Duration Windows

For more information visit us at Duration.co.uk

Friday 6 November 2015

Changes To The 'Approved Document Q - Security - Dwellings'

The current edition of ‘Approved Document Q - Security – Dwellings’ supports requirement Q1 of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010. Requirement Q 1 applies only in relation to new dwellings and provides that reasonable provision must be made to resist unauthorised access to any dwelling; and any part of a building from which access can be gained to a flat within the building. The approved document sets out reasonable standards for doors and windows to resist physical attack by a casual or opportunist burglar by being both sufficiently robust and fitted with appropriate hardware.

Changes coming into effect in October 2015

The new ‘Approved Document Q’, came into effect on 1st October 2015 for use in England*. All window and door products that are installed into New Dwellings, must now comply with the new higher security standards. This does not however, apply to work started before 1st October 2015, or work subject to a building notice, full plans application or initial notice submitted before that date - provided the work is started on site before 1st October 2016. Document Q also does not apply to New Build Extensions, Replacement & Refurbishment Projects or Commercial Projects.

How To Ensure That You Comply

In order to comply all easily accessible windows should be made to PAS 24 standards and all easily accessible doorsets, which allow access to be gained into the dwelling must either meet the security requirements of PAS 24 or be designed and manufactured in accordance with specific standards outlined in document Q. Specifying doors or windows with equivalent or better standards is also acceptable.

Who Is Liable If Products Do Not Comply

If you are building a new dwelling or are having a new dwelling built for you; It is your responsibility as the company or person(s) ordering the new windows and doors to ensure that that you specify that all applicable windows and doors are to comply with the new Approved Document Q requirements. The supplier of the products will not be familiar with your project and will not know where the windows and doors are to be installed. It is the suppliers responsibility to ensure that if you order Doc. Q compliant products that they supply comply, and are fully tested and certified.

Doc. Q was only introduced in October 2015 and currently many products do not and cannot comply with these new higher security requirements, and are now simply not suitable for use in these applications. Some products may be able to comply, but do not comply as standard. So unless you specify that the windows and doors you have ordered need to comply to the new Doc Q. security standards and request certificates to prove that they comply, there is no guarantee that they will. Even as more and more window and door systems are tested and improved in order to comply with these new tougher regulations you can not simply assume that the windows and doors that you order comply.

Friday 25 July 2014

The War Of The WER’s?

Over the last four years there have been many articles written about Window Energy Ratings. Some singing the praises of the new simplified system, with which consumers and specifiers can easily compare competing products. They talk about how using a simple and easy to understand ranking and labelling system makes buying new windows far less daunting for the average homeowner. They also talk about how energy efficient windows will save you money on your household bills and can even put heat back into your home by means of solar gain.

On the flip side other parties have written about the failings and limitations of the Window Energy Ratings and believe that these new ratings are simply made up rubbish aimed at trapping the general public into believing that one window is vastly superior to any another just because of its energy rating. They state that Window Energy Ratings provide no true measurement for energy performance, and urging people not to be duped by the British Fenestration Rating Council, and their WER Scheme. They call the WER system just another double glazing sales trick and a way to increase competition and profit margin within the glass fabrication industry. One blog even referred to WER’s as ‘The Emperors New Cloths’.

Many people are concerned that the potential energy savings, and reduction in CO2 emissions may not be fully realised due to the ambiguous nature of these WER calculations, but many also believe that overall they are a step in the right direct and stop so called ‘cowboy double glazing’ firms from specifying outdated products with compliant double glazed sealed units. 

The facts about Window Energy Ratings

In October 2010 the WER rating scheme was introduced as a new method by, which windows could comply with the Building Regulations. It was made mandatory for all companies within the window industry to test and rate their products, if they wanted to be a part of it. Since it was in many cases easier to achieve the minimum WER ‘C’ than the minimum U value of 1.6, now required by the Building Regulations, many companies did exactly this. The ratings are much the same as white goods, used to prove the energy efficiency of a product. Windows are rated A to G, and contrary to popular opinion a D - G rated window could still comply to the building regulations so long as it had a U value of 1.6 w/m²k or lower. Window Energy Ratings are an alternative method of compliancy, to the humble U value, but how can a window be energy efficient if it doesn’t consume energy in the form of gas or electricity? Its all very confusing isn’t it.

