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HopeGardensGuy

Sealed Windows?

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Wondering what folks think about new developments like the Icon and 5th and Main that appear to have only sealed windows? Obviously, if you have a terrace or balcony, you have a way of getting fresh air, but what about in a bedroom that doesn't have a balcony? Or in the case of 5th and Main, there are units that do not have balconies or terraces. No fresh air, at all, except for the door to the hallway.

In the case of 5th and Main, I believe that the original plans called for some of the smaller windows to be hinged and openable, but cost considerations caused them to be eliminated.

Probably makes for a good story, energy-wise, less air leakage means lower heat and A/C bills, but I just find it odd that you may be living somewhere where you can't open a window to get a breeze, smell the rain, or air out the smell of burnt microwave popcorn! :)

I realize that there are safety issues, perhaps emphasized in taller buildings - can't have things and people inadvertently going out the windows, but there are safety measures that could be put in place. Windows that open a few inches, whether sliding or hinged, is probably the most typical strategy.

Anyone else care about such things?

Thanks.

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Super-tight construction requires some additional considerations that older leaky homes do not. Residential units need a number of air exchanges to keep air fresh and moisture down. Each time the unit comes on, some inside air should be exhausted and fresh air induced into the air stream. Make-up air for toilet fans and fume hoods must be considered for correct operation of those items. Gas-fired units need to have combustion air ducted from outside for proper combustion. I am not satisfied with the industry's response to ever tighter building envelopes. Even leaky homes collect particulate contaminants during stretches when windows are shut.

With multiple residential units, fresh air and exhaust air ducts can be gathered together and made to pass through heat exchangers which pre-condition the fresh air and reduce the energy lost by exhausting the conditioned air.

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^ Wow, you lost me on that one... hah

I'm not sure I would like to live in a place that was completely shut off from the outside, with no balcony or anything. Sure there are safety concerns for high rise buildings.. but at some point it's the residents' responsibility to keep themselves safe, IMO. We have balconies in my building that you could fall off of if you aren't careful... so ya know... just use common sense and don't sit on the edge of it or whatever :)

Oh and also... you KNOW things are slow around here if we're discussing stuff like this :lol:

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^ Wow, you lost me on that one... hah

I'm not sure I would like to live in a place that was completely shut off from the outside, with no balcony or anything. Sure there are safety concerns for high rise buildings.. but at some point it's the residents' responsibility to keep themselves safe, IMO. We have balconies in my building that you could fall off of if you aren't careful... so ya know... just use common sense and don't sit on the edge of it or whatever :)

Oh and also... you KNOW things are slow around here if we're discussing stuff like this :lol:

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Not sure I'd go with the "slow" designation, though! It's a big deal if you're looking to buy into a place and have to face the issue. Or I've encountered folks who hadn't even realized that they were looking at a sealed place.

What a surprise - you move in, and want to open the windows to air the smell of fresh paint, and "surprise"! No Fresh Air for you!

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