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Solar Design for Windows by Karol Kazmierczak, ASHRAE, NCARB, LEED AP Images courtesy Karol Kazmierczak SINCE GLAZING IS THE MOST ADVANCED AND EXPENSIVE PART OF MANY FAÇADES, IT WARRANTS A GOOD DESIGN THAT GOES MORE THAN SKIN-DEEP. Glass can be engineered to provide natural light, limit occupant discomfort, and make energy use more efficient, while maintaining the appearance desired by architects. The ‘coolness factor’—balancing the transmission of heat and light—remains the most important and, ironically, least-known performance characteristic of architectural glass. In an era of widespread curtain walls and sloped glazing merging into vertical planes, the definition of what constitutes a ‘window’ can be thought of mainly in the context of code requirements. Unfortunately, it can seem like the International Building Code (IBC) treats the window as too obvious to specifically define. To make matters more complicated, the code introduces the noun “glazing,” which, depending on context, could be interpreted as a synonym of ‘glass’ or ‘window,’ but not always. One of the frequently quoted industry standards, American Architectural Manufacturers Association/ Window and Door Manufacturers Association/Canadian Standards Association (AAMA/WDMA/CSA) 101, Standard/Specification for Windows, Doors, and Unit Skylights, defines a window as: an opening constructed in a wall or roof and functioning to admit light or air to an enclosure, usually framed and spanned with glass mounted to permit opening and closing. 26 the construction specifier | april 2013 CS_April2013.indd 26 3/14/13 11:48:33 AM