The Summer is the perfect time for daytrips, even business trips, and so the Innotech sales team set off on Monday for a tour of Cardinal Glass Industries' factory in scenic Hood River, Oregon. This was the team's opportunity to see firsthand the modern manufacturing process that is required to create the best quality glass - and best performing insulated glass units - in the world.
Accompanied by Sales Manager Mika, our intrepid sales team including Martina, Jan, Darren, JJ, Sam, and Nicolay boarded Cardinal's private plane in Abbotsford. Thirty minutes later they touched down in Portland and a short drive then took them to the massive Cardinal plant perched in hills above Hood River. Nestled amongst rolling farmland, the huge facility is one of 34 Cardinal factories across the USA, but only one of nine that produce the insulated glass units (IGU's) used by Innotech in our windows and doors. The sealed units that Cardinal makes in Hood River are sent to us in Abbotsford and Morden for integration into our energy efficient windows and doors, which are subsequently installed across projects Western Canada and the US.
Cardinal Sales Manager Clayton Watson and the entire Cardinal team welcomed us as he would close friends and gave us a first class trip around the factory. They showed us everything from the advanced robotics used to move sheets of glass around, to the high-tech quality control systems they employ. The plant turns out 24 tons of insulated glass per hour - or 21 miles of glass per day. At that rate, Cardinal could build a road of glass from their plant to our head office in Abbotsford, BC in just over two weeks!
One of the interesting facts we learned is that most of the glass produced by Cardinal is 2.2mm or 3.0mm thick. However, the glass manufactured specifically for Innotech windows and doors is always a minimum of 4mm thick (thicker depending on application, such as a need for higher wind load resistance or accoustical performance). Not all the glass from Cardinal is the same and when combined with superior frames, such as our Hybrid uPVC Framing System, the difference in performance is huge!
We can't show you everything (they have corporate secrets to protect!) but we can share a couple of videos available on YouTube.
Here's a sample of the robots in use on the factory floor:
Here's a short video describing the quality control technology utilized by Cardinal:
Clayton was an excellent tour guide! Thank you to the entire Cardinal team in Hood River for hosting our team.
After a lovely dinner hosted by Cardinal, they flew everyone back to Abbotsford and our team much more informed about the technology of glass-making and better able to help our clients understand why Cardinal Glass Industries combined with Innotech is the best choice for their homes and projects.
There's nothing more exciting than seeing an excavator break ground for the future site of a beautiful new project!
Casa Torre, a new single family residence by home designer and builder Christopher Gelber, is now in the beginning stages of construction. The three-storey, 3,000 square foot contemporary home is nestled in a steep hillside in the Portland hills with serene views of Forest Park.
"I designed the house to take the greatest advantage of the landscape and so all three levels are elegantly tied to the land, interconnected by trails that meander across the site." - Christopher Gelber
Not only is Casa Torre a beautiful home to look at, but it will also be a comfortable home to live in. Christopher intends to build the home with state-of-the-art technologies that will contribute to a highly durable and energy efficient home - including Innotech Tilt + Turn Windows.
Read more about and follow construction progress of Casa Torre on Christopher Gelber's blog here.
To see photos of Casa Nera, another project by Christopher Gelber, click here.
All photos courtesy of Christopher Gelber.
We're pleased to share an early look at a multifamily project we're very excited about – The Vermeer. Designed by Jim Bussey at Formwerks Architectural, engineered by Brenda Shaw at Level 5 Consulting and built by the team at Kindred Construction, Innotech helped The Vermeer overcome some very significant design challenges.
The Vermeer is a four storey, 14 unit “smart condo” development in Vancouver, BC scheduled to be completed this coming winter. The owners and the building team were looking to accomplish a number of important goals for their new building: spectacular aesthetics, high build quality, long-term durability, sound abatement, and water management.The Vermeer is located in the prestigious community of Kitsilano, surrounded by some of the most beautiful architecture and design in Canada. The design was the product of the talented team at Formwerks Architectural and was influenced by the European classical-style. Innotech's German engineered window and door offerings perfectly complement the European architectural design of the building.
