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Windows Let the Sun Shine In

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Windows from Simonton provide sunlight for multi-housing living spaces.


Even with an age difference of 50 years, college students and senior citizens benefit from ample amounts of sunlight. Both groups, at several multi-housing facilities across the country, are energized by natural sunlight exploding into their living spaces.

Azuza Pacific Univ.’s Trinity Hall boasts 420 insulating glass units filled with argon gas that reduces temperature transference and helps reduce outside noise.

At Kendal on Hudson’s continuing-care retirement community on the banks of the Hudson River, almost 5,000 windows connect residents with outdoor views. The 20-acre complex has floor-to-ceiling windows in common rooms and easy-to-operate, crank-out casement windows in 222 living units.

“Our Hudson River Valley setting was specifically selected to offer residents wide vista views,” said Patricia Doyle, executive director of the Sleepy Hollow, NY-based Kendal on Hudson. “Our residents find the [abundant use] of Simonton windows (Simonton Windows, Parkersburg, WV) throughout our complex really helps create a positive ambiance and allows them to easily see the ever-changing countryside.”

Another adult-living community relying on extensive use of windows in its design is Prestwick Chase in historic Saratoga Springs, NY. “The segmented-arch, two-story atrium allowed us to connect residents with the outdoors using walls of windows,” said architect Ethan Halls with Rucinski Hall Architecture, Saratoga Springs. “This facility includes 167 suites and private cottages, along with major central gathering areas. It was important that we specify energy-efficient windows.”

“People at this facility are very active, so they don’t have the time or desire to worry about their homes. The advantages of vinyl windows and doors are plentiful. Our research clearly showed that products from Simonton would be the ideal fit,” Hall said.

Across the country, in Azuza, CA, David Zeidman, a supervisor with Commerce Construction, Azuza, CA, also found that window selection was a critical issue when constructing a dormitory for Azuza Pacific Univ. The five-story, 350-bed Trinity Hall freshman dorm was constructed with wings featuring meeting rooms, computer labs, and gathering spaces.

“We ordered low-e glass to help maintain even temperatures in the dorm rooms during all seasons,” Zeidman said. For energy efficiency, each of the 420 insulating glass units is filled with argon gas. The non-toxic, colorless gas reduces temperature transference from the outdoors to the interior of the dorm rooms. As an added benefit, the argon has helped reduce outside noise from penetrating the building, so students have a quiet study environment.

Other students living and going to classes with secure windows include those at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbus, SC. Before 250 Simonton vinyl windows were installed in the historic campus buildings, windows would not close properly, panes would fall out, and gusty winds blew through dorm rooms.

“Maintenance and upkeep on the old wood windows was killing us,” said Tom O’Brien, vice president of business affairs at the seminary. “I believe this is the first building on the Columbia Historic register with vinyl windows. They look like the windows we took out, but maintaining them is much easier. Most importantly, as energy costs escalate, we now have windows that offer us long-term savings.”

The maintenance ease and energy efficiency of vinyl windows is changing the way many multi-housing contractors view vinyl windows. According to Simonton’s senior product manager Bill Lazor, the same reliable construction that makes vinyl windows appealing for homeowners is duplicated ten-fold when dealing with multi-housing projects.

“We’re seeing a steady increase in the specification and installation of our vinyl windows and doors in multi-housing projects. From oceanfront apartment and condo complexes featuring our hurricane-resistant windows to historic renovation projects of campuses, the benefits of well-constructed vinyl windows are quickly expanding in the multi-housing marketplace,” Lazor said.