Tag Archives: Air leakage

Designing better commercial fenestration through thermal design


Fenestration—such as windows, curtain walls, window walls, sloped glazing, storefronts, and doors—affects building energy use through four basic mechanisms: thermal heat transfer, solar heat gain, visible transmittance, and air leakage. Product designers, architects, and specifiers must reconcile the interplay of these factors to arrive at, or verify, optimal thermal performance.

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Wind Load and Air Barrier Performance Levels

Photo courtesy DuPont Building Knowledge Center

This article describes the air barrier performance requirements for the desired wind load design specifications. The performance level is not determined by the type of air barrier material, but by the installation details. Examples of how these details can impact the performance level for a given air barrier system are provided, with special emphasis on mechanically fastened air barriers.

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Design without compromise: Balancing durable and energy-efficient buildings

Photos © Mike Steffen. Photos courtesy Walsh Construction Company

Two critical aspects of sustainable construction are long-term durability and energy efficiency. The latter is a measure of whole building performance, which depends on the envelope as well as the building systems and occupant behavior. This article addresses the enclosure’s contribution to energy efficiency—namely its impact on heating and cooling loads and how to balance this with a need for durability.

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