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FEATURE – Consider balcony glazing to save energy

January 15, 2014 - A glazed balcony is often promoted as a cosy extra room or a natural extension that connects an apartment and the outside world, no matter what the season or weather. Glazing is also considered a well-founded solution as it improves living comfort and decor possibilities. Likewise, glazing is known to reduce maintenance and repair needs. More rarely is the glazed balcony regarded as semi-warm space, or a draught lobby that passively stores solar energy.

January 15, 2014  By Erkki Hilliaho

Does balcony glazing save energy?
The impact of energy savings arising from balcony glazing has now been studied. According to this study, glazing results in the heating energy savings of 3.4%–10.7% in an 80 sqm apartment, the average value being 5.9%. This is of significance due to constantly increasing energy costs.
Glazing pays off
It is relatively inexpensive to provide the balcony with glazing. Studies show that the glazing’s procurement price is paid back within 15–25 years through its energy savings of about 6%, depending on the shape and location of the balcony.
Carbon footprint caused by balcony glazing
According to a study made by Ramboll Oy, the total carbon dioxide load produced by the manufacture, transport, installation, maintenance and final recycling of balcony glass panes amounts to about 200 kg of carbon dioxide. The annual energy savings resulting from balcony glazing correspond to about 50 kg of carbon dioxide. Judging from this, it takes, on average, only four years to compensate for the glazing-induced carbon footprint through energy savings arising from balcony glazing.
Carry out an eco-action—make use of the benefits in balcony glazing with new building and repair projects.

By Erkki Hilliaho
Source: Tampere University of Technology; Korjaustoimien vaikutukset lähiökerrostalon todelliseen energiankulutukseen (The effects of energy renovation measures on apartment buildings). Research report 158

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