Even now years later many people still do not understand Window Energy Ratings, what they are and confuse them with thermal efficiency (U values) and even believe that they provide a measure of manufacture quality or security. Some people even talk about A rated glass, which is simply a term used in the industry to describe a sealed unit with a certain specification. This specification will in most cases (but not all cases) result in an overall Window Energy Rating of ‘A’, so it kind of makes sense. But glass cannot itself have a Window Energy Rating and this sort of terminology or industry slag, muddies the water and further increases ignorance and confusion.

But what purpose do Window Energy Ratings serve, if any? What are they, and how are they calculated?

If you are confused about Window Energy Ratings, We Can Help?

We have devoted an entire section of our website, in an attempt to clarify and answer exactly this. If you wish to get to the bottom of the Window Energy Rating scheme then it’s a very good and unbiased view to Window Energy Ratings. It will provide you with just the facts; without any speculation into Government Agenda and the glass fabrication industry. Nor does it try to use WER’s as a tool to try and sell you new energy efficient windows. We believe that it is certainly worth reading before you decide to buy yourself some new windows.

Read More »

Our Download Our Window Energy Rating Guide » 

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Composite Aluminium / Timber Windows

Creating sustainable, energy efficient buildings is the cornerstone of most architectural designs. That is why Duration Windows is now offering a new range of Duratherm composite windows. They combine the advantages, long life and low maintenance of aluminium externally - with all the warmth and natural beauty of timber internally.

These composite windows are environmentally friendly and fully compliant with BS ENISO 9001, BS EN ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards. Designed and manufactured within the UK, they are made from 100% PEFC UK accredited timber and 100% recyclable aluminium. That’s wood accredited by The Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. They are thermally efficient and exceed all current standards, making them an ideal solution for both new-build and refurbishment projects. It’s the best of both worlds.

Internally, this Hybrid system features either natural or painted timber. There is a choice between either natural spruce or traditional oak woods, or spruce timber painted in a large range of water based paints. Externally, it comes in a choice of polyester powder painted aluminium - virtually any RAL colour in either a gloss, satin or matt finish. A silver anodised external finish is also available. 

There is a wide selection of hardware options, including advanced security options, performance tested to BS7950.  These windows are highly thermally efficient, achieving fantastic U values inline with the current building regulations and excellent weather ratings in accordance with the requirements of British Standards. 

The Duratherm range is renowned for combining strong sustainability benefits with proven, effective design innovations.

Edit: Please note we no longer offer this product due to a lack of interest and commercial viability (i.e. they were very expensive). Although we no longer sell this product we would recommend a visit to the website of 'The Greener Window Company' who continue to sell composite windows. 

Monday 15 July 2013

What is 'A Rated' Glass?

Whether you are a domestic customer or trade customer you may have heard the term 'A Rated Glass' being used. There is however no such thing.

This term is becoming frequently used in the uPVC industry to describe a glass specification that will allow a window to achieve an 'A' rating. The actual glass specification they are referring to is:-

4mm Clear Float - 20mm Argon Gas Filled Spacer (90%) with Swiss V (or similar) Thermal Spacer Bar - 4mm Low-e (softcoat). This glass make-up achieves a centre pane U-value of 1.2 W/m2K.

In the majority of uPVC window systems this glass allows the window to achieve an Window Energy Rating of A, hence why it is being increasingly referred to as 'A Rated Glass'. Unfortunately, it does not always result in an overall A rating when Glazed into window systems and it is becoming more and more confusing for the end customer and trade alike.

