Fenestration Systems

January 30, 2007
Publication: Building Envelope Design Guide, National Institute of Building Sciences
Author(s): Niklas Vigener Mark Brown

Abstract: Glazing - The vast majority of new windows, curtain walls and skylights for commercial building construction have insulating glazing for energy efficiency and comfort. This glazing Chapter is complementary to the other fenestration sections of the Design Guide.

  • Windows - After World War II, the technology of extruding aluminum frames developed and aluminum windows began to gain popularity. By the 1990's, aluminum-framed windows accounted for approximately 65% of the commercial window market. Wood, vinyl and steel-framed windows comprise most of the remaining 35% of the market.
  • Curtain Walls - In common usage, curtain walls are often defined as thin, usually aluminum-framed walls containing in-fills of glass, metal panels, or thin stone. This chapter addresses this narrower definition of curtain walls.
  • Sloped Glazing - This chapter uses the term "skylight" to describe field-assembled systems of sloped glazing.
  • Exterior Doors - This Chapter includes entrance and exit doors, as well as industrial loading dock doors. It primarily addresses waterproofing and durability requirements.