Ask About Crystal Windows Aluminum Fast Lead Time

In a bind? Are openings ready for windows but delivery is still months and months away? We have you covered. Thanks to recent process improvements, we have dramatically cut down the lead time on all aluminum products.

Call your Crystal representative to find out how to get a truckload shipment of Architectural-Rated Aluminum windows in 9 weeks*!

*Standard product features. Specialty glass, hardware, or color finish may extend this lead time. Lead time is subject to change without prior notice.

Crystal Windows Chairman Donates$1.1 Million for Queens College School of the Arts

Queens College President Frank Wu (left) and Queens Borough President Representative Tiffany Eason present proclamation to Crystal Chairman Thomas Chen recognizing The Chen Family gift to Queens College (photo by Crystal Windows)

-Entrepreneur Thomas Chen and Family Establish Sustaining Endowment-

QUEENS, NY, November 11, 2021 –Thomas Chen, Chairman and Founder of national manufacturer Crystal Window & Door Systems, and The ChenFamily are pleased to announce they have established a $1,105,000 endowment for Queens College in New York City.  The substantial endowment will support programs at the College’s new School of the Arts.  The endowment was announced by Thomas and his son Crystal President Steve Chen at a press conference held at Queens College on Wednesday, November 10th. The Thomas Chen Family/Crystal Windows Endowment will promote contemporary visual Asian art at Queens College through exhibitions, student scholarships, and a visiting artist program.

Three generations of The Chen Family present their $1.105 million endowment to Queens College (photo courtesy of Dominick Totino Photography and Queens College).

“I am proud to make this contribution on behalf of the Chen Family and Crystal Windows to Queens College,” said Thomas Chen.  “As someone who never had the opportunity to attend college, I believe supporting a prestigious local institution like Queens College with its long history of benefitting immigrants and first-generation Americans makes perfect sense.  This is the first major gift to the new School of the Arts, a subject near and dear to my heart.  This makes the endowment very special to me and a wonderful legacy for my family.”

Regarding the substantial gift to Queens College, President Frank Wu said, “Queens College is profoundly grateful for the generous support of Thomas Chen and The Chen Family, whose endowment will enable the college to offer exciting new programs and scholarships,” said President Wu. “At the same time, Thomas Chen’s remarkable life and outstanding career will inspire our students, showing them that with vision and hard work, the American dream is attainable.”

US Congresswoman Grace Meng and New York State Senators Toby Stavisky and John Liu were among speakers to address the audience, and they noted Crystal Windows’ growth and success, its support of Queens philanthropic and cultural institutions, and its commitment to New York.  Lee Fenerstock, President of the Queens College Foundation, and Simmi So, a current Queens College art student, spoke of what the endowment would mean to the College’s art programs.  The Chens also received a proclamation from Queens Borough President Donovan Richards recognizing their magnanimous action.

On behalf of The Chen Family, Thomas and Steve Chen presented the endowment to Queens College President Wu.  “Even though our operations are now national, Queens remains the home of Crystal Windows.  My family has always believed in sharing our good fortune to better the community,” said Steve Chen.  “We have a longstanding interest in art, and we have focused much of our philanthropy on supporting the arts.  Appreciation of art transcends the languages and borders that separate us.  Art is a force that unites people and the world, so The Chen Family is happy this endowment will support the arts and art education in Queens for many generations to come.”

Crystal Chairman Thomas Chen (left), President Steve Chen and Steve’s son pose with the endowment check presented to Queens College on November 10, 2021.

Entrepreneur Thomas Chen is a true American success story.  Speaking no English and with little money, he immigrated from rural Taiwan to the US in 1982 and worked several menial jobs.  Then in 1990 he launched his own very modest manufacturing company, Crystal Window & Door Systems in Queens.  The company grew steadily, expanded numerous times, and prospered.  Today as Chairman, Thomas continues to provide vision and strategic guidance to the Crystal family of companies, which his son Steve now leads.  His business acumen and accomplishments have been spotlighted over the years by national business publications, television news shows, and industry media and organizations.  Thomas remains a strong and prominent role model to many in the American immigrant and New York business communities.

Much of The Chen Family’s philanthropic activity is focused on the arts.  Thomas Chen is a founding member of the Taiwanese American Arts Council, which collaborates with the Queens Museum to support Asian artists throughout the city.  Over the years, The Chen Family has provided support to Queensborough Community College, Queens Theatre in the Park, the NYC Winter Lantern Festival, Flushing Town Hall, the Flushing Taiwan Center, and Queens College.

Queens College is a top-tier 4-year and graduate university within The City University of New York (CUNY) system.  Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs.  The college has more than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students and is located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, Queens.  It has been cited by Princeton Review as one of America’s Best Value Colleges for four consecutive years, as well as being ranked a U.S. News and World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College due to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs.

