Light View and Ventilation

Windows and doors with glazing can provide light and view for the occupants provided they are appropriately sized and located. Specific rooms call for unobstructed windows large enough to allow natural light. Normally, living and dining rooms require glazing to be no less than 10 percent of the area of the room. Other rooms such as bedrooms, dens and family rooms should have windows that represent at least 5 percent of the floor area of the room. These requirements promote healthful indoor spaces that consider the psychological well-being of the occupant.

Windows can also provide natural ventilation by allowing outside air to flow inside. Openable windows can eliminate the need for mechanical ventilation during the non-heating season. For most rooms where the window is used to provide natural ventilation, this requires an unobstructed, openable window area of at least 3 sq. ft. (0.28 m2) be installed. Bathrooms require a window at least 1 sq. ft. (0.09 m2) in area. Unfinished basements need openable windows that represent at least 0.2 percent of the basement floor area if non-heat-Ing'season mechanical ventilation is to be eliminated.

While windows can provide benefits of light, view and ventilation they can also pose a fire hazard to adjacent properties. Because fire can spread from windows to adjacent houses, building codes place strict limits on the amount of glazing in walls that are close to property lines. Glazed openings are not permitted in walls that are within 4 ft. (1.2 m) from a property line. Walls more than 4 ft. (1.2 m) may contain limited glazed openings depending on the distance from the property line and the area of the wall facing the property line. Consult your local building department for specific requirements.

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