How To Select Windows

How to Select a Window for Your Climate Zone

As Australia is a wide and diverse country it can be difficult to select the best window for your climate. For this reason the Australian Window Association (AWA) and the Australian Glass and Glazing Association (AGGA) are developing an industry-wide strategy to deliver more sustainable residential buildings through energy-efficient windows and doors.

The SWA project has run over 4000 simulations in all eight BCA climate zones in three house types with a wide range of windows to show the impact of high performance windows on the energy efficiency or star rating of the home. All results have been peer reviewed by a panel of Australian and International scientists.

From the SWA project there have been three Simple Guides to Window Selection Developed. These guides focus on providing the information to allow you to select the best windows your climate. The three guides cover heating areas (BCA Climate zones 6, 7 & 8), cooling areas (BCA Climate zones 1, 2 & 3) and mixed areas (BCA Climate zones 4 & 5).

Download the guide for your local Area at the bottom of the page.

BCA Climate Zone Map - Courtesy of ABCB

How to Select a Window for an Energy Report

Nationally, there are a wide range of energy simulation tools and processes however they all have the same purpose, that being to maximise the efficient use of the home. Energy Reports specify the materials and design characteristics to be used in the construction of the building. With respect to windows, the report will specify any number of given performance levels to meet.

What is needed to comply?
The report will list one or many values for windows, these being U value and SHGC. In order to comply the window system must perform to the set parameters. It's important to note, that these values are 'whole window values', not glass alone.

When looking for a U value, it's important to find a window with a U value Lower than or equal to specified. The SHGC must be within 10% of the set value. For help searching for windows, visit our advanced search engine which has these calculations and many more features built in. Search 'Residential Products'.

Does the material or glazing specified on the report matter?
No, the material or glazing given on the report is used as an indicator to show 'typical' windows in that range. Many window manufacturers have alternative solutions which still achieve the same or better performance values. When looking for a window, search on U value and SHGC to ensure you comply.

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