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Environmental Building Guidelines for Greater Des Con O&M

Hyderabad Ver. 1.2(2010)

B Energy
New build

G Ene Bg 3
Integrate daylight and ventilation
inside the built environment by
optimizing window design
A. For Air Conditioned Buildings
1. Window wall ratio should be restricted to 60% of the gross wall
area. U factor value and SHGC value should be lesser than Checklist
that recommended by ECBC.
1. Calculation
showing WWR
Climate Maximum U-factor WWR =40% 40%<WWR<=60%
2. Calculation
zone W/m2K Maximum SHGC Maximum SHGC showing SRR
Hot & Dry 3.30 0.25 0.20 3. Calculation
2. Skylights should comply with maximum U factor and showing floor
maximum SHGC requirements as per ECBC. Skylight area area vs.window
should be limited to a maximum of 5% of the gross roof area. area

4. Calculation
Climate Maximum U-factor Maximum U factor Maximum SHGC Maximum SHGC 2.1
showing net
with curb W/m2K w/o curb W/m2K 0-2% SRR 5% SRR SHGC

Hot & Dry 11.24 7.71 0.40 0.25 5. Calculation

3. Windows should be designed to meet daylight requirements as average
per BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) as explained in daylight factor
Guideline Comf. Bg.2. achieved
B. For Naturally ventilated Non Air Conditioned inside rooms

Buildings 6. Calculation
showing air
1. Windows in naturally ventilated buildings should be sized to changes per
achieve adequate ventilation for thermal comfort. Proper hour achieved.
attention should be given for sufficient air motion in hot
climate zones like Hyderabad. Window areas having 15 to 20
percent of floor area are found adequate both for ventilation
and daylight and hot and dry climate zones.
2. Windows should be fully shaded to avoid solar external heat
gains through the openings. This could be achieved by
studying the solar geometry of the location. For details refer
Guideline ENE NH1.
3. Windows should be designed to meet daylight requirements as
per BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) as explained in
Guideline Comf. Bg.2.

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Why is this required?
Windows are required to achieve natural daylight and natural cooling through ventilation,
but at the same time cut down the solar heat gains which would come along the light.
Maximum solar heat gains in a building come from windows and skylights, to remove which
air conditioning load increases.
Optimized window design plays a vital role in the building envelope to reduce the annual
energy consumption both for lighting and air conditioning. This minimizes dependence on
non-renewable energy resources for indoor light and ventilation thus reducing expenditure.
This also cuts down cost / emissions and increases comfort levels.
In present day construction, several commercial buildings do not have provision for operable
windows. This total eliminates possibilities of natural ventilation during favourable climatic

How is it Beneficial?
Optimized window design helps to achieve both visual and thermal comfort with no
additional financial investment.
It helps to achieve glare free diffuse natural daylight inside the building.
It also helps reduce external solar heat gains thereby reducing air conditioning loads in air
conditioned buildings and reducing discomfort in naturally ventilated spaces. Proper design
of natural ventilation strategies also enhances thermal comfort for occupants.
It also helps in daylight integration and hence less dependence on artificial lighting during
daytime therefore reducing the electricity demand due to lighting.
Integration of daylight also enhances productivity and provides a better ambience for work
and living.
As per TERI estimates, the CII-Godrej Green business Centre saves about 80% of its lighting
energy consumption through daylight integration. In another building recently audited by
TERI in Hyderabad, the lighting energy saving through daylight integration was estimated at
21%. Thus it can be said the though the energy saving potential through daylight integration
varies based on varying parameters, the overall potential remains significantly high.

Spreadsheet to calculate the net SHGC achieved by each individual window.
Calculation showing average daylight factor achieved inside a room.(Refer to guideline
Comf.Bg.2 for guidance on the same.)
Calculations showing air changes per hour achieved in non air conditioned spaces.
Table 1. Calculations showing Window Wall Ratio on each orientation.

