Clearly, the focus of the window industry has shifted over the past half of a decade with the first enactment of the energy tax credit while President Bush was in office in 2005, and then with the continuation and update of the same idea on February 17, 2009 when President Obama spiked the credit up to a possible fifteen-hundred dollars. All the best window companies have consequently pushed forward; windows and their components (spacers, glass, coating, primary structure materials, etc.) are now more energy efficient then ever, which makes for some much-needed success in the window industry. Andersen, Milgard, Pella, Jeld-Wen, and so many other window companies are all in this gauntlet, throwing jabs left and right at each other. Amidst this marketing fury, one company has swiftly entered the ring unnoticed, taken everyone else from under their feet, and single-handedly stolen the spotlight. Or so it seems.
This company is Serious Materials Inc. and they are ready to do business. The CEO of the operation who has been its brainchild since the first product (Eco-Rock, a synthesized sheetrock consisting of up to eighty percent recycled materials that used eighty percent less energy to produce than gypsum drywall) is Kevin Surace. This man knows business on a behavioral level, having dealt with technology and software in the heart of California’s silicon valley for a time. It has not been until now that the window industry has started to pick up interest in R&D since the 1970s and Surace admits that, “when venture capital leaves the field, innovative ideas tend to dwindle.” This man knows very well what a new idea like an ultra-energy efficient window could do to the market of new and replacement windows for commercial and residential applications.
The window product line is aptly and simply named Serious Windows, and as of now, there are four different lines of vinyl windows, and three fiberglass lines. Surely, the choice to forgo wood, clad, and other types of windows was no mistake: “the kind of material science where you’re digging into the molecules” had not been used in windows R&D as yet, and so it was time. Surace and his company took the necessary steps forward to raise the energy standards in the window industry to atmosphere-shattering levels. To put it into perspective, the requirement for the energy tax credit is a U-factor of less than or equal to .3, but the offerings of Serious Windows reaches down to a U-factor of sometimes less than .09! That is more than three times more energy efficient than the suggested level according to Energy Star and the new energy tax credit. Amazingly, Serious Windows has grown immensely with plants in Pennsylvania, California, Colorado and Illinois.
With all this hype around the race for the most energy efficient window, Serious Windows cannot, under any circumstance, be considered a weak threat. All window companies and consumers must at least acknowledge the foresight and amazing heights that Serious Windows has achieved in just a few short years. Despite all this, there are still stones left unturned. First, the notion that over time, energy efficiency could quickly depreciate is certainly a consideration. Also, the question consumers must ask themselves is: When do the windows become worth it? And at that time, will they have lost their thermal performance? At any rate, Serious Windows is a force in the window industry to be reckoned with, so check out this thread concerning Serious Windows and questions posed, and also check out the Serious Windows website itself.
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