Full Circle Green LivingJuly 12th, 2012 by DWM Magazine
Located in Newport News, Va., the recently constructed Radius Urban Apartments were not built to resemble the typical garden apartment complex. According to architect Grey Mason with Cox, Kliewer & Co. based in Virginia Beach, Va., the owners wanted an urban feel, which the oversized glazing helped achieve. Not only that, the units were constructed with an eye toward green building, and glass again helped achieve that desire. Developers Drucker & Falk and Michael D. Sifen Inc. teamed up on the $48M eco-friendly, luxury apartments, which feature R-5, Energy Star windows manufactured by B.F. Rich.
“Owners didn’t want the traditional, craftsman look,” says Mason of his firm’s design. “The result is a departure from that … the design features large windows with as much glass as possible.”
Mason adds, “We knew the owners wanted a green building and wanted to offer the tenants savings on their energy bills. They were going for an Energy Star rating on the overall building; the windows specifically went a long way in helping achieve that.”
When selecting the windows, architects chose a window package from Newark, Del.-based B.F. Rich, which is partly owned by Michael Sifen, one of the developers. Mason says they were asked early on to consider the company’s windows and evaluated them compared to typical units his firm commonly selects. “We found these to be equal if not better [compared to others],” says Mason.
B.F. Rich supplied a total of 1,800 R-5 windows, including both fixed and operable.
The units feature PPG’s Solarban 70 on the exterior lite and AFG’s Comfort E-PS, a fourth-surface low-E coating, on the interior. The units also feature PPG’s Sunclean easy-to-clean coating. The insulating units were fabricated at the company’s Delaware plant, where it also constructed the foam-filled sash and frame with capillary tubes to drain the sash. The windows were installed by DFI in Hampton, Va.
According to Darryl Huber, B.F. Rich Territory manager, the double-hung windows have a U-factor of 0.22 and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.15 while the picture windows have a U-factor of 0.20 and a solar heat gain co-efficient of 0.16. Visible transmittance for the double-hung units is 0.34 and 0.35 for the picture.
“The whole concept was green,” Huber says of the project. “That’s partly why [developers] opted for the R-5 package, which includes the fourth-surface low-E.”
Mason says there was quite a bit of collaboration throughout the project between his firm and B.F. Rich.
“They were here on site often,” says Mason. “And we wanted to work with their details, as well to make sure everything came together. Their windows helped provide the feel and aesthetic we wanted.”
According to Mason, one detail unique to the project compared to some others is how focused owners were on ensuring a green, energy-efficient project.
“A lot of developers are interested in the minimal costs. So it’s refreshing to work with those who are interested in green building and Energy Star and also investing into high quality products to help tenants save money,” says Mason.
The apartment complex, a five-building project, is in various stages of completion, with some units completely finished and tenants already moved in.
For Huber, being involved with a project such as this that focuses heavily on energy-efficiency has been significant.
“The governor of Delaware is focused on growing a green economy … by putting out green products and providing green jobs,” says Huber. “That’s the philosophy of what we’re doing as a company and as a state. The more we do this it [helps bring down] the technology costs … so highly efficient products can become more affordable.