Considerations When Choosing Windows
Windows play a big part of how we feel about buildings. They serve a variety of purposes. Determining what needs and/or wants you are looking to satisfy, will affect your decisions about windows.
Window purposes to consider:
Letting in light – Without windows it is dark inside. Even with artificial electric light, the absence of natural light can be dark and depressing. Even when it’s cloudy outside the natural light will brighten and energizes us. We aren’t intended to be cave dwellers. We need natural light both physically and emotionally.
Letting in fresh air – Just like the light we need fresh air. In an effort to be more efficient with resources we have continued to make buildings more air tight. It is important to control this as much as we can. However, the tighter we make buildings the more stagnant the air inside becomes. If we can open some windows and let the air circulate when the weather allows…it’s like a ‘breath of fresh air’.
Keeping out bad weather – Not only are windows used to let things in (light and fresh air) they should also keep things out. This includes hot, cold, rain and pests. To achieve this, they need to be able to be opened and closed easily, have good seals, good glass and functional screens.
Architectural beauty – Windows can add a lot to the appearance of a building. Both from the inside and from the outside. There is a large variety of sizes, shapes, materials and designs to choose from. Location and configuration also has an impact on how the building looks.
Escape – Although this may not be one of the first reasons considered in choosing windows it is a critical one. Imagine getting trapped in a building with only walls, one door and no other way out. Having windows that allow for egress is a really good plan.
When I was a kid I used to have a reoccurring dream. In this dream there was a concrete block room, standing isolated in the country. It had no top, no doors and no windows. There was a ladder fastened to one of the walls that went up and over and down the other side. I would get inside this room and then a giant mallard duck would show up and circle around overhead (this might be a conversation I should have with a doctor while lying on a couch) …I digress. When I would try to get out the duck would dive down close to the top of the walls. I still remember how it felt, the feeling of being trapped in this room with no way out. I sure wish that there had been a nice Pella window in one of those walls, one with shades between the panes of glass. This would have made me feel better.
Our feelings will be included when making a decision, whether we realize it or not. This is not to say that feelings are the only thing, just a part of the process. Feelings are powerful and can have a lasting effect on us.
Don’t be afraid of your feelings, include them when considering your decisions.