Whatever happened to Heat Mirror Windows?

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tjdean108
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Whatever happened to Heat Mirror Windows?

#1 Post by tjdean108 » Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:56 am

Several years back heat mirror windows were advertised heavily by Hurd Windows & were featured on a number of This Old House projects. Hurd no longer offers them. Southwall Technologies still offers the technology with R values up to 20 but none of the mainstream window companies seem to offer the technology. Was it a matter of expense that they are no longer offered except by a few companies like Alpen glass?

Window4U (IL)
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#2 Post by Window4U (IL) » Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:42 pm

Hurd and several other companies almost went out of business because of Heat Mirror failures.

Since I sold two different brands with it in the 80's(Hurd & NuSash) and was burned, I'll never sell it again. But that's just me...

insiderinfo
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#3 Post by insiderinfo » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:35 pm

95- CV-1695: FOUR SEASONS SOLAR PRODUCTS CORP., VS. BLACK & DECKER CORP., BOSTIK, INC., AND
SOUTHWALL TECHNOLOGIES, INC.:

Alleged defective sealant causing seal failure and fogging of insulated glass units.
97-CV-3701: JELD-WEN, INC. VS SOUTHWALL TECHNOLOGIES, INC., AND BOSTIK, INC.

Alleged defective sealant causing seal failure and fogging of insulated glass units
00-CV-3820: HURD MILLWORK COMPANY, INC. VS. SOUTHWALL TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

Alleged defective sealant causing seal failure and fogging of insulated glass units

Well, that should answer any questions on why heat Mirror is not used more widely.

Four Seasons, Jeld-Wind and Hurd. All suing Southwall (Heat Mirror) for failures.

Skydawggy.
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#4 Post by Skydawggy. » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:58 pm

What were the dates on the lawsuits and do you know what the court ruling was?

Do you know if Southwall still using the same sealant? Or have they moved on to something more durable?

windowmann2000
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#5 Post by windowmann2000 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:07 pm

I was under the impression that Southwall won all these suits, don't get me wrong I'm not a proponent of Heat Mirror, just curious.

Skydawggy.
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#6 Post by Skydawggy. » Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:17 pm

windowmann2000 wrote:I was under the impression that Southwall won all these suits, don't get me wrong I'm not a proponent of Heat Mirror, just curious.
That's what I thought. Southwall is now claiming up to R-20 on their newest Heat Mirror technology.

http://www.southwall.com/southwall/Home ... 93959CED4E
PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 7, 2007--Southwall Technologies, Inc., the worldwide innovator of high performance, energy-saving films and glass products, announced today the ability of Heat Mirror(R) insulating glass to insulate against heat loss at a record breaking R-20/U-0.05 insulation value.

R-20 Heat Mirror insulating glass consists of three heat reflective coated films mounted inside an insulating glass unit between two pieces of low-e coated glass. This super insulating glass construction creates four heat-impeding gas-filled cavities and achieves R-20 performance when used in conjunction with a thermally insulated fiberglass frame. Heat Mirror R-20 is a product of Alpen Energy Systems, a leading Southwall customer licensed to fabricate Heat Mirror insulating glass.

"This astounding achievement in energy efficiency is a tribute to the collaborative team effort of Southwall and its window and insulating glass customers who jointly push the envelope in enhancing the performance and value of Heat Mirror technology," said John Meade, Southwall's Director of Business Development

Superior to any low-e glass currently available, Heat Mirror is a technologically advanced low emissivity and solar reflective film that can be mounted inside an insulating glass unit in a variety of configurations (one, two or three coated films, uncoated or low-e coated glass) to provide energy conservation performance ranging from R-6 to R-20 to meet the unique requirements of commercial and residential new construction and renovation projects.

Heat Mirror is the technological alternative to coated glass that extends performance well beyond that of generic low-e glass available today. Heat Mirror insulating glass, as well as other innovative glass technologies currently under development, is driving the US Department of Energy to revise the glass performance standards of its Energy Star program that rates the energy efficiency of appliances and building components.

Scheduled to debut as early as 2009, revised Energy Star glass performance standards will make clear that generic low-e glass, with a maximum insulating performance level of R-4, no longer represents a level of energy efficiency required to "transform the market", a key charter of the agency's ratings and standards program. Among Energy Star's objectives is increased market penetration of windows achieving insulating performance of R-10 by 2010, an objective readily achieved by Heat Mirror technology today.

Why is increasing the energy efficiency of glass important? According to Chris Mathis, a founding member of the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), which sets standards for window energy efficiency, 64 percent of the 110 million existing homes in the US have single-pane windows. This contributes 25%-35% of the total energy wasted in buildings and 10% of the total carbon emissions in the US annually.

Southwall Technologies, Inc., (OTCBB:SWTX) introduced the world's first low-e coated glass product in 1981, a pioneering technology recognized in 2000 by Popular Science magazine as one of the "Top 100 Inventions of the Millennium." Southwall's Heat Mirror insulating glass units are available from over 50 window and insulating glass manufacturers worldwide.
I'll definitly be keeping an eye on this.

insiderinfo
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#7 Post by insiderinfo » Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:22 pm

There is no public data that I can find regarding the outcome of these suits. Usually any settlements are restricted and kept confidential.

Does anyone have any confirming information as to the actual outcomes?

windowmann2000
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#8 Post by windowmann2000 » Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:00 pm

I'm only familiar with the Hurd lawsuit, they lost because the units were not manufactured in accordance with Southwall spec's. It may be in the archives here, and it was quite a few years ago.

windowmann2000
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#9 Post by windowmann2000 » Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:22 pm

In another case in the Calif courts there was a class action suit against Black & Decker, Bostik, Southwall and Hurd. In that case it was settled for $5.5 million claiming the sealants caused the problem. Reference CV772488. Don't know who shelled out what and that was in July of 2000.

crankthisout
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#10 Post by crankthisout » Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:54 am

Heat Mirror doesn't cause a "failure" any more than a third piece of glass would. It's the fabricator not following specific guidelines otherwise problems will occur. Here is a link for the guidelines.

http://www.alpeninc.com/product_specs/i ... index.html

rroy
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Re: Whatever happened to Heat Mirror Windows?

#11 Post by rroy » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:51 pm

Heat Mirror is still strong and successfull. True, Southwall was never found at fault in any of its suits. Much of the barrier to entry in the market was manufacturing costs of the Heat Mirror IG. This has been addressed by a state of the art facility located in Chicago. IL. www.southwallglass.com

More recently Southwall was acquired by Solutia which in turn was acquired by Eastman Chemical.
I and ahppy to address any Heat Mirror specific questions regarding perfomance and availability.
Best Regards,

RRoy Southwall Technical Sales, Americas

masterext
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Re: Whatever happened to Heat Mirror Windows?

#12 Post by masterext » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:40 pm

its definitely been improved over the years especially by adding UV protection. the only challenge is ensuring that various manufacturers are following proper manufacturing procedures . i think thats where the ball can be dropped.
we welcome your insight RRoy.

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