Crystal Windows Defy Northern Climate for Wisconsin Projects

Crystal Window & Door Systems recently supplied two new multifamily projects in Wisconsin – City Center in Brillion.

-Energy Efficient Vinyl WindowsEnhanceAffordable Housing Options –

QUEENS, NY, November 8, 2021 –National manufacturer Crystal Window & Door Systems recently completed supplying energy-efficient vinyl windows for two new construction mid-rise multifamily residences in Wisconsin.  The Crescent Lofts project at 315 West Franklin Street in Appleton comprised the historic renovation and conversion of a nearly 90-year old building (the former home of the Appleton Post-Crescent newspaper)to 33 unique apartments, and a newly constructed 4-story addition with 36 units.  Crystal supplied windows for the new addition; the windows in the original building were preserved. The City Center project at 230 North Main Street in Brillion features 40 apartments in a newly constructed 4-story building.

“Crystal has a good reputation with builders throughout the Midwest and northern states for quality manufacturing and a wide selection of products for every type of project,” said Frank Ganninger, Central West Regional Manager.  “We have supplied several projects in the past with Northcentral Construction and ABC Supply in the region and were pleased to participate again in new projects with them. We used enhanced glass packages for these windows and doors, making them ideal for the colder northern climate in Wisconsin.”

From its Chicago production facility, Crystal Windows supplied 186 window and door products for the City Center project and 157 for the Crescent Lofts building.  Both of the new construction projects in Wisconsin used a similar mix of Crystal products. By far, the most common window choice was the energy-efficient Crystal Series 300 Vinyl Single-Hung window.  The Series 300 windows were specified in single, twin, and triple units, using the continuous head and sill configuration option for the latter two models.  The double and triple units, spanning 5-feet and 7½-feet wide openings, provide extraordinary light and views for the building occupants.In addition to the single-hung windows, Crystal also supplied Series 310 Vinyl Picture windows for both projects.  A few Series 320 2-Lite Single Sliding Vinyl windows were specified for the City Center building.  All the Series 300 window models feature 2-⅝” jamb depth, integral nailing fin, energy-efficient extruded multi-chamber vinyl frames and sashes, full-welded corners, and ⅞” insulated glass units (IGUs).  The Series 300 single-hung is rated R-PG-25/R-PG35, the picture window is rated R-PG45 and the slider is rated R-PG35.

Crystal Window & Door Systems recently supplied two new multifamily projects in Wisconsin –Crescent Lofts in Appleton.

For the City Center building’s 12 faux-railed balconies, Crystal Series 1500 Vinyl Sliding Patio Doors were used to provide appropriate aesthetics and larger fresh air openings.  The Crescent Lofts project also specified a Series 1500 door.  The 1500 Sliding Patio Doors have 4-⅝” frame depth with 1” IGUs and feature integral nailing fin and strong full-fusion sash and frame corners, delivering an SGD-R35/LC-PG35 structural performance rating.

All the window and door materials were extruded in-house by Crystal in attractive and durable standard white color for City Center and beige for Crescent Lofts Apartments.  Double locks were supplied for the operating windows, and some were specified with ADA auto-activating locks.  In addition, all the operating windows and doors came factory equipped with Window Opening Control Device (WOCD) limit hardware.


Key to the new projects, all the Crystal Series 300 windows used double-pane IGUs comprised of 1/8” Vitro Sungate 460 low-e glass with argon gas.  Vitro Sungate 460 is designed especially for northern climates.  The highly energy-efficient glass is clear and neutrally reflective in appearance and with its great U-value and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), it is compliant with regional building energy codes and is the perfect choice for Wisconsin winters and summers.

Both the City Center Apartments in Brillionand the Crescent Lofts Apartments in Appleton were developed cooperatively with state funding to provide more affordable properties for the residents of these economically challenged communities as they experience rejuvenation. Each apartment development has both market rate and income restricted options for rent in 1-,2-, and 3-bedroom units.  Both projects offer onsite underground parking, community and fitness centers, and secure storage facility options.

With numerous multifamily, rehab, commercial, and hospitality projects in its portfolio, Northcentral Construction Company of Fond du Lac, WI, was the general contractor for both City Center and Crescent Lofts.  ABC Supply of Beloit, WI, supplied the new windows from Crystal.  Northpointe Development of Oshkosh, WI, spearheaded the two projects, which join a long list of their other community sensitive developments throughout the region.  ACC Management Group provides property management services for the two projects.

Crystal Windows Executives Unveil Statue of Claire Shulman, Former Queens Borough President

Crystal Window & Door Systems Chairman and founder Thomas Chen (center photo, left) and President Steve Chen unveiled a bronze statue in honor of longtime mentor and former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman.

