The growing trend for floor-to-ceiling windows in condos is causing a bit of concern. While they are definitely aesthetically pleasing, they may not be sustainable for the long term.
According to the building code of Alberta, regular walls must have an insulation value of 20. There are no installation requirements, however, for windows. This means that a developer can put in windows that have any value. Sometimes the window walls have only 2 glass panes and an insulation value of only 2 - 3.
There can also be problems with moisture penetration due to cooled surfaces inside. When a person boils liquids on the stove or takes a shower, the moisture tends to condense on the cold window surface. This moisture builds up then runs down the window and gets deposited on the area below. As a result, the floor or drywall may be damaged over time.
During the winter, the windows don't provide a lot of insulating power, which leads to a lot of heat loss. During the summer, the units can heat up tremendously with the sun streaming in through the immense windows. Many developers in the Calgary area are now using triple pane glass to address these concerns. One of the condominium buildings that uses the 3 panes of glass is “The Montana” in the community of Connaught. As expected, along with the extra pane of glass comes a higher price for the condo units.
Even with these drawbacks, the look of these windows is simply amazing from the outside. It's even better from the inside when you're offered a floor-to-ceiling view. Sometimes living in a condo in the middle of the urban jungle can feel claustrophobic. With these windows, a new sense of space is revealed. Many people are ready to accept the concerns of having large windows in exchange for the aesthetic look and feel they provide.