S.No Space Room size/ Area(units) Wall (units) Window (units) WWR

(Air condi- Orientation Length Height Area Nomenclature Length Height Nos Total Glass =total
tioned/ non Area VLT window
air condi- area/
tioned) gross

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Table 2. Calculation showing Skylight Roof Ratio (SRR)
S.No Roof area Skylight area (units) skylight/Roof Sky light
(units) area
Length Width No's Total area Nomenclature VLT

for guidance on the same, VLT = Visible Light Transmittance

Table 3. Calculation showing net SHGC achieved by window

Space Window Details Window Window Solar heat gain Projection of Projection Multiplication Adjusted ECBC Recom-
Height (V) width (V) coefficient shade (H) Factor factor as per SHGC mended SHGC
(SHGC) achieved ECBC
(Air conditioned / Nomen- Orien- (mm) (mm) Glass SHGC H/V M Glass
non air condi- clature tation SHGC * M

Guidance Notes
Windows are a very important component of the building envelope - in addition to providing
physical and visual connection to outside, they also allow heat and light in and add beauty to the
building. Solar radiation coming in through windows provides natural lighting, natural air and
heat gain to the space inside, thus significantly impacting the energy usage of the building. The
main purpose of a building and its windows is to provide thermal and visual comfort to the
occupants and if this can be achieved using less energy, so much the better.

Primary components of a window which have significant impact on energy and cost of the
building for which guidelines are provided in this section are as
1. Window size, placement
2. Glazing
3. Frame
4. Shading (external & internal) Fig 1 Strip windows


Window size & placement

Height of window head: The higher the window head, the deeper Fig 2 Punched windows
will be the penetration of daylight.

Sill height (height from floor to the bottom of the window):

The optimum sill for good illumination as well for good ventilation
should be between the illumination workspace and head level of a
person. Carrying out any task, the suitable work plane levels are t o
be 1.0 to 0.3 m high respectively.
Fig 3: Provision of tinted and
clear glass on bottom and top
Strip windows provide more uniform daylight
part of window enhances
Punched windows should be paired with work areas to avoid daylight integration potential

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creating contrasts of light and dark areas.
Avoid big windows close to task areas since they can be source of thermal discomfort.

Also larger the windows, the more important glazing selection and shading effectiveness are to
control glare and heat gain.

Use separate apertures for view and daylightfor good day lighting and glare control sepa-
rate the view and light windows. Light window should have clear glass for maximum daylight
penetration. Tinted glass could be used below for glare control. The structure in between the two
provides a visual break and an opportunity to attach light shelf or shading device.

Window Wall Ratio (WWR)

Window - to - wall ratio is the net glazing area (window area minus mullions and frame or 80% of
rough opening) divided by gross exterior wall area. Wall area, gross is the overall area of a wall
including openings such as windows and doors, measured horizontally from outside surface to
outside surface and measured vertically from top of the floor to the top of the roof.

Net glazing area


Gross exterior wall

As per the Energy Conservation Code window area should be limited to a maximum of 60% of the
gross wall area.
Fig 4 Calculation of Wall-Window Ratio

Fig 5 WWR should be limited to a maximum of 60% of gross wall area

Window design guidelines

A good window design should let diffuse daylight and air inside the building while cutting off
heat gain by solar radiation and due to outside and inside temperature difference.
The recommendations of a good window design are summarized below:

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1. Minimize window area in East and West orientations in cooling dominated climates like
Hyderabad. The sun angle is very low in East and west orientation, hence difficult to
provide protection on east and west faade. Windows on South should be adequately
protected from direct solar gain by shading devices.
2. Inlet openings in the buildings should be well distributed and should be located on the
windward side at a low level, and outlet openings should be located on the leeward side at a
higher level, to maximize the stack effect.
3. Naturally ventilated buildings should have a narrow floor width, infact its difficult to
naturally ventilate buildings with floor depth more than 45feet.
4. For total area of openings (inlet and outlet) of 20 to 30% of floor area, the average indoor
wind velocity that could be achieved is around 30% of outdoor wind velocity. Even on
increasing the size of window further, the maximum indoor wind velocity does not exceed
40% of outside wind velocity.
5. North facing windows should be maximized. Heat gain from north windows is minimum,
and also helps in integrating diffuse natural daylight.
6. Natural shading from trees should be retained. Trees should not be cut during
construction, as they provide good natural shade. Experience shows that one of the best
exterior shade for east and west facing walls is a tall tree full with leaves. Deciduous trees
are effective shading device on South facing windows. They provide good shade in summers
but shed their leaves in winters.
7. Use of clerestories or vented skylights, A clerestory or a vented skylight will provide an
opening for stale air to escape in a buoyancy ventilation strategy. The light well of the
skylight could also act as a solar chimney to augment the flow. Openings lower in the
structure, such as basement windows, must be provided to complete the ventilation
8. It is far better, for heat prevention to block sunlight before it strikes the window pane,
thereby dissipating the absorbed heat outside where it can be carried away by air currents.
Shading by trees and exterior shading methods can be very effective, both for saving cooling
energy and to block strong glare from direct solar beam.
9. Though exterior shading is the preferred option, however, if exterior shading is not possible,
light - coloured internal blinds should be considered. These blinds must be opened and
closed with changing outdoor conditions to take advantage of daylight when desirable.
10.Separate windows for views and daylight (above eye level), using high light transmittance
glazing in the daylight windows located above eye level as in light shelves or clearstory
should be used and low transmittance glazing in view windows.
11.On south orientation integration of light shelves help to cut solar heat gains and provide
diffuse daylight much deeper into the space.
12.The higher the window, the more effective daylight penetration will be. Normally the
daylight zone extends from 1.5 to 2.5 times the window head height.
13.Strategize the daylight distribution by directing more light onto the ceiling. Use high
ceilings and a greater window height for effective ceiling illumination which provides deeper
penetration and uniform light distribution without glare.
14.Overhangs / louvers to be designed to exclude unwanted light and solar gain, but allow
natural daylight inside.
15.Design strip or continuous windows for buildings
where future occupancy patterns are uncertain or
flexibility in space usage is a must. Couple punched
windows with task areas.
16.Locate higher percentage of windows on North and
south faade orientations and small size windows or no
windows on east and west faade orientations. Sun an-
gles are very high in North direction and therefore eas-
ier to design external shade to control direct sun. East
and west sun angles are low and therefore difficult to
Fig 6 Percentage of outdoor wind
shade the window.
velocity that could be available
17.Plan window position efficiently, avoid glazing areas at
indoor as a percentage of window
places where it is not contributing.
opening area

