The word “window” originates from the Old Norse ‘vindauga,’ literally meaning an eye for wind. Modern windows serve many purposes; if operable, they connect us to the outdoors in the Old Norse meaning, while keeping us comfortable and secure. While their contribution to energy performance often gets the most scrutiny from architects and engineers, their impact on indoor environmental quality (ventilation, daylight, views, thermal comfort, occupant control, etc.) often has a much more tangible impact on a building’s occupants.
In a piece on how to avoid getting sick when you travel that aired on last month’s Marketplace Morning Report, frequent traveler Mark Orlowski of the Sustainable Endowments Institute specifically highlights the importance of operable windows:
“For me, first of all, air quality is key. I really try to avoid staying at any hotels that don’t have windows that open. Unfortunately many new hotels are being built where, literally, you can’t open the window.”
Read the rest of Ramana Koti’s The Story of a Window on a Deep Green Building on the Lord Aeck Sargent blog.
Image Above: West elevation of Kendeda Building shows window and door details. Image courtesy Lord Aeck Sargent.