Performance Evaluation of Fenestration
Choosing good quality fenestration is a non-negotiable aspect of any spatial project. Performance evaluations help gauge the quality of products and processes involved in fenestration. In addition, it considers the function that doors and windows play. Since fenestration is dynamic and changes with context, choosing alternatives that provide the maximum advantage is recommended.
Performance evaluations provide an in-depth analysis of the concerned fenestration systems. It can help the client and the designer makes the correct choice based on their needs. These evaluations can also help compare products to each other to make an informed decision.
Here are a few factors to consider for the performance evaluation of fenestration:
Heat and sound insulation
Fenestration is composed mainly of glass panelling and an outer frame. Glass primarily affects the heat and sound gain from the outside. The material of the outer frame will also determine how soundproof a room can get. The requirement heavily depends on the building typology and purpose of the room. A high-performance fenestration system allows for optimal heat and sound gain that will benefit the room’s purpose. It helps create the appropriate ambience for that area by regulating the temperature and noise carried inside.
Air and water tightness
For the most part, Fenestration systems are installed on the exterior facade of a building, which exposes them to rain, wind, and other atmospheric conditions. A premium quality system ensures air and water tightness to shield the interiors from these external factors. Along with the material properties of the fenestration system, the installation and assembly process also needs to be quality-controlled to ensure that all possible gaps are sealed. This results in fewer leakages and ingress of unwanted materials.
Fenestration plays a dual role where it comes in handy to keep external atmospheric factors at bay while allowing sunlight to pass through to illuminate a space. Based on the location and altitude of the site, the sun exposure needs to be addressed differently. Sunlight transmittance can be controlled by employing the right choice of glass. High-performance glass ensures that enough sunlight is allowed to pass through while insulating the room for heat at the same time.
Durability and finish of the material
Premium systems speak of quality right from the manufacturing process to the end finish of their elements. For example, aluminium doors and windows may come with anodised or powder-coated finishes. Ensuring these materials are correctly sourced can ensure quality and performance. Similarly, practising precision during the installation and assembly of these systems is necessary to make the finished product durable and long-lasting.
Structural safety calculations
One way to evaluate the structural safety of fenestration systems is to adhere to the norms laid out in IS 875 part III. This chapter details the considerations for dead loads, imposed loads, wind loads, snow loads and special or combination loads. In addition, one can evaluate these systems for their performance as per the standards mentioned in the IS code. Another way of checking for quality is to use products certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council.
Performance evaluation is a technical audit carried out for fenestration systems based on the outlined markers. In addition, it takes into account the various functional roles fenestration has to play in a built environment.