"The research results can be utilised directly in many different ways," sums up Kimmo Hilliaho. -"Balcony glazing allows property owners to postpone facade renovations for several years, save heating energy and reduce operating costs.

The results provide grounds for architects to plan semi-warm space to be used as green zones between the yard and interiors. It is also well-grounded to include energy-saving glazing solutions in such renovation plans that aim at reducing energy consumption.

For those who invest in balcony glazing, the information about energy savings and better structural conservation makes their procurement economically viable.

It is now possible to provide planners and permit authorities with studied information of energy savings most of which are gained with supply air intake through a glazed balcony."

All in all, the investment pays off

"It wasn't any surprise to get new research results as a proof of 5% energy saving effects arisen from balcony glazing," states Professor Matti Pentti from Tampere University of Technology. "The glazing keeps the balcony a couple of degrees warmer during heating periods, which reflects upon inside temperatures. Eliminating the impact of wind is very important, too. It was a foreseeable result as well to learn that the glazing protects structures. We had already access to research results gained by D.Sc. (Tech.) Jussi Mattila of the glazing's protecting effect on concrete structures.

The annually longer operating time, comfortableness and space addition offered by the glazed balcony should also be considered in the assessment of investment profitability."

Great outlines: the whole concept

"It is advisable to start the search for better energy-efficiency from the desks of planning authorities and architects already," emphasises Matti Pentti. "Ideal plots are planned with a view to building homes and houses with large sitting room windows facing towards south and small bedroom windows towards other directions. The purpose is to get protection against wind while letting the sun warm up the space in winter.

It is best to plan facades so that the glazed section covers larger areas. This solution has lately somehow slipped out of the mind of those concerned. The glazed balcony is without heating and the glazing as such does not change it to interior space, which would affect the building permit application.

As noted in the discussion on the flats' energy savings, the question is of better insulation, water supply fittings, energy-efficient household appliances, energy-saving lamps, temperatures inside the flats, ventilation etc. In most cases, heat recovery refers to the use of technical systems. According to the research, outer space that benefits from direct sunlight is an efficient heat recovery option as well.

 

Mira Laurila
Marketing assistant
tel. +358 20 7403 505
mira.laurila [at] lumon.fi

Kimmo Hilliaho
Master of Science in Technology
kimmo.hilliaho [at] tut.fi
tel. +358400780909