Form AND Function Win Out When it Comes to European Windows & Over-Insulating

Get a Little Help From Our Friends!

We can learn a thing or two from seeing how things are done in other places. In the case of window and insulation design, European Windows with the combo of over-insulating is one of these smart solutions we glean from our European friends. The combination of this window design plus this technique in window insulation is a smart, practical solution that also provides some great aesthetic designs as well. We’ve seen it applied for so many reasons, but in the end, homeowners absolutely LOVE the way this combination functions, as well as how it looks!

A Passive House Win!

European windows have become a common practice in the Passive House movement, or for those that want a Darn Good House as we call it. They are often seen as a more sustainable option from the perspective of energy loss. Passive House projects are focused on increasing efficiency and in these cases, every little bit of energy reduction matters greatly. We see many Americans employing this style of window in their home even though it’s not the common practice around the country. Those that build Passive House buildings know that European Windows are one of the best-kept secrets that pay off big time! 

European Windows & Over-Insulating

European windows are often triple-paned, or even quad-paned, making for even greater energy efficiency. They also open inward, rather than cranking open to the exterior. As a result, they lend themselves easier to over-insulating techniques. The over-insulating techniques and materials are a natural fit for this style of window. 

The over-insulating can be applied to the head and legs/jambs, but not to the sill. The sill typically has weep holes that cannot be covered. 

American-Style Windows & Over-Insulating

The more common US-style windows are only double-pane, and often open outward or are casement windows. Because they open outward, casement windows are generally not designed to be over-insulated. You can’t cover the operable window sash, so the amount of insulation on the exterior surface of the window is limited. You simply don’t see over-insulating done with most US-style windows. So, for many of our customers, they really only think about over-insulating with European windows and often in the situation where they’re building with Passive House/energy-efficient practices as the main focus.

Function AND Form!

Not only are European Windows ideal for over-insulating from a function standpoint, but they look good too. Over-insulating makes the frames of the windows appear smaller and lower profile from the outside of the structure. This gives a more sleek, modern aesthetic, which is quite popular in today’s design. In the case of over-insulating with European Windows, form AND function are equally the winners!

Putting It Into Practice:

Smartwin® by Advantage Architectural Woodwork is a popular choice for Passive House windows, with their innovative, slim frame. They feature a flush-mounted sash internally and an all-glass look to the outside eye. These windows were designed from the start to be over-insulated. 

It’s pretty safe to say that if you’re considering a Passive House, or just a Darn Good House, that works as efficiently for you as it can, the windows matter. And, because the windows matter so much, you should also consider over-insulating European Windows. Not sure where to start as you discover the right window design for your home? Talk to our team. We LOVE sharing ideas and research around the latest and greatest options.

2 thoughts on “Form AND Function Win Out When it Comes to European Windows & Over-Insulating”

  1. Thank you for explaining that European windows are energy efficient because they’re often triple- or even quad-paned. We are renovating our house, and we’ve been thinking about replacing all of the windows. I really like the idea of something like this, since it seems like it could save us a lot of money on utilities.

    1. Thank you Olivia… note that there are more and more Euro options made right here in the USA with triple and quad glazing. Also, important to note that the Euro frames are generally more energy-efficient. Let us know how we can help.

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