Going all out for aluminium

At this year’s FIT Show, Prefix Systems launched two aluminium window systems and the striking new contemporary UrbanRoom. Co-director Chris Cooke highlights his vision for complete aluminium glazed structures.

Yet again the FIT Show perfectly highlighted the increased importance for aluminium windows, doors and roofs, with the vast majority of systems well represented. Aluminium is certainly enjoying a renaissance and taking share from PVCU and not just dominating in bifolding doors, as we are seeing growth with patio doors and in other types of installations. We’re also experiencing greater adoption in full-height glazing.

Aluminium offers a noticable means of difference in terms of slimmer sightlines, greater size capabilities and the near limitless range of colours and finishes, as we have enjoyed with the Smart Systems Sensations range. For over six years we have been manufacturing aluminium from our dedicated manufacturing facility in south Wales, headed up by Adrian Williams.

But where next for aluminium? The FIT Show provided us with the perfect opportunity to launch two window systems and a new contemporary glazed roof, all in aluminium. We’re positioning ourselves to be ahead of the curve in terms of product development for the extended living space market, as our recent successes with the Opus hybrid system has also shown, in terms of complete aluminium structures.

We have already been offering full height glazing, along with patio and bifolding doors for several years, but the introduction of the UrbanRoom is a very important statement that the conservatory market hasn’t died per se, more that it’s being reinvented.

As we have stated in our marketing for years, the conservatory is evolving. This new contemporary solution benefits from an aluminium ultraSky roof, with slimline ridge, deep section glazing bars internally and cloaked externally with our contemporary deep section gutter shroud.

UrbanRoom is being promoted as a complete kit, with a single delivery direct to site. Full height glazing, with aluminium as a material, is both back on trend from the perspective of consumers. The influence of urban design is also something that we are experiencing across the home improvement sector generally, as consumers look to adopt contemporary designs on other product categories such as composite doors where colours such as anthracite grey dominate.

While the UrbanRoom fully reflects contemporary living, conversely, some of the other latest window systems from Smart Systems are inspired by period design, which will satisfy the demand by consumers looking for orangery type products. Most notable is the VS 600 sliding sash window, which has been carefully engineered with slimline aluminium profiles, bolstered by hardware from Caldwell.

The VS 600 is perfect for heritage and conservation areas and, given the opportunities for many different RAL colours, can be used for a multitude of applications, including glazed extensions, orangeries and conservatories. The use of slimline aluminium profiles was also perfectly represented on our stand at the FIT Show with a double door set and windows from the Alitherm Heritage 47 system.

Heritage 47 has a front to back dimension of just 47mm and replicates the same slim sightlines of traditional steel windows. It’s also available with either a storm or flush casement, ensuring building specifiers and consumers have more choice.

Prefix Systems is steeped in history with roofing systems, but our knowledge of vertical glazing is equally as impressive. With four branches serving the entire UK, and a customer base of over 500 important partners, we appreciate the needs of the marketplace early, which will serve us well for the future development of our aluminium portfolio.