empire state building

Recent Empire State Building Window Retrofit Could Have Saved Millions With Signa System

Was there a better window retrofit method for the Empire State Building

Preventing the removal of 6,514 windows, the SIGNA System method would have been a more efficient and cost effective way of attaining the energy conservation goals of the $20 million Empire State Building retrofit project.

For immediate release:

Chicago – March 2013: The Empire State building underwent a $20 million dollar retrofit to increase its energy efficiency from 2009 to 2010. There were eight components implemented to help cut energy use by 40% that would qualify the building for an Energy Star rating of 90 and a Gold level LEED certification. To achieve these goals, one of the solutions, executed by Serious Materials, was to convert 6,514 double hung windows from double to triple insulating glass units. The method used for the Empire State Building retrofit required the removal of more than 26,000 panes of glass from sashes and could only be done after business hours. All of the glass had to be removed from each of the 102 floors and then taken down to the fifth floor to be remanufactured at a processing center outfitted within the building. The original double pane units had been opened, the old spacers removed and the glass reused to create new insulating glass units with a suspended coated film and filled with heavy gas, which were then reinstalled.

For more than 30 years on the market, there has been a more efficient window retrofitting method available that would have made the removal of the insulating glass and the designated remanufacturing center unnecessary. The SIGNA System window retrofit technology creates onsite a hermetically sealed insulating glass unit out of the existing window and frame without removing the glass. It’s a time tested way of eliminating the risks associated with exposing the interior of the building to the elements, potential breakage of windows and reduces the installation time and cost. Had SIGNA System been used in the Empire State Building project, the 6,514 windows would have been upgraded in a cleaner, quicker, safer and more cost effective manner while still achieving their energy conservation goals. Instead of removing the glass, the SIGNA System technology creates double and triple glazed insulating units at the window site leaving the existing glass in place and using the original window frame. The installation takes a fraction of the time without vacating tenants from offices and is a cost effective retrofit process that will accelerate payback through energy savings for owners.

SIGNA System has been using this clean and efficient process of converting windows to insulated glass units since 1976. The insulating glass units are created by adhering an additional pane of Low- E glass to the existing window pane with a patented aluminum spacer, which contains moisture absorbing material to prevent fogging or condensation, and is coated with a moisture vapor sealant. During installation, a heat source is applied creating a hermetical seal between the glass panes and spacer preventing any moisture vapors from entering the insulating glass unit. The whole process is done at the window site taking about one hour of installation time and minimizing any inconvenience to tenants.

About SIGNA System

Developed in 1976 in Denmark, SIGNA System was brought to the US in 1980 by its inventor. Since then, Signa System has become the industry leader in window retrofit technology transforming single pane windows to double and triple pane hermetically sealed insulating glass units in high rise buildings, skyscrapers and other large architectural projects. It is also widely utilized in historic buildings preserving the original wood work and original glass.  SIGNA System was founded to provide an economical and efficient solution to upgrading windows in occupied buildings to ensure a quick, inexpensive, durable and clean installation.  The SIGNA System retrofit method has a track record of almost 40 years of installations around the world and over 30 years in Chicago’s harsh climate, including a number of national architectural landmarks such as buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe, the Chicago Theatre and Delaware building.  Visit www.signasystem.net

Written by:

Leave a Comment