Glazed and Confused: A Presentation About Windows

A webinar all about windows and universally applicable general principles for detailing them.

Windows are complicated—on top of providing a view, they also have to do everything a wall has to do. Doors are just as difficult. And to make things even more challenging, architects are faced with a seemingly infinite choice of window and door profiles for residential and commercial buildings, with so much variety among them that it is difficult—but not impossible!—to come up with universally applicable general principles for detailing them. This session identifies those principles and the technical basis for them, and demonstrates their application to the most common combinations of window profiles and wall types. Once understood, these principles and the thinking behind them will demystify the puzzle of window and door detailing, offering a simplified approach to design.

In this lecture with Christine Williamson of Building Science Fight Club, we will review flanged and unflanged systems in framed walls, windows in mass walls, windows in walls with continuous exterior insulation, sliding doors, and commercial windows, including storefront and curtain-wall systems.


After this session, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the three most common approaches to structurally securing windows in building openings and describe the different effects of each method on water control, air control, and thermal control.
  • Describe the two-stage seal approach to window and door detailing and explain why it works.
  • Describe the most common methods of accommodating continuous exterior insulation at window openings.
  • Anticipate common concerns about our proposed water, air, and thermal control strategies, particularly those related to constructability and cost—and respond to objections with the confidence that comes only from mastery of the technical issues.


About the Speaker

Christine Williamson, Building Scientist M.Arch, Assoc. AIA

Christine Williamson has spent her career in building science forensics, discovering why buildings fail, and working with owners, architects, and builders to remedy the problems. Her new construction consulting helps architects use building science not only to mitigate risk of failure, but also to help them make their projects as energy efficient as they are beautiful. She is the founder of the Instagram account @BuildingScienceFightClub, an educational project that teaches architects about building science and construction. She graduated from Princeton University and studied at Boston Architectural College before completing her Master’s of Architecture at New School of Architecture + Design. She is a member and past chair of ASHRAE Technical Committee 1.12, Moisture Management in Buildings. Christine is a frequent lecturer on building science at universities, conferences, and professional associations, in addition to serving as a guest critic for architecture school studio reviews.


TSA Members

This event is free for TSA members using the discount code found in our February 1 e-bulletin! Not a member yet? Membership is open to everyone and you can join here (student memberships are free!).

OAA Members

When registering, please include your full name as registered with the OAA to ensure your certificate of participation is credited properly. Please also include an email address you check frequently to ensure you receive our certificate in a timely manner.

Get Tickets

When November 1, 2022

Where Online Lecture

Duration 1 hr

Cost $15