Our roundup of commercial and residential window options includes smarter shading systems, technologies that allow for more expansive views, and custom capabilities that allow these openings to show off their own personalities. — Rita Catinella Orrell

Wood-framed efficiency
Weather Shield’s new line of fiberglass-clad windows, when combined with effective glazing options, such as the company’s Zo-e-shield collection, offer U-factors as low as 0.23. The windows combine the durability of exterior fiberglass cladding and the warmth of solid wood interior muntins. Tilt double-hungs, bows and bays, sliders, and triple sliders were introduced to the line earlier this year. Available in several colors and finishes. Weather Shield, Medford, Wis. www.weathershield.com

[Reader Service: May 2009 #208]


Expanding options
Pella ProLine and Architect Series products now come with new color options for both exterior cladding and between-the-glass grilles, which provide a 43 percent reduction in solar heat gain compared to roomside blinds. The redesigned Architect Series HurricaneShield double-hung window (shown), provides impact-resistant durability without sacrificing interior aesthetics, by eliminating the need for brace clips and other visible reinforcement. Pella Windows & Doors, Pella, Iowa. www.pella.com

[Reader Service: May 2009 #209]


Automated shading
MechoShade’s shading system uses three elements to regulate natural light in the USGBC’s new headquarters in Washington D.C. SolarTrac software optimizes energy performance by analyzing sunlight conditions and adjusting shades and artificial lighting accordingly. The software works with EcoVeil shades and the IQ/485 Network, which provides an integrated mechanical and control system to operate all of the elements in concert. MechoShade Systems, Long Island City, N.Y. www.mechoshadesystems.com

[Reader Service: May 2009 #210]

Steel profile
An alternative to aluminum or hollow-metal window frames, SteelBuilt window and door frames provide greater strength and a thinner metal profile, and can be used with different glass types and sizes. Compared to aluminum frames, SteelBuilt has a greater wind-load capacity and potential glass size, while reducing heat transfer, profile sweating, and thermal expansion. Technical Glass Products, Snoqualmie, Wash. www.tgpamerica.com

[Reader Service: May 2009 #211]