The beauty of industrial windows and doors earns it the number one spot on our list, for good reason. The aesthetic beauty and elegance of steel makes it a highly desirable frame material in both residential and commercial buildings.
Steel is one of the strongest building materials available. That’s why it’s used to build skyscrapers, aircraft, airports, automobiles, and bridges. So just how strong is steel, anyway?
Steel buildings can withstand hurricane force winds.
A 1” piece of steel could withstand an impact of approx. 30 mph before it bent. Steel’s ability to hold heavy loads and bend without breaking makes it a desirable material in the event of an earthquake or car crash.
When it comes to windows, steel’s structural integrity is three times greater than aluminium, and the material’s physical capabilities are nothing less than magnificent. Because of steel's sheer strength, the design potential is extensive, and seen through the use of floor-to-ceiling glass walls, expansive pocket doors, and towering 14’ entryway French doors.
Steel’s not only strong, it’s durable and long-lasting. Many century-old industrial windows are still hard at work today. Unlike other frame materials, steel does not shrink or expand in temperature fluctuations therefore eliminating the chances of cracking and warping. Steel is not vulnerable to termites, and it won’t rot, crack, or split.
Generally, there are only a few reasons you could find to replace an older industrial window. The best reason would be to take advantage of the new window technologies that improve thermal performance.
The only thing better than a industrial window is a thermally broken industrial window. Anytime a metal is used to frame a window or door, it presents the problem of thermal conductivity. Even though steel has a lower rate of thermal conductivity compared to other metals, such as aluminium, it will still transfer hot or cold. Which means extreme hot or cold on the exterior of a window frame could transfer to the interior frame, and vice versa.
Thermally broken windows provide an elegant and modern solution to the issue of thermal transfer. A thermal barrier, or thermal break, is inserted between the interior and exterior frames. When hot or cold energy comes into contact with the metal on the outside, it dissipates at the thermal barrier.
When you combine thermally broken industrial window frames with modern glass techniques such as multiple panes of glass, the result is a window with timeless beauty, long-lasting strength and durability, and energy efficiency that can meet the ever-increasing stringent building code requirements.
Steel is the safe choice for many building applications. Whether you’re designing a home where a family will dwell, or a commercial building where many will work, shop, or visit, steel is ideal to keep anyone who walks through the door safe and secure.
Steel is the material of choice for buildings to withstand forces of nature such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Industrial windows can be designed to meet the most stringent building requirements for both blast resistance and impact resistance.
There are few other building materials that possess the versatility of steel. Steel can accept a wide variety of specialized patina finishes, and be used in numerous operational large glass openings including swing, slide, fold and pivot types. From modern to traditional, craftsman to colonial, Victorian, gothic and everything in between, industrial windows and doors can complement any architectural design.
Every architect has his or her own reasons for choosing thermally broken industrial windows and doors for a project. For some, the choice comes down to energy efficiency and thermal performance. For others, it’s a need for unparalleled strength and long-lasting durability. For many, it’s the elegant beauty and versatility that steel offers. No matter the reason, there’s no doubt that steel will continue to be one of the most widely used building materials in the world, and the architect’s number one choice for world-class windows and doors.