-Thomas and Steve Chen Honor Leader and Friend with Commissioned Artwork-

QUEENS, NY, October 12, 2021 –Thomas Chen, founder and Chairman of Queens-based national manufacturer Crystal Window & Door Systems, and Steve Chen, Crystal President, on October 7unveiled a six-foot bronze statue honoring former Queens Borough President the late Claire Shulman. Thomas Chen personally commissioned the statue by award-winning sculptor Yutien Chang to celebrate Shulman as a true champion of business in Queens and a mentor to him and Crystal Windows as the company grew over the years.

Over 40 members of the Queens business community, media, and elected officials attended the press conference, sharing their memories of working with Claire. Crystal President Steve Chen described Claire Shulman’s impact on Crystal, and media executive Vicki Schneps spoke of her 40-year friendship with the former Borough President.

“When I was starting my window manufacturing company in Queens, Claire helped me avoid many of the typical setbacks immigrant entrepreneurs face,” said Thomas Chen.  “She encouraged me to take executive business courses, engage reputable service providers and suppliers, and make Crystal Windows a good corporate citizen.”

When Crystal was ready to expand in Queens, Borough President Shulman ensured New York City agencies worked effectively with Crystal as the company constructed and opened a large new factory.  She continued to be a mentor, motivator, and friend to Thomas Chen and later to his son Steve Chen as he stepped into the leadership role at Crystal.Even after Shulman left public office in 2001, she and the Chens continued to be close friends.  They shared a love of the arts and supported many cultural institutions throughout Queens. Several years ago, Thomas Chen was inspired to commission sculptures honoring notable friends who had contributed to his personal and business success.  The statue of Claire Shulman is the first he commissioned and in 2019 internationally known Taiwanese sculptor Yutien Chang, was engaged to create the bronze statue.  In the same year, Shulman met with the artist and the Chens to discuss the project and concepts for the statue.



Crystal Windows founder and Chairman Thomas Chen (above, left) and former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman atCrystal Parkin 2019.  Chen commissioned a bronze statue honoring human to be permanently exhibited at Crystal Park.


The statue is a bronze six-foot tall lifelike portrayal of Claire Shulman. The artist, in collaboration with Thomas and those who knew Claire well, depicted Shulman in motion, as was characteristic of the formerQueensBorough President.  The statue will only be displayed at Crystal Windows for a short time.  Its permanent home will be Crystal Park, Thomas Chen’s private 200-acre art park and nature preserve in Dutchess County, NY.  The statue will stand on an 18-foot by 8-foot metal pathway base in the shape of an infinity sign, symbolizing Shulman’s continuous drive forward and her boundless energy.

“I was thrilled Claire was able to visit Crystal Park in October 2019 to see the location selected for her statue along a wooded path overlooking the lake,” said Thomas Chen.  “Sadly, Claire did not get to see the completed work, but we are glad to share it with her many friends in Queens.”  Shulman passed away in August 2020 at the age of 94.

The Shulman statue is on temporary display at Crystal’s Queens headquarters and main production facility through Friday, October 22, 2021, and friends of Claire Shulman and members of the public are welcome to visit.  Then the exhibit will be moved and installed permanently at Crystal Park

New Multifamily High-Rise Targets Sustainability with Crystal Vinyl MAGNUS Windows

Crystal Window & Door Systems recently supplied over 2,400 advanced MAGNUS Series 4500 uPVC vinyl commercial windows for the newly constructed multifamily development Archer Green Apartments in Queens, NY.  The project is one of the tallest buildings in North America to use uPVC windows.

-Queens NY Project is Among Tallest North American Use of uPVC Vinyl Windows-

QUEENS, NY, September 30, 2021 –A newly completed sustainable mixed use multifamily high-rise project in Jamaica, NY, is using advanced uPVC vinyl windows supplied by Crystal Window & Door Systems to achieve their energy efficiency goals.  The two towers of the Archer Green Apartments, rising 23 and 20 stories each, used combinations of Crystal MAGNUS Series 4500 uPVC windows to complete the 1,301 building openings.  The new development is located in the heart of the Jamaica (Queens) neighborhood at 92-32 168th Street.

The Crystal MAGNUS uPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride) windows provide a remarkable balance of high commercial window structural ratings, great sound attenuation, and extraordinary thermal efficiency.  All of these are important factors as the new building is seeking LEED Gold Certification and it is located just off a busy heavily trafficked Jamaica Avenue.  At 23 stories, Archer Green Apartments is Crystal’s tallest MAGNUS window project to date and is one of the tallest buildings to use uPVC windows in North America by any manufacturer.  The Crystal Archer Green project is a leading example of the increasing popularity of high-rise uPVC windows.  In Europe, uPVC in tall buildings has been common for years.

“After the architect considered a heavy-commercial aluminum window, Crystal showed them the MAGNUS uPVC window which offers strength and energy efficiency with a clean modern look,” said Steven Yu, Metro New York Sales Manager.  “With advanced testing performed at an independent lab, Crystal demonstrated the MAGNUS would be the perfect solution and all project partners were convinced.”

