Several years ago I was introduced to European Tilt and Turn windows while traveling in Germany. My fascination with these windows ultimately lead to me attending a European Door & Window workshop in Ouray, CO recently.

Organized by Greg Godbout of Rangate, under the direction of master craftsman Joe Calhoun of Cascade Woodwork, we spent four intense days building window and door units. Besides myself, in attendance were Jeff Casagrande of Casagrande Woodworks, and Yaraslov Soukup, an engineer and owner of Soukup Machinery from the Czech Republic. Five of us, brought together by our love for the craft, spent our time together sharing year’s of experience.

How European-style Tilt and Turn Windows Get MadeIn 2011, the US imported $94 million in windows, with a significant share of that coming from Europe. Why? Those windows could/should be produced here in the U.S. There is no better time to take advantage of the benefits these windows offer and at the same time increase our domestic manufacturing capabilities.

With windows responsible for 25% to 30% of the heat loss in a typical building, well-designed and installed windows are critical to reducing energy consumption while increasing thermal comfort and air quality in a controlled environment.

Wood is a sustainable and a renewable resource, and an operable Tilt and Turn window provides excellent air-tightness when closed and controlled ventilation when opened. Together, wooden Tilt and Turn windows and doors are an essential component to enable the overall higher building energy standards.


Patrick Molzahn is director of the Cabinetmaking & Millwork Program at Madison College, Madison, WI. He is also a director of the Woodwork Career Alliance.


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