Alcatraz. An iconic part of American history and folklore. Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly. Robert Stroud, a.k.a.“The Birdman of Alcatraz,” all spent time at the former federal penitentiary on an island in the San Francisco Bay designed with the intention that no criminal could ever escape.
And now Indow Windows will do time there too!
Next week our CEO Sam will photograph the initial installation of Indow Windows panels in the gun gallery of the New Industries building in preparation for the latest exhibit by Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei.
Ai Weiwei, known for his work on freedom of expression and human rights, was once under house arrest and even now can’t leave China. That was just one of the many challenges of putting together the show. Another: part of the vision for his exhibit at Alcatraz calls for visitors to look down at his art from a gun gallery full of broken windows where guards once trained their weapons on prisoners below.
But that meant opening a part of Alcatraz off-limits to the public. FOR-SITE, the foundation organizing @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, had to carry out this powerful vision without putting a single nail or screw hole in this National Historic Landmark. FOR-SITE asked us to custom engineer a solution that would shield visitors from Alcatraz’s broken gun gallery windows without leaving a mark. And we did! Visitors will view Ai Weiwei’s work through transparent Indow Windows inserts, which will protect them from broken glass (and help them resist the temptation to snap off a piece of Alcatraz as a souvenir!)
Indow Windows’ unique window inserts press into place using the our patented Compression Tube without screws or any other damaging changes to the existing structure. Our amazing San Francisco dealer, Kevel Home Performance, expertly laser measured the length of the gun gallery to create the company’s biggest order ever. Indow Windows’ innovative cleantech product is one reason FOR-SITE managed to put together this exhibit at one of America’s most popular tourist attractions just nine months after receiving State Department approval.
The gun gallery is in the two-story New Industries Building, constructed between 1939-1941, where inmates did laundry for the military and manufactured clothing, shoes and brushes. It replaced the nearby Model Industries Building, which was the site of several attempted escapes.
@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz runs from September 27 – April 26. Let us know if you go to see it!
Summer in New Mexico is hot. But this year Beverly was convinced she had been experiencing a cooler than average summer. When she learned it had actually been hotter than normal, she knew why: she had installed Shade Grade Indow Windows inserts on her home’s 19 windows.
“I used to have to close the blinds and pull the curtains to keep the afternoon sun from baking the bedroom. Now I can have the Indow Windows alone.”
This is our newest grade and one we’re super excited about since it’s perfect for those hot, dusty climates with unrelenting sun. Shade Grade helps block the solar heat gain through Beverly’s windows making her 1930 Mediterranean bungalow more comfortable when the sun is blazing. She hasn’t run her evaporative cooler as much and is looking forward to lower energy bills.
She also appreciates that Shade Grade lessons the harsh white glare she sees when she looks out her windows. Legally blind, she used to have to put on sunglasses to look outside. Now her windows have them thanks to Indow Window’s dealer, Current C Energy Systems in Albuquerque.
“New Mexico sun is extremely strong in the summer,” she said. “It’s so bright I keep the blinds closed. Now I can leave my blinds open more and get more of the outside inside.”
Double-pane windows promise an insulation value double that of single-pane but don’t always deliver. Pat Bushway bought a 29-year-old house in Hampton, New Hampshire with double-pane windows that blew drafts as if they were old-fashioned single-pane windows.
“They’re just really drafty,” Pat said.
Often people seek out Indow Windows when they have older homes with just a single-pane of glass separating them from the cold weather outside, but we work wonders on newer homes with more modern windows that just aren’t performing as they should be.
Pat called Clearview Sunroom & Window in Dover and bought 24 Indow Windows to make her home more comfortable for this coming winter so she could get away from blow drying plastic sheeting over her view to the outside world. She is looking forward to watching them perform and so are we!
Another double-pane window story that caught our attention could be a cautionary tale about moving too quickly to replace single-pane windows with expensive double-panes. A report by The Snell Group found problems in 10-year-old double-pane windows filled with argon gas made by a reputable company. Just 10 years old! Condensation formed in the center and some even imploded. The reason? The report found that argon escaped from the window but wasn’t easily replaced by air, creating negative pressure in the space between the two panes. That pushed the two panes of glass close together, which led to heat transfer and during the right conditions, condensation in the window’s center.