The prime location of The Vermeer posed a potential noise pollution issue – the building sits on one of the busiest streets in Vancouver. Therefore, the project required a sound abatement solution that would provide a comfortable living space for homeowners. Innotech's multi-point locking windows and doors were the product of choice to achieve this most important requirement.
"The experience and attention to details for this project were OVER THE TOP. The windows and doors were produced and delivered on time. They are built tough; the second you open one of the doors you feel the strength of the product - they are the VERY BEST money can buy. The tilt and turn technology is safe and the airtight seal when the doors are closed make them the perfect product for this location." - Scott Nash, Senior Superintendent, Kindred Construction
To deal with the water management issue Formwerks and building envelope consultants at Level 5 Consulting trusted Innotech's pressured equalized rain screen system. As a premier water management system it will provide the homeowners a sense of confidence that their investment will be secure for years to come. Adding to the durability of the fenestration is Innotech's standard steel reinforced high performance uPVC, which have a track record of superior durability over years of use.
“Level 5 Consulting has specified Innotech windows and doors on several of our projects - including some very difficult high-exposure projects from oceanfront hotels, high-rises and single family homes. We choose this product whenever possible water ingress is a big concern. We are also very pleased with the thermal performance of the windows and doors. Innotech gives excellent technical support and great service. They are a pleasure to so business with." - Brenda Shaw, P.Eng, President, Level 5 Consulting
The project has been an amazing showcase for what Innotech products can do; the ultimate in performance without sacrificing aesthetics. Truly the best of both worlds.
Here's a quick snapshot of the windows and doors installed in the still under construction project. Stay tuned for more photos!
Photo Courtesy of A-Z Carpentry.
Innotech is pleased to present an exciting opportunity for Lower Mainland design professionals. We've recently begun acccepting requests to use our Burnaby showroom as an event space for client and prospect gatherings, and initial returns have been very positive.
In early July the showroom received its first trial run. A relaxed evening of mingling and subtle product demonstrations was hosted by Shimar Interiors, a local decorating firm operated by Jonas Schierbecker and Ian Martens. Throughout the evening guests enjoyed relaxed conversation, some delightful wine and hors d'oeuvres, and they also learned a little about interior decorating options (including some of the various window covering options that Innotech offers). Jonas and Ian were very pleased with the feedback they received from their guests, most of whom related that they had an excellent time.
If you're a design professional looking for a casual, inviting place to host an event with your clients, our showroom might be just the right fit. For more information about booking, availablity, and our guidelines, please contact us at 604.854.1111.
House & Home, Canada's leading design and interior design magazine, featured an Innotech-supplied project in their July issue.
The fabulous home is located in Langdale on BC's beautiful Sunshine Coast and features stunning views of the Pacific ocean. While the home's proximity to the water makes for amazing seaside viewing, the harsh salt environment can do terrible things to traditional windows and doors. Innotech windows and doors, with their corrosion resistant engineering and materials, were the perfect choice to ensure those spectacular views will be enjoyed for years to come.
Pick up a copy of House & Home on newsstands before they're all gone!
June was a very busy month for the Innotech-supplied housing project Gray's Landing. Not only was the LEED-certified development a finalist for a DJC Top Project Award, but it also received a coveted Vanguard Award from the National Affordable Housing Management Association. NAHMA’s Vanguard Awards recognize the best and most innovative new affordable housing developments, and promotes the viability of affordable housing projects across the United States.
Completed in November 2012, Gray's Landing is a four storey, 209-unit apartment complex built on the principles of energy efficiency and affordable living. This project is a notable one for Innotech as it was the first to utilize our extrusion painted on the exterior. Special congrats to Ankrom Moisan Architects along with the rest of the development team for their inspired work on this project.
Photo courtesy of Ankrom Moisan
There's a lot to consider when deciding where to purchase your home. A recent survey by BMO Bank of Montreal asked Canadian homeowners to rank their decision criteria when choosing where to live. The results show that at the top of most Canadians' lists is security. Buying a home is the biggest financial decision a family will make and there are many factors to consider before signing on the bottom line.
