Tuesday 30 November 2010

Three Ways Of Running Your Winter Water Fed Pole + A Window Cleaning Nutter

Glyn Hewitt of "Adders rinse and clean" gives us his "Adders Guide to get working on Cold days":
"There are a lot of posts just lately about not working in this cold weather." "So what I thought I'd do is show you all how I go about working and if that helps anyone then great!" "OK, first just to show you how cold it was for me - here is my van."
"This picture was taken at 9.30 a.m., it was so cold that I could impale an apple on my brush."
"OK, the first thing I did was take my pump in last night, they say prevention is better than cure, so I thought if the pump is not in the van there is no way it can freeze. Here is my pump set up so I can easily take it in at night."
"OK the next thing was to fill my van up - this is a picture of the master tank."
"As you can see its outside and the water inside was frozen."
"I needed to fill up so what I did was take the hose that goes from the tank and put it in the bath to defrost." "I connected it back up and left it to run as you can see there was still ice pouring out of it so I let it run until that had stopped."
"OK, tank now filling, so I brought the hose reel and poles in and left them near the radiator so they could defrost."
"When I connected everything up, the hose was still not defrosted, so that went in the bath as you can see - it looks like a spaghetti bath!"
"Right tank all filled and the hose all nice and warm." "Time to see if all is OK." "And it was time, now at 11.00 a.m. and heres my works partner on our first job."

"Who says that you need a hot system in the winter months!"

OK... recap:

1 Never leave your system with out some protection from the cold.
2 Take as much gear inside as possible.
3 Never start work too early when the water can freeze up again.
4 Finish work early as well.
5 Never go back to ladders in the icy cold, that's just stupid.
6 Remember that w.a.s.p are the greatest rock band of all time!

"Hope all you lot managed to get working this week - all the best your fellow window cleaner, Adders!"


The Electric Window Cleaner says "I found a Rubbermaid, she was cheap and keeps my water warm for ages.  A 25 litre drum looses approx 1 degree each hour. It holds 2  x 25 Litres or one and a hose reel and brush, which is handy to warm a frozen brush - its like a warm box. I also find that you dont need hot, if you store the 25l in your home they are approx 20 degrees, warm enough to work with. However if you use zillions of gallons then this is not for you.

MyWagga says in the video below, "Even if you live in a hard water area, it may be possible to use your domestic hot water system to fill some barrels through a DI." "It wont damage the DI and you will have enough hot water to do some work until the weather changes." "Some sort of insulation for the barrels might be good."

(The Nutter) The coolest window cleaner in town: Is Jamie Powell the coolest window cleaner around? Well, he certainly was on Tuesday. Despite the freezing weather he stripped to his boxers the polish the panes at the Journal offices and publicise his charity fundraising drive. Jamie, 40, who lives in Tisbury, will be braving the elements in his underwear as he goes on his rural rounds in the run-up to Christmas, and hoping that customers will feel moved to pay him a little extra to support the Prostate Cancer Charity. The father of three said: “It’s a good charity. I chose it because my godfather, a good friend of my dad’s, is battling prostate cancer. Luckily he’s doing OK.” And how will he cope with the chill winds atop his ladder? “It makes absolutely no odds to me,” he said bravely, if perhaps rashly. “I’ll just keep moving and hope that somebody will make me a nice hot cup of tea.”

A quick disclaimer for the information above. Due to the fragility of membranes & vessels in cold weather, this information is provided for the user who assumes the risk for taking any of the above advise! Winter working is taken at the users risk.

Monday 29 November 2010

Water Fed Pole Electrocution - New York - Window Cleaner Doing Well

SI Window Washer Survives 33K Volt Shock: Nicholas Genovese sat in his hospital room, his hands and feet still bandaged, and called his survival a "miracle.""I am not the best Catholic," the Staten Island window washer admitted.  "But I am going to start going to church again this Sunday." Genovese, 58, survived a jolt of thirty-three thousand volts of electricity while cleaning the windows of a Lynbrook office building Saturday. He and partner Alan Weinberg, 64, of Long Beach, apparently lost control of their forty feet long cleaning pole in the high winds, according to Lynbrook fire department spokesman Steve Grogran.

