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

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 able to offer anti-burglary windows.

How Do Anti-Burglary Windows and Doors Work?

Shockproof and Breakthrough Resistance

Shockproof and Breakthrough Resistance

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

Anti-Burglary Fittings

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.

Pictured inset: high security door. Click to enlarge.

Through our manufacturers, 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.

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.

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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 929-202-2558 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.

How To Choose The Right Windows For A Coastal Property

How To Choose The Right Windows For A Coastal Property

No matter where you are in the world, there are few things more impressive than a view which looks out over the water. Whether it’s a new, multi-story development presiding over the New York Bay, or a Hamptons Summer House which faces out on the Atlantic Ocean, there is something undeniably appealing about being close to the water. In order to make the most of the coastal views, good windows and doors are a must.

However, when choosing windows, there are certain additional environmental factors one needs to take into consideration. And because no two regions are alike, it’s important to fully consider what you will need your windows to do. These factors include everything from choosing the right materials, to more environment-specific questions such as whether or not you might need impact-resistant glass. We’re going to look at some of the most common concerns architects and homeowners have when choosing windows and doors for coastal and maritime properties.

Choosing The Right Material

We have been selling our windows all across the North East for over a decade now. This means that we’ve thought a lot about how windows can be impacted by their environments. And, as we’ve mentioned, from the presence of saltwater and high winds, to the distance your property is situated from the water, all of these factors greatly impact the kind of windows you need. It will also seriously impact their performance over time.

For example, windows designed to withstand the saltwater air found in coastal regions would be unnecessary for a property situated near a river or next to a lake. This is because any property within five miles of the sea exists in a coastal environment. The closer the property is to the water, the more consideration that needs to be given.

Saltwater can do tremendous damage to windows, particularly if they’re wooden windows. As the salt dries, salt crystals begin to form and wedge apart the wood from within, damaging its structure. Over time, this, along with repeated drying out of the timber due to UV rays, can do irreparable damage to the frames. Similarly, it can also be extremely harmful to aluminum and certain types of steel, if they haven’t been treated and coated properly. Below, we take a deeper look into the advantages and disadvantages of each material.

Stainless Steel

Coastal Stainless Steel Windows

Without a doubt, Stainless steel is the most corrosion-resistant metal commonly used in coastal architecture. High-grade stainless steel will last for decades. Unlike most other materials, it won’t need regular treatment or maintenance. This is an important consideration for architects and homeowners when choosing windows for coastal properties.

There are over 150 types of steel, but the most commonly used steel for marine application is Grade 316 stainless steel. Its alloy metals—16% chromium, 10% nickel, and 2% molybdenum—ensure that it can endure physically, and aesthetically, for quite some time. The addition of molybdenum makes this grade particularly resistant to salt.

Stainless steel outperforms COR-TEN steel, which, while being a ‘weathering steel,’ is not rustproof. Stainless steel significantly outperforms carbon steel which performs rather poorly in maritime environments. That being said, carbon steel can be treated to extend its lifespan. One of the best practices is to first galvanize and then powder coat the carbon steel.


Coastal Aluminum Windows

Increasingly, aluminum is a popular choice for coastal and seafront homes. While not as resistant as stainless steel, aluminum is certainly cheaper. In order to be suitable for these regions, aluminum needs to be coated for a ‘marine grade’ finish. Aluminum windows and doors can be finished in a wide range of different colors, meaning that they can complement or add some variety to your home’s facade.

There are some advantages and disadvantages to using aluminum windows. Salt, for example, can be a big problem for aluminum. It can break down the protective oxide that forms on aluminum’s defensive oxide layer. Repeated damage can cause surface ‘pitting,’ cosmetic damage. However, over time, it can cause more more serious, structural damage. Anodizing or painting the aluminum, in addition to cleaning it regularly, can help the aluminum to keep its bright surface.

As mentioned above, if you do choose aluminum windows, they will need to be powder coated. This special coating is to ensure that they can be made more resistant corrosion and moisture-resistant. For this, we recommend having the aluminum QUALICOAT-certified (which you can learn more about here) by an approved manufacturer. This will ensure your aluminum is coated properly.

