How to Design Windows and Openings for Efficiency

Windows, Daylighting   November 24, 2008

Today’s tip is about how to think about windows in terms of energy efficiency. The first and most important thing facility executives should consider in existing buildings is upgrading old, leaky windows to new windows. This alone could result in huge energy savings. Considerations when selecting new windows that affect window performance include frame and spacer material, number of panes, gas between the panes, glazing emissivity and transition to the solid wall.

In new construction, facility executives should specify high-efficiency windows and glazing, and make sure that window openings are properly placed so that solar load is reduced. But facility executives should also consider how window openings can take advantage of natural daylight so that lighting energy can be reduced. Use an energy modeling program, or even Building Information Modeling, to determine where the happy medium is between solar gain from large expanses of glass and enough natural daylight to keep occupants happy and reduce lighting loads.


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