This paper deals with a small but important component in a building envelope, namely roof windows in pitched roofs. Building physics methods were used to support the search for new solutions which correspond to the maximum extent for requirements for passive house level design. The first part of the paper summarizes the key phenomena of heat transfer, mainly based on a comparison of vertical windows in walls. The results of repeated two-dimensional heat transfer calculations in the form of parametric studies are presented in order to express the most important factors influencing thermal transmittance and minimum surface temperatures. Several configuration variants suitable for technical design are discussed. It was found that a combination of wood and hardened plastics in the window frame and sash is the preferred solution. The resulting thermal transmittance can be up to twice as low as usual (from 0.7 down to 0.5 W/(m2
·K), with further development ongoing. Surface temperature requirements to avoid the risk of condensation can be safely fulfilled. Concurrently, it is shown that the relative influence of thermal coupling between the window and roof construction increases with the improvement of window quality. Specific attention was given to the effect of the slanting of the side lining, which was analyzed by simulation and measurement in a daylight laboratory. The increase in thermal coupling due to slanting was found to be negligible. Motivations for specific building physics research are mentioned, such as the need to study the surface heat transfer in the case of inclined windows placed in a deep lining.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited