Why Low Air Infiltration Matters in Specifying Energy-Efficient Windows


Why Low Air Infiltration Matters for Energy-Efficient Windows

Safetyline Jalousie explains why architects and builders should specify high free air windows with low air infiltration to ensure energy efficiency in commercial built environments.  

Australia is famous for its diverse weather conditions and climate zones, which make balancing occupants’ thermal comfort and staying energy efficient in indoor spaces throughout the year a challenge for both builders and architects. Free air flow and passive ventilation through window specification and placement have widely been acknowledged as important factors to achieve such goals.

When it comes to natural ventilation, louvre windows provide up to 86% free air flow. The result is four to eight times higher than that of awning or sliding windows, as indicated in the graph below.

Why Low Air Infiltration Matters for Energy-Efficient Windows

However, free air flow is just half of the story when choosing energy-efficient windows. Following the application of the NCC 2019, stronger focus and recognition is now placed on another comparatively vital element – air infiltration.

What is Air Infiltration?

Air infiltration (or air leakage) is the exchange of air through cracks and gaps in the outside shell of a building. Infiltration increases heating and cooling costs, devastates the building envelope and adversely affects occupants’ thermal comfort. Regarding window placement, air leakage likely occurs through cracks between window assembly components as well as window-wall joints.

Air infiltration, however, should not be mistaken as a problem of ventilation. According to Elron Burrell, functioning ventilation allows airflow where it is designed to do so and helps circulate plentiful fresh clean air at a comfortable temperature for people inside a building. In case of air infiltration, air movement is not controlled, less reliable and wasting energy, especially when heating and cooling systems are operational.

So how do architects and builders tackle the issues of air infiltration while allowing an abundance of natural, free airflow? The answer lies partly on specifying energy-efficient windows which have tight sealing, strong weather-stripping, high free air and low air infiltration. That is where Safetyline Jalousie high-performance louvre windows can help!

Why Low Air Infiltration Matters for Energy-Efficient Windows

The Benefits of Specifying Safetyline Jalousie High-Performance Louvre Windows

Safetyline Jalousie louvre windows offer architects and builders with added value and unrivalled performance in terms of strength, flexibility, reliability, versatility and energy efficiency. When fully open, louvres allow up to 86% free air flow – more than any other window types on the market.

Safetyline Jalousie louvres are sealed on all four sides with Marine Grade EPDM seals on each horizontal transom and gaskets on the upright sections. The superior sealing capability ensures air infiltration of only 0.12 L/m2.s – this is 12 times lower (and better) than a conventional glass on glass louvre window.

High free air and low air infiltration are key features for Safetyline Jalousie louvres to offer:

  • Protection to the building envelope

For commercial buildings and places with high traffic (e.g. learning spaces, sporting centres, high-rise buildings), the moisture and humidity born out of daily activities can “sneak” into cracks, gaps and cause damage over time to the building envelope. Safetyline Jalousie louvres’ unique sealing feature contribute to the continuity of the overall air barrier and help protect the building envelope from unintended leakage.

Did you know?

A gap only 1mm wide will allow enough unintended airflow to carry 360g of water per day into the building envelope, according to Passipedia.

  • Higher energy efficiency and cost-saving

Airtightness supported by louvres prevent uncontrolled heat movement in and out of the building, hence limit usage and reliance on the HVAC systems. When combined with the innovative SmartAir system, louvres automatically monitor internal and external ambient temperatures, incorporate morning and night purging to cool the building fabric during unoccupied periods and ultimately reduce air conditioning energy cost.

  • Thermal comfort and wellbeing of occupants

Louvre windows deliver ultimate control over air flow to indoor spaces, allowing cool breezes in during the warmer months, and keeping cold air out in winter. By preventing air infiltration, louvres also protect occupants from airborne pollutants, allergens, microbes and fluctuating humidity levels. This is of paramount importance in school design, aged care facilities and apartment complexes.