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The most commonly glazing material used in openings is glass, although recently polycarbonate
sheets are being used for skylights. The primary properties of glazing that impact energy use are:
Visible transmittance (affecting daylight)
Visible reflectance (affecting heat and light reflection)
Thermal transmittance or U - value (affecting conduction heat gains)
Solar heat gain (affecting direct solar gain)
Spectral selectivity (affecting daylight and heat gain)
Glazing colour (affects the thermal and visual properties of glazing systems and thus energy

Visible transmittance (VLT %) or daylight transmittance

This is the percentage of normally incident visible light transmitted through the glazing. Glazing
with a high visible transmittance are clearer in appearance and provide sufficient daylight and
views. Clear glass however, can create glare problem. Glazing with low visible transmittance give
better glare control, but offer minimal daylight integration and diminished views.

Visible reflectance or daylight reflectance

This is the percentage of incident light that is reflected back. Most manufacturers provide both
outside reflectance (exterior daytime view) and inside reflectance (interior mirror image at night).
Treatments such as metallic coating increase the reflectance. Reflective glazing reflects a large
portion of the solar radiation incident on it, thereby restricting heat gain inside the building,
which is advantageous. Disadvantage is these reflective glazing allows low visible transmittance
and thus minimal daylight integration.

Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC or shading coefficient)

These are the indicators of total solar heat gain through a glazing. SHGC is the ratio of the solar
heat gain entering the space through the fenestration area to the incident solar radiation. Solar
heat gains include directly transmitted solar heat and absorbed solar radiation, which is then re
radiated, conducted or convected into the space. These indices are dimensionless numbers be-
tween 0 and 1 that indicate the total heat transfer of the suns radiation. These properties are
widely used in cooling load calculations. Glass with a lower SHGC or SC (Shading coefficient)
helps in reducing cooling loads in hot climate zones.

However, glass with a low SHGC also usually has low VLT. Hence use of glass with spectral selec-
tivity is recommended for day use air conditioned buildings to enhance day lighting and reduce
cooling loads. In air conditioned buildings, it is mandatory to achieve SHGC lower or equal to that
recommended by ECBC for various window wall ratios. Accordingly, glass and external shading
devices should be selected.To find the glass which will help in achieving the required SHGC , a
software is developed and is available in the website. Latitude of Hyderabad is 170 20 N. Hence
for calculation of glass type use spread sheet for North latitude 150 or greater.

Required glass properties to meet SHGC requirement of ECBC.

U value / Thermal transmittance (W/m2K or Btu/hrft2oF)

The u value is the heat transmission in unit time through unit area of the glazing and the
boundary air film, induced by boundary unit temperature difference between the environment on
either side. The U value is the rate of heat flow, therefore lower numbers are better. The R
value represents the resistance to heat flow (R = 1/U), higher resistance means better insulation.
Centre of glass Uvalues are generally lower than whole window U value, which account for the
effect of the frame and mullions. Low U value property of window is important for reducing the
cooling load in hot climate of Hyderabad.The following factors affect the U value of a window.
Type of glazing material.
Number of layers of glass
Size of air space and nature of gas in the space between the glass layers.
Thermal resistance or conductance of frame
The air tightness of the installation.

