Using Unique Window Designs to Make a Statement in Any Building
Chances are you’ve heard the term “architectural windows” at some point.
But what exactly does it mean? Aren’t all windows architectural by their very nature? After all, they’re important parts of building design and architectural planning.
It might surprise you to learn that architectural windows aren’t a single particular make or model of window. The term instead refers to a variety of design options (or outright custom windows) to suit specific architectural styles.
These windows are designed to match a building’s appearance. That said, they offer way more than just an attractive façade.
Modern architectural windows from trusted window manufacturers not only improve a building’s look, they also improve a building’s comfort and energy costs with energy-efficient, well-insulated window designs.
Let’s take a closer look:
Understanding Architectural Windows
As mentioned earlier, architectural windows are designed to suit a building’s distinct architectural style. These windows can feature modern styling, or modern functionality and materials to match a historical look and feel.
In fact, that’s what makes them such a popular option for heritage buildings or structures in historic districts.
With so many material and design options, these windows are effectively fully customizable. It’s incredibly easy to find models to suit your vision for a building.
These windows are often made of wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or a combination of durable materials.
New architectural windows can replace old windows, improving a building’s comfort and lighting, reducing energy costs while maintaining the building’s architectural profile.
There are plenty of benefits to using these windows:
Quality architectural windows from trusted window manufacturers use the most up-to-date window materials and technology for optimal energy efficiency and durability.
These windows are well-insulated and have reflective coatings so you can save on heating and cooling costs year-round.
With so many flexible design options—colours, materials, shapes, and styles—to choose from, architectural windows offer greater customization than other styles of windows.
Since architectural windows must match specific architectural guidelines, they are more aesthetically pleasing than basic windows, and they will always suit the building’s style.
What Kind of Windows Are Best In My Building?
The type of windows that are best for your building will depend on the style of your building and the existing windows.
Contact your local window manufacturers to discuss the best types of windows for your building’s architectural style.
Is A High U-Factor Value Good?
The short answer is no, a high U-Factor value on a window is not good.
The U-Factor value on Energy Star-rated windows refers to the rate of heat transfer—i.e. how quickly heat can pass through a window’s glass pane.
These values usually range from 0.25 to 1.25, with the lower values representing lower rates of heat transfer. In other words, the lower the U-Factor value, the better the window insulates.
Window manufacturers offer various types of window options to suit various building needs and architectural styles. These include:
Casement & Awning Windows
Casement windows have hinges on one side, opening outwards like a door, while awning windows have hinges on the top, opening outwards like an awning. Both casement and awning windows use cranks mechanism to open and close.
These windows are ideal for hard-to-reach places, like over the kitchen sink. And awning windows can stay open when it’s raining outside, without the worry of rain pouring in.
Single- & Double-Hung Windows
Single-hung windows have one stationary sash (that doesn’t open) and one operable sash (that does open). The stationary stash is usually located at the top, with a lower operable sash that slides up to open.
Double-hung windows have two operable sashes. The lower inside sash slides up to open, while the upper outside sash slides down. These windows provide excellent ventilation and are easy to clean, since you can tilt the sash to reach both sides of the window pane.
What Is the Difference Between Bow & Bay Windows?
While both bay and bow windows look elegant and protrude outwards from buildings, but they are different.
Bay windows typically have three sections of windows, with one fixed window in the middle, and angled windows on each side that can be fixed or vented.
These windows usually stick outwards in a square, hexagonal, or octagonal shape, and provide extra floor space and ventilation. The angular lines of bay windows often suit contemporary architectural styles.
Bow windows usually have four or five windows attached closely together to form a curved shape. These windows can be fixed or vented, and can provide a bit of extra floor space and plenty of natural light.
The curves of bow windows suit the architectural style of historic buildings, such as Victorian-style homes.
How to Get More Natural Light into A Room
If you don’t get a lot of natural light, you’re probably turning on lights for extended periods of time and using plenty of energy every day.
Natural light not only saves on energy costs, but it’s also a mood booster. It brightens up a room and improves visibility without relying on artificial light.
There are many ways you can get more natural light into a room, including the installation of large windows and skylights.
Here are some of the top ways to get that light beaming in:
H4: Use Mirrors
Since mirrors reflect light, you can increase the amount of natural light bouncing throughout a room with mirrors on the walls. Simply hang a mirror opposite a window or a glass door, and consider using furniture with glass panels and mirror accents.
If any of your furniture is blocking natural light, then move it. Moving furniture a few feet away from any windows or glass doors will allow more light in. And the further you move it away, the better.
Use Light Curtains & Shades
Replace heavy, dark curtains with lighter fabrics, such as linen and cotton. And use blinds that allow you to control how much light comes in. These will allow more natural light in from your windows and will help make the room feel bigger and brighter.
Opt for a Glass Door
Compared to solid doors that don’t let any light in, glass doors will give a dark room more natural light. There are durable, high-security glass doors available for exterior doors.
Paint with Light Colours
Like mirrors, light-coloured walls reflect light. So rooms will appear brighter and bigger with cool tones instead of dark colours.
With more natural light and attractive window styles, any building can become more comfortable and energy-efficient.
Contact your local window manufacturers for help finding the best windows for your building’s architectural style.