Bronze and Copper

Bronze and Copper Windows

Bronze and Copper are some of the most aesthetically beautiful materials for windows and doors. Though not nearly as common as steel, wood, or aluminum, high-value metals such as bronze and copper are a stunning addition to any facade.

Image: The Fitzroy in Manhattan

One of the primary reasons bronze and copper are so sought after is that both respond to oxidation much differently than other metals. Instead of becoming rusty like iron or carbon steel, bronze and copper become patinated. The process is incredibly unique and is an important factor in why people choose bronze and copper. Initially, oxidation will quickly darken the bronze. Rain, or exposure to saltwater, will do this. However, over time, bronze will begin to take on its characteristic bluish-green patina. This color will only increase over time and it is completely normal.

In fact, the outer patina–the greenish-blue layer–is what actually keeps the inner layers from deteriorating. In this sense, the patina is a self-protecting mechanism. Not only will your windows and doors be protected from the elements, they will age gracefully, too.

A variety of alloys and processes can be used to achieve a desired look with bronze and copper. They will also help determine the response it will have to a saltwater environment.


Wood/Wood-Clad Windows

Despite certain shortcomings, wooden windows and doors remain a popular choice for coastal and seafront properties. Classic for a reason, wood, if taken care of properly, can be a beautiful addition to any property.  Wooden windows and doors can be easily painted to match or complement a property’s facade.

As a material, however, wood is highly porous and susceptible to damage from moisture, saltwater, wind, warping, and drying out from UV rays. Untreated, unstained, and unpainted wood can be quickly and irreversibly damaged in a short period of time. All of these factors mean that wood is less than ideal for coastal and seafront properties. However, if the wood is properly treated and painted, it can be made significantly more water-resistant.

To get around this, more and more homeowners are opting for wood-clad windows and doors. Cladded windows and doors are wooden windows and doors which have been fitted with a metal covering on their exterior. The covering, or cladding as it is known, improves the wooden windows’ and doors’ resistance to the elements.

Essentially, this means that you get to have all of the benefits of a durable material such as aluminum (or copper or bronze). On top of this, you are able to enjoy the look and feel of wooden windows inside your home. One of the biggest reasons customers go for cladded windows is for longevity. Particularly for the building’s facade. As a result of this, there is an array of design possibilities and color combinations for your home’s interior and exterior. Simply put, cladded windows and doors give you the best of both worlds.

Here at Open Architectural Windows and Doors, we exclusively use welded cladding. This creates windows which are completely flush and exceptionally slim. For more on cladded windows and doors, see our recent article here.

Unique Concerns For Coastal Windows and Doors

Unique Concerns For Coastal Windows and Doors

Once you have chosen the perfect material for your windows and doors, you will then need to consider the type of window. In coastal and seafront areas, high winds can make choosing glass for your windows and doors a little more complicated.

For example, along coastal area where storms and stormy weather are much more prevalent, Hurricane-resistant windows are something you should consider for your home. Hurricane-resistant windows are significantly more robust than standard frames. They contain laminated glass that will often be tempered, too. Debris and other flying objects can cause serious harm and do serious damage if they make contact with windows and doors. They will also help keep out water and other storm debris.

In order to determine the ideal type of windows needed for harsh, coastal environments, we first need to understand the environment. For example, we need to calculate the region-specific wind speeds. As well as this, we need to determine the property’s degree of exposure to wind and other adverse conditions. Once that’s calculated, we can focus on getting the right windows for you.

Contact Us Today

Here at Open Architectural Windows and Doors, we carry out rigorous testing on all of our windows and doors. We work with each individual owner to determine the needs for each individual project we work on. Our goal is to provide our clients with the best windows and doors possible.

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 929-202-2558 or email us at info@openawd.com and someone from our team will be in touch.

