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Window Film or Low-e Glass?

2016-02-28 13:43:41 | 日記

There is a fairly lively discussion currently going on between the efficiency of window film versus low – E glass windows. Consumers are starting to consider the choice between the two and which will be most efficient as far as the needs for keeping energy costs under control.

Energy is becoming an expense consideration, whether it is a residence or a commercial building. The US Department of Energy estimates that inefficient windows result in as much as 35% of the buildings energy being wasted. The California Energy Commission moves that even further by noting that up to 40% of the air conditioning needed to cool down a building result from solar heat gain through the windows. Those costs can make any homeowner or building manager think of ways to be more energy efficient.

Those who favor low – E glass windows believe this way because it means replacing the entire window, which may be energy inefficient to begin with. A consumer would have to consider the U – factor, the windows overall insulating value; and the solar heat gain coefficient, which measures the ability of window to deflect solar heat. Because the low – E window products have argon gas between the panels, there is a greater thermal effectiveness as compared to older windows. This product also has the ability to block health threatening ultraviolet rays from the sun. The low – E windows are not inexpensive, however, and could cost as much as $1000 depending on the size of the window being purchased.

Window film has been proven time and again to be an inexpensive and effective means of energy savings. It has been proven effective in blocking of harmful ultraviolet rays and the ceramic variety is a successful deterrent to smash and grab robberies. Critics will however go back to difficulties with the window itself. Window film cannot address the problem of an inefficient frame because it only covers the glass. A low – E window installation means the frame will probably be replaced as well and can create better insulation. Additionally, window film blocks solar heat in the winter, when heat is needed.

Alternatively, those who are in favor window film will point to the cost differences between window film and low – E window replacement. A homeowner may find it very difficult to afford putting in low – E windows throughout the house. That isn’t quite the problem with window film because the cost per square foot is approximately 1/10 that of low – E glass panes. There are tax incentives available, but these may not make much of a dent in the cost of putting in the low – E Windows. Those in favor of window film will point out the cost and also that the payback period for initial investment is much shorter window film.

It boils down to cost. Those who can afford low – E windows will probably move ahead on this knowing that the glass ordinarily can last up to 30 years and window film does not ordinarily last that long. Those who are on tight budgets would probably consider the window film is a better alternative. Either way, it has to be remembered that both will keep energy costs under control and that is the primary reason for making improvements to structure’s windows anyway.

Historic Buildings Predicting the Future?

2016-02-23 17:43:29 | 日記
Some of America’s most historic buildings are being retrofitted to become the most energy efficient and sustainable buildings in the country. New York’s iconic Empire State Building recently insulated 6,514 windows by adding a layer of energy management film between re-conditioned window panes. A California based company, Serious Materials, was able to transform 90% of the building’s existing windows just through retrofitting.

Window films can be the ideal choice for retrofitting older commercial buildings by helping to balance energy savings and occupant comfort while still maintaining views. High rise buildings, as well as older historic buildings, tend to have expansive layers or floors of glass windows that add to heat load. Window film can help keep buildings cool while providing about an average of 6%-20% return on investment.

Traditional buildings consume almost half the total fossil fuel energy in Europe and North America. Eco-friendly Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs) generate energy on-site through solar and wind technology to limit fossil fuel consumption and limit carbon emissions. Some such buildings operate entirely off the grid. Surprisingly, the concepts that are embraced by contractors who strive to build or retrofit existing structures are very flexible.

Not every historic building restoration can achieve a complete transformation to reach ZEB status. There are ways to retain historic charm while making the building more energy efficient and yet comfortable for occupants. Window film is one cost-effective alternative for historic buildings. It protects interiors from harsh UV rays, blocks summer heat gain through historic windows and improves winter insulation by preventing heat loss through single pane windows.

Currently, there are retrofits of historic or older commercial buildings that are achieving dramatic results in breaking the Zero Energy Building barrier. These are several exemplary older building retrofits that are setting the bar for complete building energy transformation.

The IdeAS Z2 Design Facility - A San Jose concrete cube building built in the 1960’s, the IdeAS Z2 Design Facility was transformed recently into a net zero facility through installation of a rooftop photovoltaic system, installing high quality insulation and by using innovative electrochromic glass that is electronically tint-able using solid-state controls.

Salem Oregon’s Painters Hall – Painter’s Hall was retrofitted in 2010 to achieve zero energy status by becoming 100 per cent solar powered and uses excess electricity to pump water through a geo-thermal loop. Painter’s Hall is a 1930s-built industrial building that has been transformed into an ultra-efficient, net-zero energy community center for the environmentally sensitive Pringle Creek development in Salem.