Remember this: Indow Windows provide real double-pane performance at a fraction of the price and leave beautiful old windows intact.
Are you having similar trouble with your double-pane windows? Ask for the free white paper by The Snell Group, A Unique Thermal Problem Found in Certain Double-Glazed Windows (Hint: click on buildings.)
Today is the longest day of the year when that glorious sun shines on and on. After dinner, you can play capture the flag, ride your bike, walk or talk on the porch for hours. Sleep? Trickier for sure.
To stay healthy, sharp and creative adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you’re battling the late night and early morning sun with these long summer days, Indow Windows blackout panels block all light and make a room super dark. (Like I-can’t-see-my-hand-in-front-of-my-face dark.) They’re perfect for shift workers who might as well be experiencing the summer solstice every day since they’re always trying to sleep when the rest of the world is awake! They hush a room too, quieting all early morning sounds be they crows, traffic, garbage trucks or troubadours.
New York City winters are tough. New York City winters with enormous windows so drafty they send the shade swinging back and forth are merciless, powerful monsters. This was Laurie Duncan’s seasonal cross to bear in the converted warehouse-apartment she and her husband bought 17 years ago in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill.
Not only was it uncomfortable, the sharp temperature swings between the heat being on or off were destroying her husband’s guitars.
But what ultimately spurred them to fortify their home against the brutal weather was a quest for energy efficiency. They had just finished swapping every single incandescent bulb with an LED in their elaborately lit place and their energy bills were plummeting.
“We were so excited we were making such strides in our energy consumption and monetary outlay,” said Laurie. “We asked, ‘What else can we do?’”
They were staring straight through it: strengthen those windows to stop the drafts that could be felt a foot away! Their loft-style apartment is one room with three huge single-pane wood-framed windows in a landmarked building. Replacing them would cost a fortune. Trying to blow dry plastic wrap over them would be Quixotic. They needed something simple, easily removable, affordable and effective.
So they kept researching. And then she found Indow Windows.
“And I went crazy: this is the most obvious idea ever and it doesn’t seem like anyone has ever thought of it.”
Her windows were completely out of square with almost a full inch difference in width from the top to the bottom.
“It narrows and slants,” she said. “Nothing is flat and nothing is at 90 degrees. Is it going to be possible to accommodate that?
Since Indow Windows are laser-measured to ensure a precise fit, it doesn’t matter how much a window has settled into a trapezoid or parallelogram. Laurie did have challenging windows, but with her help and persistence Indow Windows and our dealer, Ciel Power in Lyndhurst, N.J., got a great fit. And she solved her problem.
“They look perfect and no one knows they’re there,” said Laurie. “It has truly improved the quality of our life, which I know sounds like a ridiculously cliched thing to say.”
And while she didn’t buy the Indow Windows for their noise reduction properties, the quiet they provide is arresting. In New York, Laurie explained, people automatically filter out noise because otherwise “your head would explode.” The buses, the sirens, the English pub across the street that gets loud during televised soccer matches are now all hushed.
She conquered the noise and has slayed New York winters. And we’re grateful she tells everyone about her secret weapon!
It was a great moment for Sam: he had just installed the first Indow Windows prototypes into his window frames. Here was a way to block drafts and make his 1906 Craftsman bungalow more energy efficient. He had invented something to address his long-standing worry about climate change.
It was so simple, he told the crowd at the recent Oregon Entrepreneurs Network event titled “School of Hard Knocks” where entrepreneurs from around the state shared stories of perseverance and tenacity in creating their companies.
The elation he felt when he went to bed evaporated the next morning when he came downstairs to find the acrylic inserts had all flopped out of his windows. That disappointment was the beginning of a long road. He quickly realized most windows are out of square, slight trapezoids and parallelograms.
For his simple invention to work, he would ultimately have to help develop a complicated software program so people could precisely measure their out-of-square windows all over the country.
Talk about something simple turning into something really hard.
That whole experience played a role in defining the company values later on: creativity, discipline, confidence and humility.
