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Strategic Considerations for Building Access via Windows and Glass




Windows are integral to a building's design, serving not just aesthetic purposes but also functional needs such as sunlight admission, visibility, and ventilation. Numerous important factors that go beyond mere appearance influence the choice of windows.


Ventilation and Functionality:

Windows such as casement, pivoting, jalousie, awning, and hopper are designed to provide 100% ventilation, maximising air flow and environmental control within the building. On the other hand, double-hung and sliding windows offer 50-65% ventilation, making them suitable for less demanding environments. The selection of window types hinges on specific requirements for light, air, and views, which dictate the overall utility of the glass installations.


Materials and Construction:

The materials used in window frames range from traditional wood to metals like aluminium and stainless steel, each chosen for their durability, finish, and environmental compatibility. The hardware of a window—critical for its functionality and longevity—requires careful consideration regarding its resilience and ease of use.


Security and Glazing:

Security features, such as lock fittings and the strategic use of bars or grilles, particularly on lower or accessible windows, are paramount. The method of opening, whether via hinge or slider, and the placement of hinges are also vital security considerations. Ground floor windows, for example, are recommended to have larger fixed glazing and smaller operable sections to reduce break-in risks.


Cost and Vandalism Prevention:

Economic factors often govern the size and shape of windows, with larger windows entailing higher costs, particularly in areas prone to vandalism. This necessitates a balance between design ambitions and practicality, with security adaptations like the use of internal bars or grilles to deter unauthorised entry.


Advanced Glazing Technologies:

Glazing options include double glazing, which not only acts as a deterrent but also enhances insulation. Vision-specific requirements dictate the type of glass used, ranging from thick, laminated barrier glass to plastic treatments designed to resist vandalism. Moreover, fixed or obscure glazing can be employed in less visible areas like garage windows to increase security without compromising on light.


Aesthetic and Environmental Control:

Finally, the aesthetic integration of shutters, grills, and louvres serves dual purposes. They not only contribute to the building's visual appeal but also provide sun control and privacy. These features double as additional security barriers, fortifying the premises while enhancing its environmental efficiencies.


The selection of windows in building design requires a multifaceted approach that considers aesthetic desires, functional needs, and security measures. Each element, from the type of window to the materials and security features, must be meticulously planned to align with the overarching goals of building safety, utility, and design integrity.


From the author.



The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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