Windows of Opportunities : The Glazed Area and its Impact on the Energy Balance of Buildings

Abstract: The impact of window area on the energy balance of a building was investigated by simulations in DEROB-LTH. The glazed area was varied in three types of buildings with different types of glazing and for several climates.One low energy house was compared to a less insulated house but identical in size and layout. Three different types of glazing were used; uncoated double glazing, double glazing with one low-e coated pane and triple glazing with two low-e coated panes. Climates with variations in solar radiation, mean temperature, altitude and latitude were chosen.The results show that if energy efficient window alternatives are chosen the flexibility of choosing the glazed area and orientation is higher. Choosing a larger area facing south resulted in a higher heating demand for uncoated double glazing in the standard house. An increased area also resulted in an increased peak load for heating for all the simulated cases. Choosing the energy efficient glazing type gave a decrease in heating demand for increased south facing glazed area in the standard house. In the low energy house the difference in heating demand between different areas was smaller than for the standard house. An office module with two types of switchable glazing and one solar control glazing unit was used in three different climates; Stockholm, Brussels and Rome. Larger window areas increase the cooling demand but if glazing types with lower solar transmittance are used, the difference in cooling demand between different window areas decreases. An extremely large window area, however, increases the peak load both for cooling and for heating and should therefore be avoided. Energy can be saved by using switchable windows instead of solar control or in particular standard glazing.