Energy efficient windows for retrofits receive Component Award

The winners of the second Component Award, this year for Passive House windows for energy efficient solutions in the context of retrofits, have been selected. The joint first prize went to Optiwin for their "System Connecta" and Lorber / Pro Passivhaus-fenster for their "Smartwin Compact S" window. The main challenge in this competition was that the product had to show a degree of flexibility since refurbishments are often carried out in a step-by-step manner. Therefore, ideal windows had to deliver excellent results during the transitional period as well as after the completion of all refurbishment measures. The award will be presented on 17 April at the International Passive House Conference 2015 in Leipzig.

The cost effectiveness of the windows was assessed first and foremost, with a comparison of purchase costs with potential savings. However, the jury also considered practicability, innovation and aesthetics, with a 20 percent weighting for each of these aspects. The window "Smartwin Compact S" was commended for its connection details, among other things. As for the window "System Connecta", the jury, which consisted of window specialists, architects and trade-related press representatives, noted the functionality. The two third prizes went to Aluplast for the window "Energeto 8000 view" and Pural for their window "Eco 90". Special acknowledgements were given by the jury to Wiegand for their window "DWplus Integral" and to Fanzola for their window "Null-Fenster".

"Quality approved Passive House components are a key factor for the energy efficiency of buildings – especially for refurbishment projects. It is therefore all the more significant that high quality solutions are also available for these", says Dr. Wolfgang Feist, Director of the Passive House Institute. "The award-winning windows constitute excellent examples which demonstrate that energy efficiency is cost-effective and that it can be optimally combined with all other building component requirements at the same time", explains Dr. Benjamin Krick, who is responsible for component certification at the Passive House Institute.

A total of 30 windows were entered this year for the Component Award, which was organised by the Passive Institute. The scenario for the evaluation was an apartment block in which the windows were to be replaced in the year 2015 and for which renewal of the plaster, together with the application of thermal insulation, was planned for the year 2025. For this building, the participants had to provide a window with opening casements together with shading attachments. The costs for delivery and installation as well as any necessary work for offsetting of the window or reworking of the installation situation in the context of facade insulation in the year 2025 had to be included in the price.   

Component Award plaques will be presented to the winners by Dr. Wolfgang Feist at the Congress Center Leipzig. In a subsequent lecture, the merits of the award-winning windows will be discussed in detail by Dr. Benjamin Krick. Many of the manufacturers who participated in the competition with creative and innovative solutions will also present their products at the accompanying specialists’ exhibition in Leipzig, which will take place parallel to the International Passive House Conference on 17 and 18 April.

In the first Component Award in 2014, Passive House windows were compared with standard windows. In the process, it was demonstrated that over the lifecycle of the products, overall cost savings of more than 25 percent were possible with the leading products. This year's competition is part of the EU-funded project EuroPHit. Within the framework of this project, several lectures on solutions for energy retrofits using certified components will also be presented at the International Passive House Conference 2015. The main sponsor of the Component Award 2015 is Swisspacer, manufacturer of warm edge spacer bars.