Windows – Daylighting, Views & Ventilation

Windows perform several key functions, they allow daylight to enter a house, the provide views to the outside and they also allow for much needed ventilation.

It is important to note that although windows provide these essential needs, there are also thermal penalties that accompany them. Double glazed windows provide 40% less insulation than a standard brick wall – based on this; imagine how poor the insulation of a single pane of glass is.

Task 1:

  1. Look at the following website as a starting point: In your own words:
    1. Describe how Double Glazed windows work,
    2. Describe what the benefits are of having them are?


Window area needed is directly related to daylight needed.

A room’s particular geometry and the anticipated tasks within have a huge influence on the size and shape of the chosen windows.

High, narrow windows admit more useful daylight in comparison to low, wide windows because they offer more chance of the unobstructed sky source to reach the back of a room. It is important to note that for a window 3m tall, light passing through this area would only reach 7m into the room – this should be considered when planning out larger public spaces such as living rooms/dining rooms etc.

Views Out

The desire to look out also impacts the shape of a window and where they are located in a building.

Low, horizontal windows can be claustrophobic as it cuts off the sky view and doesn’t show as much of what is outside that a vertical, portrait shaped window style.

A good view out also means that there is a good view inside. Rooms that need greater privacy such as bathrooms and bedrooms a higher window sill would help to resolve this issue.

However, window sills that are too high can block out views when people are seated – therefore these are not recommended in areas such as living and dining rooms.


Air for breathing may be vital but it is not the first consideration in ventilation. The needs for cooling, and removing humidity, odors and bacteria are generally more pressing.

Summer ventilation asks for as large an opening as possible, preferably some of it should be at low worktop level where cooling draughts are most felt.

Winter ventilation asks for small openings at high levels where draughts will pass unnoticed.

Task 2:

  1. Given these facts, What would be a suitable window type (If any) for the following rooms? (Please give reasons for your answers)
    1. Living Room,
    2. Kitchen,
    3. Bedroom,
    4. Bathroom,
    5. Utility room,
    6. Storage room
  2. Based on what you have read about windows and the factors associated with placing them in a house, think about the location in the world that you are planning to build your ideal living space. How will the information above help you to decide/make decisions about window shape and size?