14th May 2020

Loving Glass Series: Glass selection and climate

There is a common thought that double glazing is only really effective in colder climates - we are here to bust this myth because this isn't the case! Using the right windows is important in all climates.  

How does climate affect home builds and renovations? 

Insulation makes up the entire exterior of a home - walls, floors and ceilings and everything in between.  

Whatever is happening outside the home can leak inside. So the temperature, air quality and sun orientation all have an impact on the inside the home. So clever design and selection of building materials can create a more comfortable space which isn't relying on powered heading and cooling. 

Read more about glass and insulation here

Climate Focused Design - Passive Design 

According to youhome.gov.au, "design for climate requires that homes be designed or modified to ensure that the occupants remain thermally comfortable with minimal auxiliary heating or cooling in the climate where they are built. Passive design — working with the climate, not against it — is an important component, as are energy efficient heating and cooling systems, and smart behaviour by the occupants." Source: yourhome.gov.au

This is a whole of home approach, it comes down to the design of the home as well as the materials used within the home. 

Whatever stage you're at (building/renovating or retrofitting) you can make choices to ensure you can keep your home comfortable and energy efficient, no matter your climate. 

How does glass fit in to passive and climate focused design? 

For warm climates the Australian Glass and Windows Association (AGWA) states,  "any time you are investing energy (and cost) into changing the temperature of the air inside your home (heating or cooling), it’s worth considering steps to avoid it becoming uncomfortable in the first place, and keeping it comfortable for as long as possible. Windows are uniquely powerful in giving us this control."  Read more about selecting glass for hot climates here

For cooler climates, there is no doubt how important good glazing is to giving you control over the temperature inside the home. Not to mention optimising natural light in the window is going to have benefits to the livability of the home. The AGWA states, "windows will typically represent less than 10 per cent of the surface area of your home, they can quite realistically contribute around 50 per cent of your heat loss in winter." Read more about selecting glass for cooler climates here.

Choosing high performing glass assists in hot and cold climates because it is supporting a stable temperature in the home, even when it is really hot or cold outside. A high performance double glazing product, like LightBridge next™ , has been developed to ensure optimal values to support good insulation in a home no matter the climate zone.

Here in Australia, we may not get the sub-zero or desert like temperatures - but we shouldn't suffer through our extreme weather months with high energy bills or dark rooms with no natural light when we really don't have to! 

Don't forget to speak to your designer, architect, builder or window installer about your glass and window frames to ensure you are creating a comfortable, naturally lit home. 

Scott Clarkson is a Building Performance Expert and runs Clarkson Consulting, he explains more about double glazing is suitable for both hot and cold climates. Take a look!