Both window washers were on the sidewalk outside the building, maneuvering the aluminum instrument toward the windows above, when it was blown onto high tension wires near the building.
"They probably shouldn't have been attempting that in those conditions," Grogan said. Both window washers were immediately knocked to the ground. "I blacked out for a second," said Genovese. "Then I felt the electricity run through my body." Genovese suffered third degree burns on his hands and feet but may have survived, said Grogan, because he did not have a firm grip on the pole. Weinberg, however, WAS holding it firmly in both hands and was badly injured. "He had no vital signs for nearly twenty minutes," said Grogan.

Lynbrook volunteer firefighters refused to give up their battle to save him and, with help from Lynbrook and Nassau police officers, finally restored Weinberg's pulse after three jolts from a defibrillator. Weinberg remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition, according to a spokesperson for Nassau University Medical Center. Both window washers are now being treated there. Genovese, a father of three, usually serves as a window washer for NYRA; but was on this job as a way to make extra money this holiday season. He promised to be back out there as soon as he is healed; but will forever count his blessings. "I am very lucky," Genovese said. "You never expect something like this to happen to you."

Workers electrified in Lynbrook accident: Two workers were seriously injured in Lynbrook on Saturday when the 40-foot pole they were both holding was blown into a power line, causing a severe shock to both men. According to detectives, two men working for Hewlett Window Cleaners were preparing to wash the windows at Bank of America, at 300 Merrick Rd. using a telescoping 40-foot washing pole (pictured above). Nicholas Genovese 58, of Staten Island was holding the pole at the top of a ladder, while his co-worker, Alan Weinberg 64, of Long Beach was standing on the ground holding the bottom of the pole. A gust of wind blew the pole into a nearby power line, causing serious injury to both Genovese and Weinberg.

Weinberg was in cardiac arrest when police arrived. Lynbrook officer Doug King and NCPD Detective Gary Ferrucci began CPR, followed by Lynbrook firefighters, who were responding to a house fire on Robertson Road when they were notified of a second call for the reported “electrocution,” said fire department spokesperson Steve Grogan. "The Emergency Medical Company was three blocks away and was immediately diverted to the bank," he said. Grogan said that Weinberg was lying on the sidewalk in front of the bank when medics arrived, and his co-worker, Genovese, was lying nearby, being attended to by Lynbrook Police Officer Sal Sedita. At that point, firefighters and other Emergency Medical Technicians arrived and took over in attempting to revive Weinberg who had no pulse and was suffering burns to his hands and feet. Genovese was also suffering burns, but was conscious.

Both window washers were holding the 40-foot pole with a brush on one end as they cleaned the third story windows of the bank, when a gust of wind sent the pole into a 33,000 volt power line running along Merrick Road. Both were electrified and thrown to the sidewalk, with Weinberg going into cardiac arrest. For over 20 minutes, Grogan said, firefighters performed CPR and defibrillated Weinberg without success and without re-gaining a pulse. Finally, after being defibrillated - or shocked - a third time, he was finally revived in the Emergency Medical Company ambulance on the way to the hospital. "Electricity killed him and electricity brought him back to life," said Grogan.

Weinberg was transported to South Nassau Communities Hospital where he was stabilized and then transferred to Nassau University Medical Center Burn Unit for treatment of third and fourth-degree burns to his hands and feet. He is reported to be in very critical condition. Genovese was taken to Nassau University Medical Center and admitted to the Burn Unit for treatment of second and third degree burns. He is in stable condition, according to police. Fire officials also reported that Weinberg’s brother was shocked in a similar type incident some 20 years ago on Freer Street in Lynbrook. He survived.

Staten Island man survives 33,000-volt shock though his body: On Saturday, Nicholas Genovese took what could have been a fatal dose of electricity - 33,000 volts coursing through his and a fellow window washer’s body as they worked on a Long Island bank. Pictured above Joann Genovese dances with her husband, Nicholas. He could be out of the hospital by the weekend. Yesterday, Nicholas Genovese, 58, of Oakwood, was well enough to watch from his hospital bed as the New York Giants beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. Genovese, who has two daughters, ages 19 and 17, is recovering and in good spirits in a burn unit at Nassau University Medical Center, his wife, Joann, told the Advance last night.

“He just blacked out for a second,” Mrs. Genovese said. Genovese is slated to get skin graft surgery for his badly-burned hands and feet today or tomorrow, and may be out of the hospital as early as the weekend, she said. Genovese and a friend, Alan Weinberg, 64, were working for Hewlett Window Cleaners and preparing to wash the windows at a Bank of America branch in Lynbrook, L.I., with a 40-foot telescoping washing pole at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday when a wind gust pushed the pole into a power line. Weinberg was in cardiac arrest when police arrived. They performed CPR, and paramedics from the Lynbrook Fire Department continued treatment.

Weinberg was stabilized at South Nassau Communities Hospital and subsequently moved to Nassau University Medical Center Burn Unit for treatment of second- and third-degree burns to his hands and feet. He was in critical condition, but according to published reports is expected to survive. Mrs. Genovese said her husband called her from the hospital, at first telling her, “I had a problem.” When she asked him what happened, and if he had been in a car crash, he told her, “No, I got electrocuted.” “I was in shock. I said, ‘What? Are you going to be alright?’” she recalled. Genovese, who works at the Aqueduct Race Track and Belmont Park, was supposed to be on vacation this weekend, but took on the window washing job as a side gig, his wife said. “I’m lucky he’s not dead,” Mrs. Genovese said. “By rights, we’re supposed to be in the funeral parlor.”

First news release here.
See previous electrocution with water fed poles here & here.
Safety guidelines for water fed pole users here.
Solar Panel cleaning here.
Extreme study here.

Sunday 28 November 2010

Cleaning Windows By Helicopter

They REALLY want their windows clean! By Brett Bailey: Earlier this year, some of us here in California were complaining that, while we were open to working in the rain, our customers didn't want the windows done at that time. Today, it's raining in California and all of my customers today were ecstatic that I was willing to work in the rain so that their windows would be clean for their holiday parties. They were making me coffee, lighting the fireplace for me to warm up by.....anything that they could do to accommodate me.

But this past Wednesday took the cake. Me and my crew got to the first job. The house is located way up on a hill and the driveway was at the end of a cul-de-sac. When we got to the end of the cul-de-sac, the water company had the road closed to fix a main water leak. There was no way possible I was going to get to the driveway, and there was no way in hell I was going to carry all of our ladder and gear up that mountain to get up to his house. So, I called him and told him of our dilemna.

Now, I knew that this gentleman was a man of resources, hence the reason why he has been so successful in life. But I never could have imagined what would happen next. After I told him of the situation, he very calmly said he would be right down. I thought to myself; does he think he is going to convince the water company to move? Is he going to come down here to carry the gear up himself? Maybe he would bring a tractor down here and we could use an auxiliary road that I didn't know about? I wasn't sure what he had in mind.

Well, about 10 minutes went by and I heard a loud noise. I looked up to see a helicopter landing in the field next to us. I thought that was odd until I saw my customer getting out of it.....then it was BIZZARE! He came over and told us to load the guys and our gear up and he would get us up to the house. It took a couple of trips, and we had to strap the ladders to the skids, but we made it.

One thing I forgot to mention about this gentleman. When we were done with the job and doing our walk around, he told me how he worked his way through college. He made up fliers that said, "Ironing by the piece and window cleaning by the pane" and passed them out in downtown San Diego. This guy used to be a window cleaner! That was a guy who REALLY wanted his windows cleaned!

Saturday 27 November 2010

Another Water Fed Pole Electrocution: New York

Long Island window washers suffer electric shock: Lynbrook, New York - Two men working as window washers on Long Island were injured when their washing pole hit a power line, causing an electric shock. The incident happened around 7:30 Saturday morning at the Bank of America on Merrick Road in Lynbrook. The two men who were working for Hewlett Window Cleaners were preparing to wash the building's windows when a gust of wind blew into the two men holding the 40' washing pole. 58-year-old Nicholas Genovese of Staten Island was holding the pole at the top of a ladder while 64-year-old Alan Weinberg of Long Beach was holding it on the ground. The wind blew the pole into a power line causing serious injury to both men.

Weinberg was in cardiac arrest and paramedics performed CPR to regain a heartbeat. He was rushed to South Nassau Communities Hospital where he was stabilized and then transferred to Nassau University Medical Center's Burn Unit for treatment of second and third degree burns to his hands and feet. He is listed in critical condition. Genovese was transported directly to Nassau University Medical Center where he was admitted to the Burn Unit for treatment of second and third degree burns. He is listed in stable condition.

