Triple Glazing Question postponed after “missed opportunity” of Future Homes Standard

The government has announced the proposed details of its Future Homes Standard. Edgetech’s Chris Alderson responds.

With the Future Homes Standard, the glazing industry has yet again been overlooked.

Like many in the sector, we expected it to recommend high-performance triple glazing to help drastically improve thermal efficiency.

In fact, in the government’s 36,000-word consultation document, released on December 13th, glazing is mentioned a grand total of three times.

The proposals make no change to required U-Values or minimum fabric standards. Instead, they focus on heat pumps, airtightness and solar panels.

Far from representing a step-change in building performance, the suggested requirements are lower than some homes are being built to now.

Rather than improving energy efficiency, and thereby reducing total energy consumption, the focus is on rapidly decarbonising the energy we use.

Who knows how long that will take – and the country will surely be left struggling with supply challenges for heat pumps and solar panels.

At Edgetech, we feel this is a colossal missed opportunity to make Britain’s buildings better, and pave the way to a net zero future.

As many of you will know, our intention had been to hold an event in March 2024 to discuss the impact of the Future Homes Standard.

We asked our customers whether they thought the time was right for a second Triple Glazing Question, and the answer was a resounding yes.

The day would’ve explored what part triple glazing could play in achieving Britain’s net zero objectives.

However, in light of this announcement, which indicates glazing has no place in the government’s plans, we have decided to postpone the event.

We are sceptical whether the measures will achieve the required 75-80% reduction in emissions, and think it’s possible the subject will be revisited.

If and when that happens, we will reschedule the event, and help the industry adapt to this unpredictable and rapidly changing situation.

With the Future Homes Standard on the horizon, is triple glazing inevitable?


Last month, Edgetech held a roundtable debate on the Future Homes Standard, triple glazing, and what lies ahead for the sector in light of ever-tightening performance requirements. Managing Director Chris Alderson reports back.

Will the Future Home Standard make triple glazing mandatory for newbuild?

In UK glass and glazing, that’s currently the million-dollar question.

We know it will seek to cut the average newbuild’s carbon emissions by between 75-80%. But as of yet, that’s about all the information we have.

Many in our sector now believe the large-scale adoption of triple glazing is inevitable. But is it? Would that be a good thing? Could the industry cope?

These were the key questions we sought to answer when we invited experts from across the glass sector to Birmingham for a roundtable discussion.

We were joined by leading trade bodies, glass suppliers, IGU manufacturers and representatives from the trade press to tackle these crucial issues.

Preparing for the future

I steered the discussion through a variety of key talking points, while anonymous polling gave us instant snapshots of the feeling in the room.

The first of our polls asked attendees how much they knew about the Future Homes Standard, and revealed a good level of understanding.

11% said they had a limited knowledge, 44% said moderate, 33% said good and 11% said expert.

This in itself was very encouraging. I was also pleasantly surprised at how many people around the table had already begun taking action.

Of those present, 100% said they’d started making preparations for the Future Homes Standard and the tightening of regulations for newbuild windows.

Of course, the biggest difficulty with preparing for the Future Homes Standard is we don’t know exactly what it will entail, which was acknowledged by attendees.

However, all were committed to futureproofing more generally, with some already investing in new triple glazing capable automated lines.

Can the industry cope?

Asked how confident they were in the general industry’s ability to meet the increased performance requirements, opinions were more mixed.

It was noted that the big IG manufacturers are clearly making preparations, with many investing, or improving and renovating lines.

At the most recent FIT Show, many systems companies were also keen to showcase their triple glazing-capable frames.

However, many challenges remain. The issue of machinery was frequently raised – laminating tables can have lead times of up to 16 months.

It was also mentioned that low-e centre panes need toughening, which will increase demand for toughening equipment, as well as increase energy usage.

Skills presents another issue. Triple glazing means greater complexity in the manufacturing process, which needs the right people with the right skills to be able to handle it. Not the easiest challenge to address as the industry is already grappling with a labour shortage.

Some attendees predicted further consolidation in the market as existing manufacturers decide they’d rather exit than adapt to the new changes.

It was also suggested we could see more specialisation, with suppliers focusing on refurb or new build rather than both.

Positive signs

Then we turned to one of the biggest questions of all – were those around the table actually in favour of triple glazing becoming mandatory for newbuild?

I was expecting the response to be a lot more mixed, but it was actually very decisive – 78% of attendees were in favour, 22% were against.

This was another hugely encouraging sign. The transition is going to be so much easier if large numbers of businesses are fully on board with it.

That positivity extended to other key areas of the debate, too – 63% of attendees believed they’d be completely ready for a shift to triple glazing now, and 25% believed they’d be ready in time.

Another interesting sign was that 75% of those in attendance were already seeing increasing demand for triple glazing – driven by consumer interest in reducing heating bills and future-proofing home resale values..

