Glazed walls are here to stay, and the frames are disappearing fast with Fakro’s large spans
Much has changed in door and window technology over the past 20 years and this is reflected in the increasing popularity of features such as large span roof windows and bi-folding doors. Both are now an intrinsic element of interior design as they enable natural daylight to transform areas in which we live and work.
Precision and performance
For walls, floor to ceiling glazing has brought exteriors into the living environment, capitalising on views and enhancing perceptions of space. However, design engineers can maximise the functionality of timber and aluminium to produce far larger sash and frame profiles than ever before. This requires a level of precision beyond the capability of traditional manufacturing techniques while – in terms of design complexity – durability, security and thermal / acoustic performance have improved considerably.
The type of timber used for the weight of such windows and doors is critical so Fakro opted for pine, oak and meranti hard woods to provide a combination of high performance and a high visual aesthetic. They also provide long-term structural stability, vital not just for the ability to withstand distortion but to retain energy efficiency and airtightness. This was the driving factor influencing design of the Innoview range, in which triple and quadruple-glazed construction is used with low emissivity glazing and a quadruple sealing system. Warm spacers between panes offer overall heat transfer coefficients as low as 0.68/W/m²K (with Ug values of 0.3W/m²K in quadruple-glazed units).
Size doesn’t matter
Designs specifying windows of such a large span inevitably require bespoke sizes for individual projects. The ability to make these means Fakro can now match the service it has provided for roof windows for more than 20 years. This enables architects and interior designers to create homes and work places with a distinctive identity and character while also meeting specific technical aspects of performance.
With scope to specify colours from the RAL Classic Palette and use of close-grain timber from FSC-certified sources, the standard of internal finish immediately conveys clear evocation of quality. Modern coating and lacquering techniques, matt or satin finishes and choice of sash profile produces windows and doors to complement the most diverse interior design requirements. Concealed hinges and invisible fixings enhance appearance while sliders used with a roller lifter and rotary cam ensure that positioning in the frame is constant, however intensively they are used. Soft closure also slows the sash movement ahead of positioning it in the frame. Such ease of operation has been described as ‘out of all proportion to what might be expected from windows of such a size’.
Finally, the finish
EPDM rather than silicone seals are used as their shrinkage resistance and bond between glazing and frame offer far greater long-term reliability. This not only gives far greater assurance of air and weathertightness but provides a greatly improved standard of finishing. Windows and doors have anti-burglary, multi-point locks and Class RC1 or RC2 glazing units (the latter optional extra has nine locking points per window). The hardware is also strong enough to provide load capacity of up to 150kg in standard door and window sizes.
Fixed, arc and multi-sash windows with a movable or structural mullion bar, balcony doors with a low aluminium threshold and tilt or lift and slide doors are available. Widths of up to 12m and heights up to 2.8m as well as non-standard shapes can be accommodated with single or double sash lift and slide doors up to 400 kg weight.
In terms of design innovation considerable attention has also been paid to external appearance, with powder-coated aluminium outer cladding providing a combination of high performance and lasting appearance. The potential to specify the required colour and the absence of visible corner welds provides seamless, contemporary styling.
Products such as Innoview HST doors have virtually no visible frame while PSK tilt and slide doors have micro-opening to supply ventilation without reducing security. Such developments can only provide further incentive to change the face of contemporary fenestration while providing scope to do so in designs up to Passivhaus standard.
T: 01283 554755
Pittman PR contact: Nigel Pittman
T: 01352 706 231