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Hummingbird: Doors and Windows

Two views of insulated windows used in the Hummingbird House

It's common practice these days to have double-paned windows, both to conserve energy and reduce noise, so you'd expect the House on Hummingbird Hill to have those. It does. But it has other stuff as well.

The doors look like ordinary doors, but they are fiberglass with an insulative foam core.

And one of the windows is truly cool. It's big with three panes, set high in a living-room wall, plenty big enough to bake the whole place in the afternoon.

Larry and Suzanne Weingarten wanted the light, but they didn't want the heat gain in the day or the heat loss at night. So they sandwiched three inches of fiberglass insulation between the outer glass and an inner pane of polycarbonate. The result is a conservatively R-10 translucent window that lights the living room without heating it. The fiberglass is a bit different. It is normally used as air filter media. This has no color to it and fortunately, lets a lot of light through.

You can see the contrast, above left, between the lefthand panel that has the insulation and the other two that don't. Eventually, they all got it, as in above right.

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