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Glazing materials

Until recently, single pane clear glass was the primary glazing material used in windows. The past
few decades have seen immense changes in glazing technology. Several types of advanced glazing
systems are available to help control heat loss or gain. The advanced glazing include double and
triple pane windows with coatings such as low - e (low emissivity)/ spectrally selective, heat ab-
sorbing (tinted), or reflective, gas filled windows and windows based on combination of these op-

Substantial improvements in glazing performance are expected from new materials and tech-
niques. The creation of vacuum or partial vacuum in the cavity of a double glazed unit and the
use of Aerogel to fill the cavity can lower the U value considerably.

Air space between glass layers Thermal resistance provided by the air cavity between glass layers
increases with increase in cavity width upto 12mm. Convection currents, which form in wider
cavities, lead to a drop in thermal resistance.

Spectral selectivity

This refers to the ability of glass to respond differently to different wavelengths of solar energyin
other words to admit visible light while rejecting unwanted invisible infrared heat. Newer products
in the market have achieved this characteristic in much clearer glass. To understand this option
some knowledge on solar spectrum is necessary.

Light is composed of a rainbow of colours, which is called as the visible portion of the solar spec-
trum. The entire solar spectrum produces heat when absorbed by interior surfaces, but only the
fairly narrow visible portion produces the sensation of vision. The rest is invisible radiation, which
includes infrared and ultraviolet radiation. Neither of these wavelength bands contribute to vision
and can not be called as light.

Spectral selectivity denotes the ability of glass to transmit radiation in a tailored way over the
spectrum. For hot climate zones, the property of coating may be such that transmittance is high
over just the visible spectrum and low everywhere else.

The total energy spectrum extends well beyond the solar spectrum limits, and all warm objects
radiate some energy outside the solar spectrum. A special kind of glass coating called as low emit-
tance or low e was developed in cold climate countries to exploit the difference between the wave-
lengths of incident solar radiation and those much longer wavelengths of radiation emitted by
warm interior objects. Emissivity is the measure of the capacity of a surface to emit radiation.
Common building material, including glass has high emissivity of 0.9. There are two types of low
e coatings: high solar gain and low solar gain. The first of these primarily reduces heat conduc-
tion through glazing systems and is intended for cold climates. The second for hot climates, re-
duces solar heat gain by blocking admission of the infra red portion of the solar spectrum. Typi-
cally, in hot climate zones such as Hyderabad solar gain rejecting coating reflects the near in-
frared portion of the solar spectrum outside, reducing solar gain, while still admitting visible light
in the wavelength region below about 800nm. This coating also exhibits low emissivity over the
long wavelength part of spectrum.

Thus glazing intended for hot climates should have high transmittance over the visible portion of
the spectrum to let day lighting and low transmittance over all the other portions of the spectrum
to reduce solar heat gains. An exercise was carried out using simulation tools to quantify the
benefits of using various kinds of glasses. The benefits are due to reduction of cooling load and
less dependence on artificial lighting by use of high performance glass over conventional single
clear glass system. In a typical office space five kinds of glass were used to observe the reduction
in cooling demand. In this example Window Wall Ratio (WWR) is 40%. The observations are de-
scribed below:

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Glass type Glass Properties Percentage Average Daylight Remarks
reduction Cool- level
ing Capacity

Single clear 6 mm U value = 6.16 W/m2K Base case 2500 Very high lux levels inside the space.
This could cause problem of glare.
SHGC = 0.815

Light Transmission = 88%

Single Bronze 6mm 9 (Tinted U value = 6.16 W/m2K 2.5% 1500 Due to low SHGC and low light trans-
glass) mittance property of glass there is
SHGC = 0.61
reduction in cooling load and light
Light Transmission = 53%
levels available due to natural light.

