13 Top Clerestory Roof Advantages and Disadvantages | Functions & Benefits of Clerestory Roof

13 Top Clerestory Roof Advantages and Disadvantages | Functions & Benefits of Clerestory Roof

What is a Clerestory Roof? |Clerestory Roof Advantages and Disadvantages | Functions & Benefits of Clerestory Roof Window

What Exactly Is a Clerestory Roof?

A clerestory roof is one that has a vertical wall that lies between two sloping sides and has a row of windows or one long, continuous window.

The clerestory roof can be symmetrical, with a hipped or gable-style shape, or asymmetrical, more resembling a skillion roof.

A clerestory roof is distinguished by the presence of a row of clerestory windows in the vertical panel between the two sloping roof planes. A ‘clear storey’ is formed by the row of windows.

Clerestory windows

A clerestory window is a type of window that is typically placed close or at the roof line. It frequently takes the form of a back of windows over the tops of buildings, allowing natural light in while maintaining privacy and security.

Clerestory roofs are a traditional architectural style that goes back to the Egyptian and Roman periods.

Such roofing was employed in ancient Egyptian sanctuaries, where slots were cut into lofty stone bricks to produce a light source.

Early European Christian churches also used Clerestory roof styles.  The roof style was adopted because windows were an excellent way to naturally illuminate big structures while also preventing anyone from peering inside.

Clerestory roofs are still popular in modern public buildings, as well as workplaces and homes, for these reasons.

Benefits of Clerestory Roof

Clerestory roofs were built by Ancient Egyptian, Classical Greek, and Roman architects in major public buildings such as churches, temples, bathhouses, and palaces.

The row of windows helped to admit light and circulate air, and it was placed high above eye level to keep people from peering in and staring out.

To enhance natural illumination, clerestory roofs were widely included into factory or warehouse buildings in more recent times.

Recent interest in more ecologically friendly buildings, which prefer passive heating and cooling ways over artificial means, has resulted in the reemergence of clerestory roof architecture.

The extra privacy provided by the high windows is ideal for residences in densely populated areas.

Clerestory Roof Advantages and Disadvantages

Clerestory Roof Advantages

1. Natural Light

Windows in the clerestory roof allow a great deal of natural light to enter the building. This is particularly useful for rooms that need good lightings, such as living rooms, kitchens, and studies. It also offers an added sense of space through the increased natural light.

2. Natural Ventilation

Clerestory windows can also be fitted with exhaust fans and filters to help ventilate a large space. This is another advantage of this roof structure that allows natural ventilation without interrupting the view outside.

3. Thermal Comfort

Windows in the clerestory roof are also advantageous because they offer a cooling effect and allow hot air to escape.

Sunlight entering the windows warms up the room, helping to heat the room efficiently without the need for overly warm appliances or artificial heating.

4. Low Maintenance

Clerestory roofs do not require a lot of maintenance once installed on top of a building. Because these roofs get their strength from the skeleton and structure of buildings, regular routine cleaning is enough to keep them in good shape for many years.

5. Aesthetic improvement

Clerestory windows can be used as a way to beautify a building. Because they are an attractive addition to the design of a building, many homeowners install them on their homes or in their offices for added style and sophistication.

6. Excellent View

Because clerestory roofs gain their strength from the facade of a building, they can be used in places where it is important to have a good view and high status.

Clerestory windows are an excellent way to spare building obstructions that would otherwise interfere with this view.

7. Clerestory roof minimizes glare

One of the main advantages of clerestories is that it does away with unnecessary glare or unwanted sunlight that would otherwise affect adjacent buildings.

This can be very beneficial in places like shopping centers, office buildings, churches in crowded areas, and heritage sites.

8. Provide extra privacy

Clerestory windows can be used to hide the activity inside a room. This is particularly useful in places like offices or private homes where it is necessary to maintain some privacy.

9. Flexibility in design

Clerestory roofs are flexible because they can be designed to fit almost any structure, whether it’s a large, spacious building or a tiny house.

The structure comes with no limitations on size or shape, solely based on the design imagination of architects and engineers.