“Creativity helps us come up with completely innovative new solutions that help us do things in new ways,” he told the crowd. “Discipline helps us make six-foot-by-four-foot polygons that are going to fit perfectly in a home in New Jersey and aren’t going to have to be shipped back to the factory for a rework.
“Confidence allows us to dare to risk new things. Humility allows us to learn from the mistakes we dare to make. “
And those values fuel us toward an important goal: lowering our price to $15 a square foot while raising production wages and maintaining company gross margins – all so that we can continue to make the built environment more energy efficient!
It’s no secret Oregon is the epicenter of the energy efficiency movement. This week some of the most creative and effective minds in developing a more energy efficient built environment joined us on the Indow Windows factory floor to celebrate Oregon’s commitment to the clean energy economy.
We powered down our loud saws and production stopped early while everyone gathered to talk about what the future holds now that Oregon has committed to helping fund Clean Energy Works, a nonprofit providing home performance upgrades throughout the state.
Governor Kitzhaber’s Energy Advisor Margie Hoffman, State Rep. and Multnomah County Commissioner-Elect Jules Bailey, Clean Energy Works CEO Derek Smith and Tom Kelly, president of Neil Kelly, all took the podium to speak about the important work ahead.
It’s exciting to think the state’s $10 million investment will lead to energy upgrades in 600,000 homes, 60,000 good jobs and ultimately $100 billion in economic development opportunity.
Every day at Indow Windows we’re working hard to make thermal window inserts that improve the energy efficiency of the built environment but also create good paying jobs for Oregonians. We’re committed to becoming as efficient as we can to continually raise production wages and make our product as affordable as possible. After all, there are one billion leaky single-pane windows in the U.S. that need saving!
Which leads to the most important reason we do what we do: climate change. Our CEO Sam Pardue said it well to the gathering of 100 or so people: he wants to redefine climate change not as environmental issue but one of the greatest socioeconomic challenges of our day.
While it’s hard to blame any one event on climate change, the unstable climate is leading to more catastrophic weather events like Typhoon Haiyan that slammed into the Philippines six months ago – the most powerful storm ever recorded to hit land.
Today, two million people still live without adequate shelter and of the 18,456 classrooms destroyed, only 51 have been rebuilt. Climate change is creating devastating poverty around the world, making it imperative to shrink our carbon footprint.
“Climate change is the fundamental socioeconomic issue of our time and the work the legislature has done to fund Clean Energy Works is incredibly important,” Sam said. “It’s just the start of a long road ahead and I want to applaud you all and celebrate the work that’s been done so we can get back to work with really good hearts to do more.”
Our loud saws are back at it today!
The story of how Michael Hofler came to be the new Creative Director at Indow Windows started with his house.
It’s an A. Quincy Jones house, built in 1960, a beautiful example of mid-century modern architecture in East Portland. Michael and his wife, Karen, love this house. Its clean lines. Its flow – with every square inch designed to maximize living. Its efficiency: large eaves that shield the hot summer sun from casting too much light on the floor but in the winter allow it to travel far enough to brighten and warm the house.
It’s a treasure, Michael says. “And I won’t sell it - at least not to anyone who planned to change A. Quincy Jones’s vision in any way.”
But as with houses of that era, it has single-pane glass, making it chilly and drafty in the winter and allowing radiant heat buildup in the summer.
Replacing the windows would have cost more than $23,000 and marred the structure’s architectural integrity.
That’s when Michael found Indow Windows. He realized they were just the thing to make his house even better by blocking drafts and keeping the original windows intact.
“Indow Windows has helped my house become more efficient without altering its character,” he said. “I think that’s really important. The inserts just make perfect sense. I’m amazed that someone hadn’t thought of it sooner.”
While checking out the Indow Windows website, he saw the company needed a creative director. As a brand design director, he had been looking for a company small enough that it didn’t already have a solidified brand.
He wanted to help build something from the ground up. And when he met founder and CEO Sam Pardue and the rest of the Indow Windows team, he knew he could help.
“As soon as I met Sam I knew it would be a good fit. Like the fact that he allowed his staff to post playful out-take videos on the site showed that he and the company didn’t take itself too seriously,” he said.
“To me it was a sign that the company had the sort of culture I’d been looking for.”