L.I. Window Washers Injured After Electric Shock: Two window washers were hospitalized after receiving an electric shock in Lynbrook Saturday. The incident happened at 300 Merrick Road around 7:30 a.m. According to detectives, two men working for Hewlett Window Cleaners were preparing to wash the windows at a Bank of America branch using a telescoping 40-foot washing pole. Staten Island resident Nicholas Genovese, 58, was holding the pole at the top of a ladder while Alan Weinberg, 64, of Long Beach was standing on the ground holding the bottom of the pole. At that time, a gust of wind blew the pole into a power line.
Police said that by the time officers arrived, Weinberg was in cardiac arrest. They performed CPR, and paramedics from the Lynbrook Fire Department continued treatment. Weinberg was stabilized at South Nassau Communities Hospital and subsequently moved to Nassau University Medical Center Burn Unit for treatment of second and third degree burns to his hands and feet. He was in critical condition. Genovese suffered second and third degree burns. He was in stable condition at Nassau University Medical Center.

See previous electrocution with water fed poles here & here.
Safety guidelines for water fed pole users here.
Solar Panel cleaning here.
Extreme study here.

Friday 26 November 2010

Window Cleaning Resource - The Newest Products

Window Cleaning Resource seem to me making all the moves on getting new products to their store. Just a selection here of some new & trending products that are appearing.  Also if you are interested - free shipping for US customers today only (Exceptions apply). It just means adding "blackfriday" to your coupon code & you receive the free shipping. All details can be found on the window cleaning resource forum, here.

The Ninja 21' Composite Water Fed Pole by Assassin WFP's. The newest addition to the stable. Unbelievably light & rapid to use. Available from the store here. Interesting stuff..

Brushes are making a come back! These two videos are an absolute must to watch if you are interested in using them. Just click Marks name below to take you to the video. Follow the discussion at window cleaning resource here & here.

Window Cleaning Brush Review from Mark Strange on Vimeo.

Jaret talks about the pros and cons of the Unger Sprayer on a Belt. A great video & a great field test from one so young. Available here from the store.

The Ettore pure water caddy by Ettore/Reach Higher Ground. Hey! When did they join together? Available from the store here.

Mark the Window Cleaner talks about the Track Cleaner found here in the store.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Window Cleaner Nicked For Stealing Womans Knickers

Burgling window cleaner wearing victim's knickers when arrested: A window cleaner arrested on suspicion of burgling a young mum’s home was found to be wearing her knickers when police took him into custody. Alan Sayer burgled his 19-year-old customer’s home in Newton-le-Willows, snatching a bra and a pair of lacy French knickers from her bedroom. He was rumbled after reporting a break in at the house to the woman and later sending her a handwritten note asking for a date, St Helens Magistrates’ Court heard.

Officers, who then arrested the 36-year-old, discovered he was wearing a pair of the stolen knickers at the police station. The crime is said to have left his young victim “sickened”. St Helens Magistrates’ Court heard how the mother had chatted to the window cleaner on the morning of the burglary. Prosecuting, George Moss said she left home with her son at 10.30am on November 10 when Sayer began asking what she was doing that day.

Mr Moss said: “She told him she was going to her mother’s. When she left the house it was locked and secure.” But hours later Sayer went to her mother’s home, whose address he knew through a friend, to tell his customer someone had broken into her house. She returned home and although suspicious did not think anything had been taken. However, after discovering her pink and black underwear was missing she contacted police. And her fears that Sayer had been the culprit rose the next day when she found his hand written note in her letterbox, asking for a date.

After his arrest, he claimed the knickers belonged to his ex-partner, who lives in Nottingham, before later confessing to burglary when the evidence stacked up. He denies forced entry, however. A witness had told police she had seen Sayer at the rear of the house with his ladders leaning against an extension. She added that Sayer, of Sankey Street, Newton had gone missing for between 30 to 45 minutes. His fingerprints were also found on the inside of the window.

