Commercial Fenestration -The Top 6 Factors Architects Should Prioritize
Efficient buildings are designed to provide occupants with a comfortable, safe, and healthy living and work environment. This requires superior architecture and engineering designs, quality construction practices, testing, and intelligent operation of the structures. The major areas of energy consumption in buildings are heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Façade and fenestration are often considered the biggest hurdle in achieving higher levels of energy efficiency in buildings due to their thermal bridging qualities. This article discusses top fenestration priorities architects should follow for effective glazing.
1. Passive sustainable design
Passive strategies, such as considering sun orientation and climate when sitting and being thoughtful about window placement and operation, are used to best manage daylighting and natural ventilation. They also go a long way in reducing energy requirements for buildings. In certain climates, thermal mass techniques can be used to harness solar energy. In such cases, thick walls absorb heat from the sun during the day and release it into the building at night.
2. User experience
All industries seek to perfect the user experience of their customers. In retail, how will traffic flow and displays hinder or help a purchasing decision? Will shoppers instinctively know “where to go?” In software, how will users navigate the various screens and data? Architecture is no different. Although a building material may “technically” perform as required, how will the user “feel” about their interaction with the environment? Will the material selected feel “formal” as opposed to “trendy.” User experience is the perfect avenue to convey your unique vision for the building while also meeting functional requirements.
Occupant comfort is the final test of the success or failure of a project. Buildings are made specifically for people to work, live, and socialize in. Therefore, it is critical that they are designed to meet the needs of their occupants. To prioritize occupant comfort, health, and productivity, a high-performance façade must take into consideration the amount of natural lighting and passive heat gain that enters the building’s interior. Conducting radiation and glare studies during the early stages of the design process can help architects select the right strategies to achieve this goal.
4. Lifecycle cost
The choice of fenestration in commercial buildings is often driven by building regulations or initial construction costs. Energy costs should be considered in the selection of glazing as this may influence the final solution where significant energy savings are available. Lifecycle costs can be used to select the optimum fenestration for a project, considering factors such as daylighting and future maintenance costs.
5. Energy-efficient design
When considering the design of a new building, it is important to consider the energy performance of fenestration products. Fenestration comes in energy-efficient designs, with areas covering the U-value of the glazing to protect the building from heat transfer, the solar heat gain coefficient to boost energy performance, and visible light transmission that calibrates the amount of light entering a building. These factors, when considered, can enhance the comfort, energy performance, and livability of the building while reducing energy cost and carbon.
6. Acoustic comfort
Acoustic comfort is the well-being perceived by a building occupant regarding the acoustic quality of their environment. Acoustics also can significantly reduce occupant productivity. One great factor of acoustic comfort is the façade materiality. Providing noise-reducing insulation or materials with similar properties can minimize noise and enable improved productivity levels for the building’s occupants.
The End of Compromise
Designing a sustainable building could be a daunting prospect. However, you no longer have to compromise between structure, aesthetics, thermal efficiency, and budget. FreMarq Innovations will help reduce the building’s energy consumption and increase comfort for its occupants. Contact us for more information and get started.