Living next to a golf course has its perks. There’s easy access to the fairway, of course. It’s a quick walk to the pro shop or clubhouse restaurant. Best of all, though, is the view, with its wide expanses of green and seemingly endless acres of woods.
Developer Bill Olschewski knew he needed to make the most of that view as he planned Country Club Estates, a five-home project adjacent to the Minnewasta Golf Course in Morden, Manitoba. The right windows were essential for the bungalow-style homes, which are being completed this year.
Olschewski knows from personal experience how the wrong window selection can derail an otherwise successful build. After building his own home six years ago, he soon struggled with noise issues and leaks during Manitoba’s bitterly cold winters. Those problems disappeared after he installed REHAU’s GENEO windows.
So when it was time to pick the windows for Country Club Estates, he turned once again to GENEO, and to his trusty supplier, Henry Wiens, owner of Access Window and Door Design Centre. He knew the windows needed to allow for uninterrupted views of the golf course, and they had to meet the highest standards of energy efficiency. Beyond that, they also needed to be easy to use and clean, as the condominiums are designed for individuals ages 55 and older.
“We wanted to build something reliable for our customers, so they wouldn’t have any problems down the road,” Olschewski says.
GENEO windows use a triple compression-seal technology, which can stand up to Manitoba’s harsh climate, which spans from below-zero temperatures in the winter to hot, sticky summers. This secure system prevents energy loss and also makes for a much quieter interior.
At a buyer’s request, Olschewski and Wiens altered the living room design from two smaller windows to one larger one looking out over the golf course—10 feet by 6 feet in size. When potential homeowners visit, many are struck by the sheer size and elegance.
“We can build a 21-square-foot window—that’s a lot of glass (and thus weight),” Wiens says. “People [say] how in the world can you build such a big window in the residence and still have it operable?”
They’re operable thanks to their tilt-turn system. That was Wiens’ suggestion, as opposed to a traditional casement style. The tilt-turn design makes the windows much easier to open and close, and it greatly improves safety and ease during cleaning. As opposed to a traditional, outward-opening window, these open inward for easy cleaning. This prevents owners from having to balance on a ladder outside, for example. They’re also easy to use, even if the user has arthritis. In addition, they tilt for better and safe ventilation, allowing for better temperature regulation.
Wiens’ firm designed custom screens for the Country Club Estates homes to provide the highest thermal performance and reliability. Given the large size of the windows, the screens on the market simply wouldn’t have the strength to stand up to the climate. The company designed a solution that could withstand even the strongest winds. They may look sleek and simple, he says, but “there’s a lot more engineering than what meets the eye.”
Due to the tilt-turn design, the screen stays on the outside, even when the windows are open. That’s a major boon in “bug country,” as Wiens dubs their region, because insects don’t get trapped inside. In addition, homeowners can choose custom finishes and colors for the windows.
Another benefit is that the windows lock on all four sides. When a window has only one locking point, it causes negative pressure and can allow air to seep in or out, Olschewski says.
“You control your air flow and ventilation a lot better that way,” he says, adding that this lessens the burden on the home’s HVAC system. “Those systems have to work a lot harder if the windows don’t seal tightly,” he says.
With a 100 percent airtight seal, you have much greater control—and as a result, waste less energy.
Having Access manufacture the windows locally in nearby Winkler also gave Olschewski peace of mind. If any issues arise, someone can come check it out right away. Not that he’s expecting to have many problems with the windows. In fact, he’s already planning to use REHAU GENEO products for his next project.
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