The remarkable Crystal MAGNUS Series 4500 windows offer the best of both worlds: structural performance equal to top aluminum window products while also providing the outstanding thermal performance of vinyl windows.  With its European-inspired design, strong durable MAGNUS uPVC windows are especially suitable for large openings in multi-family, commercial, select high-rise, institutional, and even upscale residential properties.

Crystal supplied a total of 2,444 MAGNUS Series 4500 In-Swing and Fixed windows outfitted with vision or HVAC louver panels and configured in mulled combinations totaling 1,301 units.  Most of the MAGNUS units for the project consisted of reinforced in-swing windows mulled atop window frames fitted with louver panels, and in many cases alongside tall flanking fixed windows.  The largest combined units spanned 72” wide by 96” tall.

The MAGNUS 4500 In-Swing and Fixed windows both offer 3-¼” jambs, strong, energy efficient multiple cavity sashes and frames and boast an outstanding CW-PG95 AAMA structural rating.  The In-Swing casement model’s standard features include quality hardware, multi-point locks, sash perimeter compression seals, and optional NY City code window opening control devices (WOCD).  All the MAGNUS windows have a durable High-Definition Finish (HDF), with Anthracite Gray exterior and extruded white interior colors.

All the glazed MAGNUS windows for the project used dual-pane 1-¼” insulated glass units (IGUs) fabricated with stainless steel Intercept Warm-Edge spacers and Vitro Solarban 70XL low-E coated glass.  The IGUs were Argon-filled for enhanced thermal efficiency and used tempered or laminated glass where required for safety.  Both the glazed In-Swing and Fixed MAGNUS window met or exceeded project specifications of U-value 0.26, SHGC 0.37, and VLT 43%.  Sound reduction OITC rating specifications ranged from 23db to 33 db, depending on the floor.

Another 960 MAGNUS 4500 fixed window frames were factory glazed with louvers and 1” insulated blank-off panels for mating at the jobsite with PTAC units supplying individual room HVAC.  The Model AEL-42 aluminum louvers were supplied by Reliable Products of Geneva, AL.

The Archer Green Apartments development is playing a key role in the redevelopment of its surrounding neighborhood.  An interesting new property, Archer Green blends mixed-income affordable housing, ground floor commercial retail space, and a substantial community facility in the heart of downtown Jamaica, Queens.  Totaling 420,000 sq. ft., the building offers 351 apartments in two residential towers and below-grade parking.  The 23- and 20-story residential towers rise above a commercial 2-story pedestal which accommodates the retail space and community facility as well as a rooftop terrace and garden area.  Targeting LEED Gold Certification, Archer Green features many sustainability features in addition to the Crystal MAGNUS windows, including a novel state-of-the-art on-site Resilient Power Hub (RPH). This micro-grid system combines solar, co-generation, and reserve battery storage to provide electric power for emergency use and to reduce daily operating costs.

The Archer Green Apartments project was initiated through the close cooperation of three New York City agencies: the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), and the Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD).  The project is part of the City’s Jamaica NOW Action Plan to revitalize this bustling commercial and residential neighborhood in Queens. It is built on a site that once held aNew York Police Department parking garage.

The owner’s representative was Renewable Construction/Omni NY LLC.  Edelman Sulta Knox Wood (ESKW) Architects of New York, NY, was the project architect, and Lettire Construction of New York, NY, was the general contractor.  The fenestration installer was Marvel Contracting Service of Queens, NY.

Crystal Windows Beat the Sun and Heat at New Phoenix Hotel

Crystal recently supplied new aluminum commercial windows with custom glass and frame finish for the latest Holiday Inn Express & Suites located in downtown Phoenix, AZ.  Photos courtesy of Baxter Construction.

-Custom Windows and Glass Offer Energy Efficiency, Beauty, and Durability-

QUEENS, NY, August 20, 2021 –Crystal Window & Door Systems is pleased to report that its window systems have successfully met the challenge of Phoenix, AZ’s legendary heat and sun.  The award-winning national manufacturer supplied 151 large commercial windows with a special low-E coated and tinted glass package from Vitro Architectural Glass and 119 HVAC panels for a new Holiday Inn Express & Suites in the heart of Phoenix, AZ. Located at 950 West Van Buren Street, the 119 room hotel is the latest addition to Crystal’s expanding portfolio of national hotel and hospitality projects.

“Due to the extreme sun and heat in Phoenix almost year-round, we supplied insulated dual-pane glass units with tinted and low-E coated glass plus Argon gas filling,” said Frank Ganninger, Crystal’s Central West regional manager.  “Together with the architect and GC, we selected the Pacifica Blue tint glass with a Solarban 60 low-E coating from Vitro Architectural Glass, which gives the building façade a really beautiful design, superior sun glare control, energy efficiency, and comfort for the interior.”