"Everyone has a unique set of personal and financial priorities, so it's important that those particular needs are considered when deciding on the right location to purchase a home," said Laura Parsons, Mortgage Expert at BMO Bank of Montreal. "Taking a practical approach to home buying is the key to preventing yourself from getting 'swept away' by the bells and whistles of a house. Home buyers should make a list of needs versus wants and prioritize them in order of highest to lowest importance."
Here's how the respondents ranked their top 5 criteria:
- Safe Neighbourhood
- Quiet Street
- Good Neighbours
- Short Commute to Work
- Near Friends and Family
Purchaing or building a home in a safe neighbourhood will definitely help to keep your home safe from crime. However, there are additional steps you might be interested in taking in order to protect your family. Learn more about home safety in our home invasion demonstration video.
With the warm weather upon us it's the perfect time to throw open your windows and let in some fresh air. But, did you know that when you maximize the ventilation in your home you're doing far more than replacing stale air? You're actually improving your health.
It stands to reason that fresh-air does a body good, but did you know that poorly ventilated homes have been linked to a number of health risks? A diverse group of organizations including the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Center for Disease Control, and the BC Ministry of Health have all identified a number of hazardous side-effects to poor air quality:
- dry mucous membranes
- eye, nose, and throat irritation
- allergy or asthma attacks
The first step to safe indoor air quality is great ventilation; the more fresh air you can bring in from the outside the better. Circulating fresh air will help remove pollutants like second hand smoke, fungi and microorganisms, and possibly even harmful gasses like radon or carbon monoxide. That, along with limiting the sources of harmful pollutants, and utilizing quality air filters and cleaners, can make a big difference in your health. Proper ventilation will help you breath a little easier, literally and figuratively.
If you're in the process of selling your home you're probably concerned with two things: how fast can I sell it and how can I get my asking price? The internet abounds with tips and tricks for addressing both, everything from home staging, to baking fresh bread, to making your whole home gender neutral! But, thanks to the energy efficiency improvements you've made to your home, your Realtor may be able to help your listing stand out from the crowd.
When George Nickel, director of business development at Innotech, decided to sell his Ladner, BC home, he could have picked a better time; he listed in 2008 at the same time as when brand new homes across the street were coming on the market and the real estate marketing was beginning to weaken. George wasn't deterred. He set an asking price at around the same price as the brand-new homes - because he knew he had an ace up his sleeve. He made sure to educate his Realtor on the many energy improvements made to his house.
Thanks to George's investment in energy efficiency, including his Innotech windows and doors, his home cost much less to both heat and cool. He insisted that his Realtor learn about all the advanced energy-saving technology in the home and he asked that he take the time to explain the improvements to every potential home buyer. After all, although his home was older than the flashy homes across the street, his home was retrofitted with high-quality improvements - making it a more durable, energy efficient, secure and comfortable home.
In the end the strategy was a success! George accepted an offer close to what the new homes were asking. If you're selling your home, and you'd like to educate potential buyers on the benefits of Innotech Windows and Doors, we'd be happy to lend you one of our corner samples, perfect for showing in detail how our windows save on energy costs. To arrange for sample, simply contact us today.
For the past three years Innotech has been a proud sponsor of Team Canada's entry into the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon, a building competition that challenges teams from around the world to design and build the energy efficient housing of the future.
Team Canada's entry in 2011, the TRTL (Technological Residence Traditional Living), was very well received, cracking the top 10 in the competition and winning a prized Emerald Award in the Education category. After the competition the home was donated back to its birthplace, the University of Calgary, where it will be utilized as a student hub for sustainability research.
On March 21st the stakeholders of the TRTL gathered to rededicate the project as the Spo'pi Solar House. Representatives from the school as well as from the Treaty 7 First Nations people were on hand to validate the transfer from the students to the school. Today, May 2nd, the facility will celebrate its grand opening, and the entire team at Innotech wishes the University and its students the best of luck with their new space, and we can't wait to see what energy efficient innovations they come up with.