Watching the hearing from the public gallery was Sayer’s father, who told police in a statement that he discovered women’s underwear in his son’s bedroom “from time to time” and found it “embarrassing”. Whenever he found the items, he threw them in the bin. A victim impact statement from the woman, read out in court by Mr Moss, said: “This event has left me scared and disgusted to think someone has entered my house and stolen my knickers and bra. “It makes me feel sick, I no longer wish to live here and am worried about what else he might do.” Sayer has been remanded in custody until January when he will be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Britain’s Scariest Job? Meet Canary Wharf’s Window Cleaner

So the producers had to pick a scary job for UK disc jockey & celebrity, Chris Evans (pictured above & left).  The "job from hell" was to become a window cleaner for a day on  London's tallest iconic tower. The One Show host cleaned the windows outside One Canada Square in Canary Wharf as part of a ‘grin and bear it’ stunt for Children in Need. People were asked to vote for one of the presenters - Evans, Jason Manford or Alex Jones - to do a job out of their comfort zone, with the idea raising more than £100,000 for the cause. The film of how the Radio 2 DJ got on as a window cleaner was shown on Children in Need’s live show on BBC One, with Evans admitting he was “petrified”. He tweeted: “Couldn’t tweet while I was up there, no loose objects allowed and no signal! I was properly ******* myself,” adding before the stunt: “All for the kids. That’s what I keep telling myself at least.”

Britain’s scariest job? Meet Canary Wharf’s window cleaner: Paul Wright’s work is cold, painstaking and tough - oh, and it happens to be 235 metres above ground. The 24-year-old is one of four people employed to clean the windows of Britain’s tallest building, One Canada Square. His unusual living came to national fame last week when TV presenter Chris Evans joined him for a morning’s work as part of a stunt for Children in Need.

The idea was that One Show host Evans would be subjected to a ‘job from hell’ - but Paul (pictured below) insists there’s nothing to be afraid of. “It probably is one of the scariest jobs in Britain, and the first time you go over it turns your stomach, but I’m used to it now,” he said. “Funnily enough my mum gets more scared - she doesn’t like it. When she saw the clip on Children In Need she had to turn away. “Chris was terrified at first when he stepped away from the roof but he did a decent job once he finally let go of the side!”

Paul and his colleagues from Classic London are lowered down from cradles at the top of the skyscraper, each secured to the building to stop it blowing in the wind. The window cleaners have special training to operate the cradles and are always harnessed and sent down in pairs. The building has 4,000 windows and takes four people a month to clean - after which the job starts all over again.

Such extreme work might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Paul, who lives on the Isle of Dogs, says there are perks to the job. “You’re away from everything and in your own little world. It’s an absolutely amazing view and it’s very peaceful,” said Paul, who has done the job for almost seven years. “The only problem is it does get cold - sometimes we have to use anti-freeze in the water. Oh, and you can’t forget to bring a drink - it’s a long way back once you’re out cleaning!

“It’s been a strange week. I was on Radio 2, Children In Need and the Alan Titchmarsh Show. Chris Evans also invited me to the One Show after the shift and we went for a drink once the show was finished. It was fun, but it’s time to get back to work now.”

Canary Wharf window cleaners committed to minimising accident claims: Window cleaners at One Canada Square are backing a national safety campaign to prevent accident claims resulting from falls in the workplace. Peter Kyte Frics, managing director of Canary Wharf Management Limited, explained that safety is always top of the agenda among staff. He added: "We are conscious of the fact that many accidents in the workplace can be directly related to slips, trips and falls. "We do all we can through training to make sure that all workers on the Canary Wharf estate are aware of hazards." The support is being offered to the Health and Safety Executive's Shattered Lives campaign, with the regulator urging employees and employers throughout the UK to take simple steps to reduce injury risks in the workplace. 

Wharf window cleaners rescued from cradle: Firefighters using ropes and a cherry picker came to the rescue of a pair of Canary Wharf window cleaners stuck on the side of an office building today. The two men were trapped in their cradle, jammed on a ledge at the fifth floor of 25 North Colonnade, which is occupied by the FSA, above the Crossrail site. A call was made around 1pm to the fire brigade and firefighters arrived on the scene a few minutes later. The men were brought down at 2.50pm. After securing the cradle, firefighters lowered them onto a fourth-floor balcony. Crowds of Wharf workers gathered below to watch the pair being lifted to safety.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Glass Technology News For The Window Cleaner

Infomercial ruined by the most breakable “unbreakable” glass ever: The hosts in this video are touting a bit of unbreakable glass that’s part of their grill product. Small problem: The glass might be the most breakable thing ever. Oops.

