Rethinking the Way Windows Are Installed

Gary Henry’s Green Journey recently featured a post entitled, “Why we must rethink the way we build.” In the article, Henry constructs a mock-up of a window assembly following the exact sequence specified in ASTM E-2112. Following the mock-up’s completion, the assembly was tested using AAMA’s 502 methodology. Within a minute, the window assembly leaked.

As Mr. Henry explains, the 21 steps involved in “properly assembling” the window and materials is cumbersome at best, and prone to complete failure at worst. The following point illustrates why he feels that the way we build needs to be reexamined:

Multiply that by, say, 300 windows, in a big building, and you’ve got 22,200 opportunities for air and water to leak through, carrying energy dollars away, stressing the HVAC system, creating conditions for mold, just to name a few of the problems leaky building envelopes offer.

Now I believe the American construction workforce is the best on the planet. But human nature being what it is, it’s only natural for even the most dedicated installer to daydream about the big ball game sometimes, and miss a step or two. How much more likely is that to happen in a process that’s both complicated and repetitive?

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