Clerestory Roof | What Is a Clerestory | Modern Clerestory Roof | Clerestory House Plans | Clerestory House Designs

Clerestory Roof

 Clerestory Roof

A clerestory roof is designed with a vertical wall between two sloping sides. In which, there is a row of windows (or one long, continuous window).

Clerestories Definition: In architecture, a clerestory is a high section of wall in which windows are installed above eye level. Its purpose is to install the light, fresh air inside the room.

Clerestory Roof is also installed for its unique design properties. When designed and decorated, these walls between the roof can give the whole building or structure an elegant and different look.

A roof is an important part of any residential building. It is the structure that makes up the upper portion of any building, covering the top. Roofs can be of various forms and designs. They can either be sloped or flat, protruding or aligned, etc. One of the forms of roofs is the Clerestory Roof.

When a building or house has a sloped roof that has a vertical brick wall showcasing either a few windows or a long window between the two slopes, it is called the Clerestory Roof.

Installing a Clerestory Roof has to be planned beforehand, to accommodate the directions of sunlight, breeze, etc. This is done to obtain maximum benefits of the Clerestory Roofs. It is an easy-to-install feature that has practical uses for the interior as well as beautifies the exterior.

In this article, you will get to know about the Clerestory roof, how to install it and its types and every detail that you should have to know about the clerestory roof.

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What Is a Clerestory Window?

A clerestory window is a large window installed above eye level to illuminate an interior space with natural light. They can be placed in a row under the ceiling, but are ideally positioned above roof lines or overhangs to maximize the amount of light in a given space.

The roof panels of Clerestory Roofs are designed to sit at heights that are marginally different. This difference gives way for a vertical wall to be built. The wall usually showcases windows, to allow sunlight and airflow to even the topmost interior of the building or house.

Also Read: What Is Pitched Roof? | Types of Pitched Roof | Advantage & Disadvantage of Pitched Roof

Why Install a Clerestory Roof?

Why Install a Clerestory Roof

Clerestory Roof is installed mainly for the fresh air and sunlight that they allow, without compromising the privacy of the individuals inside.

Modern clerestory roof is also installed for its unique design properties. When designed and decorated, these walls between the roof can give the whole building or structure an elegant and different look.

Modern clerestory roof design has come back into fashion among modern homebuilders as a great “green” option.

Some people also get Clerestory Roofs installed to mimic the Gothic Times when Clerestory roofs were a part of almost every structure. It is also a symbol of remembering those times nowadays.

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Clerestory Shed Plans

Clerestory Shed Plans

Clerestory House Designs

Clerestory Roofs come in various kinds, depending on the requirements of each project. Define clerestory are mainly two types of Clerestory Roofs used in buildings or structures, Symmetrical Clerestory Roofs, and Asymmetrical Clerestory Roofs.

1. Symmetrical Clerestory Roof

Symmetrical Clerestory Roof

Symmetrical Clerestory Roof Plan is where the roof is designed to have both roof halves of the building or structure to be slanting. These slanting roofs are built to an angle that resembles a triangle. One slanting roof lies above the other with a featured vertical wall between both slant roofs. The vertical wall typically has either a few windows or a long window showcasing its unique design.

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2. Asymmetrical Roof Design

Asymmetrical Clerestory Roof

Asymmetrical Clerestory Roof plan is where the roof is designed to have one half of the roof of the building or structure at a descending angle and the other as a flat roof. The slanting roof lies above the flat roof with a featured vertical wall between both the roofs. The vertical wall typically has either a few windows or a long window showcasing its unique design.

Also Read: What Is Skillion Roof? | Types of Skillion Roof | Uses of Skillion Roof | Advantages & Disadvantages of Skillion Roof | Cost of Skillion Roof

House Plans with Clerestory Windows

house plans with clerestory windows

Clerestory Roof Dimensions

Clerestory Roof Dimensions

What Are the Considerations of Using a Clerestory Roof?

The weather and climate conditions of the place where Clerestory Roofs need to be installed in buildings or structures have to be taken into consideration before starting the project. Very hot climates can statistically decrease the function of these roofs and cause a negative impact on the appeal of residential buildings or structures.

Similarly, when planning to install Clerestory Roofs onto buildings and structures, serious consideration has to be given to the alignment and placement of the vertical wall as well as the windows. If these are not planned professionally, the direct heat or light may impact the residents negatively.

When deciding to install a Clerestory Roof in an already built structure or roof, the building cost and construction challenges have to be considered well in advance. It is possible to add a Clerestory Roof to a previously built roof with the right planning and the help of professional architect experts.

Another consideration to keep in mind when deciding to install Clerestory Roofs onto already built structures or buildings is the duration of the existence of the structure. If the existing structure is in a deteriorated condition, it is very risky to go ahead with the construction process. This can even lead to structural failures.

Installation of Clerestory Roofs is an expensive construction project and this needs to be carefully considered before going ahead with the construction process.