Double clear glass (6/12/6mm) U value = 2.73 W/m2K 3.1% 2200 Reduction in cooling capacity due to
lower U value.
SHGC = 0.69

Light Transmission = 78%

Double glazing (6/12/6) Reflec- U - value = 2.2 W/m2K 11.2% 1400 Reduction in cooling demand mainly
tive glass due to lower SHGC, also uniform
SHGC = 0.35
distribution of daylight.
Light Transmission = 50%

Double glazing (6/12/6) Reflec- U value = 1.8 W/m2K 11.7% 1200 Reduction in cooling demand as well
tive glass with Low E coating more diffuse natural light.
SHGC = 0.33
on second pane
Light Transmission = 45%

Double glazing (6/12/6) Reflec- U value = 1.8 W/m2K 13% 881 Best case, shows balance between
tive glass with Low E + exter- heat gain and light transmittance
SHGC = 0.25 (glass + shading)
nal shading
Light Transmission = 45%

In contrast, glazing intended for cold climates should have high transmittance over the whole
solar spectrum, from 380nm to over 3500nm for maximum admission of solar wavelength portion
in order to block the radiant heat emitted by relatively warm interior surfaces of buildings,
preventing its escape to the outside.

Insulated glazing units

Insulating glazing units are hermetically sealed, multiple pane assembles consisting of two or
more glazing layers held and bonded at their perimeter by a space bar typically containing a
desiccant material. The glazing used in IGUs could be clear, tinted or coated or reflective as
mentioned above. The spacer serves to separate the panes of glass and to provide a surface for
primary and secondary sealant adhesion, since heat transfer at the edge of the IGU is greater
than its centre. The choice of material for spacer is critical to the IGUs performance. It is
advisable to use SS, galvanized steel, polymers or foamed silicon which have lower conductivities
than aluminium. The hermetically sealed space between glass panes is most often filled with air,
argon and krypton being two other alternatives.

Latest trends in glazing systems

Switchable glazing : Switchable glazing will enable the user to change the optical or thermal prop-
erties of sealed glazed units. The most useful and potentially applicable switchable property is the

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chromogenic phenomenon in which materials change their reflectivity and absorptivity. Examples
of chromogenic proceeese are: thermochromic, electrochromic and photochromic materials. Ther-
mochromic glazing changes optical properties in response to temperature changes. It consists of
mainly liquids or gels sandwitched between layers of glazing. Thermochromic windows are de-
signed to block solar gain. A drawback is that they reduce visible light transmission as well.

Electrochromic glazing changes optical properties when an electric current goes through the unit.
A thin mettalic film is deposited on the glass similar to low emissivity coatings. Another technique
involves sandwiching a liquid quartz film between two layers of glazing.

Photochromic materials change their properties in response to light. Photo gray sunglasses are
best example. When photochromic materials change their transmittance, the absorptivity is in-
creased, thus causing glass to absorb more heat. On sunny, colds days, they absorb solar heat
and room source heat and then radiate some heat back to the surroundings. On sunny, hot days,
they do not reject as much solar heat as reflective glass.

Evacuated glazing : Evacuated, sealed insulated glazing is designed to achieve higher levels of
thermal performance by using a vacuum to inhibit any kind conductive or convective heat losses.

Flip windows for improved performance in summers and winters. The double pane absorptive
glazing system for hot climates has a useful feature for regions of composite climate, having both
heating and cooling seasons.

If the positions of the two glass panes are flipped over from their summertime positions during
the cold winter, the system converts to a solar radiant heater. In the cold day position, solar ra-
diation passes through the clear outer pane is absorbed by the inner pane, which heats up and
then this heat is transmitted to the inside, warming the building. The low - e coating on the inner
pane now reduces the radiation of heat from this hot inner pane to the cold outer one, trapping
the heat inside. Flipping it back over makes it a hot climate glazing system since the solar heat is
now absorbed in the outer pane of glass, which is insulated from the interior of the building.

Glazing selection guidelines

Glazing properties and their significance
Glazing should be selected after careful evaluation of its properties, costs, applicability, energy
saving potential, and architectural requirements. The critical parameters that should be reviewed
while selecting glazing are described here.

Selection process
Choose between dual pane and single pane glazing.
The choice between single and double glazing is governed by costs, and the energy saving
potential. Although higher in terms of first cost, dual pane insulating glazing improves
comfort and reduces air conditioning cooling loads as well improves acoustic performance.
Double glazed systems have lower U value than single glazed systems. Double glazed
windows with solar control coatings have better solar control properties and also allow
flexibility for daylight integration. Double glazing units with spectrally selective coating
further improves its insulating properties. Non air conditioned buildings in which win-
dows are typically left open need not use double glazing. In non air conditioned naturally
cooled buildings, windows should be fully shaded during peak summer months.

