Improved performance through design
Over the last 20 years we have seen PVCU frame depths increase from 60mm to an industry standard 70mm with little innovation. Today, with deeper frame depths we can achieve Uw-values under 0.80W/m2K, yet with beautiful aesthetics thanks to The Residence Collection, according to sales and marketing director Sarah Hitchings.
Twenty years ago, some industry commentators were predicting the death of the window industry given the anticipated lifespans of PVCU windows. Yet, today the market for replacement windows remains relatively buoyant with the product life cycle extended with new designs, better energy efficiency and more robust security.
PVCU has proven to be the material of choice for the replacement window market, and while aluminium has made a renaissance, it still hasn’t got any way near in terms of sales traction; despite the advancements in aluminium system design, the material doesn’t offer the same energy efficiency credentials as PVCU, and while it is the overwhelmingly dominant material for bifolding doors, work still needs to be done in terms of reducing U-values.
Similarly, timber windows in general don’t perform as well as PVCU given the nature of materials used and typical window design, not to mention the requirement for ongoing maintenance. Yet the PVCU window market has failed for decades in developing anything that has a similar look and feel, until relatively recently.
The introduction of Residence 9 (or R9) was the introduction of a new genre, and what now is widely regarded as the only true timber casement alternative window. With a front to back dimension of 100mm and nine chambers, it’s a system platform that not only replicates the exact sightline of a traditional 19th century window, but offers a number of unique benefits.
The system accepts double and triple glazing as standard and we’ve produced simulations showing that a window can achieve a Uw-value under 0.80W/m2K, the standard for Passivhaus applications. The era for draughty timber windows that hemorrhaged heat is hopefully behind us, as we look to cut household costs and with it help reduce our respective carbon footprint.
R9 has also been hugely influential in the emergence of the PVCU flush sash market, yet many of these windows – due to their compromised design – perform worse than a typical casement window, and so while the design satisfies some, the energy efficiency credentials will satisfy none.
But while R9 is distinctly aimed at one market segment, R2 is very much the new contemporary kid on the block. It’s been described by some as more aluminium than aluminium, given its bold square profile and complementing glazing beads, and is the only PVCU window of its kind in the market.
It shares the same dimensions as R9 yet with chalk white, vintage cream and the number 38 grey as unfoiled options, but it’s beautifully wrapped up with true contemporary appeal.
The sibling system of R9 is R7, which can be used as a replacement for a typical 70mm window yet with the benefit of a flush finish inside and out. It’s also been designed this way from the outset and so this window outperforms 70mm flush sash windows from an energy efficiency point of view, with the design options of three distinct glazing beads.
All window systems within The Residence Collection have an appeal to different consumers depending upon their taste and property type. Given the shared profiles and beads, it’s easy for manufacturers to stock everything, especially as there’s the opportunity for single length profile ordering and small glazing bead packs.
There’s also the reassurance that all of our flush sash windows have been designed this way from the outset and with outstanding energy efficiency credentials in mind.
We’ve brought outstanding PVCU system design to market that’s loved by consumers and we can boast strong environmental credentials and outstanding levels of enhanced energy efficiencies.