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Doors and Windows

 

Doors and windows are all breaks in the otherwise continuous thermal building envelope. Thus when designing a sustainable, energy efficient home, a primary consideration in selecting a window system is its energy performance.

Heat loss through a window is classified according to window efficiency rating schemes. These schemes provide information on the thermal performance of different window systems.

There are two components of window and energy efficiency:

  1. The framing system
  2. The glazing or panel

Framing System

Window systems often leak heat out through the frames. Leakage is often indicated by condensation on the frames. Timber window systems provide natural insulation, whereas others such as steel and aluminium will need to incorporate thermal breaks.

When selecting frames with wooden components, ensure the timber is from a sustainable resource.

Aluminium and steel frames are available with a high recycled content.

Glazing

There are many thermal glazing options - double glazing, triple glazing, films, low-e timber framed windows, inert gas interlayers. More on energy efficient glazing systems.

 

Thermal Barrier And Light

In some areas, keeping heat out of the building is more important than keeping heat in. In attempting to shield the interior from solar energy, the internal lighting is also compromised. Fortunately, innovative glazing systems - green glass - help to provide a therma heat barrier whilst allowing the maximum amount of light to enter the building.

Next: Flooring

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