Choose a spectrally selective glazing

In hot & dry climate zone like Hyderabad, glass with desirable visible transmittance and
lowest possible solar heat gain coefficient should be selected.

Balance the conflict between glare and light

If glare is an anticipated problem the designers should use architectural interventions
(such as deep reveals, shading system, etc., to cut down on it. Then select a visible trans-
mittance that is a compromise between glare and light. Visible light transmittance as low

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as 25% may still provide adequate daylight depending upon the floor depth.

As explained in daylight guideline, Comf Bg 2, daylight integration can be easily achieved

by designing external shading devices and selecting glass with high light transmittance
and lowest possible solar heat gain coefficient. However, if glare control is not achieved
the whole exercise of daylight based savings will nullify, as the occupants would use inter-
nal blinds to cut down direct glare from sun and switch on artificial lights. Hence glare
control strategies should be considered prior to final glazing selection.

Window size and glazing selection can be a trade off.

The effective - aperture approach may be used. Larger window areas require lower visible
transmittance; smaller windows require high visible transmittance. A good target value for
effective aperture is between 0.20 and 0.30.

Effective aperture is the product of visible transmittance (expressed as a fraction) and the
wall to window ratio. For example if wall to window ratio is 0.50 and the visible transmit-
tance is 0.40, the effective aperture is between 0.2.

Big windows require better glazing

Bigger the windows more will be the heat gain, glare, discomfort and air conditioning cool-
ing demand. Therefore when the design has big windows it is required to have glass with
lower solar heat gain coefficient and visible transmittance.

Dark glass need not necessarily provide good solar control

Many dark glazing block more light than heat, and therefore only minimally reduce cool-
ing load.

Dark glass not only reduces daylight, it also increases occupant discomfort on a sunny
day, particularly in single glazed form. The glass absorbs solar energy and heats up, turn-
ing it into a virtual furnace for anyone sitting near it. Now a days, solar control is also
available in much clearer glazings.

Dont count on glazing alone to reduce heat gain and discomfort

If direct solar beams come into the building, they still create a mechanical cooling load
and discomfort for occupants in their path. Exterior shading combined with a good glaz-
ing selection is the best window strategy. This is the easiest way to achieve the mandatory
requirement of achieving SHGC not more than that recommended by ECBC for air condi-
tioned buildings.

Vary selection of facade if possible

A lower solar heat gain coefficient on the south, east and especially west windows will re-
duce the cooling load.


The type and quality of window frame affects a windows air infiltration and heat gain/heat loss
There are three kinds of framing material mostly used which are metal, wood and polymers.

Wood has a good structural integrity and insulating values but low resistance to external weather
conditions. Metal frames have poor thermal performance, but have excellent structural character-
istics and durability. Aluminium is the most preferred metal for frames, but it is highly conduc-
tive and its thermal performance can be improved with a thermal break (a non metal component
which separates the metal frame exposed to the outside from surfaces exposed to the inside.)

Vinyl window frames which are primarily made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) offer many advan-
tages. Available in wide range of style and shapes PVC frames has high R value (Resistance

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value) and low maintenance.

Table below shows how with the usage of different frame materials, overall U value varies. The
below exercise was carried out using WINDOW 5 as a tool, where glass and window size was not
changed, only on changing the frame difference in U value was observed. It should also be noted
that the U-value of glass is lesser than the overall u-value of the entire window, which is calcu-
lated by the area weighted method, which includes the U value of both glass and frame.

Net U-Value achieved for different frame types in window systems

Note : Values here are given for a typical window of size 1.2m x 1.5m (area=1.8m 2)

Window Frame Type Glass Specification Overall U - Values for Window

Type/ layer/ gap Overall thickness mm U-Value w/m2-k U-Value w/m2-k

Aluminium Frame without break Double Clear with air gap 23.43 2.82 4.22

Aluminium Frame with break Double Clear with air gap 23.43 2.82 3.38

Wooden Frame Double Clear with air gap 23.43 2.82 2.80

Vinyl Double Clear with air gap 23.43 2.82 2.69

Shading devices

Direct sunlight can cause glare. Incorporate shading elements with windows shad-
ing devices which help in : keeping out the suns heat, block uncomfortable direct
sun, and soften harsh daylight contrasts. Controls are therefore necessary to allow
diffuse glare free natural light. Shading devices are also critical for visual and
thermal comfort and for minimizing mechanical cooling loads.

Fig 7 Shading device

Fig 8 : Indicate daylight levels with & without Fig 9 : Break up the overhang for better
overhang distribution.

