Theme II - 2.2

Advanced curtain walls and fenestration systems

Project Leader

  • D. Naylor

  • Andreas Athienitis


Commercial buildings typically have large lighting and appliance loads. So, to approach net-zero energy performance the building envelope must become an energy positive system. With the recent advancements in glazing technologies and building-integrated photovoltaic systems, the growing adoption of an integrated design process and the research to be carried out within SNEBRN, the energy performance of curtain wall buildings can be significantly improved. Given the large market share of curtain walls in both existing and new buildings, improving the energy performance of curtain walls towards plus energy systems will result in a major reduction of the energy consumption in the building sector (Griffith et al., 2007). To achieve a positive energy envelope system, the overall heat transmission and air leakage need to be reduced, the daylighting and solar heat gain need to be carefully balanced and controlled (link to Theme 4), and energy production by the curtain wall system is required. The accurate modeling of heat transfer and energy performance of advanced curtain wall and fenestration systems is essential for optimization, thus moving them towards energy positive systems. Research planned in this project includes developing accurate convective models for a variety of window attachments and geometries, evaluating shading control strategies to control solar gains, and optimizing curtain wall systems through integration.


  • 2.2a  Study of the energy performance of advanced curtain wall systems with different energy generating options
  • 2.2b  Characterization of convection in high performance windows and curtain walls with shading layers
  • 2.2c  Evaluation of slate-type shade control strategies - potential for peak load shaving