Doors – Exteriors and Outdoor Design (1) : Design trends for exterior spaces and four-season rooms

Whether it is your home or your project it is imperative that you achieve balance between the interior and exterior the only way to do this is with the creative use of windows and doors.

There’s a lot to love about the outdoors, we have created an educational series which will explore ways architects and designers can make inviting and comfortable outdoor spaces that link the outdoors to the interior.

There are a variety of windows and doors that provide options for designing patios, decks and outdoor rooms which will effectively provide experiences in outdoor dining, outdoor activities such as poolside recreation, or just relaxing and taking in the surrounding landscape.

In addition, outdoor living spaces and rooms can greatly increase the appeal of a home, restaurant or hotel and thus increase its value and marketability.

We begin our educational series with: WINDOWS AND DOORS

One of the ways to link the exterior and interior of a project is visually through glass. Extending an indoor room to the outside through glass or openings helps to enhance the interiors by bringing in natural exterior materials into the design.  Expansive windows also allow natural light to permeate into interior rooms as well as creating a visual extension of an exterior space. Natural lighting also reveals textures and patterns through shadows and provides cues as to time of day.

Appropriately selected windows and doors can extend an interior space into the outdoors and can also create a space that can be used through the four seasons, even in colder climates.  Some considerations for selection of an appropriate window or door system to create a four-season space include:

  • Thermal and energy efficiency
  • Ability of the system to accommodate design creativity (i.e. curved walls, corners, etc.)
  • Impact resistance to storms and severe weather
  • Security options
  • Material durability and
  • Ease of system operation

Windows and doors that provide expansive views to the outdoors are available in a variety of styles and sizes which include:

  • Windows and Window Systems
  • French Doors and Pivot Doors
  • Folding doors
  • Horizontal sliding walls, and
  • Lifts and slides

The material framing systems for these window and door systems include all aluminum and combinations of aluminum with wood cladding.

The aluminum and wood clad frame system, provides the reduced maintenance of an aluminum clad finish, plus the aesthetic appeal and warmth of wood.

The aluminum is bent and folded over the exterior of the door or window frame to prevent weather from penetrating into the wood frame. The aluminum clad exterior can match virtually any exterior color scheme.

We hope you gleaned some valuable information from the opening of our educational series and we hope you tune in for the blog next month focused on Window systems.  Featured options will include fixed, casement, hopper, awning, sliding, and tilt & turn window systems …

Thank you again for going through our educational series titled:
This material is based on our AIA accredited CEU course offered both online and in live sessions during our lunch and learn presentations. If you would like to schedule a live CEU AIA accredited Lunch and Learn Course for your office simply email and indicate your interest in a specific date and we will contact you right away.

Learning Objectives – After this course, you should be able to:

Discuss the key sustainability criteria (LEED and SITES) that apply to the design of exterior spaces and outdoor rooms.
Describe some of the various product systems that are available for designing exterior spaces and outdoor rooms, and understand each system’s compliance with sustainability criteria.
List design options for exterior deck spaces regarding railings and safety.
Explain the ways in which exterior spaces and outdoor rooms can help to meet LEED and SITES requirements of human health and well-being.

If you would like to take the official course for actual CEU learning credits CLICK HERE


  • 1.5 AIA LU/HSW
  • 0.1 IACET CEU
  • AAA 1 Learning Hour
  • OAA 1 Learning Hour
  • May qualify for 1 AANB Learning Hour
  • SAA 1 Learning Hour
  • MAA 1 Learning Hour
  • AAPEI 1 Learning Hour
  • May qualify for 1 NSAA Learning Hour
  • AIBC 1 Learning Hour
  • NLAA 1 Learning Hour
  • NWTAA 1 Learning Hour