Wayne Aspinall Federal Building – The nearly 100 year old Wayne Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse is being retrofitted to become America’s first net-zero energy building of historic status. Steps such as adding window film and solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, plus lights that adjust based on ambient conditions are all components of the retrofit. The Wayne Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse is a three-story Second Renaissance Revival style building in Grand Junction, Colorado. Construction was initially begun in 1915. Featuring arched first floor windows with sidelights, this historic three story building is a ground breaking example for combining historic preservation with principals of net zero energy consumption.

As the saying goes, “everything old is new again,” historic buildings in the United States may no longer need to meet the fate of the wrecking ball. Preserving our past with an eye to the future may become financially feasible for the majority of us who long to see our architectural beauties restored.

The R-Rated Superhero Movie That Kicked Our Asses Long Before Deadpool

2016-02-22 17:38:39 | 日記

Now that Deadpool has become a monster hit, there are a billion articles about how ground-breaking this R-rated, raunchy, fourth-wall-smashing superhero movie really is. And no mistake, Deadpool is hilarious. But there’s one film, starring an insane hero in a red suit, that never gets enough credit for how far it pushed the superhero genre: Super, written and directed by James Gunn.

Actually, as I pointed out in my review of Deadpool, there have been plenty of over-the-top, R-rated comic-book movies in the past decade. Deadpool owes a lot, stylistically and otherwise, to films like Wanted, Kick-Ass and Kingsman. One of the main ways that Deadpool feels so fresh is because it takes the stylized violence and insane humor of those other films, and puts them into the X-Men universe. Which is, to be sure, a big deal.

But James Gunn himself took to Facebook yesterday to rant, after an unnamed Hollywood executive said Deadpool’s self-deprecating tone had “never been done before.” And that Marvel would “rather stab themselves” than make fun of themselves in a movie. Gunn responded, “Let’s ignore Guardians [of the Galaxy] for a moment, a movie that survives from moment to moment building itself up and cutting itself down―God knows I’m biased about that one. But what do you think Favreau and Downey did in Iron Man? What the fuck was Ant-Man??!”

And of course, Gunn (who directed Guardians) is right. I don’t even know where this perception that Marvel is humorless, or some kind of dull assembly line, comes from.

But my main reaction to Gunn’s comments was to wonder why he didn’t bring up Super―a film which actually does lay a ton of groundwork for movies like Deadpool. Sure, Super was not a huge box office megahit or anything, and it probably slid so far under the radar that it traveled through the Earth’s crust. But if you wanna talk about movies that push the superhero genre past its limits, then Super ought to be your touchstone.


Why A Game About The Devil Couldn't Sell For $6.66 On Steam

2016-02-21 17:36:34 | 日記

We Know The Devil is a game that involves, well, the devil. Obviously, it deserves to be sold at a price point of $6.66. Unfortunately, that’s not something Steam allows.

We Know The Devil, a Really Quite Good visual novel about queerness, summer camp, and religious horror, has been available on publisher Date Nighto’s website at a price of $6.66 for a few months. Yesterday it came to Steam, and longtime fans noticed that its base price was $7.99―aka Wrong. So, what happened? Turns out, We Know The Devil’s developers wanted to sell the game for its original price, but Steam’s rigid settings barred the way.

“For pricing,” Date Nighto’s Jo Fu told me via email, “we were limited to certain price brackets and were unable to set our own price, and discounts only work in whole numbers.”

You might notice that the game’s price is currently $6.63 on Steam. The extremely specific 17 percent discount was an attempt at getting it as close as possible to $6.66. “We tried to get close enough to the price for launch week,” Fu said, “but were confounded by maths.” Close enough, though, right?

The lesson here? Valve discriminates against Satan. Also, Steam is weirdly restrictive behind-the-scenes (despite Valve’s utopian vision of a fully open store where people can establish their own self-contained storefronts), disallowing not only custom pricing but also things like pay-what-you-want options. So now you know.

Street Fighter V's Ridiculous Breast Physics Are Still In The Game

2016-02-20 17:30:46 | 日記

Last year, Capcom (hilariously) assured us that the bouncy jiggle of Chun Li’s breasts was actually just a glitch. Eventually, Capcom said, they’d fix it.

As we reported in 2015, the breast glitch only happens on the second player side. At the time, Capcom said it was just a peculiar hiccup in the E3 build of the game, which they planned to “fix.” Seems like they didn’t get to it!

Obviously, this is far from a dealbreaker when it comes to Street Fighter V, and the game seems to have a number of more important issues that Capcom should probably see to first, like server stability and better single-player offerings. It’s just funny to see this particular pecularity still in the game after all this time.

It’s such a weird glitch, isn’t it? Especially when you consider that not all women characters have it in the first place. Video games, ladies and gentlemen.