Why Lower Numbers Mean Maximum Comfort When It Comes To Energy Efficient Windows

Why Lower Numbers Mean Maximum Comfort When It Comes To Energy Efficient Windows

With winter just around the corner, many of us are starting to think less about our air conditioning units, and more about our heating systems. However, when taken together, heating and cooling homes makes up roughly 45% of a homeowner’s annual energy bills. This is why one of the most important things to find out and consider when choosing windows, doors, or skylights, is how energy efficient they are. No matter the season, you need windows which are efficient and perform well. But, how do we know which factors make energy efficient windows? Who decides? And, most importantly, does energy efficiency necessarily correlate with maximum comfort?

Thankfully, there is a straightforward framework for architects and homeowners who wish to make informed decisions about windows and doors. The National Fenestration Rating Council provides four key metrics, known as the NFRC rating, which provides context for prospective buyers. What makes the NFRC rating so useful to homeowners is the fact that the ratings are completely independent of the manufacturer or seller. In short, the NFRC ratings provide an objective score of the window or door’s efficiency. To make it easier to understand the numbers, we recommend this very simple tip: in general, the lower the number, the more efficient the window. More efficiency means more comfort and consistency.

Why Lower Numbers Matter

Energy Performance Rating

As mentioned above, there are four key metrics which measure the efficiency of windows. These are: Air Leakage, U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and Visible Transmittance. According to the NFRC, high performing fenestration products should:

  • Provide comfortable levels of heat and light.
  • Maintain a consistent temperature.
  • Protect against UV radiation.

Advances in fenestration technology has meant that energy efficiency has greatly improved over the course of the past century, and will almost certainly continue to do so. For now, however, the NFRC rating is the American standard. It provides homeowners with a good sense of the comfort windows with a specific rating will provide. Each homeowner’s needs will vary, based on a variety of factors. 

One of the biggest determining factors is whether your home is located within a warm climate. Homes in warmer climates need their windows to react differently to heat gain/loss than those in colder climates. For example, homes in colder climates can benefit from more sunlight. Similarly, homes which are southward facing will get more sun than those which are north facing (more on this below). 

Eliminating Air Leakage

Eliminating Air Leakage

One of the main concerns is eliminating Air Leakage. The Air Leakage rating specifically looks at how much air is able to enter or escape your home when the window is closed. From the design stage to installation, air leakage is taken very seriously. It is one of the leading causes for dissatisfaction with windows. This is particularly true in regions which experience cold weather. Ensuring that your windows are adequately protected against air leakage is an important step in ensuring your windows are energy efficient. Without it, your home’s temperature is unlikely to ever be comfortable or consistent, resulting in higher energy bills.

Although there is much emphasis placed on the U-Factor variable, Air Leakage (alternately known as air infiltration) is an equally important metric. In order to determine this, we calculate the “cubic feet per minute of air, per square meter of window area.” Basically, this helps us to understand how many feet of cubic air is able to pass through a window per minute, divided by the total area of the window. This sounds complicated, but all you really need to remember is to choose the lowest number you can. In order to achieve an efficiency rating, the highest score a window can have is 0.3. However, a high-quality Tilt and Turn window with compression seals and multi-locking points can achieve as low as 0.01. 

Also, if not installed correctly, the IGU can cause further air leakage from the window unit. Furthermore, it can lead to water leakages. This can lead to even bigger problems such as damp, rot, and, occasionally, structural damage within the home. It is very important that a licensed and certified installer team install all of your windows and doors. Here at Open AWD, we use an external licensed and certified team for our projects. Remember: a low air leakage rating also means lower energy bills.

Here at Open Architectural Windows and Doors, all of our products undergo rigorous testing. This is not only during the manufacturing process, but also carried out onsite by a licensed and certified team. This will ensure the ratings hold up within their environment.

Understanding U-Factors

Understanding U-Factors Passive Windows

U-Factor (also known as U-Value) is another important aspect when it comes to choosing energy efficient windows and doors. To put it very simply, it measures how effectively a window can retain heat inside a home and reduce heat loss. The glass, frame, dividers, and spacers all play a part in unwanted heat loss. To put this in context, older, single-pane windows had a very high U-Factor, usually of about 1. Again, the lower the number, the more heat it retains. So, for example, a window with a U-Factor of 0.15 will retain heat better than one with a value of 0.4. A low U-Factor is essential for people living in colder climates, or in locations with harsh winters.

