Standardising the way in which performance of windows is measured has facilitated comparison of offerings from different systems houses. It has enabled energy efficiency targets to be met across the widest spectrum of projects in the commercial sector. It has also, due to ever-increasing demands for both thermal performance and competitive advantage led to genuine advances in insulating technology. Today’s UPVC windows are worlds apart from the earliest generations of the product.
One of the benefits of the Window Energy Rating (WER) standard is that it is clear and easy to understand. Consumers have a guide that follows patterns they recognise from domestic appliances and EPCs. Within the trade, there’s a quick clarification of what installers can offer their customers, but another key benefit of WERs is that they detail how the overall rating is achieved. Three measures – air leakage, thermal transmittance and solar gain – combine to deliver the overall rating. In all these three areas, Epwin Window Systems has been at the forefront of innovation.
Take, for example, the seals which prevent draughts or water ingress in window systems. For some systems houses, seals are a minor detail, but at Epwin we think differently. A window with inadequate seals won’t protect the fabric of a building or be comfortable to live with. Seals are critical whether you’re working in the education sector, refurbishing schools, or tasked with specification for a high-rise development. Epwin has developed systems which have optional third seals, perfect for the most exposed locations. These adaptable systems can be tailored to suit the project. More protection where it’s needed, more economy where two seals are all that’s required, and consistent aesthetics across the entire project.
Epwin’s systems allow the very highest performance standards but aren’t prescriptive. Our systems have more insulating chambers, but even then, we have options to increase the number of chambers using recycled thermal inserts. We also developed AeroframeTM, an innovative internal structure that enhances insulation. That’s a typical example of our approach: we look at technology which will deliver across multiple sectors. We design systems which will accommodate double and triple glazing and yet retain fantastic sightlines.
Even in a temperate climate like the UK, solar gain is one of the key elements of window performance. Here, glass manufacturing technologies play a major part as does the construction of sealed units. However, frame design is also part of the picture. One of Epwin’s UPVC systems has been designed with an increased frame overlap which improves the glass to frame ratio, simultaneously enhancing aesthetics and performance. Epwin’s aluminium system has remarkably slim sightlines allowing the full benefits of passive solar gain to be enjoyed.
Window Energy Ratings give the headline information you need, but within that one simple measure are multiple options which should, for optimum results always be explored.
Whether you’re looking for a budget window which meets EPC standards, aiming for Passivhaus U-values, working on the most prestigious architectural projects or seeking practical solutions for exposed locations, Epwin Window Systems has the answer.