In discovering Indow Windows Michael found a solution for his home and a career path with a clean tech startup that supports his desire to help the planet, rather than take away from it. He’s excited about the visual changes he has planned for the Indow Windows brand and is looking forward to the year ahead.
Boy, do we love to help people in distress, much as Maggie Finnerty once was. Maggie lives in one of those big houses with wavy, leaded-glass Craftsman windows that make you sigh because they’re so old and full of character.
But oh, the noise. A busy Northeast Portland thoroughfare had built up around her house in the 100 years since it was constructed. An auto body shop had opened next door. It wasn’t long after moving in that the racket prompted her and her partner, Don, to think about selling it even though it was such a dreamy house.
Maggie slept with earplugs and still got woken up. Their infant son needed his naps.
Also, the 1913 Craftsman windows leaked, scoring the lowest possible on an air leakage test. But replace that wavy leaded single-pane glass? Ha!
Our favorite part of a story like this is that even though we sell something that sounds kind or ordinary at first – “thermal window inserts” – we can be like super heroes, like Captain Comfort or The Quiet Shadow or Indow Window Woman!
We can provide instant comfort and quiet and we can save old windows. Maggie put acoustic grade inserts into her first-floor bedroom and dining room windows, which block up to 70 percent of sound (check out this funny dramatized video our founder did about how well they work).
Like all the inserts we handcraft here in our Portland factory, they make a room instantly more energy efficient.
“It’s made a huge difference,” she said.
They no longer talk about moving. One of the things Maggie likes best? The inserts are nearly invisible.
“Unless you know they’re there, you don’t know they’re there.”
Right, so maybe, it’s like Invisible Indow Window Woman to the rescue….
We’ve got you covered when it’s cold and drafty and now we have your back when it’s hot, hot, hot. This week we proudly launched Indow Windows in Shade Grade. They’re like sunglasses for your home, shielding searing summer sun through your windows to keep you cooler and more comfortable.
By reducing solar heat gain, Shade Grade acrylic window inserts make a home more energy efficient and reduce air conditioning bills. And like all Indow Windows, they instantly hush a room by dampening outside noise coming through single-pane windows by up to 50 percent (take that, early morning garbage truck!)
Solar radiation through a home’s windows can dramatically spike temperatures. Shade Grade inserts with their soft green tint still let in plenty of light while reducing solar heat transmitted through windows by almost half. Enjoy bright summer light without sweltering heat.
This latest innovation was something we had been wanting to put out there for a while. Our Standard Grade insert is typically used by homeowners looking to create super comfortable living spaces by blocking cold winter drafts although they actually do a stellar job of blocking hot air too. What they don’t do is stop the heat of the sun from entering the interior space. And that’s where Shade Grade excels.
“To solve the air conditioning energy consumption problem, we needed an Indow Window that could block the sun’s heat from entering the room,” said CEO Sam Pardue who invented Indow Windows to insulate his lovely 1906 Craftsman home that’s just a short bike ride from our warehouse and offices on North Interstate Avenue in Portland.
Indow Windows are acrylic inserts that simply press into the interior of a window frame using our patented silicone Compression Tube. Do they require destructive mounting hardware? No. Are they a perfect choice for beautiful, historic windows? Yes.
Worldwide, buildings account for one-third of energy consumption. Making homes and businesses more energy efficient has a direct impact on carbon emissions. So while Shade Grade inserts provide comfort and energy savings, they help keep the planet cool too. (Which is one reason we launched on Earth Day!)
Indow Windows come in six other grades that will make your life awesome: UV-blocking Museum Grade, light-diffusing Privacy Grade, light-blocking Blackout Grade, scratch-resistant Commercial Grade, super sound-dampening Acoustic Grade and of course our comfort-inducing Standard Grade.
Shade Grade is ideal for homeowners of the South and Southeastern United States. But frankly with climate change causing such erratic weather including some searing hot summer weather in parts not used to searing hot summer weather, a set of Shade Grade panels would be useful for others too. Like every Indow Window, they simply press in and can be easily popped out. Why not a set of Standard Grade for winter and Shade Grade for summer?!
|Patent No. US 8,272,178||Made in Portland, OR from 100% made in USA components|