Overview: Fenestration Work at FSEC
The Florida Solar Energy Center studies the energy and illumination performances of fenestration systems.The main focus is on solar heat gain and its effects on the thermal performance of buildings and energy costs for heating and cooling, but our work also includes studies of daylight illumination as well, including performance assessments of complex piped daylighting systems.
Due principally to Florida's generally hot climate, a special focus of our research is on applications for such climates. This includes studies of a variety of shading devices, including those separated from, attached to, or incorporated within a window system.
Advanced glazing systems intended for hot climate applications are also studied. It is best if such glazings are spectrally selective, meaning that they reject the invisible parts of the incident solar spectrum while transmitting the visible portion, thereby lowering solar heat gain while admitting daylight illumination. We have a special interest in spectral selectivity for this reason, and originated a useful measure of spectral selectivity: the Light-to-Solar Gain Ratio, or LSG ratio, now recognized by the window industry as an important attribute of glazing systems. For more information about these issues, see our window terminology Glossary and various pages under the Residential Options link.
The processes involved in admitting solar heat and light into a building are somewhat complex, and a bit technical in nature. They are described in the tutorial sections of this site, including material in the "How Windows Work" section and the ones on both Residential and Non-Residential Options.
The Center does field work on residential energy performance, including assessments of fenestration impacts on that performance. We also offer a variety of short courses, on stand-alone fenestration issues and on more general aspects of building design for energy performance, which have components on the performances of envelope systems, including fenestrations. For a list of available courses, visit our Education and Training section. There are also several slide shows presented by Dr. McCluney on fenestrations and on more general energy issues at our slide shows page.
FSEC has an active program of research in investigating the energy and illumination performance of windows and other fenestration systems.
|Software for Fenestration
Computer programs useful for designing buildings, windows, and shading systems are available from a variety of sources. Some fenestration-related software is available for free download from this site.
|Disney Sundial Project
Late in 1987 Florida's Disney World sought a new building to consolidate many of its leased offices spread around the Orlando metropolitan region. It was to serve as a local headquarters for much of Disney's Florida operations.
|Windows Demonstration Project
A significant portion of Florida's residential building stock consists of single-family homes with clear, single-pane, aluminum frame windows. A side-by-side field test in two identical homes was conducted to evaluate the impact of high performance windows on space cooling demand under realistic conditions.