The project exclusively used the Crystal aluminum Series 2100 fixed picture window which features a 3-¼” frame depth and narrow sightlines. With various test sizes, the window has achieved CW-PG 60, CW-PG65, and CW-PG90 AAMA ratings.In guestrooms, the Crystal Series 2100 window system utilized a continuous head and sill with an integral T-jamb mullion to combine two glass sash panels into a single 96” wide frame.  The wide guestroom windows were then stacked atop similarly large 96” wide louver panels to accommodate individual room HVAC units.  Crystal factory-installed the louvers in Series 2100 window frames and mulled these to the glass windows filling the vast 96” x 96” openings and providing expansive views for each room while maintaining a pleasant interior environment. Crystal sourced the AEL-42 Aluminum Louver PTAC panels from Reliable Products of Geneva, AL, which assure consistent performance and accurate HVAC unit placement.

Crystal also supplied factory-mulled four fixed lite windows for hallway openings and single lite tall narrow stairwell windows to complete the façade.  All the Series 2100 window frames were specified with nailing fins and Crystal’scustom-designed head panning drip caps.  Crystal supplied the aluminum window and louver frames with a custom clear anodized Class 1 finish, which provides a brilliant shine and an even, consistent finish.  This also makes the aluminum components very resistant to degradation by sunlight, wind, and other harsh Southwest climate elements.

Key to Crystal’s success with taming the Arizona sun and heat is the insulated glass system used for the project’s windows.  Crystal sourced aspecialPacifica Blue glass from Vitro Architectural Glass, which handles sun heat gain and glare especially well, while providing a distinctive and attractive rich blue tint. With samples approved by the project architect and general contractor, Crystal increased the IGU to 1” rather than the standard ⅞” thickness and fabricated the IGUs with tinted exterior ¼” low-E SB60 glass and clear interior ¼” glass, tempered where required, and with Argon gas filling.

“The resulting IGUwith tinted Pacifica Blue glass, Solarban 60, and Argon filling delivers outstanding solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.22, as well as a low U-value of 0.24 for the glass system,” said Ganninger.

Baxter Construction Company, based in Fort Madison, IA, is a national firm with a broad commercial portfolio including hospitality and multi-family properties. Baxter was the general contractor for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Downtown Phoenix project.  The architecture firm was Orcutt|Winslow of Phoenix, AZ.  The hotel has 119 guest rooms, on-site parking, business center amenities and meeting rooms, a pool, and a fitness center.It is conveniently located near the Phoenix government center and walkable arts district.

Bird-Friendly Glass Façades – How Fenestration Providers Add Value During Design

By Steve Chen, President, Crystal Window & Door Systems, New York

By now, architects, building owners, and contractors are well aware that municipalities around the nation are implementing “bird-friendly” glass requirements for new and renovated buildings.  For example, to reduce bird collisions with building façades, New York City enacted Local Law 15 (LL15) of 2020, effective January 10, 2021, requiring all newly constructed buildings and renovations of existing buildings involving replacement of windows and glass features to assess and utilize if required bird-friendly glass and other materials for the façade.

Last November, the NYC Department of Buildings issued its guidance document for where on buildings bird-friendly glass is required and what documentation must be provided to demonstrate compliance with LL15.  For new construction, exterior wall envelope and fly-through conditions up to 75 feet above grade must be 90% bird-friendly materials, and all other features such as vertical façades at any height adjacent to green roofs, glass railing systems, glass canopies, and other bird-strike hazards must be of bird-friendly materials.  For existing buildings, alterations that include replacement of all exterior glazing must also comply with LL15.

Architects and other design professionals must balance aesthetics, durability, and cost of glass options to arrive at the optimal solution for any project.  With so many factors to weigh, architects, building owners, and developers would be well-served by engaging a fenestration manufacturer experienced in a wide range of glass options, including bird-friendly ones, during the design phase of a new project or planning replacement of existing fenestration.

Design Considerations

Foremost, architects evaluate the aesthetics and functionality of façade materials including glass windows, doors, storefront, and curtain wall on the overall design of a building.  How much glass best suits the indoor environment and the occupants?  How well will the glass complement other façade materials such as masonry and metal panels?  Should tinted, reflective, or patterned glass be used?  The façade appearance and outlook view must be considered from both the exterior and interior vantage points.

Energy efficiency is another critical factor in selecting window and door systems.  Myriad choices exist for dual- and triple-pane insulated glass units, surface coatings to improve U-values and to reduce solar heat transmission, and window frame construction and insulation to provide greater energy efficiency.

Cost is of course a major factor in the design of any new construction or renovation project.  Architects must work closely with building owners and developers to select fenestration and other glass design elements that fit the budget for the project while meeting the design vision and applicable building and energy code requirements.

