- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 16 Feb 2018
G-value in buildings
Understanding the solar transmittance through translucent and transparent materials such as glass is important for determining the solar heat gain into the space they enclose during sunny conditions. Solar heat gain can be beneficial in the winter, as it reduces the need for heating, but in the summer can cause overheating.
The total solar heat transmittance through transparent and translucent materials is equal to the solar heat that is transmitted through the material directly, plus the solar heat that is absorbed by the material and then re-emitted into the enclosed space.
Traditionally this was expressed in terms of a shading coefficient which described the amount of solar heat transmitted through a material compared to the amount of solar heat transmitted through a standard sheet of clear float glass 3 mm thick.
However, manufacturers are now moving away from shading coefficients. In the USA, they are moving towards the use of solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC) and in Europe, g-values (window solar factors, solar factors or total energy transmittance (TET)). In essence, these both represent the fraction of incident solar radiation transmitted by a window, expressed as a number between 1 and 0, where 1 indicates the maximum possible solar heat gain, and zero, no solar heat gain.
g-values can refer to the centre-of-glass g-value, or can relate to the entire window, including frame (gglass or gwindow). Generally, a higher g-value will be beneficial in cooler climates and a lower g-value in warmer climates. Typically g-values will range between 0.2 and 0.7, with solar control glazing having a g-value of less than 0.5.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Code for Sustainable Homes.
- Computational fluid dynamics (CFD).
- Emission rates.
- Energy certificates.
- Environmental legislation.
- Green deal.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
- Low-e glass.
- Shading coefficient.
- Solar heat gain coefficient.
- Solar transmittance (gtot).
- Thermal bridge.
- Thermal resistance.
- U value.
- Zero carbon homes.
- Zero carbon non-domestic buildings.
Featured articles and news
And the award winners for 2019 are...
Articles of agreement
Guidance for local authorities and consultancies setting planning conditions.
A real deal – at last?
How does anastylosis help in the reconstructing of ancient monuments?
More than just aesthetic and historic values and meanings.
An exciting and novel collaboration between the RIBA and the SPAB.
Republic of Ireland updates to planning and development.
The different types of pile foundation.
Achieving a net-zero carbon UK by 2050.
Responding to an invitation to tender.