There are three main ways of control-

ling direct sunlight and therefore
External shading
Internal shading
Solar control glass

External shading:
External shading is the most effective,
as it cuts off direct sunlight during
summer and allows winter sunlight to
enter inside the space. However, in
cloudy weather or if not designed
properly, these can reduce daylight Fig 10: Types of external shading devices

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availability inside the space. For such cases, external moving shading devices are preferred.

External shading devices should be designed according to the orientation of faade. For instance
on North orientation minimum or no shading is required. On South orientation external shades
should be designed after studying the sun path. Shading devices on South orientation could be
permanent in nature, as most part of the day, Sun remains in South orientation. East and west
should have movable external shading devices, so that the shades
could be removed after sun faces opposite orientation.

Typical form of shading devices for effective day lighting:

Use a horizontal form for south windows (Ex: awnings, over-

hangs, recessed windows)
Use a vertical form for east and west windows (Ex: vertical
fins or recessed windows)
Give west and south shading priority.
Design shading for glare relief as well. Exterior surfaces also
help smooth out interior day lighting distribution.
If interior devices are the only shading option, spec- Fig 11: solar control interior shading
ify light colours.
Use devices that still allow daylight in.
Internal blinds can be used for glare control and back up shad-

Internal shading devices:

If properly adjusted, they can allow diffuse sunlight to penetrate
inside the space. However, they are not preferred over external
shading, as they do not keep solar heat out.

Good shading devices also reduces cooling loads. They also modify
the intensity and distribution of daylight entering the space.

Solar control glazing:

They are very effective against heat flow across the window but can
reduce transmission of light inside the space. Fig12: Solar control
Innovative Day lighting systems:
Simple sunlight redirecting systems can be very
suitable to achieve diffuse daylight in deep office
spaces, rooms that are very sunny etc.

Light shelves:
The function of light shelf is to protect the
occupants from direct sunlight in summer
and allow sufficient light in winter.
The light shelf is placed above the eye level
so that reflections do not get into eyes of
occupants. Uniform daylight is also achieved
as light is reflected deep into the room.
The light shelf should be sufficiently
projected outside so as to protect the Fig 13 Light shelf for better distribution of
The angle of the light shelf is also important
as tilting helps in deeper light penetration but also reflects light back.

The finishes should be reflective as matte surface reflects back about half-light back-
The top of the shelf should be matte white or diffusely Specular, and not visible from any

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point in the room
Fixed louvers:
They can be designed as fixed and can be cost effective and can become an
integral part of the building aesthetic but does not cope with changing
altitude of sun.

Movable louvers: Fig 14: Fixed louvers

They can cope well with the suns changing altitude and can also be
adjusted as per the angle of suns altitude, but can be very costly and also
requires high operation and maintenance.

Methodologies to find out the size / depth of overhangs

Solar geometry
Overhangs to achieve ECBC recommended SHGC Fig 15: Movable louvers

Solar geometry
This method is applicable for buildings, which have both, air conditioned spaces and naturally
ventilated spaces. Design of shading devices, which is based on solar geometry help in shading
the window even if the glass panes are open.

Overhangs to achieve ECBC recommended SHGC

For air conditioned buildings, it is mandatory that the SHGC (Solar Heat gain Coefficient) of
window should not exceed the value recommended by ECBC. This could be done by two ways,
one selecting a glass which has SHGC lower than 0.25, the second method is to design overhang
and fins which help in achieving an adjusted SHGC.

Overhangs to achieve ECBC recommended SHGC

For air-conditioned buildings, it is mandatory that the SHGC (Solar Heat gain Coefficient) of
window should not exceed the value recommended by ECBC. This could be done by two ways,
one selecting a glass which has SHGC lower than 0.25, the second method is to design overhang
and fins which help in achieving an adjusted SHGC.

What is SHGC ?
The SHGC is the fraction of incident solar radiation admitted through a window. SHGC
measures how well a fenestration blocks heat from the Sun. SHGC is expressed as a number
between 0 and 1. The lower the SHGC the better the product in blocking unwanted heat gains.

Fig 16: Concept of VSA and HSA

A simple way to explain SHGC is in terms of a ratio; where 1 is the maximum amount of solar
heat gain that can come through a window and 0 is the least amount. An SHGC of 0.40 then
means that 40% of the available solar heat is coming through the window.

