Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Bryan Reaka (Director), Dr. Stacy Wilson, Shahnaz Aly

Degree Program

Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


The use of sunlight has always been a major goal in the design and operation of commercial buildings to minimize electrical consumption of artificial lighting systems. Glazing systems designed to allow optimal visible light transmission also allow significant unwanted direct solar heat gain caused by infrared light. Conversely, glazing systems that are designed to reflect unwanted direct solar heat gain significantly reduce the transmittance of visible light through windows. The goal of this research was to characterize the performance of water as gap-fill for double-glazing units in eliminating the compromises that exist in current glazing systems with respect to light and heat transmittance. An in situ test approach and computer simulations were conducted to measure the performance of water-filled glazing units against air-filled glazing units. The thermal transmittance and solar heat gain coefficient values obtained from both the field experiments and computer simulations, glazing units with air-fill proved better than the glazing units with non-flowing water-fill. However, the high convective coefficient and the high thermal mass of the water can be used to its advantage when it is allowed to flow at peak temperatures, thus, maintaining lower temperature swings indoor. This can lead to a reduction of about 50-70% direct solar heat and still maintain high visibility.


Engineering Science and Materials | Structural Materials