Don’t put off the inevitable

Mark Hickox
Mark Hickox

Meeting the thermal requirements of the new Future Homes Standard will likely require the widespread use of triple glazing, which presents significant opportunities for sealed unit manufacturers, argues Thermoseal’s sales director Mark Hickox.

To comply with the Future Homes Standard, due in 2025, windows and doors with a glazed area of more than 60% going into newbuild homes will need U-values of 0.8W/m2K or lower.

While the standard helps the government meet its net zero carbon target by 2050, it places a significant burden on window designers and fabricators as already high performing products will have to perform even better.

“We’ve known that these performance requirements were on the cards for some time,” says Thermoseal’s sales director Mark Hickox. “So, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that the different elements that make up a window will have to perform better, including the sealed unit. And because the best performing double glazed units can’t achieve anything lower than a 1.0W/m2K, then an increase in demand for triple glazing is almost certain.”

According to Mark, the window industry has typically shied away from triple glazing, which has slowed down the take-up of the better performing sealed units.

“We managed to talk ourselves out of using triple glazing to manufacture better thermally performing windows, in favour of ‘clever doubles’,” Mark says. “Companies were put off by the extra resources that would be required for triple glazing, along with the extra weight and the need for more robust hardware.

“And, actually, that was fine while window U-values remained above 1.4W/m2K, but we are now getting to a point where the only way to achieve lower U-values with British window designs is with triple glazed units.”

The key to meeting this increased demand in 2025, Mark explains, is down to preparation. Thermoseal is already undergoing a period of investment, which will allow it to manufacture and distribute different spacer widths in greater quantities, alongside other components such as corner keys and desiccant.

“Our most popular width of Thermobar is 20mm for a standard double glazed unit,” Mark said. “We are installing new lines and storage facilities to manufacture and distribute Thermobar in 12mm, 14mm and 16mm widths in preparation for the increase in demand for triple glazing.”

According to Thermoseal’s figures, Thermobar is the glazing industry’s most popular warm edge spacer bar. Manufactured and distributed from its modern new facility in Wigan, Thermobar can be cut and joined with corner keys, and is PassivHaus approved thanks to it ultra-low thermal values.

Thermoseal also manufactures Thermoflex flexible spacer bar from the same site, and has recently invested in a third twin-strand extruder, which can produce all thicknesses including 4.8mm, 6.3mm and 7.3mm, and air spaces up to 28mm in twin strand. And because it is quicker than the company’s existing equipment, it can produce more than double the quantity of product per shift on certain product types.

From Wigan, Thermoseal also supplies a range of other products required for the manufacture of sealed units, including corner keys, desiccant, primary and secondary sealant, and cloth tape. All components are tested at the company’s laboratory before distribution, guaranteeing that they all work together effectively for a long-lasting sealed unit.

“There are still two years before the new Future Homes Standard comes into force, but we need to be prepared for the changes now,” Mark says. “Some of our customers are already making the necessary changes to their operations, because ordering new equipment and adapting existing procedures takes time, and it’s not the sort of thing you want to leave until the last minute.

“Those companies that prepare now will be the ones ready to take on the extra work when the new legislation comes into force. Our team of experienced area sales managers are happy to help you on that journey, and can advise you on equipment, production methods, and automated or manual production options – you’ll find that we are not biased to any specific type of insulated glass production because we manufacture or supply all types!

“If you are geared up to make triple glazed units, with the right suppliers behind you, then the Future Homes Standard in 2025 could effectively double your order book.”

Thermoseal Group Limited
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