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Building Performance
Passive House
Sustainable Building

All About Windows - Self Study

Mike Duclos • Last updated 02/2021

4.5/5 (view ratings)
481 students
1 module
56 minutes
4 assignments

Course description

Windows are arguably the most important architectural element in a home, impacting the appearance, comfort, energy use, ventilation, budget, and overall enjoyment of our homes in a number of ways – some not so obvious.

The thoughtful selection and application of windows is crucial in meeting the challenging Passive House Space Heat Demand criteria in cold climates. This session will discuss the anatomy of a window, mechanisms that transfer heat through windows, and window design and application strategies. We will compare and contrast two window performance characterization systems, discuss how windows impact comfort, how they can be used to supplement a heating system - and possibly help avoid use of a heating distribution system – as well as assisting with ‘passive survivability’ when the power fails, illustrated with actual data.

This session is of general interest, but the focus will be on the details associated with the use of windows in Passive House designs.

By the end of the lecture you will:

  • Understand the different heat transfer mechanisms associated with windows
  • Learn about strategies used in window design and installation to reduce heat loss
  • Understand differences between US and European window performance rating systems to avoid incorrectly interpreting window performance
  • See how, and by how much, window selection and application can assist with passive survivability
  • Understand the impact of shading, shading strategies, building orientation, etc. with respect to the Passive House Space Heat Demand criteria

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Full course outline

Module 1 - Video Lecture and Discussion

In this module, you'll watch the video lecture and listen to a recording of a Q+A call in which Mike answers participant questions.

  • Lecture - "All About Windows" (56 minutes) (56:00 minutes)
  • Audio: 1-hour Q+A call recording (MP3) (.mp3)


Mike Duclos


Mike Duclos is a principal and founder of The DEAP Energy Group, LLC, a consultancy providing a wide variety of Deep Energy Retrofit, Zero Net Energy and Passive House related consulting services. Mike was an energy consultant on the Transformations, Inc. Zero Energy Challenge entry, and has worked on a variety of Zero Net Energy, DER and Passive House projects,... Learn more


63 reviews

481 students have taken this course

by William Bates 04/16/2020


by Dr.Siva Ramkumar Mathiyalagan, Assistant Professor, Karpagam Academy of Higher Education 04/12/2020

All must Register

by Dr.Balakrishnan Subramanian 04/09/2020

It's very interesting

by Hubert Hogan 04/09/2020

enjoyed the presentation

by Adam Perkins 06/27/2019

Excellent review of all elements of windows needed to achieve passive heating, cooling, and insulation.

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Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?

This is a free course. Enroll today and get access to all of the materials instantly. The lecture video and other materials are available any time.

How long do I have access to the materials?

For free courses there is no guarantee for how long the course materials will be available.

Is there a certificate of completion?

Certificates of completion are only provided to HeatSpring Membership subscribers. This course has not been approved by any credentialing organizations (NABCEP, AIA, USGBC etc) for Continuing Education Credits (CEUs). This course is for self education purposes only and completion does not indicate a level of professional expertise or credential.

Can I register multiple people?

Yes, this is a free course so you can share this page with other people from your group.

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