The Window Energy Rating (WER) system applies only to windows, it also only applies to the window as a whole. Individual components cannot themselves have a window energy rating, i.e. the glass or frames.

This so called 'A Rated' glass specification we use as standard for the majority of our products. Using this so called ‘A’ Rated glass in one of our aluminium Smarts 47 windows (for example), achieves an overall 'C' Rating. Although this is still fully compliant with current building regulations, it may not be what the customer is expecting.

Find out more about WER’s here: http://www.duration.co.uk/Window-Energy-Ratings.asp

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Internally or Externally Glazed

The glazing bead is the aluminium profile that secures the sealed units (or glass) into the aluminium window frame or opening vent. When inserting glass into a window system (often referred to as Glazing the window) the glazing bead and wedge gaskets are the last pieces of the window that you fix into place. Some windows are externally glazed (also known as “externally beaded”), while some are internally glazed (also known as “internally beaded”). Some window systems will use a mix of internally glazed and internally glazed sections within a single window.

There have been many arguments over the years as to whether internally glazed or externally glazed windows are better for security. With people using arguments such as: “If you glazed a window from the outside then you can de-glaze it from the outside. Therefore externally beaded windows cannot possibly be secure.” Along with counter arguments such as “Internally beaded PVC windows can simply have their glass units forced in”.

The majority of people in the industry once considered externally glazed windows to be less secure. This is simply due to the fact that internally glazed windows were developed, introduced and advertised as the more secure option. This is no longer the case due to the fact that the majority of externally glazed windows use modern technology, which means that the external glazing beads simply cannot be removed without removing the internal wedge gasket first.

The simple fact is that both internally beaded and externally beaded aluminium windows are secure and the industry standard tests are there to prove it. Therefore if a window system can pass these tests they are deemed to be secure. If a window can pass the British Standard 7950 and also the Police Preferred Secured by Design Standard, it is considered to be highly secure. So in the absence of any other even more stringent tests and standards, which should you choose, Internal or external glazed?

Key Points About Internally Beaded Windows:
  • Can make installation far easier by allowing the installer to fit the frame from inside the building, without the need for scaffolding.
  • Once considered to be more secure than externally beaded windows, however due to modern technology and the strength of aluminium, externally beaded aluminium windows are just as secure.
Key Points About Externally Beaded Windows:
  • Externally beaded can provide a slimmer sight-line than internally beaded.
  • From inside, the window may look neater as there are no bead lines.
Both external and internal beads on a single window:
Often you will find that a window system will mix internal and external beads on a single window. This is generally due to the fixed lites being externally glazed. Windows that do not open (otherwise known as fixed lites) are generally glazed from the outside directly into the window frame. Therefore, a window which is made up of an opening sash next to a fixed pane - would be internally beaded on the opening vents and externally beaded on the fixed pane. This gives the best looks and slimmest sight-lines. If you wish to have internally glazed through-out your windows you would normally have to opt for dummy sashes or a double beaded window frame. Dummy sashes provide equal sight-lines, as all the fixed lites are created by fixing opening vents into the outerframe, and are internally glazed.

Visit www.duration.co.uk for more information on glass and glazing.

Monday 29 April 2013

Lower Your Energy Bills By Specifying Planitherm SGG

Saint-Gobain’s Planitherm glass is proven to be one of the most energy efficient glasses available in the UK.  Planitherm is a new generation energy saving window glass that uses an advanced ‘softcoat’ coating that helps to retain more of the internal warmth whilst capturing free energy from natural daylight (known as passive solar heat gain). This equates to lower energy bills compared to windows with standard glass. By specifying Planitherm in your windows you can cut your energy bills by as much as 28%*. All glass has a slight tint, however Planitherm products are almost completely clear and maximise the amount of natural light coming in.

