However, there are 3 major differences between commercial and residential windows that you should know in order to better understand your final estimate. Continue reading to learn what these three differences are and how they impact the total cost of procurement.
❶ Commercial Properties are Internal Load Dominated Buildings
Internal load dominated building is a term used in the commercial construction industry to describe the solar heat gain potential of large, heavily-populated properties. Large buildings that have a large amount of people and equipment generate a lot of heat. For this reason, commercial properties are built using windows with specialized solar glazing that limits solar heat gain. Without these windows, commercial properties can expect extreme energy spending. Residential homes are envelope load dominated buildings, meaning they are not crowded nor do they generate excessive levels of internal heat. In fact, homes rely on sunlight as an assisted energy-efficient heating source.
❷ The North American Fenestration Standard Rating System
The North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS) is a national window rating system. It is an important system based on several factors, including the ability to bear load, resist wind, and more. They are especially important for middle to high-rise buildings because they experience higher wind pressures and heavier loads. The NAFS includes four ratings: Residential (R), Light Commercial (LC), Commercial Windows (CW), and Architectural Windows (AW). Windows must meet these standards in order to be approved for commercial use.
❸ Manufacturing and Installation Require More
Because commercial grade windows are heavier and thicker, they require more materials for construction and custom manufacturing. This makes them more expensive compared to residential windows, which are smaller, less heavy-duty, and do not require specialized glazing or solar-resistant coating. Not only does the construction of these windows require more material (which costs more), they take more labor and specialized construction equipment (i.e. cranes, lifts, scaffolding, etc.) to install. This also increases the cost.