Important terms you may need to know regarding windows and doors
Stars are a ranking system to indicate the energy efficiency of building products and materials that make up a
new home, from 0 to 5 stars. The more stars, the higher the energy rating. This is similar to star ratings that are produced on whitegoods.
An ornamental moulding fixed at the sides and tops of doors, windows and other openings. Its purpose is decorative and it also serves to cover the joints between the wall lining and adjacent woodwork. Awning window A window unit, hinged at the top, in which the bottom of the sash swings outward.
Bars (glazing bars)
Thin strips separating the pane or panes of glass in a sash.
A composite of three windows, usually made up of a large centre unit and two side (or wing) units at a 45-degree
angle from the wall.
A door unit made up of two, three, four, five, six or seven panels hinged together to open in various configurations to create a large open expanse.
A window unit made up of two, three or four panels hinged together to open in various configurations to create a large open expanse.
A composite of three or more window units in a radial or bow formation.
A planned opening in a brick wall into which window or door frames are built.
Building Code of Australia (BCA)
The Building Code of Australia outlines the standards, by law, which must be adhered to by the Australian building and construction industries.
The building envelope refers to the outer shell of the building, comprising all parts that create the separation between the interior and exterior, including walls, roof, floor, windows, doors.
The building fabric refers to the materials used to construct the building.
A window unit, hinged at the side, in which the sash opens outwards like a door.
A fixed glazing rail or rigid push bar that provides protection from human impact.
Applies to any short or light bar, either vertical or horizontal, used to separate glass in a sash into multiple lights.
A deviation from a straight line drawn side to side; a curvature across the face of the door.
A lock that can be actuated only by the key.
Upright window in a sloping roof. They provide headroom and better ventilation and light.
Glazing that incorporates two panels, separated with an air space, for the purpose of thermal and/or sound insulation.
A window unit, with two sashes which by-pass each other vertically in the frame.
The glazed sash fitted over a door or window. Usually hinged like an awning window, it is designed for ventilation and light.
A style of glazing bar that forms a perimeter edging around a window or door sash.
A joint consisting of a series of fingers, precision-machined on the ends of two separate pieces of timber, which mesh and are firmly held together by an adhesive.
FirstRate is a software package that calculates the energy efficiency of the building products and materials that will make up a new home. The energy efficiency of these combined building products and materials result in a star energy rating — from 0 to 5 stars.
A non-openable window unit. A window unit with no moving parts. The glazing is usually fitted to the outer frame.
Any item that is used to secure members of a window assembly to each other, to secure an item of hardware to a window member or to secure a completed window assembly into the building structure.
Glass manufactured by floating molten glass in a ribbon form on a heated liquid of greater density than the glass — usually molten tin.
Glass that has been heat treated to mould patterns or designs into the surface of the glass. Also known as slump glass.
The part of a window assembly surrounding the sashes or fixed glazing.
The top, sides and bottom that form a precise opening for the operating unit (the sash) of a window or door to function in.
The overall external dimensions of a window or door frame.
A particular design of swing door, all or a large part consisting of divided glass panes.
A hard, brittle, amorphous substance produced by fusion and usually consisting of mutually dissolved silica or silicates that also contain soda and lime. It may be transparent, translucent or opaque.
A moulding to secure glass in a window or door.
Fitting glass into a window or door.
A plastic or timber strip applied to the sash around the perimeter of the glass on the outside face to hold the glass in place.
Generally, one of the botanical groups of trees that have broad leaves, in contrast to the conifers. The term has no reference to the actual hardness of the wood.
A transverse member forming the top of the window or door frame.
A window unit hinged at the bottom to usually open inward (but can also open outward) from the top.
The vertical side member of a frame. (see also Stiles)
A sash balance operating system used in a double-hung window.
A composite material consisting of two or more sheets of glass permanently bonded together by a plastic interlayer material. Can be used to reduce noise transmission as well as increase security.
Glazing panels built up of small pieces of glass, usually of different colours, and to a pattern. The glass pieces are held in grooved lead strips called cames.
The percentage of light reflected by the exterior surface of the glass.
The percentage of external light that passes through the glass. The higher the percentage, the more daylight will enter the home.
A horizontal framing member placed across the top of the rough opening of a window or door opening to prevent the weight of the wall or roof from resting on the window frame.
A window or other construction that allows light into a room. Also denotes the sections into which a sash is subdivided by glazing bars.
LOSP stands for Light Organic Solvent Preservative. It is a chemical treatment used on timber to protect it from fungi, mould, termites and wood borers.
Low emissivity (Low-E) glass has a coating that reflects radiant heat back into a room, or to the outside of a dwelling, depending on the glass orientation.
An opening with horizontal slats to permit passage of air and give reasonable weather protection. Available with timber, glass or metal slats.