SHGC Evaluation for Green Building Design

In green building design SHGC calculation is a prime important factor; which follows the ECBC
guidelines (described under Mandatory requirements of Envelope design; 4.3.3; Energy Conserva-

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tion Building Code 2007).

SHGC shall be determined for the entire fenestration product (including the sash & frame) not
just for the glass.
Most of the manufacturers provide Shading Coefficient (SC) at the centre of the glass, which can
be multiplied by o.86 to achieve SHGC of the window.

SHGC = Shading Coefficient (SC) of the center glass X 0.86 (Heat gain through 3mm clear glass)

As per ECBC; Vertical fenestration area is limited to a maximum of 60% of the gross wall area for
the green building requirements. In some cases overhangs and/ or side fins may be applied in
determining the SHGC for the proposed design.

Adjusted SHGC
Adjusted SHGC is the cumulative solar heat gain coefficient
of the window with both the glass and shading devices
(overhang, vertical fin or both). Adjusted SHGC, which ac-
counts for overhang and or side fins, is calculated by multi-
plying the SHGC of the unshaded glass times a multiplica-
tion factor (M).

Adjusted SHGC = M * SHGC of glass

What is a Projection factor ?

The ratio of the horizontal depth of the external shading pro-
jection divided by the sum of the height of the fenestration
and the distance from the top of the fenestration to the bot-
tom of the farthest point of the external shading projec- Fig 17:Calculation of projection
tion, in consistent units. factor

Projection factor, side fin

It is the ratio of the horizontal depth of the external shading projection divided by the distance
from the window jamb to the farthest point of the external shading projection, in consistent units.

What is a Multiplication factor (M)?

The multiplication factor is identified for various projection factors (as per ECBC guidelines);
whenever the fenestration is provided with overhangs and/ or vertical fins, a separate M factor
shall be determined for each orientation and unique shading condition. The multiplication factor
is derived from the projection factor and it is calculated based on the four ranges of PF (such as
from 0.25 to 0.49, 0.50 to 0.74, 0.75 to 0.99 and 1.00 or more).

How to calculate overhang depth

Step 1
1. Calculate the WWR of the building.
2. If the WWR is less than 40%, then as per ECBC, SHGC of the window should be less than
0.25. If the WWR is more than 40% and less than 60%, SHGC of the window should be less
than 0.20. In a green building, WWR should not exceed more than 60%.

Step 2
1. Locate the Orientation of the fenestration to which the faade is facing.
2. Select a glass and get the thermal performance properties from the manufacturer.
3. Find out the Multiplication factor required to achieve ECBC recommended SHGC. For
example, on South orientation, if the SHGC of glass is 0.33, and the required SHGC as per
ECBC is 0.25, then Multiplication Factor, M = 0.25 / 0.33 =0.75.
4. Refer Table 4.3.3-2 in ECBC to find out the Projection factor required to achieve the
calculated M and accordingly design the overhang.

1. Find out the type of the fenestration (Shading devices); whether it has only overhang or only

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vertical fin or both at a time.
2. Locate the Orientation of the fenestration to which the faade is facing.
3. Put the value of the H the projection of the horizontal shade (in mm) and V the height of
the window (in mm.) or/ and projection of vertical fin (V) and width of the window (W) in the
input cell given in the table to find out the Projection Factor (PF).

Calculation sheet to find out adjusted SHGC achieved

Shading Coefficient (SC)

The total amount of solar energy that passes through a glass
relative to a inch (3 mm) thick clear glass under the same
design conditions; includes both solar energy transmitted
directly plus any absorbed solar energy subsequently re-
radiated or convected into a room; lower values indicate bet-
ter performance in reducing summer heat gain and therefore
air-conditioning loads.

SC indicates the extent of direct solar heat gain. Lower the

shading coefficient, better the glass in preventing solar heat
Fig: 18: Concept of Shading
The shading coefficient is expressed as a number without Coefficient
units between 0 and 1. The lower a window's solar heat gain
coefficient or shading coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits, and the greater is its shading


1. A Knowledge Bank for Sustainable Building Design CD, MNRE & TERI, New Delhi
2. BEE, Energy Conservation Building Code 2007, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of
Power, Government of India.
3. ICAEN (Institut catala d Energia), 2004, Building Design Manual, TERI Press, New Delhi
4. BIS, 1988, Handbook on Functional Requirements of Buildings, Bureau of Indian Stan-
dards, Kapoor Art Press, New Delhi
5. VisualDOE version 4.1 Software
6. Windows version 5.0 software

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