13 Main Clerestory Windows Pros and Cons | Clerestory Windows Vs Transom Windows

13 Main Clerestory Windows Pros and Cons | Clerestory Windows Vs Transom Windows

Clerestory Windows Pros and Cons | Clerestory Windows Vs Transom Windows

Clerestory Windows

Clerestory windows are small, arched windows that allow light to enter a building from the side. They were originally designed to provide additional light and ventilation for churches and other religious buildings.

The mere mention of clerestory windows conjures up an image of churches. Essentially, the windows are on the top of a building and they provide light to facilitate reading in churches.

Clerestory windows also give architectural interest with their unique shape and design.  The clerestory window is typically found near the top of a wall on either side of the nave in a church or basilica form of architecture.

A clerestory window is an opening in an upper part of a wall that allows natural light to enter the room. Clerestory windows are often used as they let light into interior spaces without it being obstructed by walls or other objects.

They can also be found on the outside of buildings, where they act as ventilation for tall structures like churches and castles. If you’re looking for more information about this building technique, read on!

Clerestory Windows Design

A clerestory window is a type of window that is situated high on the wall with an opening in the roof. It allows light to come through from above, providing illumination for occupants below.

They are often used in churches because they allow more natural light into the space than regular windows would.]

Clerestory windows are a form of window in which the upper window panes are not displayed in a horizontal direction, but in a vertical direction so that they shine in from the top.

These windows can be at the same height as the top of a wall or they can be higher than that if the wall they are mounted to is higher.

One of the important things to consider when selecting a clerestory design is that they can be used to bring in natural light and improve any room’s appearance.

Difference Between Clerestory Windows and Transom Windows

When a door is closed, transom windows let light and occasionally fresh air into the room, whereas clerestory windows are generally small windows located at or above the roofline in an interior living area.

Transom windows are a frequent feature in row houses, where long, narrow hallways leave little room for light and ventilation.

While some clerestory windows are meant to open and let in fresh air, many are merely designed to maximize the quantity of light in a space.

Clerestory Windows Pros and Cons

Clerestory Windows Pros

1. Better lighting:

Clerestory windows are placed high on the wall, at or above the roofline of the structure. As such, they allow for natural lighting, which is more conducive to ongoing activities than electrical lighting.

Clerestory windows are particularly suitable for public areas which require good illumination for ongoing activities.

2. Elimination of strong shadows:

With or without sunlight, shadows can be a very undesirable phenomenon in interiors.

A clerestory wall takes care of this problem by providing natural light and eliminating all possible shadows caused by electrical lighting fixtures.

3. Good aesthetic view:

Clerestory windows can be used to make a room look more attractive and modern. The upper window provides an aesthetic view that is not only pleasing, but also makes the room look brighter and cleaner.

4. Good ventilation:

Clerestory windows, particularly if they are made with small openings, allow more natural light into rooms than smaller transom windows.

As such, they can help in improving ventilation in buildings where air circulation is a major issue.

5. Temperature regulation:

When clerestory windows can be opened, air can flow throughout the home. The disadvantage is that additional heat might accumulate in the home during the warmer months.

Many households may respond by running their air conditioner more frequently, spending additional costs and putting further strain on the energy system.

6. Save electricity due to natural light:

By letting light into the home, clerestory windows can help save on electrical bills. This is especially true during the summer months when air conditioning usage is high.

7. Elegance:

Clerestory windows may give a property a highly contemporary and visually attractive appearance. A lot of contemporary architecture emphasizes very imaginative window designs and placement.

8. Privacy:

Clerestory windows provide privacy without losing natural light to homeowners in metropolitan locations.

Primary living areas, such as living rooms, dining rooms, and master bedrooms, are well-lit while remaining hidden.

Most clerestory windows can be closed, giving a truly private atmosphere in the interior of the home.

9. Light and ventilation:

Besides eliminating shadows and circulating cooling air, clerestory windows can also provide additional light and ventilation when they are opened.

Clerestory Windows Cons

1. Additional costs:

Clerestory windows may increase living expenses in a building, considering their additional lighting and ventilation needs when they are open.

2. Occupants may become uncomfortable:

Occupants may notice that there is a lack of privacy when clerestory windows are open. This can be very undesirable for some who prefer to keep their lifestyles and living areas completely private.

3. Poor design can cause more problems than benefits:

Clerestory windows with poor design and placement might not provide as much light as desired or as efficiently as they should.

4. Poor insulation against heat

Depending on the level of insulation quality, clerestory windows can be less effective in helping maintain comfortable levels of warmth during the winter months.

