Insulated shutter design competition

The Sustainable Campus Initiative Committee (SCIC) will finance a competition open to all MSUM students for developing the best design for insulated shutters or insulated blinds to cover the windows on Murray Commons. The winner of the competition will win the prize money of $3000. If the winning design is accepted by MSU Moorhead’s facilities administration and MnSCU administration, the shutters/blinds will be installed during fall semester 2010 or the spring semester 2011. The student winner will supervise the installation.

In most buildings in the Northern part of the USA the heat loss through the windows is from 40 to 90 percent of the building’s total heat loss. Nationwide, very little attention has been given to find a solution to this problem. Over the next few years, as energy becomes more expensive, insulated shutters or blinds will become the norm on both commercial buildings and residential housing. The SCIC, in the interest of energy conservation at MSUM and promotinga lifestyle of energy sustainability among students, will finance this competition as a demonstration project during the 2010-2011 school year.

Design Criteria

Ease of operation: The shutters or blinds should be easily opened and closed to allow for closing during the night and opening during the day, e.g. hinged to swing out, up, down, bi-fold or roll up or down. Occupants of Murray should be able to open the shutters and see out of some of the windows during the day, then be easily closed at night for the extra insulation. The shutters/blinds may be placed on either the inside or outside of the building.

R-factor (insulating factor): The R-value/factor in building construction is the resistance to heat loss or heat transfer through some building material. The R- value for a 1/8 inch glass window is about 0.08. The R-value for a 3/4 inch piece of wood is about 1. The R- value for fiberglass insulation is about 3.7 per inch and the R- value for polyurethane (foam) board is about 6.25 per inch.  Since R-values are additive, 2 inches of the same foam would be an R-value of 12.5. For this competition the R-value for the window coverings has to be at least 10.

Cost of Installation: The winning design will be installed on the windows in Murray Commons. A MnSCU grant has been applied for to pay for the cost of installation. If we do not receive the grant the SCIC is willing to pay for the installation up to a cost of $1,500 so the cost of the window covering should not be prohibitive. The approximate area to be covered is 600 to 700 square feet. The winner of the competition will hire fellow students to purchase the materials and do the installation during the fall of 2010 or the spring of 2011.

Durability: The winning design will be evaluated on durability. The installation should last for a decade with minimum deterioration.

Aesthetics: The shutters should be aesthetically pleasing from both outside the building and inside the building.

Each entry should have both a simple inexpensive working model and drawings.

If there is a tie in the design of the shutters the winning entry will be the one with the highest R-value.  n case of a tie in design and R-value the $3000 prize money may be split between the winners.

All entries should be submitted to Dr. Dennis Jacobs (see contact information below) by September 7th. The competition will be judged Sept 15th, 2010. If the winning design is accepted for installation, coverings will be installed on Murray Commons during the fall of 2010 or if weather is prohibitive they will be installed the spring of 2011.

For more information or to submit designs contact:

Dennis Jacobs

106 Murray Commons


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