Now that bird-friendly glass is required on many projects in New York City (and in many other major cities in the country), there are additional factors that will greatly impact aesthetics, energy efficiency, and cost of every project.  This is where an experienced fenestration manufacturer can add tremendous value, saving time and expense, and presenting many available options.







Bird-friendly glass comes with various patterns that help deter bid collisions with glass facades. Fenestration manufacturers can advise architects and property owners on optimum choices during design phases of construction and renovation. Left: Guardian Glass bird 1st glass panes shown are coated with ultra-violet patterns which are visible to birds but nearly invisible to humans. Right: Typical bird-friendly glass patterns.

Shading and contrast enhanced above to show patterns

PHOTO COURTESY OF GUARDIAN GLASS, a national lass supplier to Crystal Window & Door Systems.

Bird-Friendly Glass Impact on Design

Bird-friendly glass is achieved in various ways.  The most common options are ceramic or silicone frits, UV patterns, and acid-etched patterns, all applied to the surface of the glass.  Each have advantages and tradeoffs for effectiveness and aesthetics, but there are other considerations, such as how the application works with other glass coatings, lamination, tempering, and long-term durability.  Frits reduce visible light transmission (VLT) to the inside and are highly visible to humans as well as birds.  UV patterns are less obtrusive to the view than frits but slightly less effective at deterring bird-glass collisions.  Acid-etching is most durable and may be combined with the low-E coatings on the same surface.  All these options affect the appearance of the building from the outside and the view from the inside, have different price points, impact energy efficiency coatings, and may affect glass warranties from the glass manufacturer.  A knowledgeable fenestration manufacturer can review all these options with the building design team to select the best choice for the project.

Glass units incorporated in window and door frames are fabricated from large sheets of glass.  The fabrication process starts with cutting the glass sheets and is automated to minimize unusable portions of glass.  As bird-friendly glass is only called for in specific instances, large window openings requiring bird-friendly glass can potentially generate a lot of waste of this specialized glass per sheet, if the maximum glass sheet size and cutting optimization are not considered in the project design and production planning process.  This can add to the already higher cost of bird-friendly glass and the project’s bottom line.  With a few modifications through value engineering, an experienced window manufacturer can advise the design team on the size, configuration, and placement of windows to achieve the project’s desired aesthetic and code compliance while minimizing material cost and waste.


Crystal Windows’ automated glass production equipment handles all types of glass, Including bird-friendly glass options,

Bring in the Experts

Compared with conventional clear or tinted glass used throughout existing buildings in New York and other cities, bird-friendly glass can add appreciably to the cost of fenestration for new or renovated properties.  Therefore, it is important early in the design phase for the architectural team to bring in a window manufacturer that is qualified and experienced to assist fenestration choices.  A competent fenestration manufacturer should:

  • Have a broad network of glass suppliers capable of providing many bird-friendly glass options to meet budget, energy efficiency, and other project requirements. Crystal has worked with many national glass suppliers for years, all offering a broad array of glass packages, reduced lead times, and competitive costs.
  • Have the value engineering and production expertise to assist the design team in selecting the best bird-friendly glass options. Crystal has a dedicated engineering and architectural sales staff that understands glass selection and glass unit production to meet energy efficiency, durability, aesthetic, and cost parameters of any project.  Crystal can even suggest low-cost options in lieu of bird-friendly glass, such as full insect screens on new or replacement conventional glass windows, that will meet performance requirements for bird collision deterrence.
  • Be knowledgeable on other fenestration and glass architectural elements such as glass canopies, glass railings, storefront, and curtain wall to aid the design team in specifying bird-friendly glass options for these components. Crystal has good working relationships with many of these related building product manufacturers to source and supply these components, often with substantial cost savings.

Designing new façades that meet building and energy code mandates, offer healthful daylighting and interior environment comfort for building occupants, and are visually beautiful is becoming a herculean task for architects.  By engaging an experienced window and door manufacturer early in the design phase, design professionals can make this task much more manageable, add value for their clients, and gain expertise for future design work.

Crystal Brightens Outlook for Florida College Students

-New University of Florida Housing Sports Crystal Windows and Doors-

QUEENS, NY, July 15, 2021 –Award-winning national manufacturer Crystal Window & Door Systems recently expanded its project portfolio with two new of state-of-the-art student housing properties in Florida.  These projects are the first Crystal has completed in the state, extending the company’s Eastern US sales along the entire East Coast from Maine to Florida. Located just a few blocks from the University of Florida main campus in Gainesville, The Hub on Third and The Hub on Campus Gainesville each used a variety of Crystal window and door products.

