windows and doors for your home. With some careful consideration, you can find the right windows and doors for your home.

Contact us today and someone from our team would be happy to discuss your options with you.

The Beauty of Slimline Steel Windows

Front elevation of a recent OPEN AWD project in SoHo.

 Windows Worth Investing In

A Brief History of Metal Windows

Favored by designers for their strength, and sought after by homeowners for their beauty, metal windows have always been the windows of choice for those wishing to make a statement. Iron, which had been the metal of choice for centuries, was replaced by steel during the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century. Blacksmiths soon realized how much more beautiful and durable steel windows could be. With increased strength and workability, steel offered window-makers the opportunity to do more with less, to design windows with slimmer profiles, narrower sight-lines, and with more glass on display, paving the way for the window styles we all have in our homes today.

Although much has changed in the world of windows over the past century, quite a lot has remained the same. While homeowners can now choose from a variety of different window materials, such as vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum. wood, and wood-clad, classic metals such as Stainless and Powder Coated Steel, as well as Bronze and Brass, continue to be the most popular choices for homeowners who want beautifully slim windows.

The Enduring Beauty of Steel and Bronze

Furthermore, because of its timeless appeal, steel has never gone out of fashion. Steel windows, alongside Bronze windows, remain the most visually appealing windows. Unlike with some of the other materials, time is much kinder to steel and bronze. As these metals age gracefully over time, your home does, too. This is particularly true of bronze, whose much-admired bluish-green patina develops over time in response to the elements. As a result, this makes bronze an ideal choice for those with coastal or seafront properties.

Similarly, advances in technology have meant that it is now possible to have ultra-slim metal windows without sacrificing any of the thermal efficiency and customizability of more modern materials. In addition to this, metal windows are safer, more secure, more fire resistant, and will last significantly longer than other window types. Here at Open AWD, we are happy to provide you with Galvanized Steel, Stainless Steel, Corten Steel, Bronze, Brass, and Copper-Clad windows.

Several Steel Windows.

Beloved for its versatility and strength, steel is one of the of the most sustainable, widely recycled and reused material available. Its strength is one of its most appealing characteristics for a number of reasons. Because of its strength, steel windows can have incredibly thin sight-lines. This in turn creates slimmer profiles that would not be possible with other materials. These slimmer, less clunky joints can easily be concealed within existing structures.

Furthermore, steel windows provide a degree of flexibility that other window types simply do not offer. For example, steel can be used in renovation projects where it is important to match or recreate the historic look of a building, but also to ensure that the windows are as efficient as possible. With steel, you also have a significantly higher degree of customizability. You can choose from different frame thicknesses, new muntin designs, high-performance glass, improved weather-stripping, as well as a range of factory-applied finishes.

Exterior Line

Click photos to enlarge.

Glazing Beads and Simulated Divided Lites

 

Glazing Beads and Simulated Divided Lites

Cross-section of glazing beads.

Materials

 

Materials

 

Thermal Performance

 

U-Value Steel Windows

An increasingly popular choice, steel is the perfect choice for homeowners for whom thermal efficiency is as important as durability, security, and aesthetics. Our steel and bronze windows are every bit as thermally efficient as other contemporary window types. Thermally broken steel windows retain heat excellently.

Because of their strength, steel windows can be made with much thinner frames. Slimmer profiles mean more glass surface area. Today’s high-performance, thermally optimized glass means that there can now be increased amounts of glass on display within a frame, which can help heat your home.

Steel, like most other metals, has a very high thermal transmittance rate. In order to achieve great thermal insulation results in windows, thermally broken profiles are used. This creates a thermal break between the outer and inner part of the windows. This, combined with double or triple-glazed glass, energy efficient coatings, and gas-filled spaces results in a window unit with an optimal U-Value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. This will help cut down on heating and cooling costs and also maintain a more comfort and consistent temperature in your home.

