Find the Right Types of Windows When Building in Australia
Choosing the right type of windows in a construction project is crucial not only in consideration of building design concerns but also to improve insulation, maximise the use of natural light, enhance property value and attract investors.
Because of these reasons, selecting the most appropriate window type has become more challenging for building owners. Good thing there are several types of windows in Australia that building owners can choose from.
Of course, careful selection is key.
If you are currently torn or unsure about what makes one option better than the other, we’ve put together this helpful guide that’s meant to make window selection a less tricky exercise.
The right type of window material
One of the basic criteria for choosing the right window type is the material used to manufacture windows. Different materials have their own pros and cons.
When it comes to the types of windows in Australia based on the material, three specific materials stand out: timber, aluminium and vinyl.
Windows made of wood are attractive and provide superior insulation. However, they tend to cost more than other window types. To ensure their longevity and protect them from sun damage or rot, wooden windows need to be sealed using paint or a finishing coat. Also, if you’re into a green building, you need to ensure the timber windows you are using are sourced sustainably.
Versatile and lightweight, aluminium is a popular material in making windows and doors. It is weatherproof and is not at the mercy of the elements as it won’t shrink, warp or expand when exposed to sun and rain. What’s also great about aluminium windows is that they now come in a range of styles and colours, so you can get ones customised to match the overall look of your building. Using aluminium also replaces timber usage. Although it does take a substantial amount of energy to produce aluminium windows, the energy savings you can get from using high-quality ones will more than compensate for this.
The most affordable choice from among the three, vinyl also has a wide range of applications. They come in both all-vinyl and vinyl-clad options, almost unlimited colour choices and designs to match your building theme or look. However, it may not be the most durable material as variable temperatures can affect its performance.
Performance score when selecting the right type of windows in Australia
The performance score of the windows you choose is also important as the following factors are covered, no matter the material.
R-value performance score
This measures the window’s heat transfer capacity or how it regulates outdoor temperature (which may be extreme or uncomfortable) while maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature. Well-insulated windows, such as double glazed windows, have a high R-value. In fact, double-glazing windows provide so many benefits that they’re becoming a growing trend in Perth homes.
U-value or U-factor performance score
The U-value is the opposite of the R-value. This value measures the tendency of a window to transfer heat; therefore, the lower the U-value of your windows, the better.
Solar gain (aka solar heat gain coefficient or SHGC)
This is used as an indicator of how much a window can heat up a room when the sun is up. In cold-weather regions, solar gain is a good feature. However, it can increase air-conditioning consumption in hot places or during the summer. The higher the solar gain score of your windows, the greater will be the heat gain.
Wind resistance or air leakage
This factor is used to indicate a window’s ability to seal out air, measured in terms of cubic feet per minute (cfm). The lower the score, the better the window is able to seal out air.
Window style selection
Building aesthetics remains a primary consideration in choosing the most appropriate types of windows in Australia, particularly for new construction projects.
But don’t let the many alternatives confuse you. And with the input of your building designer, finding ones that’ll satisfy your aesthetic and functional requirements should be a bit easier.
To give you some insider information, here are some of the most common window types by design.
These make a great choice if you wish to maximise airflow and enhance the look of your space by providing a seamless way to open your interiors to the outdoors. They also have outstanding thermal performance and easily satisfy building regulations and safety requirements. Since bi-fold windows have special hinges and can be fastened shut using a high-security locking system, you can depend on them to provide a high level of security.
In places where strong winds are an issue, closed casement windows provide superior sealing and wind resistance, particularly when the direction of the wind is toward your home. However, these types of windows require maintenance at the hinges and seals to ensure their consistent performance.
In places where safety and maximising space are important, sliding windows can provide both. They also present fewer potential mechanical problems as they are easy to open and operate. They are also more affordable than casement windows.
Louvre or jalousie windows:
These types of windows have a wider opening capacity, thereby allowing for maximum airflow. Louvre windows have adjustable blades that enable you to regulate the amount of breeze you let into your home or building. The same can be said in terms of natural light control and privacy. You can choose between aluminium and glass blades based on your building design.
Awning windows provide optimum rain and wind protection as they can be fashioned to provide a full perimeter pressure seal. Not only does this keep rain and wind out during inclement weather, but it also provides excellent insulation and noise reduction. You can control ventilation by simply opening them outward to let the fresh breeze in. Awning windows are also attractive and can be used to maximise natural light.
Finding the right windows for your building
Now that you know the basics of window selection, particularly with regard to material and design, you can finally zero in on the best window type for your new building project.
We have a great team of experts ready to work with you and the best windows for the job.