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Secondary Window Inserts Perform Flawlessly at Carnegie Hall

Case Study

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One of only four Carnegie Halls still in continuous use as a performance space, the Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, W. Va., has hosted a wide variety of performers and artists since its opening in 1902. While the building's meticulous preservation has kept it as beautiful and impressive as it was more than a century ago, the building’s historic nature has led to increasingly higher energy bills every year.

Contractor Florian Schleiff, Owner of Schleiff LLC, was hired to help Carnegie Hall identify and implement a solution that would bring the building's efficiency into the 21st Century without losing any of its old-world charm. He immediately thought of secondary windows—also known as storm windows or secondary glazing systems—as an ideal product for Carnegie Hall's specific needs.

The Oldest Buildings Require the Most Modern Answers

While running a rental company with 120 older homes, Schleiff had found excellent results using the QUANTAPANEL® Insulating Glass System—a secondary window product that can be installed on the interior or exterior of an existing window and includes operable and inoperable options. These secondary windows were easy to install, did not affect the historic aesthetic of the older homes and, importantly, brought a significant reduction in energy bills—making them more affordable to rent. Based on this experience, Schleiff determined this product was ideal for Carnegie Hall’s unique needs, and presented his recommendation to the preservation society of the Lewisburg Historic District.

"[Secondary windows] are an ideal technology solution to help reduce energy bills without requiring any invasive construction or interference to a building’s daily activity.”- Florian Schleiff, Owner Schleiff LLC

A Simple Solution for Complex Properties

Since Carnegie Hall is located in the Lewisburg Historic District, any action to reduce energy use requires the approval of the local preservation society. This group makes sure that the integrity of the building will remain intact and that no alterations are made to the appearance and aesthetic of the building—both interior and exterior.

In addition to meeting the preservation society’s exacting standards, the secondary windows needed to work with single-pane, double-hung windows, some of which were very large—up to 4 feet wide and 11 feet tall. Luckily, the QUANTAPANEL interior, low-e window attachments were up to the challenge. The preservation society approved the secondary windows due to their slim, nearly unnoticeable profile. In fact, after the installation was complete, some members of the Carnegie Hall nonprofit didn’t visually notice that any work had been done at all; they could only feel the difference in thermal comfort. And, since the QUANTAPANEL window attachments are custom ordered, the large, existing frames were a nonissue—Schleiff’s team simply measured each window and ordered the corresponding custom sizes.

Taking Care of a Century-Old Chill

It took Schleiff’s team only a week-and-a-half to add the inserts to each of Carnegie Hall’s many windows. The low-e coating and extra pane provided by the secondary windows dramatically reduced heat loss and gain experienced with the prior single-pane window. This new, improved and much tighter building envelope not only resulted in considerably lower energy bills, it completely altered the experience inside the building.

Previously, the main entrance hall had been constantly chilly in the winter months. After the window upgrade, the building’s staff had assumed that somebody had turned the thermostat up—they hadn’t considered that the new secondary windows had, for the first time in over 100 years, made the entryway feel warm and comfortable despite the blustery weather outside.

“I'm very satisfied with the installation and the overall increase in comfort level. I truly believe the secondary windows have made a difference for the evenness of the building's heating/cooling, especially in the smaller areas.” - Allan Sizemore, Facility Manager; Carnegie Hall, Inc.
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