Safety and Security

 

When it comes to safety and security, metal windows simply cannot be beaten. Other materials do not come close to providing similar levels. To get a sense of what this means, steel windows are three-times stronger than aluminum windows. Steel can bear a load capacity of up to 330lb. Steel’s natural strength means that it is an ideal choice for a homeowner where security is a concern. Our robust frames will help protect you and your home from unwanted intruders.

The Resistance Class (RC) rating is the ranking system for measuring a window’s security. Even with the most secure wooden windows you could possibly find, the RC rating will not go beyond 4. However, with steel, you can it is possible to achieve an RC rating of up to 5 or 6. Likewise, we can very easily fit steel windows with anti-burglary fittings and highly breakthrough resistant glass.

Customizability

 

Now, thanks to advances in technology, steel can be finished with a variety of treatments and paints. These will ensure that it your windows are both long-lasting and incredibly easy to maintain. These include corrosion inhibiting finishes such as galvanizing, electro-coat (e-coat) primer, powder coatings, urethane enamels and more. All of these will ensure that your windows will not need to re-painted or treated annually. A simple wipe is enough to ensure that your windows look clean and polished.

Finally,  we can finish powder-coated steel in any color. This means that we can create these windows to suit any style of home. Moreover, we can even finish our steel windows to give off the appearance of wooden windows.

Improved Fire Rating

 

Lastly, fire safety is another area in which steel windows, unsurprisingly, come out on top. Of the different materials used in standard home windows, steel is more fire resistant that wood, vinyl, or even aluminum. As a result of this, steel windows can be designed to be fire resistant for up to 2 hours, ensuring that your home and family are as safe as possible.

We are also happy to provide any sort of operable steel windows or doors depending your needs.

Contact Us Today

 

To discuss your options with one of our project managers, give us a call or drop us an email at info@openawd.com. Whatever your needs, OPEN AWD has the right windows and doors for you.

 

Picture of steel doors.

Passive House and Energy Efficient Windows Offer

Photograph of Passive House

Here at OPEN AWD, we are increasingly aware of the fact that global warming is quickly becoming everyone’s problem. As sellers of windows and doors, we realize the difference we can make is limited. However, we are constantly trying to find new ways to help you make your home more energy efficient and sustainable. This is why we are excited to introduce you to our new range of Passive House windows and doors. For a limited time only, we are offering a 50% discount on certain windows from our Passive House-certified range. If you don’t already know about what the Passive House concept could mean for your home and the environment, we have put together some useful information on it below.

 

 

 

What is Passive House?

 

Passive House is a building standard that promotes thermally and energy efficient homes. Created in Germany at the end of the twentieth century, the Passive House concept has since become the global standard in sustainable design and energy efficiency. Through a combination of extensive insulation, thermally broken, airtight windows and doors, and an energy recovery ventilation (ERV) system, your home’s heating and cooling needs can be reduced by up to 90%. The result produces a home which is extremely cost effective and whose temperature is highly regulated.

The idea behind Passive Homes is simple: achieve the maximum amount energy for the least amount effort or cost. Then, energy within the home is maintained through insulation and an ERV system. Installing  passive house-certified windows is a great starting point to cut down on your energy bills.

What Makes a Passive House Different from a Standard Building?

 

Why Do Standard Buildings Use So Much Energy?

Most homes are fitted with heating, ventilation, and air condition units (HVAC) which are used to heat and cool their home. As your home’s internal temperature fluctuates, your ventilation and cooling systems kick in, overcompensating for the temperature change by stabilizing it. Constant heating or cooling can result in significant energy expenses.

Some of the primary reasons for high energy costs are:

  • Nonairtight Windows and Doors
  • Insufficient Insulation
  • Open Fireplaces
  • Minor Cracks in the Building

This means that the average home uses uses most of the energy spent heating or cooling it very inefficiently. These HVAC systems are costly and represent an average of 40% of most people’s home energy bills.

How Do Passive Houses Work?

Passive Houses, on the other hand, retain all of this energy for three reasons:

  • Excellent, Airtight Windows and Doors
  • Continuous Insulation
  • Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) Systems.

