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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
26 the construction speciﬁer | april 2013
3/14/13 11:48:33 AM