SeriousWindows Selected by Largest Weatherization Agency in U.S.
Serious Materials, the California company that specializes in energy efficient, eco-friendly building products, is supplying its super-insulating SeriousWindows to the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, the largest weatherization agency in the United States.
Serious Materials and the agency known as CEDA said the company's windows are being used as part of an effort to demonstrate that a high level of energy efficiency that can be attained in low-income multifamily dwellings.
CEDA said it plans to install super-insulating windows in almost every multifamily unit in the agency's jurisdiction that qualifies for the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program.
The state program was allocated $242.5 million in Recovery Act funds over the next two years, and during that time CEDA expects it will be able to weatherize dwellings for 9,000 households -- triple the current amount -- with a share of the funds.
In July, Serious Materials launched a line of SeriousWindows specifically for Weatherization Assistance Projects. The products in the line are designed to be high-performing replacement windows that are cost effective and deliver enhanced energy efficiency.
Like the company's other window systems, the WAP Series have a high R-value -- a measure of thermal insulation -- that encompasses not only the insulation at the center of the glass but also at the window frames, where heat in buildings typically leaks out and cold air comes in.
The company said it owes the selection of SeriousWindows in part to updated software now used by the state of Illinois to assess the energy savings and economics of various elements of proposed weatherization programs. Previously, super-insulating windows weren't factored into assessments because the analytical system had no way of measuring their effects
"We look forward to sharing our weatherization success and experience using super-insulating windows throughout the Midwest and across America," Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said Friday in announcing SeriousWindows' selection by CEDA.
Serious Materials CEO Kevin Surace said the CEDA commitment will also help provide jobs for windowmakers -- in the Chicago area and possibly beyond.
Serious revived the failed Republic window factory in Chicago earlier this year. The plant abruptly closed last December leaving its nearly 300 employees jobless at the height of the holiday season.
Serious has hired some of the displaced workers, but the majority of factory employees were still out of work when the reactivated plant reopened in spring. The project with CEDA will enable the company to offer more jobs, Surace said.
The Republic plant was the second shuttered window factory acquired by Serious. A year ago, owners of the Kensington window plant in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, pulled up stakes and booted out its 150 workers. Serious reopened the factory in Vandergrift in March, with some of its former workers. The company planned to bring more jobs back when orders for windows grow.