27th September 2010

Window Orientation Matters

In Australia, a 'Northerly Aspect' is highly desirable for optimal home orientation. The key benefit is passive heating, using the sun's energy to warm and light the home during winter. Home Reflections in Glass Wall Orientation Benefits Designing north-facing windows for maximum solar access can reduce winter heating bills by a quarter and the correct external shading can block over three-quarters  of summer heat gain through the same windows. The addition of performance glass (double glazing) can also reduce winter heat loss (and related costs) by approximately 40 percent (Source: Sustainable Energy Authority, Victoria). Orientation Principles The main principles of energy smart window design are: 1) Maximise winter heat gain by orientating windows to the north and sizing windows to suit the size of the dwelling. 2) Minimise winter heat loss using appropriate window size, together with premium glass (double glazing), and appropriate internal coverings. 3) Minimise summer heat gain with external shading and correct positioning of windows and reflective glass where appropriate. More information is available from Sustainability Victoria's Resource Smart website and the Design Section of the SeeBeyond Windows website. Practical Considerations Of course we don't have complete control over the orientation of our homes and buildings. Viridian performance glass technology can reduce the need to compromise, offering greater design flexibility through the ability to tailor window performance (heat transfer, reflectivity, insulation and brightness) on different orientations. Although premium glass may have an increased capital cost, it delivers ingoing cost saving, environmental benefits and most importantly comfort and quality of living spaces. Glass Talks will be discussing more benefits of premium glass, product variants, design considerations and technical information. Please let us know what you would like us to discuss and comment on your experiences with glass.