This is particularly true for homes with poor insulation.

5. Quite expensive to install

Clerestory windows are not as cheap as regular windows to install, because they are mounted much higher up on walls.

They also need to be specially designed for each home and can thus prove much more costly than regular windows.

Clerestory Windows FAQS

What are clerestory windows?

Clerestories are tall, narrow windows that run along the top of a building. They can be found in churches and old school buildings.

The purpose of these unique windows is to allow natural light into darker areas of the space below, such as hallways or classrooms.

What is the function of a clerestory window?

Clerestory windows are big windows that are placed above eye level to provide natural light to an interior area.

They are generally installed in a row just beneath the roofline, but they can also be installed above roof lines or overhangs to optimize the quantity of light in a particular room.

How do clerestory windows work?

Since they are higher up than conventional windows, clerestories may provide sunshine far deeper into a living area than standard vertical glass.

Their primary use is twofold: they give additional daylighting and a way of heating thermal mass in north walls that would otherwise be under shadow.

Which materials are used for clerestory windows?

Clerestory windows are generally made from glass, wood, aluminum, plastic or other metals. In some cases, they can also be made from fiberglass and other synthetic materials.

How big do clerestory windows need to be?

When it comes to clerestory window size, there are no hard and fast laws. Even small windows, such as a 2′ x 2′, may bring in a lot of natural light while keeping the glare down inside the area due to their height.

What is the main advantage of clerestory windows over skylights?

The primary practical benefit of clerestory windows is that they allow in natural light. Their positioning and design reduce glare, lessening the harmful impacts of the sun’s beams.

Instead, there will be enough of natural illumination that brightens rather than distracts from the area.

Which direction should clerestory windows face?

Clerestories are windows that run along the top of a building and provide light into the interior. They can be used for natural ventilation as well as lighting, but which direction should they face?

There are many factors that determine the placement of these windows that have to be taken into account in order to get the right answer

The direction that clerestory windows face is determined by the sun, which can change depending on time of year and geographical location.

What are some clerestory windows pros and cons?

The clerestory window is a type of window that is usually seen in churches or other religious buildings.

They are tall, narrow windows on the upper parts of walls, near the roof of the building. The purpose of clerestory windows is to provide natural light for people below them, as well as to let air flow through them.

Some benefits are that they have great acoustics because they are open spaces without any obstructions and can be used for ventilation purposes.

However, some disadvantages also exist because these types of windows only allow indirect sunlight into a room which might not be enough during certain times of day or if there’s dense cloud coverage outside.

Clerestory Windows Pros: Natural lighting for dark spaces, great ventilation with openable shutters on both sides of window.

Clerestory Windows Cons: Difficult to clean because they’re so high up off the ground, less privacy than other types of windows because they’re so close to an exterior wall.

What is the difference between a clerestory window and a transom window?

A clerestory window is an upper, fixed window that has no sash, fixed panels or fixed lights. It is placed in the space usually above the main window or near the ceiling of a room.

On the other hand, a transom window is more similar to a door with glass panes at the top and bottom part of it. It has glazing on both sides and is usually seen at the top of a doorframe.

Transom windows sit above doorways, allowing light and sometimes fresh air into a room when the door is closed, while clerestory windows are often narrow windows installed at or above the roofline in an interior living space

Are clerestory windows fixed?

While many clerestory windows are fixed, there are others that are movable, allowing for cross-ventilation. These movable clerestory windows will often be lined with shutters that can be opened and closed as necessary.

What is the difference between a clerestory window and a casement window?

Clerestories and casement windows are often confused with each other. Both of these types of windows work by opening up on hinges or pivots, however, there are several key differences between them.

Clerestories are only found in old school buildings and religious buildings such as cathedrals.

Casement windows, on the other hand, are openable and can be found in both new and old school buildings.

These windows can also be movable and come in a variety of different styles. The casement window can also be used for ventilation purposes instead of natural lighting.

Are clerestory windows recessed?

Recessed clerestory windows do not exist; however, it is possible to find clerestory windows that do not extend all the way up to the ceiling like many others.

How to calculate the size of a clerestory windows?

When calculating the size of a clerestory windows, it is important to keep in mind that windows, as compared to walls and ceilings, are relatively weak and prone to collapsing.

Therefore, it is necessary for architects and builders to take all possible measures when designing and erecting such structures.

Such measures include; installing steel frames along the perimeter of the window opening and box-in flanges outside the wall.


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