Ultimate design flexibility
Paul Booth, design director for aluminium products at Epwin, explains how Stellar can open up opportunities across retail, self-build and commercial markets.
With most sources predicting an economic downturn, many fabricators and installers are wisely focussing on how to protect their businesses.
This may include looking at diversifying into new sectors to maximise opportunities. However, before adding new systems to your portfolio to extend your market reach, ask yourself what systems have the capacity to appeal across multiple market sectors.
Maximising efficiencies across your business is another important consideration so you can reduce costs and maintain profit margins.
For many aluminium systems, this can be an issue. To achieve the thermal efficiency requirements laid out in last year’s updates to Part L of Building Regulations, many aluminium systems have had to introduce additional complexity, which translates as extra time and cost to the fabricator.
There is one aluminium system that works across multiple sectors and helps you maximise efficiencies, even after the updates to Part L. It’s Stellar from Epwin Window Systems.
Stellar’s unique aesthetics give it appeal across all sectors.
Its slim sightlines means it delivers over and above on the trend for maximising glazing elements and letting natural light flood into a space. The fully flush casement window has flush lines both inside and out, ensuring it offers the ultimate in streamlined aesthetics.
The flush tilt and turn window is the latest addition to the system and it’s perfect for high rise and commercial buildings. Add in the flush door, the lift & slide door and the slimline bi-fold door and you have a complete aluminium system offering with cross-sector appeal.
To illustrate its diversity, consider this. In recent months, 25 Stellar aluminium fully flush casement windows, including a 4.2m high, three section bay window, and five sets of Stellar flush doors, were specified for the high-end refurbishment of a five-bedroom detached home in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.
At the same time, in Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, 16 Stellar flush casement windows were installed in Victoria Lodge, a day service for adults with learning disabilities and older people. Both projects appreciated the design aesthetics of Stellar but the improvement in thermal efficiency was equally as important to both sectors too.
Here at Epwin, we designed Stellar from scratch with a clear remit to be as easy to fabricate and fit as a PVC-U system. There are a couple of features that stand out.
It uses patented knock in beads (rather than wedge gaskets), which makes glazing quicker and easier. This adds value to installers looking to make efficiencies. It also makes it suitable for self-builders wanting aluminium windows in their property.
The patented reverse butt joint also offers multiple benefits.
It means no dummy sashes or reverse adaptor profiles are needed so it delivers internally glazed windows without the extra, chunky sashes. It also saves up to 30% on profile, which means Stellar is less resource-intensive than other aluminium systems.
Perhaps more importantly, especially following the updates to Part L, it’s more thermally efficient by design and its thermal breaks can be upgraded to meet the demands of thermal regulations that will only get stricter over time.
We originally developed Stellar as a retail system but there’s been a surge of interest for its use in commercial applications since last year’s changes because of this. Quite simply, Stellar windows achieve the requirements of Part L with double glazed units without the need for complicated workarounds that add extra time and cost.
To illustrate the difference the patented feature makes, Epwin certified two GGF 2.2 windows. The first was a Stellar window constructed with a dummy sash. The second was a Stellar window constructed using the patented reverse butt joint. The reverse butt jointed window achieved a calculated improvement of 0.1W/(m2K) over the dummy sash variant – a significant difference.
So, if you’re looking for an aluminium system with cross-sector appeal and that’s as easy to fabricate and fit as PVC-U, even now there are more stringent requirements in place, look no further than Stellar.