Of these three, the single most important factor is airtight windows and doors. While ERV systems and proper insulation are important, airtight, thermally broken, triple-glazed, argon-filled windows and doors are the single most important step towards making your home Passive House-certified.

Frankly, windows will represent the biggest part of your investment in making your home Passive House-certified, but no other investment in your home will result in a greater return.

 

Cross-section of a passive house window.

Why Choose Passive House Design?

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Firstly, passive houses have a significantly smaller carbon footprint than standard homes. Accordingly, passive houses, on average, use 1.5l of oil (1.5m3) per square meter of space over the course of an entire year. This equates to spending 90% less than the average homeowner spends to heat and cool their home.

Save Money

Lastly, it is also worth pointing out that energy efficient windows can save you money. In addition to making your home more energy efficient, Passive House-certified windows increase property value. As homeowners become more conscious of the environment, the desire for sustainable homes grow. This trend is already evident in New York City. More and more developers and homeowners here are seeking to future-proof their homes.

 

Our Offer

 

At OPEN AWD, we have been providing the most energy efficient and innovative windows the industry has to offer for over a decade. This is why we would like to help you on your journey toward making your own home more efficient and sustainable.

We are offering thermally broken, triple-glazed, argon-filled windows at a 50% discount for a limited time only. This applies to 3” x 5” ($550 Fixed; $900 Operable) and 3’6” x 6” ($650 Fixed; $990 Operable). This does not include tax or shipping costs.

The offer is available until December 1 and applies to all of our customers. If you are interested, please contact us at info@openawd.com today. Someone from our team would be happy to discuss your options with you.

For more information on Passive House, please refer to the New York Passive House society, or this recent article about a recent Passive House remodel in Brooklyn.

10 Greene Street: Luxury SoHo Renovation with Penthouse

Façade of luxury 10 Greene St's luxury, rooftop penthouse.

Designed by John B Snook, one of New York City’s most esteemed architects, just over a century and a half ago, this Greene Street building, has recently undergone a dramatic interior transformation as well as a complete restoration to its historic, cast-iron façade. OPEN AWD was proud to be a part of this unique renovation project, and happy to create a series of bespoke, custom windows.

Working alongside the property’s developer, Javeri Capital, OPEN AWD helped convert its five floors into luxury apartments. Located in the heart of Downtown Manhattan’s fashionable SoHo district, 10 Greene Street is the oldest cast-iron building on its block.

 

 

Description

Greene Street is one of several blocks which make up the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District. The district is famed for its extensive and unique use of cast-iron as a central component in its buildings.

10 Greene Street features typical, double-hung windows, and three classic, solid wooden doors on its first floor. A unique, sloped skylight was also installed on the building’s rear elevation. The fifth floor and rooftop is home to a three-story penthouse. This stunning penthouse boasts an ultramodern façade, cutting-edge glazing, a walkable skylight. It also features a sliding door which leads out onto its own rooftop terrace.

Requirements

For the project, OPEN AWD were responsible for:

● Firstly, carefully reproducing the design of the original storefront doors on the first floor. This included the decorative wooden panels.

●Secondly, modernizing the windows to make them more energy efficient. This would also offer more effective protection against drafts, improve their durability and ease of use.

● Thirdly, carefully remodeling the window units and brickmold to restore the building’s historic look.

● Finally, designing custom windows for the rooftop penthouse, including oversized sliding doors, tilt and turn windows, and a walkable skylight


Interior photograph of double-hung window units installed by OPEN.

Solutions

Here at OPEN AWD, we believe that a façade is one of the most important and delicate components of any restoration project. However, the façades of many historic buildings are often the most under-appreciated and overlooked aspects during renovations. As a result, OPEN AWD ensured that every effort went into carefully restoring 10 Greene Street’s beautiful façade.

This part of the process included the installation of 39 double-hung custom windows. To begin, we used the highest quality Scandinavian Pine wood, which was painted ‘bone white’.  Similarly, we chose two-over-two lites, or six-over-six lites. We felt all of this would more closely resemble the building’s historic design.

 

 

Photographs of unique brickmold designed by OPEN.

