As a professional in the energy efficiency industry, I read the article titled "Sun Block" (Nov. 17), with nerdish delight. I appreciate the breadth of the interviews that the NCJ conducted for this article. As if reading a suspenseful mystery novel, I found my opinion on the matter wavering back and forth as successive industry expert weighed in. However, in the end I would have to conclude that the lack of "Window Energy Performance Optimization: (ivory tower vernacular) is relatively minor in the larger scope of the project, even though I agree with Mr. Kim's general assessment.
While there could be justifiable savings associated with utilizing more of the sun's heat, those savings likely pale in comparison to those realized by the overall building design (exceeding Title 24 standards by 15 percent is no small feat). It sounds like the final choice of windows took place in a tug of war between competing design elements (U factor, aesthetics and product availability, to name a few), and the final choice satisfied the highest number of criteria given the resources available for this aspect of the design. The deliberative process associated with finding a "perfect" window would likely have come with a higher price tag. Time = money.
Perhaps, a few years earlier, Mr. Kim could have enhanced his education by volunteering his time and associated skill set on the design of the building (where time doesn't equal money) in order to find the "perfect" window. Then, instead of feeling mystified by the choice of windows, he could experience the delight of smug self-satisfaction.
Mike Kowalski, Arcata