“ARCO National Construction, which we have worked with on prior projects, reached out to Crystal to provide windows and doors for these two new projects, and the Crystal team sprang into action for the opportunity to expand into Florida,” said Frank Ganninger, regional sales manager.  “A lot of coordination and planning by Crystal engineering and production staff came together to bring these projects to fruition.”

Due to the location of the new Hub buildings in Central Florida, which is subject to high winds, all façade materials including windows must meet stringent state building codes.  Crystal’s Engineering Department submitted product structural and energy performance test results and drawings to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR), which approves construction materials for compliance with the state building code.  All the Crystal windows and doors submitted attained approval for use across much of Florida and are included in the DBPR online directory.

Crystal supplied over 2,100 new energy-efficient aluminum windows and doors for The Hub on Third (above) and The Hub on Campus Gainesville (below), the manufacturer’s first Florida projects.

“ARCO National Construction, which we have worked with on prior projects, reached out to Crystal to provide windows and doors for these two new projects, and the Crystal team sprang into action for the opportunity to expand into Florida,” said Frank Ganninger, regional sales manager.  “A lot of coordination and planning by Crystal engineering and production staff came together to bring these projects to fruition.”

Due to the location of the new Hub buildings in Central Florida, which is subject to high winds, all façade materials including windows must meet stringent state building codes.  Crystal’s Engineering Department submitted product structural and energy performance test results and drawings to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR), which approves construction materials for compliance with the state building code.  All the Crystal windows and doors submitted attained approval for use across much of Florida and are included in the DBPR online directory.

“Once our products were fully approved, our engineering team coordinated closely with ARCO during the design phase to optimize the placement of eight different Crystal aluminum commercial window and door products for the two Hub properties,” said Ganninger.

The Hub on Campus Gainesville uses dramatic projected façade framing elements, most prominent on the building’s main northeast corner, to add three-dimensional interest to the structure.  The building also provides some expansive views with nearly floor-to-ceiling window combinations over 80” tall. The Hub on Third uses an eclectic mix of façade materials and colors to add architectural interest and meld with the campus and neighborhood’s building character.  The use of vertically stacked and horizontally ganged window combinations is common with the two Hub properties, along with fixed window sidelights and transoms for sliding glass doors on the private balconies.

The Hub on Campus Gainesville used 814 Crystal energy-efficient windows and doors and The Hub on Third used 1,323 windows and doors for a combined total of 2,137.  A wide variety of quality Crystal aluminum products were used for the buildings, including Series 2000A double-hung, 2100 fixed picture, Series 2300 and Series 5600 sliders, Series 8500 project-out awning, and Series 8500 fixed windows.  The projects also included the Crystal Series 1240 2-lite sliding patio doors with accompanying transoms and sidelights, and the Series 1450 swing terrace doors.

The Crystal Series 8500 and the Series 2100 were the most extensively used windows for The Hub projects, with 949 units and 473 units, respectively. The Series 8500 project-out awning (AW-PG80) and fixed (AW-PG85) were in many cases combined using the continuous master frame option.  The Series 8500 features 2-⅝” depth frame, bulb double-weatherstripping, 1” insulated glass units (IGUs), and satin chrome locking handles.  The Series 2100 is rated CW-PG65/PG90 and features 3-¼” frame depth, ⅞” IGUs, double-strength glass and continuous head/sill and T-jamb mullion options.

All the Crystal products used ⅞” or 1” dual-pane IGUs specified with Vitro Solarban 70 coated glass and Argon gas filling for enhanced energy efficiency in the Florida sun.  Where required, glass was tempered.  Durable AAMA 2604 black powder coat paint finished all the Crystal windows, doors, and exposed mullions and installation accessories for both new buildings.

The Hub on Third and The Hub on Campus Gainesville are part of the extensive portfolio of ARCO National Construction. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, ARCO is one of the largest design/build general contractors in North America.  The projects’ developer is Core Spaces, headquartered in Austin, TX, which specializes in off-campus state-of-the-art student housing.

With nearly 350,000 overall square feet of living and ground-floor retail space, The Hub on Thirdfeatures 201 apartments in multiple student configurations.  The Hub on Campus Gainesville has 109 apartments and 193,000 overall square feet of living and ground-floor retail space.  Both properties boast sustainable design, fully-furnished apartments, group study and gathering spaces, rooftop pools, fire pits, and recreation spaces, fitness centers, high-tech security, and telecommunications throughout the buildings, and parking.

Crystal Windows Grace New Chicago-Area Development

Crystal recently supplied nearly 1,300 high-performance vinyl windows and patio doors for the new luxury development Uptown 500 in Wheeling, IL, outside Chicago (shown near completion).

-Manufacturer Supplies Energy Efficient Products for Wheeling, IL Luxury Property-


QUEENS, NY, June 25, 2021 –National manufacturer Crystal Window & Door Systems recently supplied nearly 1,300 energy-efficient vinyl windows and sliding patio doors for a major new mixed-use development just outside Chicago in Wheeling, IL.  Located at 500 West Dundee Road, the new $90 million luxury multi-family and commercial property Uptown 500, is the latest development near the heart of Wheeling’s strategically planned transit-oriented center.

