Construction business
Construction business
How Windows Play a Role in a Building’s Energy Efficiency

At Leon Williams Contractors, we understand that commercial windows play an important role in the heating, cooling, and lighting systems of a building. In fact, having the right amount of windows in a commercial building can help save on energy costs.

Through a process called daylighting, windows provide effective, natural, internal lighting. This reduces the need for artificial lighting and saves on energy costs. Although daylighting can be a great asset to a commercial building, general contractors need to be careful not to overdo it. Too many windows may produce unwanted solar heating in the summer. Just as people turn up the heat to compensate for cold window surfaces in the winter, they may use air conditioning units to counter the effects of warm window surfaces in the summer. One strategy is to separate the windows into upper and lower portions to independently control daylight, natural ventilation, and visual aesthetics.

Windows can also save on energy costs through natural ventilation. Natural ventilation is the process of supplying and removing air in a building without using mechanical systems. This can significantly lower costs on HVAC system use. Having the right amount of windows can help ensure that these savings occur. For general contractors, however, it is important to make sure the natural ventilation and mechanical systems do no conflict with one another. Outdoor air intake should not inhibit the heating and cooling systems in a commercial building.

In addition, having the right amount of windows can also increase occupant productivity. According to United States Green Building Council (USGBC), daylighting and access to the natural environment are both linked to increased individual productivity. Another study found that the presence of windows increased psychological well-being because people believe that daylight is less stressful compared to electrical lighting.

So how many windows is the right amount of windows?

For energy savings, the answer is complicated. Every commercial building is different. The key is finding a good balance that provides adequate natural ventilation and that does not conflict with the heating and cooling systems in a building. And considering how windows provide us with the benefits of connecting with our natural environment, a pleasant view of East Tennessee doesn’t hurt, either.

If you are developing a commercial construction project in the Knoxville area, contact Leon Williams Contractors today to discuss our design-build services.

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