Thermally Regulating Glass Spaces

by | Jan 4, 2017 | Planning

Overview: Thermal Considerations for Glass Structures


Prospective customers often ask us about the thermal efficiency of our custom glass spaces. “Will the addition of a custom glass space significantly increase my home’s heating bill?” This is a reasonable question because the vast majority of Sunspace clients hail from the great states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. These people know a thing or two about battling the elements (and the heating bill).

New England’s changeable weather produces idyllic summers and cold, stormy winters, so proper thermal regulation is important to anyone from the region who plans on making a large investment in a home improvement project. This is why every custom glass space from Sunspace Design achieves top thermal performance through a combination of superior materials, craftsmanship, and design principles.

A Sunspace Design custom glass structure can take on virtually any configuration to achieve your goals. We’ll carefully manage the entire process from start to finish so that you’re never left with unanswered questions. We employ more or less glass, different material configurations, or different design approaches on a project to project basis. Our glass roof systemsgreenhouses, conservatoriespool enclosures, orangeries and sunrooms can ultimately become custom construction projects if your unique needs require equally unique solutions. A partnership with Sunspace Design will leave you with a gorgeous glass space that perfectly fits your home while achieving the specific level of thermal performance you require.


Choosing the Right Glass for Your Custom Design-Build Project


Glasswork is one of the most important dimensions of what we do at Sunspace Design. After all, a glass space is nothing without the glass itself. Our company is all about natural light, and it’s the responsibility of the glass we use to let that sunlight into your home. For this reason we only use the best-performing glass from the country’s top manufacturers. For example, a common staple in our energy and comfort package is PPG’s Solarban 70XL Low-E Glass. This product’s color-neutral appearance can meet the visual requirements of any space, and its price-to-performance ratio makes it a perfect choice for most residential glass projects.

Glass and glass coating technologies have seen remarkable improvements in the years since Sunspace Design began operating in the region, and we’ve kept up with these changes as they’ve progressed. The modern glass we use ensures that your space is thermally insulated and that you are protected from unwanted solar heat gain. It meets these requirements while offering a neutral appearance that allows for high degrees of light transmission. The result is a beautiful, naturally lit space that’s going to perform well in every New England weather condition without not going emptying your bank account as a result of a skyrocketing energy bill.


A photo of a Rye, NH conservatory with proper thermal regulation taken at night


Heating and Cooling Options


Depending on the intended use of your new space, it’s also important to consider the ideal heating/cooling solution. We generally recommend a Mitsubishi Ductless-Split System for most of our glass spaces. Sunspace Design designs, engineers, and builds our custom glass products with the intention that they will provide usability and comfort throughout the year. A split-ductless system is ideal for these circumstances, because it’ll give you total control over the thermal functioning of your new space without requiring you to turn up the thermostat throughout the home. Your space will be heated per your needs, and you won’t be wasting money on energy when you’re not occupying it.


Selecting Thermally Efficient Windows and Doors


Our commitment to quality materials is also emphasized in our window and door selection. We most commonly use Andersen or Marvin units. Materials matter: a window or door should offer peak performance for years after installation without requiring that you sacrifice style, versatility, or construction quality. These companies offer products that achieve that high standard.

Marvin’s Integrity line is a great example of a product line which checks all of these boxes. Integrity units meet or exceed federal ENERGY STAR guidelines, and Marvin’s Ultrex Low-E coating option reduces window heat loss, cutting costs by up to 34% in cold climates and 38% in warm climates. Winter sun is absorbed and conducted into the home’s interior in the winter, while summer sun is filtered and reflected during the hotter months. It’s difficult to ask more of a window over the course of a new England year.


Proper thermal regulation ensures that this Rye, NH conservatory performs well in any weather condition


Insulation, Walls, and Roofing Engineered for Performance


Sunspace Design is a company of designers, engineers, and construction experts. To ensure that our glass spaces perform well in all conditions, we typically use Bayseal closed-cell X (CC X) spray-applied polyurethane foam insulation. This insulation product offers considerably high R-values (a measure of thermal resistance) and generally helps guard against the infiltration of air and moisture over time. This will help prevent the degradation of your new space.

We ensure that our wall R-values achieve a value of R21 at a minimum, as this meets or exceeds code. However, we can go as high as R34 if required. Similarly, our roofs typically achieve an R39 value, but we can go as high as R55. We also offer the option of using standard fiberglass insulation when the frame structure allows its use to meet insulation codes. Because our team includes a top notch unit of construction experts, your requirements are rarely out of scope.


Sunspace Design uses only the highest quality conservatory, greenhouse, skylight, and sunroom materials including Marvin, Andersen, PPG, Clearshield, and Mitsubishi


Offering Great Thermal Performance 365 Days a Year


Any home improvement project requires a considerable investment of time and resources. We take that as seriously as you do. Sunspace Design’s commitment to excellence ensures that your time and resources won’t be wasted on subpar execution. Our custom glass sunrooms, conservatories, orangeries, and other glass products are designed to withstand the elements of the region we sell them in. We’re a New England company with New England standards.

Are you from Massachusetts, Maine, or New Hampshire and ready to learn more about how one of our beautiful and thermally efficient glass spaces can transform your home? Reach out to us and let some light in. We can be reached via our contact form, through email at, or on the phone by dialing 1-800-530-2505.

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