Many of today’s window manufacturers will strive to achieve a Passive House standard with their windows. 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. Here at Open Architectural Windows and Doors, all of our windows are Passive House standard. You can learn more about it here.

Harnessing Solar Heat Gain

Harnessing Solar Heat Gain

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is solar radiation which enters a home via its windows, doors, or its skylights. This is either transmitted directly and/or absorbed, before being released as heat inside a home. Much more so than Air Leakage or U-Factor, with Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), a low or high number rating will really depend on the regional climate as well as the orientation of the property. The lower the number, the less heat it lets in. Conversely, windows with a high SHGC level will allow more heat into the home. 

Commercial buildings with a lot of large windows, or curtain walls systems, will often seek to minimize unwanted solar heat gain. Standard homes, however, may want to harness some of the solar heat. South-facing windows will be a great addition to a property in the winter months, but may introduce too much unwanted heat gain in the summer months. To avoid this, we would recommend installing overhangs or exterior shading systems. This will minimize glare and unwanted heat gain. We would recommend a low SHGC for east-west facing properties.

Visibility Transmittance

Visibility Transmittance

Visibility Transmittance is the one factor in which lower does not mean not better. We use a scale to measure this and it helps determine how clear the glass is. The scale runs from 0 to 1. Standard double and triple-glazed windows will rank between 0.3 and 0.85. You want a higher number with this, because higher the number, the greater the visibility.

This factor is very important because it–along with the size of the window–will determine the amount of natural light that can enter a room. As a result, it will also have an impact on the amount or artificial light needed–another factor which influences energy efficiency.

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As you can see, purchasing windows is an important and often time-consuming decision. So, it makes sense to spend some time researching the ideal windows for your home in order to best serve you over the following decades. Although the window you need will be mostly determined by your climate, you will need to pay close attention to the variables we discussed here so that you get the most comfortable and consistent windows for your home. If you have a project in mind and want to learn more about what may be the best type of energy efficient windows for your home, contact us today for a free consultation. Call us at 929-202-2558, or email us at info@openawd.com and someone from our team would be happy to discuss this with you.

Skylights: How One Window Can Transform Your Space

Skylights: How One Window Can Transform Your Space

Here at Open Architectural Windows and Doors, providing our customers with premium quality windows and doors has always been our top priority. As a result of this, we are always trying to improve the range of products we offer to our customers. Over the years, we have designed custom-made skylight units for some of the many unique projects we worked on. After many requests from architects, contractors, and homeowners, we have decided to make skylights available to all of our customers.

There are many reasons why skylights are beloved by architects and homeowners alike. Not only do skylights receive up to three times more sunlight than windows, skylights can drastically improve the aesthetics of a space, reducing the need for artificial light. Skylights offer views of the sky, impressive both during the day and at night. They completely redefine the aesthetics of a space and contribute positively to the resale value of a property. But, when it comes to skylights, it’s important to choose the right size and style for your home. We’ve put together a short read on how to know what type of skylight would be best for you and your home, as well as some points on why they’re so well-liked.

The Unique Advantages of Skylights

The Unique Advantages of Skylights

It’s a simple fact that not every room in a house will be designed to receive maximum sunlight. Perhaps your home or apartment is north-facing and receives very little sunlight. Skylights are a great way to add additional light into your home by capitalizing on overhead sunlight. Even if your home does get sunlight, inserting a skylight into the roof of a house can still significantly brighten up any space.

Skylights come in various shapes and sizes and are available for both pitched and flat roofs. Choosing the right one will depend on your space and how much light you would like to bring in. They’re almost one of the most ‘green’ ways to bring in natural light.

Skylights can be an excellent addition to landmark homes. Because they are governed by stricter guidelines, landmark homes can greatly benefit from skylights which can easily be custom-made to suit any unique property. Skylights can completely re-frame a space and give it a new lease of life.

