We cannot underestimate the role of doors and windows in the thermal and acoustic insulation of the building. They cover a very large part of the facade, corresponding to almost 8% of the total. This means that they strongly affect the dispersion of internal heat and the maintenance of coolness, respectively if we are in areas with a cold climate or if the building is located in places very exposed to the sun. The windows also insulate from the acoustic point of view, recreating quiet spaces even in the noise of the city.
Our attention is therefore focused on insulation and on everything we can do to:
Therefore, considering the windows as a critical point of the facade, through which heat and cold pass by altering the internal temperature, we understand how important it is to insulate rooms with suitable doors and windows. Although this involves an initial investment, it brings significant advantages in terms of savings on the bill. It is also an easily achievable work that can be complementary to the intervention on the insulation of the walls. In order to insulate, someone uses polyurethane foam around the frame, insulating rubber or foam rubber gaskets inserted in the frame, silicone or acrylic latex sealing or window glass films. These are clearly temporary solutions that cannot stand the test of time and which do not perform their function adequately. The high bills and the lack of adequate comfort show it. If we really intend to insulate private residences, public buildings, commercial or industrial premises or offices from the thermal and acoustic point of view, we must direct our choice towards efficient windows, equipped with all the necessary technical requirements. We can therefore opt for:
Let’s find out all the advantages and requirements.
Windows insulation depends on some fundamental requirements imposed by European regulations and which determine their ability to withstand bad weather and noise:
Thermal insulation represents the tightness of the windows against heat and cold. It is essential for energy saving, because, by reducing dispersion, it minimizes the use of heating systems. It mainly depends on a frame that does not disperse heat and on a glass consisting of several sheets. These latter are separated by air chambers, or protected by invisible sheets which are capable of blocking the passage of solar radiation or isolating the rooms from the cold. Noise is one of the main reasons for stress in our daily life. It negatively affects our ability to concentrate, rest and our general well-being. For this reason we must protect the home and workplace from constant noise, whether it is deafening or a simple buzz, which would otherwise disturb our balance. To do this we must choose the windows taking into consideration:
Both the acoustic and thermal well-being depend on the air insulation.
It determines the ability of the windows and doors to withstand strong pressures or depressions, guaranteeing the safety of people and things. The most resistant windows are able to counteract the action of even very strong gusts of wind, keeping their shape almost unchanged. A good water tightness prevents even strong and persistent rain from filtering through the windows, protecting the interior from infiltrations. A good seal is closely connected to the materials used, the glass chosen, but also to the installation that must be done avoiding acoustic bridges that would nullify the effectiveness of even a high-quality window or door.
As we have said, the glass surfaces are one of the three decisive elements for insulating interiors through the use of suitable windows. They must be chosen by evaluating factors such as:
Once evaluated the climatic area and some variables during the design phase, we will be able to decide the best glass between:
The glass surfaces of the first type are able to maintain an optimal temperature in the interior spaces. This feature makes them perfect especially when you want to limit the overheating of the rooms. In fact, the selective glass selects solar energy, reducing the ray penetration through the glass surfaces. They are indicated in geographical areas with a Mediterranean climate and in buildings with good sun exposure. The low-emissivity glass surfaces have the ability to contain heat dispersionThey are indicated in areas with mild/cold climate with little solar radiation. Both typologies are particularly suitable for double or more glazing, that is the combination of two or more glass surfaces separated by a cavity filled with noble gases such as Argon or Krypton. They are recommended for the construction of medium size and large windows. We can see an example in the glass and steel structure of the panoramic terrace created by Capoferri for the Milan Triennale. Both of these types of glass surfaces support sustainability and are now accessible through tax concessions and bonuses, which are an incentive to an ever growing ecological awareness.
Windows and doors insulation is not possible if we do not care about how to insulate the roller shutter box. The draughts that enter the interior spaces from the roller shutter boxes are a frequent problem when we want to insulate private and public indoor areas. It’s not necessary to have a storm to let air creep through the roller shutter boxes. The air generates currents in their small space creating draughts that risk to compromise a good thermal insulation work performed on windows and walls. To insulate the roller shutter boxes, we must pay attention to:
For this reason it is essential that the box is also taken into account among the insulation works, arranging for the replacement of the existing ones, if necessary. It is a custom-made work, in which the carpenter disassembles the old casing and replaces it with a new one. This intervention can also improve the aesthetics, satisfying the client’s taste and implementing the building’s energy efficiency. To insulate the box, small masonry interventions are also necessary to anchor it to the perimeter walls.
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