Passivhaus Windows

ode4minervaMarch 1, 2014

I've been researching windows and french doors for a little bit now. I'm about ready to take the plunge. In my readings, I've come across so-called Passivhaus certified windows and doors. I've seen wood and fiberglass based products receive Passivhaus certification, but not a vinyl product. Why not?

If energy efficiency and performance are the hallmark of the Passivhaus movement, has any vinyl product received the certification? When I started this window search adventure, I was opposed to vinyl. Much to my surprise, I've come across vinyl windows and doors on the website that surpass performance metrics for wood and fiberglass products. I've also been blown away by how some, e.g. the Sunrise product, simulate the look of wood.

For my own project, I'm 95% leaning toward the Marvin double hung ultimate clad largely due to it fitting the over 100+ year old building I live in. But lord its costly!

In coming to my choice of the Marvin product, I am curious that I've not come across any vinyl Passivhaus window or doors.

Any thoughts?

This post was edited by ode4minerva on Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 0:19

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Windows on Washington


The reason has nothing to do with performance and everything to do with the material selections.

If you were to survey the top 100 performing windows out there, better than 80% would be in vinyl.

Passivhaus is another certification that has been created to create another layer of "certification" in order to charge more or isolate a given product.

Get the window that you will be comfortable with (i.e. the look and feel) at the end of the day and inside that family of products we can make some recommendations for performance and product durability.

In terms of wood, you nailed the top choice with the Ultimate but they are pricey.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:41AM
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There are plenty of vinyl windows that are Passivhaus certified, they just aren't made in the US. Probably because the US companies have not wanted to pay for the certification.

FYI - you don't even need Passivhaus certified windows in order to get a house Passivhaus certified.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:09PM
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Thanks for the feedback windowsonwashington and dekeoboe.

Buying windows is rough business for consumers trying to make an informed decision. I thought ordering at Starbucks was confusing!

I've come across writings saying vinyl windows by European makers are indeed certified. I see that Marvin is going for Passivhaus certification (under US Passivhaus standards as opposed to European) for its wood casement using Heat Mirror glazing technology that Marvin once questioned. Aspen HPP, (a Colorado mfgr, who was bought by Serious but was then bought back from Serious to regain its independent status but having no distribution network), also has fiberglass product using the same Heat Mirror glazing technology that is being Passivhaus certified.

My brain hurts! The window market is like the Wild West. Its time to buy and get out of this chaos. I hope I never have to buy windows again until the dust settles!

Thanks again for the feedback!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 2:32PM
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Exactly what the other guys said. Does a window with a bought and paid for "passivhaus" certification somehow perform better than another unit even though the thermal and structural numbers say otherwise? Of course not. It is just that those passivhaus homes are so tight in every other area that you don't need the tightest window on the market. The ratings are what they are regardless of what certification the manufacturer paid for. It is irrelevant at the end of the day.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 6:28PM
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