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Doors and Windows

Fenestration systems are any openings within the building, from windows to skylights and doors. Your choice of windows and doors does not just affect the appearance of a building, it can also affect the building's performance. For instance, a clever window arrangement can boost natural lighting thus reducing the use of lighting fixtures and electricity. 

This article will give you a brief overview of the major kinds of fenestration and the most common types of glazing used in a house or building that.

Curtain Walls

Curtain walls form an outer covering of a building and are made of aluminium frames with glass infills or metal panel infills. The frames, also referred to as mullions, are attached to the structure of the building, though they are not capable of supporting these structures. These walls are subject to the forces of gravity. 

Curtain walls are classified into two types depending on their design and installation methods:

            • Stick Systems: The curtain wall frame, as well as the panels or glass, is fitted piece by piece.

            • Modular Systems: The curtain wall is composed of large pieces (modules) which are assembled, glazed in                the factory and then re-assembled on site.

Take into consideration that curtain walls typically make up only a portion of the wall system. In order to install a curtain wall effectively, efficient integration with other elements, such as walls, roofs, claddings and bases, is needed.

Windows

Windows are openings in walls equipped with glass frames to let light and air in; they also provide a view to the outside world. Common window frame materials include aluminium glass, fibreglass, vinyl wood, steel and PVC. Aluminium frames are the most well-known and offer design flexibility as they are available in a variety of shapes, designs and colours. In residential construction, wood fibreglass and vinyl frames are commonly used.

Windows can be fixed, operable or any combination of the two.

            • Fixed Windows: Fixed windows comprise frames with a sealed infill. They are more resistant to the infiltration of water and air and need less maintenance.

            • Operable Windows: An operable window can be opened or closed as required. It comprises a frame and sash (the part that surrounds the glass and holds it within the window frame), which is sealed with  weather strips. Operable windows are generally divided into sliding seal and compression seal windows.  Windows with compression seals tend to be more resistant to water and air because they cause less wear  on the weatherstripping. 

Doors

Doors are the primary entrances and exits to buildings and rooms. There are three primary kinds of doors: doors that rotate, doors that swing, and doors for industrial use. 

The most commonly used materials for doors include aluminium, steel glass and wood. Commercial storefronts typically have aluminium frames with glass. Industrial doors are designed for materials and goods handling and are not for pedestrian access; their primary function is to offer security. 

Skylights

Skylights, or sloped glazing systems, allow natural light to enter a room from the ceiling. In addition to reducing energy costs, daylight can also have positive psychological effects, according to the WELL standard for building.  There are numerous aspects to consider when designing skylights. As an example, these components have significant solar heat gain in summer and a loss of heat during winter. Another aspect is protection against moisture as skylights are an integral part of the roof. They are subject to huge amounts of rainwater and are more vulnerable to leakage than vertical window structures. A drainage system should be included in order to capture condensation and prevent leakage.

Glazing

Glass is a popular building material that has been utilised for many years to provide light and protection from the weather. Here are a few of the most commonly used kinds of glass:

            • Glass for Architectural Use: Comes as heat-strengthened, annealed or fully tempered glass, the latter being  the strongest of the three. 

            • Laminated Glass: Composed of at least two glass surfaces that are joined by an interlayer of plastic, resulting in excellent thermal and acoustic insulation.

            • Coated Glass: Coated with low-emissivity coatings that improve thermal efficiency.

            • Tinted Glass: Contains minerals that tint the glass, encouraging the absorption of light.

            • Insulating Glass: Composed of two or more glass layers separated by spacers. The space between is used to  reduce the transfer of heat, resulting in superior thermal performance as well as good audio properties.

Archify platform is designed for product sourcing and specification within architecture and design, browse and find your doors and windows need for your project, from the trusted window and door suppliers here at Archify. 

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