Vandal Shield repels vandals but welcomes visitors: A sports and youth centre in the North West has found the ideal security solution – a lightweight window shield that repels vandals yet retains the building’s inviting aspect to visitors. Copley Young Persons Centre in Tameside has fitted 2317m2 Vandal Shield on two large glass elevations of its new extension, which opened in June 2010. The building offers a range of child and youth services, as well as outreach work with community groups and families – so it was important to make it vandal proof, yet keep its open and welcoming look. “The centre was not a particular target for vandals before the extension went up, but there was concern over the potential for attacks, with the large amount of glass used. Without Vandal Shield, the project simply would not have gone ahead,” explained Lindsey Thomson, project team leader for the centre. “Because of the materials used in the design of the building, we needed a lightweight system, and this was the only one that was suitable.
“It protects the building but does not put people off using it, which is very important in a facility of this type, which needs to continue engaging with the whole community. We needed a solution that was unobtrusive, and allowed the glass to do its job of allowing plenty of light into the building.” Vandal Shield, from Manchester firm Fingershield Safety (UK), fitted the bill perfectly. From a distance, it looks like tinted glass but the durable perforated galvanised steel mesh, set in an extruded aluminium frame, provides a tough physical barrier to vandals, yet lets in maximum light.  Vandal Shield is designed to complement existing windows, whether modern or classical, and can be mounted in front of or behind existing windows, in a range of different coloured frames. It is more cost effective than re-glazing, an increasingly expensive solution. The product is recommended by police crime prevention officers and has been fitted in a number of public buildings across the country, including schools and churches.

The riots at Millbank Tower shows protesters destroying windows. Business owners are responsible for keeping their glass safe, it's the law. Most readers will have seen the striking photograph on most newspaper front-pages of a rioting student demonstrator kicking in a window at Millbank Tower. To most observers, this was an act of reckless violence. But to any business premise owner, the image of how the broken glass actually stayed relatively intact after being shattered tells another story. The remarkable fact is, despite press coverage being full of reports of broken glass, no one was seriously injured or killed by a lethal shard of glass. This was not down to luck. It was down to a micro-thin technology that all business premise owners should be aware of – safety window film.
Ever since 1992, when Health, Safety and Welfare Regulation 14 came into force, business premise owners have been required to ensure that “every window or other transparent or translucent surface in a wall, partition, door or gate should, where necessary for reasons of health or safety, be of a safety material or be protected against breakage of the transparent or translucent material; and be appropriately marked or incorporate features to make it apparent.” This regulation, designed to protect building occupants as well as passersby, applies to a wide range of workplaces including offices, shops, schools, hospitals, hotels and places of entertainment. In other words, the business owner is responsible for keeping their glass safe, or they could be held liable and face legal consequences if someone gets hurt or killed due to poor safety practices.
Last year, the media reported the death of a young man who died after cutting himself when he threw his girlfriend through the front window of a well-known high street retailer. Many of us will also have seen the newspaper photographs of the windowpane that fell dozens of stories onto Old Broad Street, narrowly missing passersby. With the 2012 Olympics around the corner, let’s not forget the growing threat of terrorism – almost 90 percent of all injuries from a bomb blast are related to flying glass, rather than the blast itself. Millbank Tower was built in 1963. Like most British business premises it was built before 1992, when Regulation 14 came into force. Fortunately, the owners of the building took the necessary steps to retrofit safety window film, which kept both the baying mob and our brave boys in blue safe. Although retrofitting safety window film is a relatively inexpensive and unobtrusive process, most business premises are not up to scratch when it comes to glass safety. The main advice is this: before taking on a new lease, prospective tenants should seriously question the landlord whether the property meets Regulation 14.

