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East and West Facing Glazing: What It Means for Building Performance

WW

We recently did a little experiment in our office. The main wall of glazing in our office faces northeast (by the way we didn’t design the building!) and that end of the office gets pretty warm! We decided to see exactly what affect all this glazing was having on the performance of the office space.

I have a simple little electric thermometer that has two sensors so we can monitor external temperature vs internal temperature. We recorded the outside temperature on a standard day mid morning at 16° as measured by The Bureau of Meteorology. Temperature is measured in a Stevenson screen which is essentially a louvered box so the instrument is in the shade.

The temperature on the outside of our window, in the sun but out of the wind was 24.8° whilst the temperature inside the glass was a whopping 30.4°! That’s a temperature differential of 14.4° between the measured outdoor temperature in the shade to the internal room temperature. Can you image what the temperature might be like on a 35° day in summer. Luckily we have a wing wall and eave that will protect the glass in summer.

The moral of this story? Don’t design your building with glazing unprotected from our summer sun.
Get winter sun into your building and it will be nice and toasty even on a cool 16° day.