Design Considerations

Windows were once considered a weak link in any home’s ability to shield its residents from weather. Design principles called for balancing comfort and energy efficiency with the three traditional functions of windows: views, natural light, and air flow. Today, however, windows are no longer a weak link. Efficient ones help to protect interiors from weather, and also offer various secondary benefits. These basic design tips will help you get the most from your windows in each of their three traditional functions:


These guides examine the energy use impacts of new windows for homes in hot, mixed, and cold climates. They show the impact of orientation, window area, and shading. The energy use has been calculated for various window design variations including 5 orientations (equal, north, east, south, and west), 3 glazing areas, 20 glazing types, and 5 shading conditions.