A generalized window energy rating system for typical office buildings

Cheng Tian, Tingyao Chen, Hongxing Yang, Tse ming Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Detailed computer simulation programs require lengthy inputs, and cannot directly provide an insight to relationship between the window energy performance and the key window design parameters. Hence, several window energy rating systems (WERS) for residential houses and small buildings have been developed in different countries. Many studies showed that utilization of daylight through elaborate design and operation of windows leads to significant energy savings in both cooling and lighting in office buildings. However, the current WERSs do not consider daylighting effect, while most of daylighting analyses do not take into account the influence of convective and infiltration heat gains. Therefore, a generalized WERS for typical office buildings has been presented, which takes all primary influence factors into account. The model includes embodied and operation energy uses and savings by a window to fully reflect interactions among the influence parameters. Reference locations selected for artificial lighting and glare control in the current common simulation practice may cause uncompromised conflicts, which could result in over- or under-estimated energy performance. Widely used computer programs, DOE2 and ADELINE, for hourly daylighting and cooling simulations have their own weaknesses, which may result in unrealistic or inaccurate results. An approach is also presented for taking the advantages of the both programs and avoiding their weaknesses. The model and approach have been applied to a typical office building of Hong Kong as an example to demonstrate how a WERS in a particular location can be established and how well the model can work. The energy effect of window properties, window-to-wall ratio (WWR), building orientation and lighting control strategies have been analyzed, and can be indicated by the localized WERS. An application example also demonstrates that the algebraic WERS derived from simulation results can be easily used for the optimal design of windows in buildings similar to the typical buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1232-1243
Number of pages12
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


  • Building energy
  • Cooling load
  • Daylighting
  • Window
  • Window energy rating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this