maximum glazing

Old 11-29-05, 01:17 PM
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maximum glazing

this a combination window/exterior wall question -
i need to put as much window (i.e., glass) as possible in spaces between columns in an exterior wall.(for passive solar heating) if the space is, for example, 166 inches, how much of this width must i 'reserve' for studs(2x6) and framing? in other words, could i put in 3 windows, each 50" wide, leaving only 16" for wall members? is there a rule of thumb, or rule carved in stone, saying between-window spacing must be 'x' amount? perhaps the 'rule' is written in terms of number of top-to-bottom studs per window?

thx for your consideration...
Old 11-29-05, 02:24 PM
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Your question is hard to answer. I would say that it depends largely on the integrity of the rough opening, and whether or not there are loads from above that need to be transferred down toward the foundation.

For instance: Your opening is 166" and has a header of the correct size across the top, which is able to hold all load above it. In this case, you would essentially need no framing. The only reason you'd need framing is because you ain't going to get a piece of glass that big! Then you'd just be dividing it up to make it asthetically pleasing.

Generally, you're not going to see a rough opening that is 166" with a header that big. Instead, the header might be in 3 pieces with 2 trimmers and 2 king studs between each header. You'd have a rough opening of 51 5/16", 6" of framing, rough opening of 51 5/16", 6" of framing, rough opening of 51 5/16". That adds up to 166".

Depending on what kind of window you get, you can frame it in accordingly. But I'd say that 6" between windows would be the minimum.

On the other hand, if you go with a commercial aluminum glazing system, you probably wouldn't need any framing between the windows at all. They would be like store front windows, with aluminum mullions between each piece of glass. That kind of a window would give you the most glass you could get, because no vertical framing would be needed. Your local glass house could get you fixed up with an estimate.

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