Usually a fixed window between the operating window above and the floor level.
The opening left in a masonry wall to receive a window or door unit.
The bottom rail of the top sash and the top rail of the bottom sash of a doublehung window. In the closed position the two rails meet flush.
A slot or rectangular cavity cut into a piece of wood to receive another part.
Mortise and tenon joint
One in which a projection, machined on one piece, snugly fits into a rectangular-shaped, recessed opening machined in a second piece, and is secured under pressure with an adhesive. In a “through mortise” joint, the mortise and tenon extend through the full width of the material. In a “blind mortise”, the end of the tenon is not visible.
A vertical or upright member, between the head and the sill of a window, usually separating two panels.
Medium-density fibreboard is a strong, stable and easily decorated, manmade timber.
Covering at the top of a window to hide curtain fittings.
A large non-operating window designed for maximum view without obstruction.
A finger-jointed, pre-primed, LOSP treated pine product with a high stress tolerance, suitable for window joinery.
Horizontal top and bottom members joining the stiles of a sash.
A style of door. They use much less space and can be used to divide large rooms into discrete areas.
The opening left in a wall frame to receive a window or door unit. This is usually 20mm larger than the window or door frame dimensions.
Resistance to thermal transfer or heat flow. The higher the R-Value, the greater the insulating properties.
The separate, lighter frame to a window, carrying the glass. It may be fixed or moveable.
In double-hung windows, the rope or chain that attaches the sash to the counter balance.
A protruding handle screwed to the inside bottom rail of the lower sash on a double-hung window. In taller windows they may be fitted to the top rail of the lower sash, for ease of use.
In older double-hung windows, the concealed weights that are used to counterbalance the sash.
Provides a measure of the energy transferred through the glass when exposed to sunlight compared to the energy transferred through 3mm clear glass. If cooling is paramount, the lower the number the better.
See Side Panel.
Tall, narrow, fixed or operating sash on either or both sides of a door.
A panel (operable or inoperable) located adjacent to a doorway. It may or may not be in the same plane as the doorway.
The bottom horizontal member of a window or door frame.
The row of bricks, cement blocks or stones laid across the bottom of a masonry opening lying under the outside edge of the window sill.
Use of single panes of glass in a window.
A window unit with two or more sashes where one slides past the other, horizontally within the frame.
Generally, one of the botanical groups of trees that in most cases have needle or scale-like leaves; the conifers; also the wood produced by such trees. The term has no reference to the actual hardness of the wood.
Solar heat gain coefficient
The fraction of solar heat admitted through the glass directly transmitted, absorbed and subsequently released inwards expressed as a number between 0 and 1. If cooling
is paramount, the lower the number the better.
The percentage of heat reflected by the exterior surface of the glass.
The percentage of directly transmitted heat plus the absorbed and inwardly re-radiated heat that passes through the glass. If cooling is paramount, a lower solar transmission is better.
Sound transmission class (STC)
A rating for the efficiency of building materials and elements to reduce the transmission of sound. It is expressed in decibels (dB) and the larger the number the better the
reduction in noise passing through the material or element.
The upright or vertical frame pieces of a window sash or an opening door.
The rough frame opening left in a timber frame wall to accept a designated window.
A rectangular projection cut out of a piece of wood for insertion into a mortise.
Textured glass incorporates textures and opaqueness within the glass to create privacy or design elements.
Glass that has been strengthened and given modified fracture characteristics by heat treatment so the residual stresses are relatively high.
Toughened safety glass
Glass converted to a safety glass by subjection to a process of prestressing so that, if fractured, the entire piece disintegrates into small, relatively harmless particles.
A horizontal intermediate framing member.
The rate of heat loss or gain through the window from the warm side to the cold side. The lower the U-value, the better, especially in winter.
The percentage of ultraviolet light that passes through the glass. The lower the percentage, the better protection for furnishings and carpets from fading.
A material or device used to seal the openings, gaps or cracks of operable window and door units to prevent water and air penetration.
Wood (or metal) wedges used to secure the window or door unit in the rough opening in a plumb, level and square position during and after installation.
An external piece of timber, usually attached to the outside of a window, to suit different construction types (by increasing the “depth” of the frame.
Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS)
A rating scheme that enables residential windows to be given a
star rating as a guide to their energy performance. The rating certifies the windows’ winter and summer efficiency as well as their ability to provide protection from fading. For each of these three categories, a number of stars from one to five is given. The more stars, the better the performance.
A complete unit comprising frame, couplings, sashes, glazing, infill panels and hardware.
A single panel or glazing in a windowassembly.
The level of performance for strength and weatherproofness of windows and doors as determined by test. Window ratings are expressed in design wind pressure terms.
Information courtesy of Canterbury Windows and Doors and Stegbar (JELD-WEN)