We’re ready with 76

Andrew Charlesworth
Andrew Charlesworth

There’s been debate about deeper product platforms and the 2025 Future Homes Standard (FHS) explains Andrew Charlesworth, technical director of profine UK and Kömmerling. Typically, new system development takes 18 months from concept to commercial reality. Which begs the question, who’s ready for the future?

The aim of the UK is to be carbon zero by 2050, which will require a huge change in specification of both private and public dwellings.

We could well see hydrogen boilers and a mass adoption of air source pumps, along with solar PV and even alternative fuels. The fact is, change is inevitable, and as an industry we need to be well placed not only to survive, but to thrive on the opportunities that this will bring.

The heating and powering of buildings accounts for 30% of the UK’s total energy usage and so I cannot under emphasise the importance of the Future Homes Standard (FHS) which will become mandatory in 2025. The goal of this is to ensure that new homes built from 2025 onwards will produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes built under the current Building Regulations.

So, with so much change likely to happen in the next few years, merely hoping that 70mm systems will suffice is a risky strategy and while several of the European systems houses may well have 76mm or equivalent platforms in the tilt and turn guise, we need a casement solution. After all, this type of window is very much part of our cultural heritage.

Our UK specific Kömmerling 76mm window and door system has been around for two years now and it shares a common product platform with our core European System 76, so there’s a full range of glazing options and ancillaries, along with a number of foiled options, which are perfectly presented in our newly re-branded 2023 colour programme.

This platform has been designed with triple glazing in mind from the outset and we’ve also re-introduced a centre seal to further improve performance. Within the UK variant of 76, we have both casement and flush casement options, the latter also featuring a flush internal face, allowing us to keep the energy efficiency benefits of a 6/7 chambered 76mm flush sash profile and to ensure that it can adopt 48mm triple glazing with standard beading options.

With a 48mm triple glazed unit we can achieve a U-value of 0.78 W/(m2K) with a casement, 0.80 W/(m2K) with the flush and 0.84 W/(m2K) with a tilt and turn window, all with steel reinforcing. There are also a number of residential and double door options within this important product platform.

Additionally, there’s also the impressive lift and slide PremiDoor 76 within this product platform which can take triple glazed units up to 50mm and achieve spans up to 6m and to 2.6m in height with an installation depth of 179mm. Collectively, we can state that our 76mm platform is one of the most complete PVC-U window and door systems in the sector.

As a group, we’ve a huge £multi-million investment in 76 and the expectation is that the industry will have to develop deeper product platforms in time. We’ve made this commitment early to ensure that our manufacturing partners and installers have a choice now. We also have an 88mm platform that’s suitable for Passivhaus applications in white and all foils to fall back on for even better product performance characteristics as Passivhaus standards of construction get increasingly more specified.

Yet, through lobbying and a diligent process to revisions in the building regulations, I’m confident that the industry will thrive in the years to come, becoming a major contributor to carbon zero. So, we’re fully ready with 76, as are the Kömmerling manufacturing and installation partners from across the UK – but what’s your next move?