Quantifying Comfort to Assist in the Window Selection Process
“Generally, windows are not the key element affecting the comfort of a building’s occupants. However under more extreme conditions, where a window is hot or cold and/or the occupant is very close to the window, they become most influential.” (Lyons, 1999) The Efficient Windows Collaborative’s (EWC) web-based Window Selection Tool provides performance metrics for windows and skylights for cities in North America. Certain metrics, such as energy and peak demand, are rather easy to quantify because simulation and other methodologies are readily established. The EWC has developed a comparative comfort analysis based on the principles presented by Mr. Lyons in previous research papers. The EWC comfort analysis was performed using weather files for nearly 100 locations in the U.S. and Canada to determine how often the winter night and summer day night comfort levels are compromised. The analysis accounts for the effect of cold roomside window surface temperatures in the winter and direct solar radiation in the summer. The comfort analysis should apply to most any conditioned space, whether residential or commercial.
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