Indoor Environmental Quality
Window technology has undergone a revolution in the last twenty years. Using a combination of gas filled double or triple glazing, low-emittance glass coatings and thermally improved edge spaces, it is now possible to adjust solar gain, reduce condensation, prevent air leakage and improve the comfort of an indoor environment. There are three ways in which windows and doors contribute to the indoor quality of a home: by the amount of natural light, the effectiveness of ventilation, and minimizing volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Most energy flows in and out of a building through its windows, which can account for up to 30% of the heat loss. With intelligent design, technological innovation and by choosing energy efficient components, a building’s energy consumption can be reduced significantly. The slender lines of steel frames enhance the glass-to-frame ratio. As the thermal performance of windows is dictated more by the choice of insulating glass than the material of the frame, even solid steel windows can demonstrate compliance with the energy conservation requirements of the Building Regulations. But to optimize the energy performance of windows the first consideration is passive design. Natural light and heat flow through a window can be controlled to some extent through appropriate size and solar orientation. Larger windows have more potential to lose or gain heat than smaller windows, and south-facing windows let through more heat and light than north-facing windows.