Most Innovative Window

2013 Crystal Achievement Award Winners


Large Manufacturer

  A solar panel at the bottom of the VSS skylight powers the units operator and control system, eliminating the need for additional wiring.

The No Leak Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylight VSS

Velux America Inc.

Fort Mills, SC

The VSS features a solar panel that captures any available daylight and uses it to recharge a highly efficient, fully concealed, battery-powered operator and control system. The battery-powered operator is the power source that opens and closes the skylight, and the solar panel serves as the charging source for the system. Using solar power eliminates the need for wiring, allowing for easy and cost-effective installation.

The solar panel works on cloudy days and with indirect light. It does not have to be exposed to direct sunlight to function. The panel comes out of the packaging fully assembled and is mounted to the skylight by plugging in and securing two screws—no electrician is required. With an integrated rain sensor, the skylight closes automatically in case of inclement weather. The VSS has a system that monitors the battery level; should the battery not contain enough power to complete one full open/close cycle, the skylight closes. A fully charged battery will provide approximately 100 complete open/close cycles—one complete cycle uses only 1 percent of battery strength.

The solar panel is also equipped with a rain sensor which closes the unit in case of inclement weather.  

With a 30 percent federal tax credit, homeowners receive an average of $850 with federal tax credit eligibility, making this product affordable for any skylight application, the supplier reports. Solar-powered blinds for the VSS, as well as installation costs, also are eligible for the federal tax credit. Options include eight factory-installed blinds available for inclusion in the skylight system purchase. More than 80 special-order blinds (not factoryinstalled) are also available.

The solar-powered blinds use their own independent, built-in solar panel and power system. Light filtering, blackout and Venetian blinds are available for the VSS, as are a variety of accessories including remote control and home automation kits. In addition to breaking new ground using solar power, the product continues to address the number one concern trade and consumer audiences express about skylights—perceived leaks. Early acceptance from dealers and installers has been overwhelming, and a similar response is anticipated from homeowners, the manufacturer reports.



Small/Medium Manufacturer

The five seals can be seen in the top cross-section, with a sixth seal for mulled combinations visible in the middle section.  

Hybridex and Tri-Bridex Windows with 5 Seal Defense System

Durabuilt Windows & Doors

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Designed with five seals—compared to standard three-seal systems—the Hybridex and Tri-Bridex window line offers the functionality of an operating casement, with the energy efficiency and performance of a fixed window. The 5 Seal Defense System prevents air and water leakage in areas traditionally vulnerable to Mother Nature’s wrath.

Four of five seals are co-extruded flex/bulb seals in the vinyl profile, eliminating any mechanical fastening of the seals but still remaining replaceable for future maintenance. The fifth seal is a fin pile on the frame. The manufacturer also added a sixth seal between window frames with mulled combinations to prevent further leakage and frost issues at the mullion combination.

The following air rating values were achieved with casements, awnings, fixed and picture windows, respectively: 0.06, 0.18, 0.04, and 0.03 m³/hr/m—all below maximum allowable fixed air ratings. Superior air, water and structural ratings make the windows ideal for residential and high-rise applications, the manufacturer states.

  The high-performance windows feature an extruded aluminum exterior, with the Hybridex line offering a vinyl interior and the Tri-Bridex line a PVC core and wood interior.

In addition to the 5 Seal Defense System, the Hybridex 920 and Tri-Bridex 960 series feature a 3¼-inch frame with extruded aluminum exterior compatible with installation clips, and an integrated PVC nailing fin with optional upgrade to extruded aluminum nailing fin for added installation security. The Tri-Bridex 960 Series transforms the 920 series into a three-part system comprised of a vertical grain wood interior, extruded PVC core and an extruded aluminum exterior. This provides the elegance and traditional look of wood on the interior, while still delivering the high performance efficiency of a vinyl window, the manufacturer explains.




Other 2013 Crystal Achivement Award Winners:




Most Innovative Door

Large Manufacturer
Lemieux Torrefied Door Collection
Masonite International Corp.

Small/Medium Manufacturer
Series 9600 Four-Track Sliding Vinyl Door
MGM Industries


 Most Innovative Component

Solutions by Veka USB Charging System
Veka Inc.

Z-Series Articulating Cap Sill
Endura Products Inc.

Glass/Glazing Component
View Dynamic Glazing
View Inc.





Most Innovative Plant

Solar Innovations


Most Innovative Machine

IG Production/Glazing
Erdman 400 Series Spacer Applicator
Erdman Automation Corp.

Frame/Sash/Door Fabrication
SMI-LP-DM90-F Automatic Double Miter Saw with Inline Fabrication
St├╝rtz Machinery




Most Innovative Marketing Progam

Large Manufacturer
"We're for the visionaries" Consumer Campaign
Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc.

Small/Medium Manufacturer
Radio Campaign
Mathews Brothers Co.

Industry Supplier
Genius Ultra-Performance Window Launch
Deceuninck North America


Best Product Literature

Large Manufacturer
"We're for the visionaries" Consumer Brochure
Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc.

Small/Medium Manufacturer
Product Brochure
LaCantina Doors

Industry Supplier
Product Literature Overhaul
Phantom Screens


 Best Industry Website

Large Manufacturer
Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc.

Small/Medium Manufacturer
LaCantina Doors

Industry Supplier
Deceuninck North America



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