“With our strong manufacturing presence in Chicago, Crystal is well known in the metro area,” said Frank Ganninger, Crystal Regional Sales Manager.“Early in the project, the developer KR Developments reached out to us to discuss fenestration options for Uptown 500, and we invited the firm’s project managers to tour our production facility in Chicago. They were impressed with our quality manufacturing processes.”

Crystal worked closely with Uptown 500’s architect, BSB Designs of Chicago, to ensure the windows would meet energy and performance specifications for the region.  “Our Series 300 windows offer great thermal efficiency, perfect for both winter and summer weather in Illinois,” said Ganninger.  “We were also able to recommend our quality two-tone finish to meet the design aesthetics for the exterior and interior.”

Once the approvals for Uptown 500 were in and construction underway, the project general contractor John James Construction of Chicago brought in regional building envelope specialist Denk & Roche Builders of Bensenville, IL to install the windows and doors.  Crystal sales representatives met with the installation teams on-site to guide and expedite proper installation of the Crystal products.

Crystal’s two-tone new construction Vinyl Series 300 windows and Vinyl Series 1500 patio doors are shown during installation(left and center) and completed (below) at Uptown 500.

The Uptown 500 project utilized Crystal Vinyl Series 300 single-hung and fixed picture windows as well as Crystal Vinyl Series 1500 sliding patio doors.  The Crystal Vinyl Series 300 windows were both factory- and field-mulled in large configurations, with some openings as large as 72” w x 84” tall, bringing nearly floor to ceiling daylight for the apartments.  In some cases, Series 300 fixed picture windows were mulled in ribbon configurations up high on the walls to provide a clerestory window effect.  Crystal supplied 2-lite Vinyl Series 1500 sliding patio doors for access to balconies or ground floor patios, and for select apartments, sliding doors were factory-mulled with side lights and/or transoms. The Series 300 vinyl windows, AAMA rated R-PG25/R-PG35 for the single-hung and R-PG45 for the picture, feature strong frames and sashes with full fusion welded corners, sloped sills, and integral nailing fins for new construction applications.  The single-hung offers an easy-clean tilt-in sash and a full width ergonomic lift rail for easy operation. The window’s⅞” insulated glass unit uses Solarban 60 glass and argon gas filling, which adds to the window’s energy efficient performance.

The Crystal Vinyl Series 1500 2-Lite Sliding Patio Door also features strong full fusion sashes and frame corners to deliver an AAMA SGD-R35/LC-PG35 rating.  With tempered Solarban 60 coated glass and argon gas, the patio door’s dual-pane 1” insulated glass unit provides superior energy efficiency.  The sliding patio door offers an integral nailing fin to speed and simplify installations, adjustable steel tandem rollers for easy operation, and a high glass-to-frame area ratio for great views.

To enhance the modern exterior architectural design while still providing the clean and bright interior white window look, all the Crystal windows and doors for the project were ordered with a two-tone finish.  The window and door exteriors were finished in a dark brown color and the interiors were kept white.

Uptown 500offers 321 studio, 1-, and 2-bedroom luxury apartments, with 12,000 sq. ft. of commercial retail space on the ground floor.  The development is just a few blocks from the Metra rail line, facilitating commuting to the Chicago area’s business districts and airports.  The complex is also a block from Wheeling’s 100-acre Heritage Park nature and recreation center and the new Wheeling Town Center.  The Uptown 500 campus features several common work and recreation spaces throughout the building and outdoor property, along with private meeting, dining, and entertainment areas, heated outdoor pool, rooftop deck, fitness centers, concierge services, and onsite parking.

Summer 2021 AIA Continuing Education Credit Webinar “Specifying Windows and Doors Using Performance Standards”

National manufacturer Crystal Window & Door Systems is pleased to offer another online learning opportunity for the design and construction community.

Architects and specifying professionals can use performance standards for characteristics such as energy efficiency, strength, sound attenuation, and light transmission to specify windows and doors for any project.  This webinar will provide attendees with an understanding of standards and codes and how to apply them.

  Objectives of the webinar: 

  • Understand the evolution of window and door standards and code references
  • Learn how to use the standard to specify product type, performance level, and key performance attributes
  • Analyze special requirements for different window and door types
  • Learn to use the short form specification

A certificate of continuing education credit will be issued to attendees completing the webinar.

The next Crystal Windows webinars are scheduled for June 30, 2021, July 14, 2021, & August 25, 2021 at 1:45 PM EST. To register for the webinar, contact Crystal Marketing Department, Amanda Li, Or call 800-471-9988 x 3250