Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Energy-efficient Window Treatment for Buildings:Energy Efficient Window Treatment for Comm Build(ST4940-1)

Comfortex Corporation


Insulated cellular window shades have become very popular in many applications. However, metal Venetian blinds are still preferred in some building applications. One of the reasons for this preference is that cellular shades do not allow occupants to modulate daylight into their space without entirely raising or lowering the shade. While metal Venetian blinds allow occupants the ability to control the light entering their space, they do not insulate windows very well. Comfortex has produced a first-generation prototype of an innovative window treatment that has the ability to both insulate a window and control the amount of daylight passing through it. Its new window treatment makes use of insulated cellular pleats that expand or collapse to allow modulation of daylight.

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Project Description

The project called for Comfortex to select the fabric and stiffener material for the new shade based on aesthetic, durability, and fire resistance requirements, as well as to design the actuator controls for raising and lowering the entire shade and expanding and collapsing the individual pleats based on safety, ease of use, and reliability requirements. Comfortex also designed the head rail, bottom rail, and wall-mounting hardware applications; design, specify, and procure the equipment to manufacture small lots of the new shade; and use designed equipment to demonstrate the viability of full-scale manufacturing of the new shade.


The new shade could reduce heating and cooling energy requirements attributable to windows by 30-50%, as compared to Venetian blinds. The project could also provide a New York State manufacturer with a new product to sell, potentially creating jobs and economic growth.

Project Results

Comfortex succeeded in developing a new class of window treatment that accomplished the objectives of this project, with a product that uses cellular vanes that can expand to insulate the window or provide privacy, or collapse to allow variable light control. Comfortex developed this concept from a patent and an earlier prototype to a commercial product. Comfortex designed an entirely new manufacturing line to produce this product. The window treatment was introduced into selected geographical markets in the fall of 2003 and spring of 2004 as a Hunter Douglas product (Comfortex’s parent company) named Trio. Hunter Douglas is continuing the release of Trio into more geographic markets during 2004. Orders for the product are growing. Comfortex has committed additional resources to further improve the product’s design and the processes used to manufacture it.


Comfortex Corporation
21 Elm St
Watervliet, NY 12189

Principle Investigator

Ray Randall

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Building Systems

NYSERDA Contact Information

Robert Carver


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST4940-1

Last Updated: 3/19/2014