Great design begins with even greater planning. Proper planning for an architectural project should always involve considering the intersection of function, design, and cost. One major concern for our clients when planning their window and door design is efficient cross ventilation throughout their home. The most functionally effective window design should provide efficient ventilation without having to sacrifice financial comfort or design objectives.
Creating the most effective window and door design that provides adequate cross ventilation without sacrificing sight-lines and views for your home is our main goal and passion. Here are the three major areas to consider for maintaining cross ventilation and your budget:
Windows provide beauty and light for a space. However, one of their most important functions is to provide ventilation and comfort. Proper orientation of operable windows creates adequate air flow. Strategic placement of windows enables that river of air flow to move throughout the space providing passive cooling (i.e. you can use your A/C less frequently, saving you dollars). The most effective window placement for cross ventilation is to position operable window units on opposite walls in a space. This enables air/breeze to enter into the space, moving across the room, and exiting thru the opposite window to provide continual air movement throughout the space. Proper window placement provides a functional and comfortable living environment with little effort.
Often times, when we think ventilation we think “every-window-operable,” yet the reality of this is quite costly. Until a limitless budget is a reality, it’s best to consider careful pre-planning of not only window placement but operability. Our project managers are well versed in value engineering your window schedule to provide the most savings, while maintaining function for your home. Instead of every window operable on a single wall, we examine where operable windows may be eliminated and/or replaced with fixed windows while maintaining cross ventilation, egress, and views.
Another great option is increasing window sizes. While this may seem counter-intuitive, an operable window is costly due to hardware, and the hardware is the same cost regardless of whether your window is a 24” square or a 48” square. Larger operable windows increase the amount of cross ventilation without boosting the budget as multiple operable windows would. So, by decreasing the number of operable windows and increasing their size, you are saving money without sacrificing ventilation. These simple changes can save thousands of dollars while maintaining the ever-important goal of function, comfort and cost.
A massive amount of time and energy goes into designing a beautiful home inside and out. The exterior façade must look cohesive as well as eye catching. We often see window and door designs that include several unnecessary operable windows in order to maintain visually proportionate frame widths and a clean aesthetic. However nice this may look, adding extra operable windows can be taxing on the budget. Our concealed sash window option eliminates this costly problem by giving operable windows the appearance of fixed windows. Thus, eliminating the need to have a string of windows that are all operable to maintain proportional frame widths. The ability to alternate between fixed windows and operable windows without sacrificing design enables dexterity to the window schedule that has never been available before. This means you can add discreetly placed operable windows to your home design that provide cross ventilation without sacrificing a clean, simple, and balanced design. This minimal frame was designed with your home’s aesthetic in mind.
Cross ventilation should always be a consideration when planning your window schedule. With prudent foresight, natural cross ventilation can easily be achieved while still considering function, cost and design.