The standard skylight, which is usually a single-operable window unit, is the kind most commonly seen in houses through the US and Europe. These come in fixed and operable varieties. That being said, skylights can be custom-made to suit your space and needs. For example, Open AWD designed this oversized, walkable skylight for a luxury apartment in Tribeca, Manhattan.

Walkable skylights are also popular. They are made out of laminated and tempered glass, meaning that they can withstand considerable weight loads. You can find out more about this and your other options below.

Completely Customizable Skylights

At Open AWD, all of our windows and doors are custom-made to suit our customers’ needs. The same goes for our skylights. Whether it’s to be the extravagant centre-piece of your living room, or simply to brighten up a hallway or a converted attic space, we can provide you with the skylight for your needs.

There is also the option to have manual or remote-controlled, room-darkening or light-filtering blinds available for these types of models. This gives you complete control over how much sunlight can enter the home. Because heat travels upwards, this is perfect in summer, when sometimes you can open a skylight to allow warm heat to escape. With the blinds pulled down, you can minimize excess radiant solar heat entering the home. Low-E (low-emissivity) coatings can be added to the windows to decrease the amount of sunlight and glare that can enter a room. This is particularly helpful during the warmer months.

Motorized versions of our skylights are also available.

Completely Customizable Skylights

The Benefits of Natural Light

The Benefits of Natural Light

There are many known benefits of natural light. The most obvious of these benefits is that you can fill your home with natural light, which has a more pleasant effect than artificial light. Because they are incorporated overhead into the roof of your home, skylights will naturally allow more light into a room throughout the day than standard windows. This is particularly helpful in the colder months, when there is less available light. Skylights help you to maximize any room’s exposure to sunlight.

Another less obvious benefit of increased amounts of natural light is its health benefits. Decreased exposure to natural light corresponds with lower levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is one of the most common deficiencies that can be counteracted by getting enough sunlight.

This is particularly important during the winter when it gets dark quicker. Studies have shown that more natural light can increase the amount of serotonin in the body and combat Seasonal Affective Disorder. Skylights are another way to bring light into your home and decrease the amount of artificial lighting.

Energy Costs

Although it may seem negligible, skylights can positively impact your energy costs. Because they face upwards, skylights can get up to three times more direct sunlight than standard windows. The heat which enters a home via its windows and doors is known as solar radiation. It is either transmitted directly and/or absorbed, before being released as heat inside a home.

Even just one skylight in one of the main rooms of the house–the living room, kitchen, or master bedroom–can almost significantly cut down on the use of artificial lighting in those spaces. This means you can lower the thermostat and enjoy all of the benefits of natural light.

The amount of radiant heat you will need your windows to take in or keep out will largely depend on your house’s relation to the sun. South-facing windows will bring in a lot of sunlight in the winter months, significantly warming up a space. On the other hand, they might take in too much heat during the summer months. In those instances, blinds can be used to reduce the amount of sunlight and heat which enter the home.

Energy Costs

Skylight Case Studies

We have designed several skylights–some of which were walkable skylights–for various high-value projects. Take, for example, The Fitzroy in Manhattan’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood. The development contains fourteen bespoke apartments, for which we designed a series of custom-made, bronze copper-clad windows and doors. For 10 Greene, located in SoHo, we designed a unique, walkable skylight on the roof using tempered and laminated glass. All of these were installed by a licensed and certified installation team. You can see progress pictures of these below.

Skylight Case Studies - 1
Skylight Case Studies - 2

Skylights which we designed for The Fitzroy in Chelsea, Manhattan. Learn more about the process here.

Skylight Case Studies - 3
Skylight Case Studies - 4

Two skylights which we designed for 10 Greene in SoHo’s Cast Iron District in Manhattan. Learn more about the process here.

Contact Us Today

If you are interested in learning more about skylights, and which type might be best for your project, contact us today for a free consultation. Call us at 929-203-4989, or email us at info@openawd.com and someone from our team would be happy to discuss this with you.

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