The time it takes to install a Clerestory Roof is comparatively longer than the time it takes to install standard roofs. This is why it is important to consider this factor before starting the construction process.

Modern house design is a unique design for roofing and so they also require unique designs of the foundation and structure for the fitting and installations. It has to be taken into consideration whether the type of roof that is designed for the specific building or structure will be compatible with the Clerestory Roof.

When Clerestory Roofs are installed in buildings or structures, one of the advantages is the pleasant view it allows. So, it has to be considered when planning to install Clerestory Roofs whether the outside environment and surroundings are worth the view.

Similarly, it has to be considered if the surrounding is free of any obstacles which could prevent proper daylight to enter through the windows. If not, the purpose and function of the Clerestory Roof will be diminished.

Small house plans are an economical solution for those who would like to live in a home but also want to save some space on their property.

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What Materials are Used in a Clerestory Roof?

Just like any other roof, Clerestory Roofs can be constructed with the use of any material. The selection of constructing material for Clerestory Roofs largely depends on the preferences of the future occupants. Another aspect to look into for selecting constructing material is what the end result needs to look like.

Tile, metal, wood, concrete, slate, steel, asphalt shingle, aluminium, copper, plastic, cement, fiber, glass, Thermoplast, wood, brick, terracotta, plaster, stone, clay, etc. are some of the materials that can be utilized for the construction of roofs.

The windows too can be constructed using any material based on the preferences and aptness to the architectural design of the building or structure in which the Clerestory Roof is being installed.

Wood, vinyl, fibreglass, aluminium, sand, soda ash, dolomite, limestone, salt cake, etc. are some of the materials that can be utilized for the construction of windows.

What is important in the building process for windows is that it has to be made sure that the glass that is being used is double glazed. As the Clerestory Roof functions on the use of sunlight, it has to be made sure that the window glass does not amplify the glare caused due to the sun.

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Clerestory Roof Pros and Cons

Clerestory Roof Pros and Cons

Here, some of clerestory roof advantages and disadvantages are:

Pros of Clerestory Roof

There are various advantages of clerestory that are as follows:

  1. Clerestory Roofs are designed in a way that favours the entering of sunlight into the building. Natural light is not only good for health but also decreases energy consumption during the day.
  2. Clerestory Roofs allow the natural breeze to flow through the Clerestory Windows. Such ventilation is an optimum result in many such structures.
  3. Less energy consumption is another advantage of designing buildings and structures with Clerestory Roofs.
  4. For daylight to enter the houses or structures, usually a little privacy has to be given up. But when Clerestory Roofs are utilized, privacy is not breached, due to the significant height of the windows. This helps in securing the interior view of the building or structure.
  5. Clerestory Roofs can be installed in buildings or structures where the eye-level view of the outside is not that much pleasing. This way the unpleasant view can be avoided and the pros of Clerestory Roofs can be taken advantage of.
  6. Clerestory Roofs can be installed in buildings or structures where the eye-level view of the outside is open and spacious. This allows the residents to enjoy the pleasant views while also maintaining their privacy.
  7. Clerestory Roofs have a lot less glare when compared to skylights.
  8. The illumination provided by Clerestory Roofs can not be compared to artificial lightings that are used in houses or buildings otherwise.
  9. Clerestory Roofs give more security to residents as opposed to ordinary windows, especially in climates when keeping windows open is regular.
  10. The utilization of Clerestory Roofs satisfies the need of having windows in buildings or structures and thus makes room for other uses of walls inside.
  11. The setup of furniture and other interior accessories becomes easier in places where Clerestory Roofs are installed.
  12. The natural lighting that is provided by Clerestory Roofs brings an aesthetic to the whole place. This improves the atmosphere and results in better humanly functions in general.
  13. Clerestory Roofs can be installed in rooms or structures where outside distraction needs to be avoided. This makes sure that the functions of windows are not compromised while minimizing distractions.
  14. The use and maintenance of drapes or curtains can be escaped completely with the installation of Clerestory Roofs because glare is avoided in this type of setting.
  15. Almost all architectural designs support the building of Clerestory Roof for the daylight and ventilation purpose that it equips the roof with.
  16. The installation of Clestory Roofs is quite famous in small scale construction projects for the airy and spacious value that it adds to the building or structure.

Also Read: What Is the Well Point System? | Types of Well Point System | Advantages & Disadvantages of Well Point System

Cons of Clerestory Roof

Some of Clerestory roof disadvantages are:

  1. Clerestory Roofs can cause the interior to overheat in scorching summers, due to the direct access to sunlight.
  2. Clerestory Roofs are known to play a part in heat loss in harsh winters when the temperature inside the house or building needs to be maintained above the temperature of the outside.
  3. If not installed correctly, the use of Clerestory Roofs can cause unpredictable glare.
  4. The problem of having too much light has been recorded at certain times when structures or buildings are installed with Clerestory Roofs.
  5. The use and operation of drapes or curtains for Clerestory Roof windows is a complicated task.
  6. Even when drapes or curtains are used and maintained, the look and fashion of Clerestory Roofs get mellowed down due to them.
  7. Installation of Clerestory Roof in cold places leads to high electricity usage for the purpose of keeping the interior of the building or structure warm. The property that hot or warm air holds of rising up and escaping out of these glass structures makes Clerestory Roofs unpopular for usage in places that have cold climates most of the year.
  8. The cost of construction of Clerestory Roofs is much more than the cost of construction of standard roofs.

