Working With the Commercial Sector
Commercial Window Shield’s relationship with the commercial sector spans nearly four decades and includes both solar control and security window film installations.
In the 70s and 80s, the focus was on sun control and energy conservation. Escalating fuel costs became a game changer for commercial building owners as their utility bills doubled and even tripled. Part of the issue was inefficient windows that allowed unfiltered sun rays to enter their buildings causing a significant issue called solar heat gain.
Tenants complained that their employees sitting at desks near windows suffered from uncomfortable heat conditions year around. The solar heat gain also caused havoc with buildings’ HVAC systems, over-cooling some areas and under-cooling others.
Mesh screens installed by Commercial Window Shield on the windows that filtered the sun was the initial solution to the issue. But they were expensive and their installation was time-consuming and complex.
Manufacturers then created a thin and clear laminated film that could be easily installed on the outside or inside of windows, depending on the situation. Commercial Window Shield became one of the first companies to embrace the new technology and began installing the film on large buildings nationwide. As part of the incentive to buildings owners, the company was able to show that the payback in utility savings over a relatively short period of time ended up paying for the solar control film installation.
In the 1990s, the federal government and commercial building owners began to install a new type of film on the windows of their buildings. Initially called fragment retention or shatter resistant window films, these films were designed to increases the shatter resistance of glass during catastrophic blasts such as terrorist attacks or natural gas explosions, and natural weather disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes.
The films were developed following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, Okla. on April 19, 1995. The blast, which impacted buildings for several blocks, killed 168 people and injured nearly 700. Many of the deaths and injuries were the result of flying glass shards blocks away from the explosion.
Again, Commercial Window Shield became a leader in installing these films, which are more commonly referred these days as security window films or safety and security window films. Among the more high-profile projects completed by the company were security window film installation contracts at FBI headquarters in Washington and the Pentagon.
The Pentagon project turned out to be significant when on Sept. 11, 2001 American Airlines Flight 77 deliberately crashed into the building killing 125 Pentagon workers and injuring scorers more. However, a Pentagon official said casualties and injuries would have been higher if the security film had not been installed since the protected windows on the periphery of the crash area did not shatter.
Within a few days the building superintendent of the U.S. Capitol contacted Commercial Window Shield and asked how fast the company could install security window film on the U.S. Capitol, and all the U.S. House of Representative and Library of Congress buildings. The company organized a workforce of more than 80 installers from around the country and completed the project in a stunning 40 days.
The Capitol superintendent, Donald White, was impressed.
“The only thing I’ve seen rival a project coordination of this magnitude is a presidential inauguration.”
Commercial building owners and property mangers became pro-active on their building security as well. Commercial Window Shield developed a close working relationship with some of the largest property development companies in the Washington, D.C. area, such as Boston Properties, JBG Companie and Vornado/Charles E. Smith.
Among the scores of buildings featuring security window film installed by Commercial Window Shield are Grand Central Terminal, Merrill Lynch Towers and Ernst & Young headquarters in New York City, the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston; FERMI labs; Skyline Tower in Leesburg, Va.; and Techworld in Washington, D.C.