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Egress and Glass Block Windows provide the solution for an apartment building in Columbus Ohio

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Glass Block, Windows

What do you do when you need security, energy efficiency and egress all in the same basement window openings? Such was the challenge facing Richardson Rentals for their apartment building in the Worthington area of Columbus Ohio. The solution (developed by the Columbus Glass Block division of Innovate Building Solutions) was to combine glass blocks with vinyl hopper style egress windows. Learn more below about the design and installation approach used for this project.

Vinyl hopper egress window surrounded by glass blocks

Vinyl hopper egress window surrounded by glass blocks

Basement window design


The existing single pane aluminum framed basement level windows did not provide the most secure or comfortable environment for Richardson Rental’s tenants. In most of the apartments there were 3 windows. The largest was a double window in the family room measuring 88” x 34”, then a kitchen window measuring 36” x 34” and finally a bedroom window 44” x 34”.


While Richardson Rentals would have liked to use the glass blocks in all the windows to provide security and air flow (through the use of glass block air vents), it was essential to provide an operable egress window for the bedroom. The challenge was an egress window in the 44” x 34” size was not available in the traditional casement, slider or double hung window types.


The Operations Manager at Columbus Glass Block – Sean Malmsberry – developed the solution to use a 32” x 28” vinyl hopper egress window which was bordered around the two sides and the top with glass blocks. To provide a higher level of security the sash of the vinyl hopper was made with high-strength lexan vs. the traditional window glass which is relatively easy to break.


Glass block and egress window being installed in sections

Glass block and egress window being installed in sections

Glass block basement window installation approach


To ensure durable, long-lasting basement windows the glass block were prefabricated with mortar in manageable sized sections (note – the family room windows were made in 2 sections to make them easier to set and install). Gray mortar was used to provide a more consistent color match.


Glass block windows made in multiple sections for easy installatio

Glass block windows made in multiple sections for easy installation

Do you like the combination of the glass blocks with the vinyl egress window? Please comment below.




To learn more about replacing apartment windows with glass blocks or egress window or to get a free estimate or call Innovate Building Solutions on a nationwide basis (877-668-5888) or for a local project their divisions including Columbus Glass Block (614-252-5888), Cleveland Glass Block (216-531-6363), West Side Glass Block (216-398-1020) or Mid America Glass Block (513-742-5900) of Cincinnati or Dayton and Akron (330-633-2900).

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Mike Foti

President of Innovate Building Solutions a nationwide supplier and regional (Cleveland and Columbus) remodeling contractors. Some of our product lines include glass counters, floors, backsplashes, glass blocks and grout free shower and tub wall panels

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