ACTION-Housing Passive House multifamily project wins Innovation Award, selects Alpen windows

In April, 2014, Alpen HPP shipped the first installment of windows to Uptown Lofts in Pittsburgh, PA, ACTION-Housing’s first Passive House-designed affordable, low-income multifamily apartment building.  ACTION-Housing received the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s first Innovation in Design Award in May 2013.

Alpen HPP is proud to have been selected by ACTION-Housing, FortyEighty Architecture, and Passive House Consultants Kaplan Thompson Architects to provide our 525-S Series fiberglass windows in this precedent-setting Passive House multifamily urban infill project.

Read more about this exciting project online and check back on for project photos as installation progresses this summer.

Nelson Jones, D.  “Housing project in Pittsburgh’s Uptown emphasizes energy efficiency.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  12 January 2014:

“Two buildings under construction in Uptown will provide 47 new apartments — 23 affordable units in one and 24 units for young adults moving out of foster care in the other.

But the $12 million project by Action Housing will provide more than housing. Each will be three stories and 30,000 square feet but built to different standards so Action Housing can determine the long-term value of passive energy design in one compared to current energy code standards in the other.”

ACTION-Housing, Inc. “News and Events: ACTION-Housing Wins Innovation in Design Award”. May 2013

“The Innovation in Design Award recognizes three elements of the lofts: the comparison of two different building approaches to high performance buildings including Passive House Standards in the north building; new workforce housing partially designed to serve young adults who have aged out of the foster care system; and the creation of a gateway development for the Uptown neighborhood.”

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Powderkeg Brewing Company Looks to Alpen to Improve Efficiency of Historic Niwot Storefront

When head brewers and founders of Powderkeg Brewing Company began planning renovation of their new location in historic Niwot, Colorado, they may not have realized the challenge they would face: not only would they need to renovate the historic building’s exterior facade to improve energy efficiency to meet more stringent building code requirements quickly being adopted in Colorado’s front range counties; but they also needed any exterior renovation work to gain favor and approval by the Longmont and Boulder County historic preservation committees.

Working together with the owner of Finger Pianos, who previously owned and occupied the historic Niwot storefront space, Powderkeg brewers approached Alpen HPP for a window solution that would meet the energy efficiency and historic preservation goals as well as improve comfort, ventilation and useability of the space for its new purpose as a modern craft brew taproom.

Alpen HPP rose to the occasion, presenting multiple options for design team and historic committee review.  Quickly the decision came to rest on custom oversized double-hung windows with simulated divided light grids that captured the essence of the historic true-divided light windows while satisfying the needs of future craft beer enthusiast occupants.  Construction is still underway, so here are some in-progress “before and after” photos:

The historic facade of Finger Pianos captured the historic essence of Niwot, Colorado, but lacked energy efficiency and comfort

The historic facade of Finger Pianos captured the historic essence of Niwot, Colorado, but lacked energy efficiency and comfort

Crews work to carefully remove old single-pane storefront to make room for new custom Alpen double hung windows

Crews work to carefully remove old single-pane storefront to make room for new custom Alpen double hung windows

Renovation in progress, historic storefront becoming renewed and efficiency-improved with Alpen windows

Halfway there: Alpen double hung windows were carefully designed to mimic the simulated divided light pattern of the historic facade while adding efficiency, comfort and ventilation for the new tenants

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PHIUS Posts Certified Window Data

2013-10-10 v3.4 Alpen 925 HPfixed 107










The Passive House Institute, US (PHIUS) Certified Data for Windows program has officially launched its new online searchable database including listings of certified, PHPP-ready performance data for Alpen high performance fiberglass windows and several other North American and European window products. expertly covered the PHIUS announcement in this April 7, 2014 article.

Program organizer Graham Wright provided this March 28 interview to further clarify PHIUS Certification program goals and address any confusion regarding differences between it and window certification programs by Passive House International (PHI), and others.

Alpen HPP is proud to be an early adopter of the program, becoming the first window manufacturer in North America to have products certified, and seeks additional product certifications in the coming months. Performance data for Alpen windows that already have been PHIUS certified can be found both on the PHIUS website and on Alpen’s Passive House page.

Staying at the forefront of the Passive House performance movement, Alpen’s technical sales team is actively researching and listening to leaders in the industry to learn and compile helpful tools for designers and homeowners to use in their window selection process.  A new white paper co-written by RDH Engineers addressing differences among PHIUS, PHI, NFRC and other simulation programs was presented at this year’s Passive House Northwest conference, stay tuned to Alpen’s News Post website for a link to the final article, expected to be published in full this spring.