The devil is in the detail

As of yet, none of us know what the Future Home Standard will bring.

We got a taste of the unpredictability that always exists when it comes to regulation on the week of the roundtable.

The government unexpectedly announced that the gas boiler ban originally set to come into force in 2030 would be delayed until 2035 – likely meaning that every other aspect of a newbuild would have to be made more energy efficient to compensate.

Does this make triple glazing more likely? It’s certainly possible.

The details of the Future Homes Standard will be crucial. In Birmingham, we discussed the frequently-repeated belief that the new U-value requirement for windows in newbuild will be 0.8.

Attendees questioned what that would mean in practice – would 0.85 be acceptable, for instance? Some manufacturers believe that would be achievable, but argue 0.80 would be much more difficult.

It’s these kinds of questions we’ll only be able to answer in time. Any week now, we’re expecting the launch of the government’s latest consultation on the Future Homes Standard.

Once that’s been concluded, and the results released, we’ll be in a much better position to assess the impact the new legislation is likely to have.

That’s why, on 27th March 2024, we’ll be holding our second Triple Glazing Question event – ten years on from the original, and at the same venue, Coventry’s CBS (formerly Ricoh) Arena.

We’d be delighted if as many of you as possible could join us then to discuss and debate this potentially transformative shift for the glazing industry.

Edgetech roundtable finds sector ready for triple glazed future

The UK glass sector is ready for a large-scale shift to triple glazing, and thinks it’s the right move for fenestration, wider construction, and society as a whole.

That was the key message to emerge from Edgetech’s Triple Glazing Question roundtable debate, which took place in Birmingham on the 28th of September.

With the Future Home Standard just 18 months away, the sector faces big challenges as it seeks to meet ever-tightening performance requirements.

In Birmingham, senior figures from leading trade bodies, glass suppliers and IGU manufacturers discussed the industry’s ability to adapt.

Through a mixture of open, free-flowing discussion and anonymous polling, the event gauged attendees’ opinions on a range of important topics.

They were asked whether they favoured a mandatory shift to triple glazing for new-build, and about the industry’s ability to cope if that were to come into force.

The discussion also covered current demand for triple glazing, and whether making it the norm for new-build would generate greater consumer interest.

Much uncertainty remains around the Future Homes Standard – but the mood in the room was extremely optimistic, as Edgetech Managing Director Chris Alderson explains.

“We had a great day of discussion and debate in Birmingham, and the results were hugely encouraging.

“We all know that the Future Homes Standard will have a major impact on the sector, but the exact nature of that impact is still unclear.

“At the moment, we don’t know if it will make triple glazing mandatory for all new-build properties.

“However, those in the room were resoundingly in favour of that option, and were very confident the industry could quickly adapt to it.

“It was yet another demonstration of our sector’s resilience and ability to deal with change, and left me more confident than ever that it has a very bright future ahead of it”.

At the end of the discussion, Edgetech revealed its plans to hold a full Triple Glazing Question event at Coventry’s CBS Arena in March 2024, bringing together hundreds of industry leaders to discuss the issue in more depth.

Ten years on, the Triple Glazing Question to return in March 2024

A decade on from the original event, warm-edge experts Edgetech will again be asking the Triple Glazing Question.

On Wednesday 27th March 2024, the Quanex company will bring hundreds of leading figures from across UK glass and glazing to Coventry’s CBS Arena.

Over a day packed with discussion and debate, attendees will assess whether triple glazing is now destined to become the new normal in British fenestration.

It was on the 10th April 2014 that the sector’s senior figures first gathered at the same venue (then known as the Ricoh Arena) to tackle the issue.

Back then, the consensus was clear – the industry wasn’t ready for a large-scale shift to triple glazing. ‘Clever’ doubles seemed a much more viable solution.

Now, the landscape has shifted dramatically. Soaring energy prices and Britain’s net zero commitment have seen triple glazing put back in the spotlight.

With the government’s Future Homes Standard fast approaching, some believe an industry-wide transition is now inevitable.

For Edgetech, it meant the time felt right to return to the Triple Glazing Question, as Managing Director Chris Alderson explains:

“Ten years ago, Edgetech held a landmark event that sought to clarify the future of the glass and glazing industry.

“Triple glazing had existed for decades, but it remained a niche product. At the first Triple Glazing Question, Edgetech asked whether that was liable to change.

“As anyone who attended that day will remember, the answer was a resounding ‘no’.

“Now, we feel enough has changed to warrant asking that question again.

“In March 2024, we’ll be inviting fabricators, installers, IGU manufacturers, component suppliers and others to join us in Coventry to share their views on one of the biggest topics facing our industry.

“We’d be delighted if you would join us to help shape the future of British fenestration.”

More details about the event, including the agenda, ticketing, sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities will be announced in the coming months.

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Organised by: Edgetech (UK) Ltd
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