A new flush generation
Clare Higgins, product manager at Rehau, explains how modern life influenced the design of Rio Flush Fit, and why versatility is crucial for fabricators and installers.
Long gone are the days when window decisions are made based on either functionality or aesthetics. Consumers of today want it all. They want their windows to be beautiful, yet energy efficient; they want them to be safe, yet quick to install.
All this needs to be considered alongside the commercial concerns of installers and fabricators. This is why versatility has to sit at the heart of window design in the future, and why it did with our latest range: Rio Flush Fit.
When we first conducted extensive market research across the timber, aluminium and PVCU markets, we identified a clear opportunity for a possible 1.9 million properties with flush fit casements. Our customers had also been requesting a flush fit casement window from us for some time. However, we were keen to ensure that what we developed would exceed all expectations and not only extend our customers’ Rehau portfolio, but help grow their businesses and add value throughout the chain.
By engaging selected customers and consultants in the design stages, we were able to produce a series of prototypes. This enabled Rio Flush Fit to be completely optimised for the market’s needs.
In today’s political and economic climate, capex decisions are being halted due to uncertainty. In such a situation we know fabricators don’t want to be making huge investments in new machinery and equipment to diversify their offering.
What’s smart about Rio Flush Fit’s design is that, while it is simply a flush sash profile, it is simple to manufacture and fit as it uses Rehau’s existing Total70 system profiles. By using the same eurogroove positioning as existing Total70 sashes, production requires minimal extra hardware and stockholding investment by fabricators.
The internet has changed so much about our lives that it’s hard to imagine a time without it. And, just like many other industries, the home improvement market is more competitive than ever due to technological advancements and consumer savviness. This is why fabricators and installers need to be able to cater for a wide variety of needs. Not only has Rio Flush Fit entered the market as a challenger product to other timber and aluminium alternatives, it also offers real competitive advantage for fabricators and installers.
People also want value for money these days; they want the look and feel of a specialist product without the price tag. For homeowners that do opt for a real timber alternative, Rehau’s authentic wood effect foil, Turner Oak (Woodec), means Rio Flush Fit is difficult to distinguish from natural wood by realistically reflecting its deeply embossed surface and matt top layer.
Developing a window that caters for all these modern life influences has certainly not been without its challenges. It has taken hard work and research to offer something that can provide true benefits at every level of the supply chain. We are proud to offer the simplicity and versatility of the Rio Flush Fit, which makes it an easy extension to an existing suite of profiles.