Steel windows’ laser technology meets classic contemporary style for pure performance
by Ann Zimmerman
There’s an attitude that if you can dream it, you can build it. People come to the Mountain West to be surrounded by natural beauty. It’s their purpose to connect with nature. It’s the place that matters. Achieving this connection when building a home requires glass, and lots of it, as well as doors that open and seem to disappear.
This style of buliding exists, and people enjoy these features in homes in Hawaii, Southern California, Florida, and Arizona. Can it be done in the mountains?
Delivering the dream is the challenge for View Point Windows and Doors in Jackson. Says owner Brad Brewster, “View Point has been supplying windows, doors, and hardware for the most spectacular custom homes in this area and throughout Idaho and parts of Wyoming for over 25 years. We realized very early on that having only one supplier to fill many diverse needs isn’t in our customers’ best interests, and consequently we have spent years searching the world for manufacturers that can provide the perfect mix of quality, value, and service.”
Arcadia Custom’s Thermal Steel windows offer clean unencumbered style.
View Point’s search identified Arcadia® Custom, a line of high-quality windows and doors for luxury homes with technology to keep temperatures steady. “It’s a precise laser-cutting manufacturing process that creates custom thermally broken steel windows and doors, called Thermal Steel®,” Brewster describes. “With laser-cut plate steel, there are no welded corners to grind and the look is very clean, crisp, and contemporary. The computer-controlled cuts are exact and never out-of-square. Instead of cutting long pieces and welding and grinding them, the laser precision process far exceeds in exactness what other steel window manufacturers can accomplish.”
Keeping Temperatures Steady
Achieving the same look for mountain homes as homes that function well in gentler Mediterranean, tropical, and desert climates presents an obvious challenge. The weather and its many variations seem counterintuitive for building the same kinds of structures. Comfort is of course paramount, but homes must also be built to conform to codes with standards for energy performance. But, as with the history of construction, where there is a will, there is a way.
Wide openings between rooms and patio spaces are important for mountain living to create the outdoor connections people desire.
Steel is known to conduct the chill, so how can it be made to function as a barrier to heat transfer? The answer lies in the term “thermally broken,” and according to Brad Brewster, a separator material makes the thermal break. In the case of Arcadia Custom, they use GRP, glass reinforced pultrusion. It is installed between the layers of the steel frame. The steel frame with a thermal break holds double panes of insulated glass with an air space between for improved energy performance. Brewster comments that glass technology has come along way over the last 10 years and is available with new low-E coatings and composite spacers that also greatly improve the overall energy performance. Bottom line, the steel construction and glass combine to transfer far less heat than in the past to perform better in cold climates.
“While there are some limitations on the number of windows that can be in houses here, we can certainly put in more glass than ever before, and the results are outstanding,” adds Brewster. “There are some additional benefits to Arcadia Custom worth mentioning. The glass thickness is 1 1/8 inches on dual glaze, the product improves sound absorption for less outside noise, and it has a high-wind load resistance. It gives a classic look to stainless steel construction and is durable and will never rust.”
Modern mountain architecture diminishes barriers between the inside and outside a number of ways. Here, the same stone from the exterior comes inside. The glass doors and large expanses of windows bring in the views to the sky, mountains, and horizon to constantly declare a sense of place.
The energy performance of Arcadia Custom’s Thermal Steel allows for more glass in a home to truly capture views, & precise laser cutting creates cleaner lines.
Range of Products
Arcadia Custom’s Thermal Steel windows and doors seem to especially appeal to the refined, sleeker, simpler look that people want for their homes here. Greg LeFevre, General Manager of Arcadia Custom, comments on the demand for steel, saying, “Slender lines and minimal profiles give a lightness to our Thermal Steel windows and doors, creating a minimalist aesthetic and powerful architectural appeal. The design places emphasis on what matters most: clean, unencumbered style. By coupling style with steel’s robust durability, our Thermal Steel windows and doors make a statement that will last a lifetime while outliving the latest trends.”
LeFevre describes the window styles as limitless for custom homes. There are choices for casement, awning, and hopper windows and a range of divided-lite muntin patterns. He adds, “We also offer radius and curved-in-plane designs for windows. Included in Arcadia Custom’s door selections are French doors, pivot doors, lift-slide door systems, and multi-fold door systems.”
“Wide openings between rooms and patio spaces are important for mountain living to create the outdoor connections people desire, and these lift-slide and multi-fold systems accomplish it with ease. Plus when the temperatures drop, they offer thermal protection. It’s a good combination,” reports Barrow.
Colors and finishes offer even more choices for honing the design. “Certainly, our brushed stainless or our Cor-ten® finishes are in demand,” says LeFevre. “Arcadia Custom’s paint system offers unlimited colors including custom-matching colors, and our paint system provides both corrosion and weather protection with a high-quality automotive-type appearance.”
Looking Out for the Customer
When View Point researches companies and weighs whether to sell the company’s products to its customers, one of the important factors View Point evaluates is warranties. “In the case of Arcadia Custom, they ship the glass installed from the factory. This allows warranty coverage on both glass and the metal components of doors and windows: 10 years on glass, and 20 years on doors and windows. This warranty is from an American company with an 85-year track record,” Brewster explains.
View Point is the customer’s connection to windows, doors, hardware, shower enclosures, and custom glasswork. “We bring our local, diverse experience, as well as our relationships throughout the world, to connect people to the right products. Because we connect building professionals to products that we know and trust and stand behind, they feel confident,” Brewster adds. He invites customers to visit the Jackson showroom for a consultation.