Some popular terms today when talking about offsetting carbon footprint and reducing energy consumption include “sustainability,” “going green” and “net zero.” Now, add two more terms that are on the rise in the energy saving movement — “passive cooling” and “mixed-mode systems.”

Shintani Residence

Passive cooling ironically is not a new idea at all. In fact, in Hawaii it has been practiced for generations using jalousie windows, which offer full ventilation when open, even in the rain. Unfortunately, with the poor performance and design of old-style jalousies when closed, in addition to their general lack of security, other window types like awning and sliding windows have started to replace them. When this happens, 50 percent or more of the benefits of passive cooling is taken away as the ventilation in the home is reduced by at least half. Generally, this leads to the retrofit of A/C units to compensate for the increased heat indoors from lack of ventilation.


To solve this issue, you can start by replacing your old jalousie windows with a high-performance Breezway louver window.

Breezway louvers have all the full ventilation benefits of a jalousie in the open position — taking advantage of passive cooling designs — while having none of the drawbacks of a jalousie window when it’s closed. High-performance Breezway louvers seal tight, keeping out wind, water and noise, and also offer security screen and hurricane protection options. Breezway also added the Stronghold clip system that secures the glass blade internally so it cannot fall out, which is ideal for high-elevation windows.


Breezway recently explained how a mixed-mode design works and how it’s being incorporated into a modern, architectural and energy-efficient design. Excited about the interest in mixed-mode design Breezway said many local architects and design firms are moving away from the whole idea of fully air-conditioned buildings and instead are incorporating mixed-mode approaches to their design.


By using Breezway’s louver windows, the architects are able to achieve all the benefits of using trade winds to passively cool the building Then, when the A/C must be turned on during those very hot days, the louvers seal tight keeping the cold air in This mixed-mode approach saves a building more than 43 percent of energy costs on average when properly designed. Breezway also points out that it increases the indoor air quality, creating a healthier living and working environment.

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