NanaWall Systems, the leader in large opening glass walls, announces the introduction of its newest product: NanaGlass SL25. NanaGlass SL25 has evolved from the European concept of balcony glazing and provides developers and builders advanced architectural technology for energy-efficiency and expanded living spaces. The NanaGlass SL25 is a frameless opening glass wall system installed on the exterior of balconies, patios, and under second-story decks to create a pleasant living area sheltered from the elements. With no vertical stiles, the NanaGlass system provides uninterrupted views and natural light while forming an insulating air pocket over the building facade. The NanaGlass panels easily slide wide open and stack to one or both sides for natural ventilation on a beautiful day or quickly close to protect the balcony, deck or patio from wind, rain, pests, and birds. The NanaGlass individual sliding panels are top-supported in a single track and can ride a fixed balcony railing or extend all the way to the floor. The NanaGlass SL25 1/2 inch glass panels are engineered to withstand wind loads up to 80 stories in 90 mile-per-hour wind zones. A NanaGlass system installed on a high-rise balcony transforms unusable windy space into a pleasant year-round entertaining area and adds immediate collateral value to the unit.

Glass: Newest material for extra-sturdy homes - Simon Parrish says he has spent about 20 years developing a method of housing construction that can stand up to just about anything. Now, he is letting the rest of the world know about it. Parrish is production director for the Ambiente brand of manufactured housing. Ambiente is a division of Abersham Commercial Services LLC, based in the Town of Brookfield, Wis. A key ingredient of Ambiente's houses is waste glass. In a process that was developed and eventually brought to market by Parrish and his father, Malcolm, waste glass is transformed into a very fine powder similar to sand. It is then combined with a resin to form reinforced wall sections that are resistant to fire, water and mold. They are also engineered to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. "It's absolutely the best material to make a house from," Simon Parrish said. The process is also environmentally friendly. "Each house has 13 tons of waste glass in it," he said. There is no wood or metal in the house. Channels for plumbing and electrical wiring are built into the panels. Once manufactured, houses are shipped out as kits to be assembled at a construction site.

Glass company invests $2.6 million in NLAB Solar’s cheap, transparent solar cells: NLAB Solar just landed an investment of $2.6 million from Fasadglas Bäcklin, Scandinavia’s largest glass facade company. NLAB Solar manufactures energy-producing dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC). The cells which can be integrated into transparent and colored facades such as those produced by Fasadglas. The funding will be used to accelerate product development in NLAB’s new plant in Stockholm.
DSC operate in a similar manner to photosynthesis in plants. In nature a dye called chlorophyll, which gives plants their green colour, absorbs solar energy. That energy is used to convert carbon dioxide into sugars which feed the plant. DSC cells use an artificial dye to absorb the energy in sunlight. Most solar cells available today are based on silicon. When sunlight hits the silicon, electrons flow through the material to produce electricity. Although DSC has a lower efficiency rate than silicon cells, it can be made transparent and produced in different colors, which explains Fasadglas’s interest in the technology. The DSC film can be built into windows and building facades where sun shading film is normally used. Based on an energy efficiency of 5.1 percent, one meter of glass facade in Stockholm (1000 hours of sun per year), could provide electricity for approximately one square meter of office space. NLAB aims for 4 percent efficiency in transparent cells for window applications in urban environments.
DSC cells also have other advantages such as higher efficiency under low and angled light conditions. DSC cells are much cheaper to manufacture than silicon since they do not require pure silicon as a raw material or the related complex manufacturing equipment. NLAB Solar’s twist on DSC technology is to add a one-dimensional photonic crystal (1DPC). This is a transparent mirror placed inside the DSC that reflects certain wavelengths of light back through the dye layer. This increases the number of photons striking the dye and leads to higher efficiency. The company claims to have seen a 37 percent improvement over standard DSC, which would improve the efficiency from 4 percent to approximately 5.5 percent.

The global market for Flat Glass is projected to exceed 34 million metric tons by 2015. The industry that was hard hit by the global economic meltdown is gradually witnessing signs of recovery, particularly led by economic growth in developing countries. Huge governmental stimulus subsequent to the economic turmoil coupled with high construction activity in the developing world is expected to fuel future growth in the global flat glass market. The industry is also deriving growth from new smart-glass products such as electrochromic, switchable glass, self-cleaning window glass and heads-up display windscreens.

