Window and Glazing Design Strategies for Sustainable Design  

Education Type: 
1.5 Hours


AIA Learning Units: 
1.5 LU

In recent years, windows have undergone a technological revolution. High-performance,
energy-efficient window and glazing systems are now available that can dramatically cut energy consumption and pollution sources: they have lower heat loss, less air leakage, and warmer window surfaces that improve comfort and minimize condensation. These high-performance windows feature double or triple glazing, specialized transparent coatings, insulating gas sandwiched between panes, and improved frames. All of these features reduce heat transfer, thereby cutting the energy lost through windows;

For the design, construction and operation of a facility, there is also an especially important interface between the indoor and outdoor environments, that of the building envelope. The building envelope is comprised of the outer elements of a building—foundations, walls, roof, windows, doors and floors. The prime functions of the building envelope are to provide shelter, security, solar and thermal control, moisture control, indoor air quality control, access to daylight, and views to outside, fire resistance, acoustics, cost effectiveness and aesthetics. This course will cover basic concepts for specifying window and glazing systems, particularly energy-efficient windows in the context of the sustainability of the building envelope.

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the basic elements of window systems;
  • List at least 3 issues to consider when designing windows holistically;
  • Describe the characteristics to consider when specifying windows and glazing;
  • Define at least 2 sustainability recommendations pertaining to the design and construction of the building envelope;
  • Describe the commonly used glass and glazing components; and
  • Understand the relationship between passive solar heating strategies and opportunities for daylighting, views, and window selection.