What are Clerestory Windows in Architecture?

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The windows are an essential part of the house. The windows provide light, fresh air and ventilation in the house. Also, they are often provided and arranged for the architectural decoration. There are different types of windows that make up the construction of the house.

Also Read: Different Types of Windows

Clerestory windows are quite famous and widely used by most of architects & designers. These windows are popular choices in gothic style buildings and in buildings with more than usual ceiling height.

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Clerestory windows admit light into a house from an upper level by adding a complete storey. These windows are provided in a room which has greater ceiling height than the surrounding rooms, or when a lean to roof of small height is there adjacent to room.

Also Read: What Should be the Ideal Plinth Height of the House?

The window shutters are horizontally pivoted and the windows can be opened or closed by use of two cords, one attached to the top rail and the other to the bottom rail of the shutter. The upper part of the window shutters open towards the inside of the room and lower part opens outside. This is necessary to prevent rain water entering the room. It is essential to provide a rain-shed or chhajja over the window.

Also Read: Window Shutters and Their Various Components

Clerestory windows can also be particularly useful on the ground floor of a single storey house built on a sloping site as a means of importing light to the rear. The technique is also used for lighting a basement in a house built on a slope.

High-ceiling public buildings such as churches and halls may feature very tall clerestory windows which are custom-manufactured with any number of shapes, designs and coloured glass. Small square or rectangular clerestory windows are usually installed in homes though options include half-round windows.

In this way, the clerestory performs a vital function of helping to heat the house, which has minimum heating, as well as being an attractive architectural feature as compared to other types of windows. They also introduce a very attractive form of high-level diffused light that has a very magnificent effect as it disperses and bounces off the two sloping ceilings.

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