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What Does a Clerestory Roof Cost?

The cost of installing Clerestory Roofing depends on a number of factors. The location of the window, the length of the space which has to be installed with windows, the number of frames to be used for installation, the quality of materials that are utilized like glass, etc. are a few of the factors that need to be taken into consideration.

When the construction of projects has a complicated roof design, the cost of the construction proportionally increases. Taking into consideration of labor and material resources, the cost of Clerestory Roof is distinctly more than the cost of construction of standard roofs.

The cost for the installation of Clerestory Roofs can typically start at roughly $ 800 and can also go up to roughly $1400.

Cost-cutting in the construction of the foundation of any building or structure is not advised as it can compromise the quality and strength of the whole structure in the long run.

Admittedly, the construction of Clerestory Roofs is expensive when compared to a standard roof, but it is seen to be worth the cost when the pros and cons of its construction are measured.

Conclusion of Clerestory Roof

In history, the use of Clerestory Roofs has been recorded to the early Egyptians. In those times, the installation of Clerestory Roof for structures or buildings used to take place using stone slabs.

As of now, the trend of utilizing Clerestory Roofing in architecture has seen a variety of modifications and experiments regarding design and material used. Although an expensive feature to add to the architecture design of any structure or building, the advantages of these roofs are well reasoned and noticeable when compared to a standard roof.

Clerestory Roofs not only are practical for the interior but also beautify the exterior of any building or structure. Even though the installation of Clerestory Roof in architecture is an ancient trend, it is utilized in modern times for its aesthetic properties.

This evergreen trend is still popular and widely used in commercial buildings, offices, and even in residential structures.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Clerestory Roof

A clerestory roof is designed with a vertical wall between two sloping sides. In which, there is a row of windows (or one long, continuous window).

What Is Clerestory?

Clerestory Meaning: In architecture, a clerestory is a high section of wall in which windows are installed above eye level. Its purpose is to install the light, fresh air inside the room.

Clerestory Egypt

Clerestory Define:

The term “clerestory” is applicable to Egyptian temples, where the lighting of the hall of columns was obtained over the stone roofs of the adjoining aisles, through gaps left in the vertical slabs of stone. Clerestory appeared in Egypt at least as early as the Amarna period.

Clerestory Architecture

Clerestory Definition: Clerestory in architecture, any fenestrated (windowed) wall of a room that is carried higher than the surrounding roofs to light the interior space. In a large building, where interior walls are far from the structure’s exterior walls, this method of clerestory lighting otherwise enclosed, windowless spaces became a necessity.

Clerestory Roof Design

Clarestory is based on installing windows in the roof design. Claystory ceilings can be designed symmetrically or asymmetrically. Its design can be like a hipped design or gable roof design. It can be built with the same slope as the roof of the shed in its composition. But this roof is really for those windows installed.

Clearstory definition: the type of house in which the outside wall of a room or building that rises above the side ceiling and in which windows are installed for sunlight.

Clerestory Truss

Clerestory roof truss design can be used to extend the top plane on top of the truss to get more surface area on one side of the roof than on the other.

What Are Clerestory Windows?

Clerestory windows are the ones located above eye level, usually installed to increase the light that enters the room, to assist with air circulation or both.

What Is a Clerestory

In Clerestory Roof architecture, the exterior wall of a room or building rises above the side ceiling and in which windows for sunlight are installed.

Clerestory Windows

Clerestory Windows Definition: clerestory windows roof, the windows are placed higher than on other roofs. Clerestory roofs can deliver more sunlight deeper than normal vertical glazing. Its main function is to deliver daylighting into the room and they provide a method of heating the north walls.

Clerestory Ceiling

In the Clerestory ceiling, the exterior wall of a room or building rises above the side ceiling and in which windows for sunlight are installed.

Celestial Windows

A clerestory window is a large window or series of small windows along the top of a structure’s wall, usually at or near the roof line. Clerestory windows are a type of “fenestration” or glass window placement found in both residential and commercial construction.

How to Build a Clerestory Roof?

Claystory roof construction consists of a wall above a portion of the roof. In which long windows are installed for light to come on.

Claystory is based on installing windows in the roof design. Claystory ceilings can be designed symmetrically or asymmetrically. Its design can be like a hipped design or gable roof design. It can be built with the same slope as the roof of the shed in its composition. But this roof is really for those windows installed.

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