Windows can boost facilities' accessibility and sustainability

By Lisa May / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
March 10, 2014

Along with providing natural light and outside views, operable windows present a seasonal opportunity for natural ventilation. In a skilled nursing facility, operable windows allow the patient some control of their environment creating a more homelike setting. To ensure accessibility to people of all ages and abilities, complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an essential concern.

Windows capable of meeting operating force and limited motion requirements of ICC/ANSI A117.1, “Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities,” must be specified. Accessible projected windows can be operated with one hand using a force of 5 pounds or less, to unlock, open, close and lock, without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist. The operable windows also must be located and detailed in a way that meets the “reach,” protrusion and approach area requirements for project-specific conditions.

Laboratory test methods for accessible, operable window products are outlined in American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s (AAMA) 513-12 “Standard Laboratory Test Method for Determination of Forces and Motions Required to Activate Operable Parts of CW and AW Class Operable Windows, Sliding Glass Doors and Terrace Doors in Accessible Spaces.” This document addresses the necessary window-specific testing provisions, such as sampling, test equipment, allowable performance reductions and methodology.

In addition to natural ventilation, operable windows provide the option of venting smoke and aiding egress in the rare instance of a fire. Operable windows provide a backup for smoke evacuation in the case of an engineered smoke control system failure and may alleviate dangerous glass breakage for firefighters to conduct emergency evacuation from the exterior.

High-performance window systems also can assist with energy efficiency. Thermally broken frames with triple insulating glass provide enhanced energy performance and condensation resistance. Integral between-glass blinds reduce solar heat gain, offer occupants daylight control and privacy, and minimize maintenance. The combined qualities of natural light, outside views and thermal performance may aid buildings seeking certification under such programs as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Rating System.

Lisa May, LEED Green Associate, is the health care market manager for Wausau Window and Wall Systems.

 

 

See the latest posts on our homepage


Share

Topic Area: Sustainable Operations


Recent Posts
Recent Posts

48 hours after fire at Pa. senior facility, some residents were still missing


Residents were evacuated into bitter cold, and 27 were transported to hospitals

11/22/2017

Indiana hospital adopts recycling program for clean waste


Surgery generates about one-fourth of all hospital waste

11/22/2017

Focus: Facility Design

How healthcare facility design can improve patient well-being


Exposure to daylight as well as acoustical and thermal comfort are key

11/22/2017

Focus: Facility Design

Hennepin County Medical Center’s new ambulatory clinic building reaching for LEED Silver


The building will include six floors of clinics and services, two levels of underground pay parking with 221 stalls for patients and family

11/22/2017

Focus: Fire-Life Safety / Column

Life Safety Q&A: Exiting from hospital into medical building


Brad Keyes discusses exiting from a hospital into a medical building

11/22/2017





Post Comment




FREE
NEWSLETTER

• News and Updates
• Webcast Alerts
• Building Technologies



All fields are required.