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windows & glazing approaches

At a 6 Star level, window choice and design becomes critical.

For 6 Star, the most cost effective first step is to maximise ceiling and wall insulation, this now means that the weak link in the chain is the windows; aluminium-only frames and non-efficient glass cause the major amount of heat loss - conventional single pane window systems are effectively like having an open hole in the wall, so thermally improved systems or double glazed systems are recommended.

pdf AGGA's Guide for Energy Efficient Glazing (96 KB)

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Use of single glazed pyrolytic Low E glass in your window can stop up to 39% of heat loss.

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Use of a double-glazed unit can stop up to 55% of heat loss.

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Use of a Low E double-glazed unit can stop up to 70% of heat loss.

It may not mean that all windows in the home need the highest level of performance, but certainly some windows such as those in key living areas will have a major effect a skilled thermal assessor can identify where you get the best return-on-your-investment.

Other design considerations are as follows:

creative design

Optimise window shape and size – big is not always best.

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Why full length windows if the view is better framed at sitting height?

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New furnishing options abound when items can be placed under a window, rather than in front of one.

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Different window shapes give a building a different look – imagine a diamond, square or port-hole for instance, capturing the view of a tree and introducing a new shape to the walls.

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Reflect or complement an unusual window shape with the roofline or in detailing.

smart window design

window positioning

Same shape, different place – orientation and siting of rooms.

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Bring the magic of lightening eastern skies to the kitchen and bedrooms, making mornings special.

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Restrict a west-facing window to standing height to take advantage of the setting sun's beauty, without needing to cover up a large window expanse to protect furniture and fabrics from summer afternoon glare.

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Consider small windows on the south to reduce heat loss.

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Block out neighbours and let in light with mixed materials in window areas.

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Frame any views and be strategic letting in light rather than using windows as an alternative wall material.


timber window frames

Use timber window frames as they have far better thermal properties than most alternatives – the conductivity of aluminium for instance is typically about 1700 times greater than timber. To minimise ongoing maintenance consider combining attributes in a timber frame with an aluminium skin.

double glazing and high performance glass

To maximise window performance consider thermally improved glass or smart use of double glazing. Simple alternatives which save on heating and cooling costs, glazing solutions are much-favoured in second and third homes.

» Further information on windows and reaching 6 Star

smart window design

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