13 October, 2010

The Importance of Windows

By Christina Winter, Allied Member ASID
During this week LiLu Interiors has been taking some time to digest and understand the Passive House Design Standards.  One of the most important parts of controlling the temperature and energy in a Passive House is the windows in which are used.  The three key ingredients when it comes to incorporating windows are:

  • Triple glazing with two low-e coatings
  • Warm edge spacers between the panes of glass
  • Super insulated frames

When using all three of these elements the total heat loss is only half as high compared to a conventional new window.  However, these three components will not alone do the trick. The direction of how the home is oriented is extremly important.  The shading can not be too excessive as well as the direct sunlight.  Therefore, the placement of the house is as important as constructing the key elements.
The Passive House in the Woods located in Hudson, WI has incorporated a  type of window treatment that is self motorized.  I learned briefly about this at a lecture last month.  They open and close according to the houses' temperature to either allow more sunlight or to shut it out.  This controls the overall temperature of the home even when you are not able to be there.  I don't know about you but I think we should all invest in these!
Below are some photos to show how windows truly make up so much of a passive house:
passive house interior
passive house 4
germanpassivGerman Passive House
Apartment Complex in Bern
Images from google and passivehouseinthewoods.com

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