Glass facades were earlier synonymous with the commercial structures and high rise office buildings but today their acceptance is steadily gaining in modern homes as well. Glass facades allow natural light and heat to enter into the structure and thus are an important facets of Green Buildings. However improper fitments and sealing gaps may also let in cold air. Today Glass Facades have become essential part of the Architectural design and based on the orientation of building and zoning pattern, there can be more than one type of glass glazing types being employed in buildings.
Today BIPV Building Integrated Photovoltaic systems has become another buzzword. Though BIPV systems are best integrated when they are conceived at the time of architectural design of a building. But today realizing the importance of BIPV, there are some willing enthusiasts who are even retrofitting their existing buildings with Semi Transparent Solar Panels. However, there has to be trade-off between solar panels that allow only diffused sunlight to enter buildings and requirement of day lighting which is an essential pillar of Green Buildings.
Energy savings calculations in Green Buildings factors in, the energy being generated through BIPV systems employing low efficiency thin film technology. The popular energy simulation programs today don’t provide the option of integrating BIPV generation in to the energy calculations but with the overall knowledge of how these systems work, the BIPV calculations can be woven in to simulation programs.
Glass Facades in Modern Homes or Green Buildings are continually evolving with more and more option thrown in. Investments made right in the beginning will continue to pay off in the many years to come. The modern residential buildings having large number of dwelling units can be one area where such efforts can be incentivized. The objective of architectural design should be optimize the cost while also reducing the carbon footprint of the building.