Corner windows win the hearts of designers and investors by storm, being a perfect complement to the minimalist blocks of modern buildings. This original solution will not only distinguish our house from the surrounding buildings but will also bring a lot of beneficial natural light into the room – both for our well-being and for the composition of the interior. However, the selection of a corner window requires some thoughtful decisions to be made. What should we remember?
Large glazing allows illumination to the rooms, open the house to the surrounding nature, which is particularly important for owners of well-kept gardens, and also completely change the face of the facade of the building, adding its modernity and unusual lightness. However, aesthetic values are not enough to fully enjoy the benefits of such a solution, and we have to take into account a number of variables, especially the technical ones. Where do I start?
Profile with class
One of the most important elements, largely determining the quality of the window, is its profile, which affects both the stability of the whole structure and the thermal or acoustic properties. Choosing a profile of the highest possible class A, not only will we ensure protection against cold and noise, but also we will take care of the durability of the woodwork, thus avoiding the inconvenience associated with the deformation of the profile or the warping of the window under the influence of adverse weather conditions.
Warmth and economy
Let’s move on to the degree of thermal insulation that is responsible for our comfort and the state of our home budget. Simply put: the lower the declared heat transfer coefficient of a window (expressed as Uw symbol), the more effective it will protect our house against thermal energy losses and thus, higher bills in the heating period. Note: Manufacturers very often give separate thermal parameters for glass (Ug) or frame (Uf). Remember that these values are only components of the overall calculation for an energy-efficient window!
New technical conditions – choose with your head
The year 2017 brought many changes to the building regulations. According to the new technical conditions, we will build more energy-efficient structures. What does that mean in practice? When planning to build a new home, we must ensure that the design includes thicker-than-ever insulation of walls and attics, as well as windows and doors with better thermal performance. In the case of vertical windows, including corner windows, the maximum heat transfer coefficient Uw is 1.1 W/m2K. From 2021, the limit values will decrease by another 0.2 W/m2K, so our priority should be to review the insulation parameters provided by the manufacturers carefully.
Quiet and safe
In case of corner windows, it is worth taking special care of mechanical, humidity, and acoustic parameters, thanks to which the woodwork will resist the negative effects of external factors. Remember that the window is subject to loads from the pressure and wind suction. Therefore, bending strength (EI) is an important parameter. This value determines at which wind load acting perpendicularly to the window plane the maximum permissible deflection of the most deformed element will occur. Wind load resistance of windows is determined by classes A1 to C5, water tightness by classes 1A to 9A and special class E. The high sound insulation coefficient of the RW partition protects us against external noise. The higher insulation, the quieter it will be in our rooms!
A few words about the design possibilities
Glazing with or without a bar? This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself before choosing a corner window. This small element has a great impact on both the aesthetic values and thermal insulation of windows and doors.
In the first case, we are dealing with the use of a special connector in the color of woodwork, which not only guarantees the structural continuity of window insulation, but also allows you to combine individual elements of glazing at different angles: 90˚ in the case of corner windows or > 90˚ in the case of bay windows, in which connectors with adjustable angles are used. In turn, the reinforcing post divides the glass surface, simultaneously reducing the transparent surface of the window, giving it a more traditional, classical character.
In the pillarless version, the individual components are bonded with a special sunscreen-resistant adhesive. Omitting vertical structural profiles allows achieving a panoramic effect, glass wall, thereby, increasing the lighting of interiors up to 30%, which speaks in favor of it in the case of shady rooms. However, special care must be taken when installing the window and bonding the individual components! This type of structures is more susceptible to leaks, which may worsen the thermal parameters of the window.
Open to possibilities
The decision you need to make before you can buy a window is how to open it. The glazing we have chosen may be non-openable, which, on the one hand, will increase its energy efficiency and reduce its price, but, on the other hand, will significantly reduce its functionality. For investors opting for the open-ended variant, the manufacturers offer many solutions tailored to the needs and design possibilities of the room. Depending on the size of the glazing, we can bet on tilt and turn systems, and thanks to the use of modern technologies – even sliding!
Minimalist elegance, original form, the creative freedom of shaping the facade appearance, excellent interior lighting – mainly for these reasons, corner windows are increasingly used in modern house designs. Selecting with caution will pay us back with functionality, unusual aesthetics, and many years of failure-free operation.