Windows are one of the most significant costs in building projects or home renovations. Next to that are the bills homeowners have to pay for heating and air conditioning. Solving two problems under one roof -- literally -- is an Israeli company Alubin that has developed all-season reversible windows. The solution is also good for the environment.
Based on the research of Professors Evyatar Erell and Yair Etzion from the Department of Man in the Desert at Ben Gurion University, Alubin is set to commercialize a unique two-sided window that promises to absorb and keep in the heat during the winter, while reflecting the sun for a cool indoors when the hot summer months strike.
Michal Segal, marketing manager for the company tells ISRAEL21c that Alubin has a few window projects underway. The company was established over 50 years ago, but takes on new projects all the time, and "green" ones, Segal admits, are close to her heart. Currently, the company is working on installing its new reversible window solution called Seasons Windows in a house in Jerusalem, and in an American news bureau in Ramallah interested in green building.
Working with architects and agents in Israel and America, Alubin makes its new windows to order.
A green window into the mainstream.
"Ecological buildings have mainly two branches. We have the people who think about building from mud and who re-use grey water," says Segal. "But I think if you want to bring on an ecological revolution to the construction market you have to work with [the mainstream] building industry." That's what Alubin is doing with its new windows, which resemble traditional windows, she says.
Seasons Windows are based on a ventilated solar-screen glazing system which converts solar radiation to heat either the inside of the house, or to the outside. In winter, the special tinted and absorbing glass faces inwards allowing short wave solar radiation to pass through, while a panel of clear glass blocks outward radiation.
With the flick of a switch, the window can be manually rotated along an axel, so that the same tinted glass once pointing inwards can absorb short wave solar radiation and redirect it to the outside world in summer.
Conserves energy passively.
Offering a number of energy savings solutions, the Seasons Windows, says Segal are "more complicated" and do their green work by passively conserving energy. "You can turn them around for winter or summer mode," she tells ISRAEL21c. "They can heat a room in the winter or ventilate like an air conditioner in the summer."
Alubin is one of the largest aluminum manufacturing plants and die makers in Israel, and is based in the industrial park in Kiriat Bialik. Founded in 1958, it was purchased in 1998 by SHL, and both companies today function as one.
Admittedly, ecological solutions are more expensive than traditional ones, but the investment over time can amount to huge savings on energy costs, says Segal. "And of course early technologies are more expensive, but over the years they will pay back just like solar panels," she concludes.