Helping to Create Virus-Resistant Spaces in Schools

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New Transira Window Solutions Cuts the Germs

The world changed overnight. Schools, businesses, restaurants, and other public settings closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Now these same places are preparing to re-open, with social distancing and safety measures in place.

Public and private K-12 schools are at the top of the list for concerns about re-opening. School administrators and facility managers are looking at new ways to keep students safe. A new breakthrough in window systems, Transira™ Prime Window Solutions, resolves several common problems faced by public buildings used for education, as well as government, commercial, retail, and healthcare.

Transira Prime Window Solutions encases a high-performance vertical shade within an insulated window, eliminating the possibility that allergens and airborne pathogens cling to the shade’s fabric. The window system can be locally controlled and simultaneously tied into the overall building management system. This offers teachers and school staff the ability to control visibility, light, and solar heat entering a room at the touch of the button.

WINCO Window Company, a St. Louis-based manufacturer of architectural aluminum windows, developed the Transira concept as a way to modernize and simplify daylighting. The Transira system was first used by the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada as a way to visually secure learning spaces in the event of an intruder on campus.

“The feedback that we’ve gotten from teachers and school district personnel has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Gantt Miller, LEED AP, part of the product development team at WINCO. “Since adding healthy daylight is as simple as pressing a button next to the light switch, they’ve found that rather than relying on artificial lighting, classrooms and student activities are more frequently illuminated by a warm glow of natural light.”

With more than 70,000 students in its school district, Washoe County has plans to build an additional 15 schools and has committed to including Transira Prime Window Solutions in the design. Now with Coronavirus causing concern for re-opening school districts, Transira Prime Window Solutions provides an additional benefit of cleanliness for the health and welfare of students and staff.

“Draperies and shades can hold onto disease-spreading microbes. Both are difficult and costly to sterilize. This is a risk we can eliminate entirely from the equation. Cleaning glass is far easier and safer than cleaning the soft surfaces of fabrics,” says Miller. Transira neutralizes this source of contamination while simultaneously reducing operating costs, harnessing daylighting, and dramatically streamlining and sanitizing the user interface for a school room’s lighting and privacy.

When not being operated locally by a teacher or school staff member, the Transira Prime Window Solutions can interface with a school’s existing Building Management System to help conserve energy and save money by reducing or allowing heat transfer depending on the current cooling or heating load of the building. “Basically, when the building needs heat, the window delivers. When the building needs to stay cool, the window blocks solar heat gain,” says Miller.

Building the shade into the window not only protects it from contamination but also from inadvertent damage from daily use. Shades, blinds, draperies and window coverings are one of the largest single maintenance expenditures. By putting the shade within the window, it is protected from handling while being controlled seamlessly with a wall keypad or BMS integration — convenient, efficient, and cost-effective.

Bundled Benefits Can Reduce Costs

Transira Prime Window Solutions can reduce energy bills because both the insulated window, glass coatings and interior shades all contribute to reducing costs. Security is improved because the shades can be quickly raised in case of a fire or lowered in case of an intruder. The windows are also engineered to prevent sound entering the building, creating a quieter school room for learning.

WINCO partnered with Somfy, the world leader in the automatic control of openings and closures in buildings to ensure the Transira Windows offer state-of-the-art functionality. “We needed a partner with a proven track record in automatic control, and Somfy was instrumental in navigating the fine details that went into this product,” says Miller.

A final benefit of having the shades built into the window is that the installation of Transira Prime Window Solutions cuts down on multiple trades, multiple vendors, project complexity, and extended timelines. Only one vendor is needed to spec, design and install Transira Prime Window Solutions.

WINCO also offers Transira Accessory Sash Window Solutions when a full window replacement is not necessary. This is a smart way to add energy and security upgrades to existing window systems. Transira Accessory Sash Window Solutions offers the convenience of built in shades that are controlled with BMS integration or local control.

To learn more about WINCO’s new Transira Prime Window Solutions and Transira Accessory Sash Window Solutions, visit www.wincowindow.com.

Founded in 1915, WINCO Window Company, based in St. Louis, provides full-service manufacturing of high-performance architectural and heavy commercial aluminum windows and doors nationally, for classic renovation and new construction. Visit www.wincowindow.com for more information.

For more than 50 years, Somfy engineers have designed quality products that both commercial and residential markets rely upon to motorize interior window coverings, awnings, rolling shutters, exterior solar screens and projection screens. Somfy motorization systems are easily integrated with security, HVAC and lighting systems providing total home or building automation.

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