Clerestory roof Disadvantages

1.  Higher Energy Cost

While clerestory roofs do offer natural lighting and ventilation, they have one major drawback: they allow heat to escape through the windows.

This means that clerestory roofs would need to be equipped with exhaust fans or place a large number of air conditioning systems in the building.

This would increase the costs for heating and cool significantly. A more favorable option for these types of buildings is to use double-skin roofing, which prevents heat loss by reflecting heat back into the room and away from the windows.

2. Maintenance

Another disadvantage of clerestory roofs is that they tend to trap dust and other airborne particles inside the building, thus making it dirty more quickly.

3. Privacy

Because clerestory roofs have many windows, they may not be the best option for people who want privacy in their homes or office.

While this could help increase the natural lighting in a home or workplace, it may also attract unwanted attention from passing people.

4. Expensive

Bringing clerestory roofs to residential buildings or offices would be quite expensive. Clerestory roofs are not easy to install at all and require large amounts of steelwork and scaffolding for installation.

This means that the cost of construction would be much higher than using other roof structures for the same purpose.

5.  Heat absorption rate

Clerestory roofs absorb a lot of heat. This means that they would need to be bigger and thicker to insulate the building properly against heat.

This is especially disadvantageous for commercial buildings that do not have any natural ventilation or cooling systems within the building.

Clerestory Roof FAQs

1. What is clerestory roof?

A clerestory roof is a type of roof that has windows either lining the top or running down one side. A clerestory window is used to provide light in a building, and also to reduce the amount of heat inside.

The material used for this purpose can be glass, or it may be made from another substance, like plastic. This article will discuss how much does it cost to install a clerestory roof on your home?

The price varies depending on location and materials chosen.

2. What is also referred to as a clerestory roof?

Clerestory roofs are also called “uninterrupted roofs,” or “skylights.” The name derives from the large number of clerestory windows that are typically found on these buildings.

3.  How come people need a clerestory roof?

The reason people need a clerestory roof is that windows are one of the easiest and quickest ways to naturally light up a room.

4.   How do I use a clerestory roof?

You can use a clerestory roof for anything from offices to movie theaters, restaurants, homes and even churches and heritage sites.

5.   Is there a clerestory roof repair service?

There are many companies that offer clerestory roof repair services. These repair services are usually inexpensive because they mainly involve minor repairs and replacements.

However, if the damages on your clerestory roof are more serious, hiring professionals is generally advisable.

6.   What is a clerestory window?

A clerestory window is also referred to as a “skylight.” This refers to the high-pitched and large windows that are used on these roofs.

7. What is the function/purpose of clerestory roof windows?

A clerestory roof is a type of roof that has windows on the top portion of the roof. The purpose of these windows is to allow light into your home and provide an open feeling for those inside.

A common misconception about a clerestory window is that it meant for the cathedral ceilings, but this isn’t always true. These roofs can be used as either for commercial and residential homes.

8. Can clerestory windows be opened?

The term “clerestory” is defined as a high, narrow passage or window near the ceiling of a church. It’s usually placed on the side walls and at one end of the nave.

Clerestory windows are often opened to allow air flow within churches during warmer months.  This can be done manually or with an automatic system that opens them when internal temperature changes.

Clerestory windows provide natural light and ventilation while also being a great design element.

They were designed with ventilation in mind that allows for opening which means you can enjoy your beautiful view even more!  It is totally fine to open clerestory windows when necessary.

9. Which direction should clerestory windows face?

Clerestory windows, also known as transom windows, provide natural light to a room by bringing it in from the top of the window. For this reason, they should face south for optimal sunlight and heat.

The direction that you choose to place your clerestory window is an important consideration because of its effects on energy efficiency and comfort.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that placing them facing west or east will cause more strain on your eyes when looking at the computer screen.

Another factor to consider is how much natural light you want entering the space. If you live in a colder climate with shorter daylight hours during winter months then you’ll likely prefer having them facing

The sun’s path changes throughout the day, and it can be difficult to determine which direction a window should face.  Make sure you take into account the sun’s path changes.

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