Interview with Eric Johnson and Jason Vaartstra

Interview by Michelle Heslop. Photos by Jody Beck.

Where is Complete Windows based and what areas do you service?
Eric Johnson: Complete Windows is primarily based on Vancouver Island, also serving the Gulf Islands and the Interior of British Columbia.

Why do architects rely on Complete Windows for glazing and installation for their high-end projects?
Jason Vaartstra:
I believe one of our strengths is our collaborative approach with builders, architects and homeowners and really working through a project as a team. We are often consulted in the concept phase to answer questions related to window detailing, sizes and configurations. As things start to come together on site, we are there to double check that certain pressure points related to the integration of our product are optimized.

What questions should consumers be asking when doing a custom build or renovation?
EJ: Our sales approach at Complete Windows is rooted in education rather than simply pushing products. We believe in providing clients with the information they need to make informed decisions. Customers should focus on the window’s energy efficiency, long-term durability and a window’s resistance to the wide range of weather elements here on the west coast.

JV: I like to determine our clients’ wishlist items and go from there. It could be as simple as high performance windows or adding a patio door in the dining room. Once clients have communicated their top priorities, we can discuss the type of material we should be looking at for the frames, glass performance, and how things will open.

The company’s original founder, Wayne Bowles, had expertise in certification of building envelopes. Can you explain how glazing fits into the “House as a System” technology in today’s building code?
In today’s building code framework, glazing plays a pivotal role within the “House as a System” concept. It is a crucial component of a building’s envelope, impacting both energy efficiency and structural integrity. Wayne Bowles’ legacy continues to influence our approach, emphasizing that when windows are installed correctly and the product quality is high, homeowners should not face the need for frequent replacements. This aligns with the modern understanding of building science, where the envelope is viewed as an integrated system, with glazing being a critical factor in achieving optimal energy performance and structural resilience.

What are the most significant benefits of investing in good quality windows on the West Coast of Canada?
Given the dynamic nature of building codes and the ever-evolving standards for energy efficiency, it’s crucial to recognize that windows represent a critical vulnerability in a building’s envelope. They significantly influence factors like energy efficiency, measured by the U-value, and their potential to prevent leaks into the structure. This emphasizes the importance of investing in windows of the highest quality that align with your budget. Doing so not only ensures compliance with current building codes but also guarantees a durable and energy-efficient solution that contributes to a comfortable and sustainable living environment.