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Alpen windows in Honda Smart Home US

Alpen windows play integral role in net-zero energy performance of Honda Smart Home in Davis, California. A new video series on the Honda Home website explains how the home’s heating, cooling and electrical systems are automatically controlled to achieve net-zero energy performance.

Designers recognized that before equipping the home with renewable energy solar panels, the building envelope must be well-insulating and air-tight, so they selected Alpen high performance fiberglass windows:

“The Honda Smart Home’s south-facing windows are optimized for heating and cooling, while the north-facing windows are positioned to maximize natural light and ventilation. This will keep the home naturally cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Double stud walls, cool roofing material and a fully insulated concrete slab all contribute to the home’s energy efficiency.”

Alpen’s casement windows were also retrofitted with motorized operators so that the windows will automatically open and close to provide ventilation and cooling when the home needs it most.

Other articles announcing the completion of this precedent-setting home can be found here:

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Visit Alpen HPP at the 2014 Passive House Northwest Conference on March 28

Alison Ray from Alpen’s Colorado headquarters will be joined by two expert distributors from Oregon and Montana to showcase Alpen high performance fiberglass window products at the Passive House Northwest Conference in Portland, Oregon on March 28.

Come visit us to learn more about Alpen products and view samples of all of our products including samples of the 525-S Series, the newest addition to our super-insulating energy efficient window lineup.

For conference information and registration, please visit:

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Brookfield Passive House Featured in Builder Magazine

The Brookfield Passive House, built by Midtown Residential, continues to receive media attention.  Most recently, the home was featured in the February 2014 edition of Builder Magazine. A well-written article highlighting key features and attributes of Colorado’s first Passive House certified by Passive House Institute US, and the first certified Passive House in the nation built by a production home builder.  The article can be viewed online at: and is accompanied by a beautifully orchestrated professional photograph slideshow.

The Brookfield Passive House used Alpen’s 925 Series twin-film/quad-cavity fiberglass windows with directionally-tuned high and low solar heat gain glazing.  Boasting an impressive U-0.08 center-of-glass thermal performance, 925 Series windows insulate the building envelope and provide critical solar heat gain on the south elevation to offset the home’s energy needs.


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Alpen Windows in Kansas City “Best Green Home” of 2014

Kansas City Home and Garden Magazine “Best Green Home” 2014

Alpen’s high performance fiberglass windows play a key role in insulating and heating the Kansas City home recently awarded the prestigious title of “Best Green Home” in the 2014 edition of the Kansas City Homes and Gardens Magazine.

Read the full magazine article online here, starting on page 31:



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Alpen Applauds Smith College’s Outstanding Living Building Achievement

BEC_exterior_duskThe February 2014 announcement of Smith College’s Bechtel Environmental Classroom being awarded Living Building Certification makes this beautiful structure the first in New England and the fifth in the world to be Living Building Challenge certified.


For Alpen HPP, the Bechtel Environmental classroom is the first building to be officially Living Building certified with Alpen’s high performance fiberglass windows, and it is the second building to be Living Building certified with Alpen’s advanced suspended coated film insulating glass.

Front Elevation_night

The Packard Foundation Headquarters completed in 2012 served as Alpen’s first official Living Building project.  These two projects are among several Alpen glass and window projects slated for Living Building Certification in the next few years.

Alpen HPP’s high performance 725 Series fiberglass windows were selected for the Bechtel Environmental classroom because of their low embodiment of environmentally harmful materials, or “Red List” components, and their advanced thermal performance.

Alpen applauds Amherst-based Coldham & Hartman Architects for having artfully integrated hallmarks of the Smith College identity into the building’s design and construction.  With the college’s pristine pastoral campus landscape serving as a perfect canvas and a deeply committed student body in environmental and sustainability programs, the building’s achievement of Living Building Challenge standards seems to rise from the heart of Smith College itself.

The Bechtel Environmental Classroom was featured in this January/February 2014 edition of Solar Today (article starts on page 22).






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Northland’s News Center special report features Alpen windows for efficiency, comfort

As record temperature lows chill homeowners nationwide, Northland’s News Center investigates how one Wisconsin couple is using Alpen windows and SIPS walls to construct their new home to be more energy efficient and comfortable than ever before. This 90-second news clip simply and elegantly explains fundamental aspects of high performance home construction and Alpen windows.

Alpen’s experienced Wisconsin-based distributor, Randy Nilsson, who is contractor on this project and featured in the video reports:

“The homeowners are very enthusiastic about our windows and the high-performance homes that we build. With the brutally cold temps and recent spike in propane folks are showing a higher level of interest in what we offer.

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Better-Performing Windows Lead to Better-Performing People .

Alpen’s high performance fiberglass windows make for some high functioning and comfortable people. See the attached article from the NFRC to learn more.



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