Future proof doors

Asa McGillian
Asa McGillian

The future statutory requirements for the performance of replacement entrance doors is subject to much speculation but it is clear that the emphasis on energy efficiency will increase. Doormaker Apeer says it is covering all the bases, right now.

With an impressive 0.51 W/m2K for its Residence Door Collection by Apeer, there has never been a clearer statement of intent from any door manufacturer.

Launched at last year’s FIT Show, the range was developed with upmarket window systems company The Residence Collection, to present the ultimate residential door for those homeowners that expect the highest performance. These doors prove just what is possible now, whilst also offering a glimpse of the future.

Whilst the Residence Door Collection by Apeer has a clearly defined, upmarket customer in mind, likely increases in statutory requirements will ensure that significantly better U values for all residential doors will be required within the next two to five years. And Apeer is taking the opportunity to send a message to the wider market that this is what we can do right now.

Let’s put this in context: the current requirement of Approved Document L of the Building Regulations for composite resi-doors is a U value of 1.4 W/m2K, whilst the Passive House Institute sets 0.89 W/m2K or better. Although there is no evidence of what future changes to the Building Regulations might require of the RMI sector beyond two years’ time, Apeer and its partner The Residence Collection should feel quietly confident that they are ahead of the game.

Nonetheless, whilst the Residence Door Collection might be regarded as over-engineered within other market sectors, Apeer has developed products at every performance point in the form of 44mm, and 70mm format doors, to satisfy each price and performance niche.

Never allowing grass to grow under its feet, the firm’s research & development department has applied the aesthetic surface coating technology developed for the Silka range with many of the high-performance characteristics that have contributed towards The Residence Door Collection, to the creation of a brand new range of high performance residential doors for the broader market. Named The Kärben Hybrid Aluminium Entrance Door Collection, the somewhat lengthy title does well to sum up what this range of doors is all about.

Believed to be one of the first residential entrance doors ever to use carbon fibre in its construction, Kärben uses the ultra-strong yet light weight material as reinforcement, presented as a set in a Silka aluminium frame. Thus Kärben’s unique, fine texture belies the toughness and thermal performance of the range, with U-values as low as 1.1 W/m2K.

Comprising 16 different designs, the Kärben door range benefits from a Thermafill core for excellent energy efficiency and security, as well as the carbon fibre reinforcement, which is well established in such hi-tech industries such as aircraft and Formula 1 racing car manufacture, because it is stronger than steel whilst also being significantly lighter. Used in entrance doors it is designed to prevent deformation and warping, whilst also bolstering security.

Kärben uses Apeer’s own proven, glass fibre skins with a high-strength pultruded sub-frame sealing the high density insulating polyurethane Thermafill core. Options include triple and quadruple sealed glass units with 60mm, 65mm and 68mm formats, depending on the door style.

Installers may also offer their customers additional security features including the latest Mila Pro Secure hinges on each door and GU automatic locks, all backed by PAS 24 accreditation and Secured By Design specifications. Full sidelights are on offer too, which are triple glazed as standard for additional energy and security performance.

Asa McGillian, Apeer’s managing director, admits The Residence Door Collection and Kärben, especially, are products of an unwavering belief in and pursuit of the ideals of the Passive House Institute, the renowned independent research body responsible for setting so many of the energy efficiency ideals for buildings: “Passive House standards have always shaped my goals for the development of our products,” he says. “And now, more than ever in an increasingly more energy efficient market, this philosophy is paying dividends, enabling our customers to enjoy an advantage, with doors that offer class leading energy efficiency at a range of price points.”