Ultimate weather performance

Rehau product manager Clare Higgins discusses the Rio Flush Fit Window, and its weather performance capabilities in line with the current construction landscape.

In the modern construction context, windows are tested for weather performance and efficiency in three main areas: water tightness, airtightness and wind resistance. Independent bodies test new products in these areas before putting out into the market.

Today, the modern homeowner is more informed and therefore often aware of the basic requirements a product must meet to pass building regulations. Therefore, manufacturers across the globe take every step to develop and test products to ensure they meet, or exceed, the required performance standards.

The weather ratings of a window can sometimes be overlooked as a nice to have instead of a necessity for homeowners. It’s not just about having any window that simply appears to do its job, but it is vital that we help homeowners select the right one that has passed testing and has proven to deliver positive results.

Since its launch earlier this year the Rio Flush Fit window has gained popularity, owing to its sophisticated styling and sleek and seamless appearance. As with all Rehau products, safety, security and longevity have taken prevalence, but homeowners can benefit from the enhanced noise reduction, ease of maintenance, and high energy efficiency and weather performance ratings of the Rio profile.

As such, during its development phases, Rehau went above and beyond to ensure the Rio profile exceeded the industry standards in every aspect of window performance, including its weather performance characteristics. The window was tested numerous times at Rehau’s very own weather test rig. The product was tested with various different gaskets to ensure the window was fitted with the best seal possible. Rio was also developed taking into consideration possible legislative changes that could come into effect in future years.

The product performed exceedingly well under all BS standards, including the BS 6375 series – an industry test on the performance of windows and doors. The product passed with flying colours yielding results only few in the market have been able to achieve. Its air permeability passed at 600 pascal, wind resistance exposure passed at 2,400 pascal, and its water tightness passed with a whopping 1,050 pascal.

These results stem from the design and development of the Rio window, which boasts a bespoke corner gasket requiring no welding, has cleaner lines and therefore no risk of delaminating – factors which contribute to the air, wind and water tightness capabilities of a window.

There is often a misconception in the industry that casement windows offer better weather performance characteristics when compared to flush fit windows owing to the placement of the seals in the product. However, this is far from the truth – both offer the same level of weather performance and help retain warmth while excluding noise and moisture. The design and discreet positioning of the seal in the Rio window does not hinder its performance in any way or detract from its authentic appearance.

Having a window with superior weather ratings will also improve the energy efficiency of a home, reduce one’s carbon footprint and keep energy bills low. Increased energy efficiency can be achieved by reducing air leakage and heat loss through windows, retaining thermal energy and boosting insulation effectiveness – factors Rehau is proud to deliver through its new Rio Flush Fit window.

What’s more, the new Rio Flush Fit design is simple to manufacture and fit as it uses Rehau’s existing Total70 system profiles. By using the same eurogroove positioning as existing Total70 sashes, production requires minimal extra hardware and stockholding investment.

The product is therefore fully recyclable at the end of its life, effectively creating a closed loop of material use and in turn contributes towards the sustainability and overall energy efficiency of a home.

Ongoing climatic changes indicate that energy efficient and sustainable homes will become increasingly important in government agendas across the world. Manufacturers, installers, fabricators and homeowners alike will do well to consider the right window with the right weather ratings that contribute towards a win-win solution to make a home comfortable at a lower environmental and economic cost.