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.
When baseball superstar Babe Ruth toured Boston’s Charles Street Jail in 1925, he famously quipped: “This isn’t a jail, it’s a hotel”—a prophecy that has since come true. Now known as the Liberty Hotel, this 298-room, high-end hospitality destination retains its architectural heritage with its famed rotunda, jail-themed bars and restaurants, and its historically accurate replacement windows.
A two-story glass lobby featuring a thermally advanced curtain wall is the focal point of the Clark Visitor Center in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, the new building is part of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s 15-year, $145-million expansion.
The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) recently launched its Bird-Smart Glass program, which includes a list of tested products available to help stop avian casualties from hitting windows. For the past six years, ABC has been scientifically testing products that are affordable and aesthetically suitable for architects and homeowners to use to eliminate bird deaths.