Ask the Audience – Windows Active Feb 14

It was just seven weeks ago that Edgetech UK launched the Triple Glazing Question to the industry. With the Ricoh Arena booked for 10 April, key stakeholders now announced and the Expert Arena attracting an impressive group of companies, here Andy Jones talks to Windows Active about what’s behind this initiative.

Ask the audience

Open up a conversation about triple glazing and there’s no knowing what response you’ll get. It could be a yes I’m already finding success with triple glazing or I can’t see what all the fuss is about. But whatever you think, triple glazing has come into the public arena in 2014.

The latest speaker for Triple Glazing Question is Everest Home Improvements.  They’ll be joining the debate at the Ricoh Arena.  We can find out more about the latest TV and press advertising campaigns offering customers free upgrade to triple glazing.  Has this initiative pushed interest, if not demand, for an extra pane of glass?

Sales messages are just one part of the conversation. What about the government regulation or the demand from the commercial sector for greater energy efficiency? Then there’s the technical side. Is triple glazing always better than double glazing for energy efficiency, acoustic performance and solar gain?

The technical debate is very interesting. Three, it seems, is not necessarily better than two. Smaller cavity sizes don’t get the same uplift in energy performance, and in some cases they can perform worse than double glazed units. Mark Barsby, Technical Manager at VEKA, asks if size matters. He says that triple glazing comes in different depths of 28, 36, 40 and 44mm. But he poses that if Argon performs best in a 16mm cavity, the optimum would be 44mm.

This creates another issue. Many UK window systems aren’t designed to take deeper glass units, so will systems companies need to create complete new suites for triple glazing? And if they do, will the UK consumers be happy with a deeper window and the compromises it makes to window sills?

These are just the tip of the iceberg for technical questions. But it’s not just for manufacturing. There are questions for installation companies.  Some have already been raised by Chris Dowling, of Cairngorm Windows. Is it ok for installation companies to carry the extra weight? Especially as the workforce gets older, will health and safety be compromised – or will installation companies be forced to use teams of three. And, if so, there’s an additional cost which would have to be passed on to the consumer.

Extra weight is important for hardware too. Yale will be at the live debate at the Ricoh Arena on 10 April to talk about hardware issues of heavier windows. They will also be on hand at the Expert Arena, alongside other specialists, to answer individual questions.

Every aspect of the window is affected, and every step of the supply chain will have to adapt if volumes significantly increase. And that comes to the issue of whether Edgetech, and the other stakeholders, have a vested interest in this? Of course. But not in the way that has been suggested. We’re not trying to promote triple glazing. Rather we’re trying to gauge the mood of the industry and answer some of the outstanding questions which are being raised. Because if there’s a sudden demand for triple glazing we believe that it would be better to be prepared.

Many people have not already made up their minds about triple glazing. Managing Director of Lister Trade Frames and former President of the GGF, Mark Warren comments on the Triple Glazing LinkedIn Group sums this up very well: “To be honest, I am still in two minds about the energy improvements offered by Triple Glazing when taking in to account all the extra resources, energy, transport costs etc needed to produce that extra pane of glass.

“I’m looking forward to hearing more facts surrounding this debate and hearing the arguments for and against, before committing Listers to an all-out change to Triple Glazing. Perhaps you are too?”

The Triple Glazing Question is for everyone to have their say. Before the live event we’re debating some issues on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and on www.tripleglazingq.co.uk. From the comments we’re already attracting, this is going to be a very interesting discussion.

There are 500 tickets available for the day. Registration on www.tripleglazingq.co.uk is vital to ensure your place.

A Quanex Building Products Seminar
Organised by: Edgetech (UK) Ltd
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