Louvre Performance Analysis via Inhabit Group Modelling

To further prove these performance ratings and the importance of choosing high free air, low air infiltration windows, Safetyline Jalousie has reached out to Inhabit Group for modelling and scenario testing of learning spaces.

Table 1: Façade Airtightness Data modelled by Inhabit Group

Louvre TypeAirtightness, L/m2.s @75 Pa as per AS 2047Calculated (scenario GBJ) m3/m2.h @ 50 PaResultant whole-of-façade airtightness, m3/m2.h @ 50 PaRelative benefits of Jalousie louvres
Jalousie louvre0.120.108.55 
Generic louvre A1.51.239.167%
Generic louvre B1.91.559.348%
Generic louvre C54.0810.720%
All other façade elements (as per NCC 2019)3.42.7810 

It is proven that Safetyline Jalousie louvres have a much higher airtightness figure than the generic louvres tested or indeed the requirements of NCC 2019. As a result, the façade airtightness of the tested building is increased by up to 20%. Less air changes per hour also allow for a much tighter control over indoor air quality.

It is worth noting that the airtightness benefit of Safetyline Jalousie louvres increases as the percentage façade area increases.

In addition, Inhabit Group’s modelling indicates that Safetyline Jalousie louvre windows can improve thermal comfort levels for occupants, decrease energy usage and costs and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the operating life of the project.

The Final Word

As part of the National Energy Productivity Plan (NEPP), the Australian Government has also made changes to energy efficiency-related provisions to reduce emissions by 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030. However, in 2019 The United Nations (UN) reported that Australia was not on track to meet them. It is more important now than ever for the built industry to prioritise energy-saving, environmental-friendly materials for greener, healthier living environments.

By choosing energy-efficient windows with high free air and low air infiltration like Safetyline Jalousie louvres, architects and builders can witness a huge leap in the project outcomes while contributing to the national achievements of sustainability.

Should you need further consultation and technical advice on smarter, greener ventilation solutions, do not hesitate to contact Safetyline Jalousie team.

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Ali Asmar

Business Manager - VIC & SA

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As the most recent addition to the Safetyline Jalousie family, Ali is still coming to terms with the fact that a typical telephone conversation will often be answered with “You’re calling from Safety what”? followed by having to sound out and spell the name “ja-lou-sie” (it happens to us all). Born in Lebanon, Ali has moved around a lot over the years, living in Cyprus, Sydney for most of his Schooling, as well as China and Hong Kong. He currently resides in Melbourne where he spends a lot of time in his garden or doing some sort of work around the house. (Not too dissimilar to many other Melburnians following the onset of Covid). With a very obvious cultured background, Ali is warm and talkative and he’ll get you talking too.

Romile John

National Business Manager

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One of the Safetyine Jalousie originals, Rom (often mistaken for John) holds a great passion for the product. He says its “its innovative, a market leader and ever-evolving, very much like the company itself”. When you meet Rom, it is apparent that he is well-educated and well-travelled. Coming from a family of medical professionals, they moved around extensively and often. Last count was 125 countries. So nearly all of them! It’s really no surprise that Rom has mastered packing a weeks-worth of clothes and necessities into a carry-on bag. And when we say clothes we actually mean meticulously prepared outfits and accessories. When Rom enters a room, you’re sure to know it!

Adam Racomelara

National Manager – Partnerships & Strategy

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Adam is our strategist and big ideas generator whose somewhat reserved nature could have some mistake him as a bit of an introvert. But that’s only until this quiet thinker is given a whiteboard and a marker – and then there’s no stopping the dialogue! 7 Years in at Safetyline Jalousie, Adam is continually expanding on his knowledge of the construction industry and is incredibly driven in his pursuit to help create better buildings via the use of better products. When Adam’s not on his quest to improve Australia’s built environment he’s spending most weekends escorting one of his 4 young kids to birthday parties, sometimes multiple parties. He has some stealth survival tips for other parents currently in the same predicament.