Saint-Gobain is the largest supplier of high performance low-emissivity (or low-e) glass’s in Europe, and is one of Pilkington’s largest competitors here in the UK. Planitherm glass is not a new product; it has been available and manufactured in the UK since 2004. Duration Windows have been supplying Planitherm Total+ for many years. However since 2010 when Window Energy Ratings (WER’s) became part of the revised more stringent part L of the Building regulations, we have been supplying Planitherm glass as our standard double glazed sealed unit for the majority of our aluminium windows and doors.

This glass is designed specifically to to keep interiors more comfortable in the winter months and improve your home's energy efficiency. It is far easier to achieve a Window Energy Rating (WER) of ‘A’ when using Planitherm Glass, as it provides high solar gain, capturing free energy from natural daylight. Window Energy Ratings provide an outline or overall value for how energy efficient a window is and are an alternative to thermal efficiency (U-values) for compliance to the building regulations. WER’s are calculated by offsetting the heat loss through a window against the solar gain through the glass. Window energy ratings were introduced to the building regulations to try and help to reduce CO2 emissions and protect the environment. The ratings range from A to G with a C-rating being the minimum rating required for compliance with current Building Regulations (Alternatively an overall U-value of 1.6 is required).
Find Out More About Window Energy Ratings.

The Planitherm range can be combined with many Saint-Gobain Glass products, providing a multitude of high performance of high performance, multi-functional glazing options, inculding:
  • Self-cleaning and/or solar control glazing
  • Acoustic insulation
  • Safety and security
  •  Obscured and/or decorative glazing

Planitherm products are the ideal low-e solution. Not only do SGG Planitherm products allow free heat and light from the sun to pass through the glass and warm your home, but they have a transparent metallic coating that reflects heat from radiators or fires back into the room, rather than allowing it to escape through the windows. This further contributes to the energy efficiency of your windows. The thermal insulation provided by low-E double glazing is three times more efficient than that of standard hard coat double glazing, such as Pilkington’s K glass. The coating is permanent and hermetically sealed within the glass unit so will last the lifetime of the window. Of course all old, uncoated, double glazing offers a limited level of heat retention. However, Building Regulations now state that an energy efficient window glass must be used in all replacement windows. A double glazed unit containing Planitherm is on average 40% more thermally efficient than standard non-coated double glazing.

Reasons why we use Planitherm Glass products:
  • Free Solar Gain - Planitherm uses advanced coating technology to capture free energy from natural daylight, helping to heat your property.
  • Thermal Insulation - The advanced coating reflects heat back into the room, meaning less energy is needed to heat the home to the desired temperature.
  • Optimal Window Energy Rating - Planitherm combines with virtually any window frame to achieve a Window Energy Rating (WER) of C and an A rating is easier to achieve allowing for easy compliance to the Building Regulations.
  • Haze & Tint Free Windows - Planitherm maximises the amount of natural light into the home, without the haze or tint effects associated with older double glazed windows.
  • Eliminate Condensation - Planitherm helps to virtually eliminate internal condensation, reducing draughts and cold spots in and around the windows. 

For more information on the glass we use as standard, the glass we offer as upgrades and glass specification please visit our website at www.duration.co.uk

*Savings calculated using the GGF energy savings calculator based on upgrading from single glazing to A-rated double-glazed windows in an average gas heated detached house.

Thursday 21 February 2013

Aluminium Quad Trim

In our efforts to help our customers Duration Windows now offer a fully aluminium quad trim which can be colour matched and used with our extensive product range.
Visual representation of our new ali quad trim

This new quad trim promises to help you finish your install to a high, clean and professional standard. When you have completed installing one of Duration Windows aluminium products, mastic and seal around the edge between the product and wall then simply apply the aluminium quad trim using the tape attached. The sealant you applied will then adhere to the trim and provide a firm grip with a perfect visual finish guaranteed to satisfy your customers. With our trim being colour matched to the product this also eliminates having to use a silicone that does not coordinate (for example if the product is red) and provides a quick and perfect finish. 

For more information visit our website: http://www.duration.co.uk/Aluminium-Quad-Trim.asp

Or call the office: 01268 681612