What to do with the Gardiner Expressway? Whether it be tearing it down and replacing it with tunnel or a widened Lake Shore Boulevard or its conversion into an elevated park reminiscent of New York's High Line, it's one of those pieces of infrastructure that continually sparks debate amongst architects, city planners, politicians and residents. Although a Waterfront Toronto environmental assessment to evaluate the proposed removal of a portion of the expressway that runs between Jarvis Street and the DVP got underway in March of 2009, that hasn't put a stop to the novel alternatives that continue to be tossed around. Last year, Les Klein's Green Ribbon plan (pictured above) to turn the expressway into an elevated park was cause for much discussion -- both positive and critical -- but another plan from around the same time has flown a bit under the radar. In an October 2009 article in The Bulletin, Michael Comstock, president of the Toronto Association of BIAs, wrote about architect Peter Michno's proposal to enclose the Gardiner in a glass dome. Without many renderings readily available online, however, it never garnered the attention that Klein's idea enjoyed.

A Window That Can Tint Itself: We've seen windows that can serve as solar panels, and thanks RavenBrick we now have windows that can become tinted based on the temperature. The company has developed a type of glass that can change it's tint based on the temperature outside. So when it becomes hot and sunny, the windows will become darker allowing less sunlight to come in, thus reducing the amount of air conditioning necessary to keep a building or a home cool. The windows are able to do this by using what the company describes as a "an organic, nontoxic polymer which changes its molecular structure in response to temperature." It's actually a filter that's placed between two panes of glass and it can be adjusted to suit the needs of one particular location.

A window into the future - Here’s a futuristic notion: Windows that darken on hot sunny days to block heat and glare, clear  up on cool or cloudy days to allow in sunlight and warmth, save lots of energy, eliminate the need for blinds or shades and, most important, allow people indoors to be connected all the time to the natural world. This may sound like magic, but electrochromic windows are here today. You can see them, above, at the student center at Chabot College in Hayward, CA. They’re made by a small Minnesota-based company called SAGE Electrochromics, which is about to get bigger: This week,  SAGE announced that it sold 50% of itself for $80 million to  Saint-Gobain, a global building materials firm based in  France. Until they worked out their deal,  SAGE and Saint-Gobain had been competing to develop windows that would electronically control the sun’s energy that flows through them. Also here.

Germany closes famous glass dome at Berlin's Reichstag to visitors as terror fears mount: Last week the interior minister announced 'concrete indications' of a terror plot about to come to fruition. Security spiked at all major airports and railway stations across Germany. Police believe at least two members of a jihadi hit squad are in Berlin. Al Qaeda and associated Islamist groups are planning to take hostages and fire at people in the Reichstag, said news magazine Der Spiegel, citing intelligence sources. News of the plot reportedly came from a jihadist who contacted the German authorities.

Governments worldwide have successively established their own energy-efficient standards for buildings, and implemented a variety of policies to promote energy-efficient building materials, which has greatly boosted the application of low emissivity (Low-E) glass. The sales of Low-E glass worldwide grew rapidly during 1990-2005, and exceeded 250 million m2 in 2005, with a CAGR of around 18%. Currently, Low-E glass is widely applied in developed countries. The utilization rate of Low-E glass is 92% in Germany, 90% in South Korea and 75% in Poland. While in China, the penetration rate of energy-efficient glass is only 10%, and the Low-E glass' 8%. Therefore, China will have a large space for the development of Low-E glass in the future, and will see rapid growth of Low-E glass in the coming years. It is projected that a total of 148 million m2 of Low-E glass will be applied in the public and residential buildings by 2012.

New Energy Technologies, Inc. today announced plans to advance its efforts to commercialize the Company's novel SolarWindow(TM) technology, in order to accelerate to-market the 'first-of-its-kind' product capable of generating electricity on see-thru glass windows. Electrical power is generated on glass by spraying New Energy's SolarWindow(TM) coatings onto surfaces using commercially available equipment. Through the Company's patent-pending process, company researchers spray SolarWindow(TM) coatings onto glass at room temperature, eliminating expensive and often cumbersome high-temperature or high-vacuum production methods typically used by current solar manufacturers. Unique to SolarWindow(TM), glass surfaces remain see-thru, and generate electricity in both natural and artificial light conditions. In artificial light, New Energy's SolarWindow(TM) technology outperforms today's commercial solar and thin-films by as much as 10-fold under low-intensity irradiance. This feature was recently demonstrated at a public unveiling of SolarWindow(TM).

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