Mavrik just e-mailed these photos of my windows packaged for shipping. I spent a ton of time researching and pricing out windows from various suppliers in both North America and Europe. In the end I decided to buy my glass from a small New York-based startup that imports triple-pane tilt-turn windows manufactured in Poland. If everything works as planned, I’ll be the first house with these windows in Alaska, and will have some of the most energy-efficient windows in the state.
Why order windows all the way from another continent? It really boils down to price, quality, and energy efficiency. Cold-weather regions in Europe tend to have higher energy costs and much stricter energy efficiency requirements than the US. While Europe is (in)famous in the building community for producing stupendously high-performance (and scary expensive) windows, there’s also a huge market there for affordable high-performance products. The windows I ordered, from Mavrik’s “Workhorse Plus” line, meet “passivehouse” standards for buildings that use little to no energy. Their performance specs (including insulation values and air sealing) are better than those of just about any domestic windows, and even exceed some solid walls. Yet Mavrik’s quote, including shipping, came in well below those of established North American window manufacturers (I’m looking at you, Andersen).
Of course, there are downsides to ordering European windows. These include longer lead times, shipping costs and uncertainties, no local accountability, and contractor unfamiliarity with different install methods. Despite those risks I decided to take the plunge because the value looked unbeatable… and the windows just look drop dead great. I’m excited to share a lot more about windows (and these ones in particular) in future posts.
Photos received February 27, 2020. Posted March 1, 2020.
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