Michael Cocks

Factory Manager

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Michael has become recognised at Safetyline Jalousie for his continually changing hairstyles (facial hair included). Buzz cut, undercut, dreadlocks, even a mullet. We’ve see it all. His current man bun could even be gone before we finish this sentence. Always up for a laugh, friends and colleagues love a chat with Michael, and his easy-going and approachable nature has earned him the respect of all staff. In fact, he even has a cohort of followers on the factory floor sporting his same hairstyles. Outside of work Michael has recently turned his attention to mountain bike riding. His very first ride ended with a pretty serious accident resulting in a deep puncture wound to his leg– it’s been a sore topic for his leg and his ego.

Jonathan Gueudinot

National Logistics & Production Manager

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Our South American Native, Jonathan is more simply and better known as “Chilli” (no need to try and guess his country of origin). After 16 years of military service, Chilli joined the Safetyline Jalousie team for what he describes as “a change of pace”. Although his average work day might look very different these days, there’s no doubt that Chilli’s previous experience has contributed in shaping a culture of commitment, community and comradery within the production team – the very important engine room of our company. Driven by a sense of accomplishment, in addition to running Safetyline Jalousie’s production line with military precision, Chilli has recently been studying hard to complete his Master’s Degree in Business and Logistics.

Mandy Saliba

Marketing Manager

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Mandy has been with Safetyline jalousie since day one so would technically be considered a geriatric in “Jalousie years”. Whilst her role has changed and evolved over her time with the business, one thing that hasn’t is the happy and fun, team culture that she says “continues to make each day at work a joy”. As a mum of two little ones, Mandy thrives on new challenges and a little bit of chaos. Although, as a self-proclaimed clean freak, she ensures that all forms of chaos are kept in a very neat and tidy manner. We’ve also observed that Mandy appears to have an inherent fear of colour and will almost only ever be seen in black or white (or sometimes grey if she is being really out there).

Lisa Spinks

Office Administration Manager

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As a busy mother of 4, Lisa is highly skilled in organising, delegating, and troubleshooting – the proficiencies which she also demonstrates in her daily management of the Safetyline Jalousie office. Lisa tells us that she lives by the saying “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger”. (No doubt she’s had to use this little piece or personal encouragement from time to time to deal with our infinite requests)! Always on the go, Lisa has a very active lifestyle and starts every day with a walk to the beach with her husband and two dogs. Of an evening she still has the energy to spare for star jumps and squats in her makeshift gym/ (our office) before heading home to her other full-time job as “mum”.

 

 

 

Nathan Rust

Founder & National Operations Director

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The younger brother of the co-founding sibling duo, “Nath” is the go-to for just about every technical, install, and manufacturing enquiry that comes via the business. Very early on, Nath’s product knowledge and problem-solving ability saw him organically take on the role of Operations, overseeing the design and management of Safetyline Jalousie’s behind-the-scenes work. When he’s off duty (and not answering a million questions), Nath enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 young kids. You’ll find him cheering on his son at weekend sports, enjoying the water somewhere along the Northern beaches and this lover of food is generally always planning his next big meal. Preferably a Lebanese banquet if anyone can suggest a restaurant he doesn’t frequent already.

Leigh Rust

Founder & Director

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Leigh aka “Wolfpack” is one-half of the driving force behind Safetyline Jalousie and comes with two decades of experience within the Australian manufacturing and construction industry. The multi-award-winning entrepreneur and father of three youngsters is a passionate advocate for supporting Australian-made goods and improving the built environment for future generations to come. Always up for a challenge, Leigh never sits still and is constantly pushing himself to test his physical and mental endurance. He’s given just about everything a go. From amateur MMA fights, triathlons, or personal development endeavours, Leigh stands by the motto, ‘I never lose, either I win or I learn’.

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Safetyline Jalousie Design Manual Version 3

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Safetyline Jalousie Design Manual Version 3