The Future of Home Improvement: How Folding Glass Walls Elevate Sustainable Design

sustainable design NanaWall folding glass walls

Sustainable design is much more than a trend—it's a necessity. Homeowners and industry experts alike are increasingly prioritizing sustainability in residential design. As recently highlighted in the 2024 National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Sustainability Report, over 70% of industry experts—including designers, remodelers, and specifiers—agree that demand for sustainability in home design is on the rise. With millennials leading the charge, the push for energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and versatile home features has never been stronger. The need for innovative solutions like folding glass walls and window systems has never been greater, as they seamlessly merge sustainability with superior design and functionality.

folding glass walls in sustainable design

The Growing Demand for Eco-Friendly Home Features

With these recent Sustainability Report findings, there is a significant surge in sustainable home feature demand in home design. This is true, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. LED lighting, water-conserving fixtures, VOC-free paints, insulated windows, and doors are among the top sustainable elements homeowners seek. Sustainable solutions like folding glass walls and window systems meet and exceed current trends, offering energy-efficient, high-performance glass walls that enhance the aesthetic appeal and the environmental footprint of any space.

commercial sustainable design

How Folding Glass Wall Systems Lead in Sustainability

Innovative opening glass systems are at the forefront of sustainable design, committed to eco-friendly options. materials, and practices from engineering to manufacturing. Here’s why:

Energy Efficiency: These systems minimize energy waste through superior insulation and thermal performance, reducing energy consumption and enhancing indoor comfort.

Sustainable Materials: Crafted from eco-friendly materials, including sustainably harvested woods and recyclable aluminum, these systems ensure minimal environmental impact.

Eco-Friendly Manufacturing: Proudly made in the USA, these opening glass systems adhere to strict environmental and labor standards, using finishes that contribute to a healthier indoor environment.

sustainable building design with folding glass wall

Energy Saving Solutions for Every Project

Performance opening glass wall systems reduce the need for artificial lighting by integrating large expanses of glass, connecting indoor and outdoor spaces, and creating an open, airy environment.

Natural Daylight and Ventilation,: Reduce the need for artificial lighting by integrating large expanses of folding glass, connecting and extending spaces seamlessly. These systems significantly improve indoor air quality by promoting natural ventilation, allowing fresh air to flow through the home while pushing stale air out through higher windows. This reduces reliance on HVAC systems and ultimately lowers energy costs.

Advanced Thermal & Energy EfficiencyWith exceptional thermal efficiency, these systems have U-Values as low as 0.17, thanks to their thermally broken frames and high-performance glass options. These systems are designed to meet the specific thermal needs of various climates, ensuring optimal energy savings. NanaWall innovative engineering includes weather seal gaskets and the patented Bionic Turtle® design, a top of the industry insulating thermal break between frame profiles, enhancing energy efficiency year-round.

Durability for the Decades: These systems are renowned for their durability and ability to withstand harsh conditions. With 30+ years of engineering experience, performance systems are independently tested and rated for performance in air, water, structural integrity, thermal efficiency, forced entry, acoustics, and operating force. These systems are designed to last for decades, making them a reliable choice for any project.

residential sustainable design with NanaWall folding glass wall

Overcoming Home Improvement Challenges, Sustainably

Folding glass walls are versatile, customizable solutions that meet stringent energy codes, making them ideal for sustainable design and homes. These aluminum and aluminum clad products offer recyclable frames and are powder-coated with eco-friendly finishes. Choose from a rainbow of 50 Standard Colors, over  200 powder coats, privacy options, and frame materials including aluminum and aluminum clad with options for inswing or outswing configurations. Performance systems also include sustainably harvested wood options and water-based finishing options that are also sustainable. In addition to sustainable building materials, NanaWall packaging is made from recycled materials, reducing waste, and promoting eco-friendly practices as well as the powder coating process is not just environmentally friendly.

sustainable living with folding glass walls

Key Features and Benefits of Folding Glass Systems

Extreme Weather Protection: Energy-efficient by design, these systems keep the elements at bay, maintaining interior comfort through all seasons. Systems are independently tested and rated in accredited labs for performance including air, water, structural, thermal, forced entry, acoustics, and operating force amongst others.

Easy Operation: Durable yet simple to use, folding glass walls and window systems open and close with easy one-handed operation.

Weather-Resistant Sills: Long-term durability and protection against the elements. Offering the industry’s only ADA-compliant and water-rated sill.

Daily Convenience: Integrated swing doors provide easy access while maintaining sleek aesthetics.

sustainable design with folding door

Diverse Design and System Sizing Options

Custom sustainable design and material options make performance glass walls and doors an excellent choice for any eco-friendly building project. 

Aluminum Framed: Powder-coated to protect against the elements with long-term durability.

Wood Framed: Combining the natural beauty of sustainably sourced wood with exceptional performance.

Aluminum Clad: The best of both worlds with the durability of aluminum and the warmth of wood.

Frameless: For a minimalist look that maximizes views and light.

modern sustainable design with NanaWall folding glass doors

Home Success Stories: Sustainability in Action

Nanawall folding glass walls in sustainable designed home

Sustainable Design at the Wapiti House in Wyoming

Located in Wyoming's Wapiti Valley, this home serves as a retreat for a couple from Los Angeles. Architects Brett Nave and Lori Ryker designed a sustainable 3,100-square-foot home using recycled materials and a 60-foot rammed earth wall. The folding SL70 glass system in the living area allows a seamless indoor-outdoor experience. Despite Wyoming's volatile climate, the system’s energy efficiency and flexibility in opening and closing based on weather conditions make it a standout feature.

folding door system in sustainable designed home

The Omena Passive House Design in Michigan

The Omena House, designed by Danny Forster & Architecture, is Michigan's first private residence to meet Gold Standard LEED levels. Achieving this with Michigan's drastic seasonal changes was challenging. The SL70 folding glass walls, with their thermally broken frames and double-glazed, Low-E glass were a crucial addition to increase the home’s energy efficiency. Passive cooling strategies and shading techniques, including tree shelter and low SHGC glazing, help maintain comfortable temperatures year-round.

lakefront sustainable living

The Sustainable Design Lakefront Home: The Maine Cottage

This award-winning project features an SL70 folding glass wall system that provides expansive views and unparalleled access to natural light. High-performance glass and insulated frames ensure energy efficiency, while sustainable materials enhance the home's eco-friendly credentials. The architect, Mark Pelletier, and Conforte Builders brought our vision to life, and the opening glass wall became the focal point of our cottage. Expanding the old cottage by only 30%, we needed a solution to make it feel spacious. The folding glass walls were the best decision, offering extreme weather protection in Maine's harsh climate. This stunning feature brought the outside in and made us the talk of the neighborhood.

Folding glass walls fresh air daylight sustainable design

Final Thoughts

Folding glass wall systems are the ideal solution for homeowners and designers looking to elevate sustainable design for homes everywhere. With unmatched performance, sleek aesthetics, and the ability to maximize usable space, folding glass wall systems are the perfect choice for any project. Whether for new builds or remodels, these systems adapt to various architectural styles, ensuring every project achieves sustainability and aesthetic excellence.

Ready to enhance your next home renovation or new build with sustainable design and versatile folding glass wall systems? Check out the NanaWall inspiration gallery and learn how folding glass wall systems are transforming spaces with innovative, eco-friendly solutions.