Technical drawings for windows.

 

 

However, because of slight design issues in some of the previous window units, we approached each window unit differently during the shop drawings stage. Then, to create a seamless façade, we designed a series of unique brickmold details for each unit. As a result of this, this ensured that all gaps between the window frame and the existing opening were adequately joined.

Subsequently, OPEN AWD installed a twenty-six-foot wide, sloped skylight on the building’s rear elevation. As a result of this, we were able to incorporate the unit into the building’s original design. Moreover, we also felt that this would provide some additional light and thermal efficiency.

 

Modern Penthouse

The two uppermost floors of the penthouse were fitted with sliding doors. These doors provided a vast amount of natural light for the entire unit. Then, a walkable skylight was installed on the terrace on the penthouse’s third floor. Likewise, the skylight helped to open the space up further. Lastly, a unique frameless, floating corner window was fitted into the second-floor façade.

 

300 East 5th Street: Open AWD Breathes New Life Into The East Village

Side by side comparison of the historic building alongside its contemporary version.

Built in 1874, on the corner of 2nd Ave and East 5th Street, 300 East 5th Street encapsulated the spirit of late 19th century New York. Red-brick and five stories tall, the building featured classic heavy stone windowsills and traditional fire escape. These features would become standard throughout the city. Having remained untouched for almost a century, a storefront renovation circa the 1960s or 1970s dramatically altered its look.

The building bore little resemblance to its original design, which had been in the Italianate style. Inexpensive precast concrete siding and cheap windows had transformed what had once been a beautiful building into an eyesore.

In 2019, Open AWD was commissioned to restore the facade. Working alongside the owner, architect and general contractor, we set out to achieve their vision for what they felt the building could look like.

Updating a Historic Façade.

The scope of the project included the installation of a new storefront and cornice. In order to comply with New York City’s building code, we kept every detail from the building’s original plan. We also modernized it to meet twenty-first century requirements. After much consideration, our team decided to proceed with a premium grade, triple-glazed, cross-laminated and white-oak structure. We felt this would provide the necessary strength and aesthetics. For added security, we selected tempered, soundproofed units with thermal insulation and Low-E coating. In order to ensure that the doors might withstand the daily wear and tear of a busy Manhattan café, we installed heavy-duty, German-made hinges and locks.

Firstly, we faced many challenges with regards to the existing structural columns during the process of drafting the installation drawings. The biggest concern was seamlessly integrating all of these components into one facade. In the end, we implemented a wide variety of framing, insulating and paneling methods.

The façade belies its complex and careful arrangement of multiple layers of paneling, waterproofing and insulation. Despite its inner complexity, we strove to ensure that the exterior remained sleek, elegant, and simple.

Precautions

One can imagine some of the difficulties in completing such a project in the heart of a busy Manhattan. We were careful to ensure that all work would be performed in accordance with strict DOB codes and safety standards. As a result, a protective fence was erected around the perimeter of the site prior to the removal of the existing facade.

As we know, leaks, deterioration, and mold are classic signs of poor workmanship. If given the slightest opportunity, water will always find its way inside. Waterproofing remains the most important aspect of any facade project. Therefore, we uphold the highest possible standards while installing our windows.

Exterior photo of the building.

 

It was only after we had installed the decorative wooden panels that we felt that we had restored the beauty of the old storefront.

 

The most challenging aspect of the renovation of 300 East 5th was the replication of each detail from the original sheet-metal cornice.  Full of intricately mitered and soldered ornate shapes and curved surfaces, this phase of our project was the subject of much discussion. Following the consuming design process, we prefabricated and powder-coated each of the individual parts prior to their installation.

Exterior photo of the building.

Finally, with the benefit of hindsight, we know that there were certain aspects of this project which could have been handled differently. However, each specific site presents its own challenges. We felt it was imperative to do justice to this historic building and its owner’s wishes. Moreover, none of this would have been possible were it not for the team, with whom I would insist on working again. Lastly, a special thanks is due to the owner (R.A.Cohen), Architects, General Contractor.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Open AWD will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.