Clarity in the Confusion

There has been much talk in the double glazing industry about different methods of proving compliance with the building regulations – some of it announced at the eleventh hour. Does this mean that we have to rethink the way our windows are constructed? Not so, says Rachel Appleyard, Saint-Gobain Glass’s product manager. In fact, some products offer a sense of consistency.

Saint-Gobain Glass’s products are perfect for complying with the building regulations following the recent revisions and the different methods of proving compliance, the company has claimed.

SGG PLANITHERM TOTAL+ was developed with the Window Energy Rating scheme (WERs) in mind and Rachel Appleyard, Saint-Gobain Glass’s product manager, states “It allows the sun’s energy to enter a property (G-value), while keeping heat in during the colder months (U-value), a combination that makes it easier for window fabricators to achieve ratings of A to C.”

While Saint-Gobain Glass is promoting WERs as the perfect way to prove compliance with the building regulations, the company also recognises that the simple method of compliance makes good use of SGG PLANITHERM TOTAL+’s insulating properties. The simple method of proving compliance, or the ‘default window specification’ is: a timber or PVC-U frame with an IGU comprising soft coat low-e glass, 90% gas filled, and warm edge spacer bar. Windows with this configuration of products will be deemed to have achieved an overall U-value of 1.6W/m2K, and will need no further proof of compliance.

Furthermore, Fensa will soon be launching an online U-value calculator, which will allow installers to check to see if the configuration of their windows comply with the building regulations by achieving a U-value of 1.6W/m2K.

However, despite the increasing number of routes to proving compliance, Saint-Gobain Glass believes that SGG PLANITHERM TOTAL+ will help fabricators and installers across the board.

“The magnetron coater at our Eggborough facility allows us to constantly modify and improve our products in accordance with building regulations and end user requirements,” continues Rachel Appleyard, “SGG PLANITHERM TOTAL+ is our most popular product, and, with the revised building regulations coming into effect from October 1st, the manner in which SGG PLANITHERM TOTAL+ was specifically designed means it provides the perfect solution to the new regulations. WERs have been a real boost to the double glazing industry because they encourage energy efficiency and modern marketing methods.

“However, not every company will want to get their products energy rated. Therefore, since SGG PLANITHERM TOTAL+ has a U-value of just 1.2W/m2K, it will also help glass companies and window fabricators manufacture products that will comply with the regulations via the U-value route – using the online calculator to be launched by Fensa shortly.”

Since the glass element forms the largest part of a window, getting this bit right will help companies to achieve a whole window U-value of 1.6W/m2K or under if they want a greater choice over the other components; for example, aluminium spacer bar, or bespoke timber or metal frames.

Saint-Gobain Glass also notes that some companies may need a glass with even better thermal performance. For any applications where thermal performance is paramount, SGG PLANITHERM ULTRA N offers a better U-value of just 1.1W/m2K, allowing for an even greater range of additional components to be used, while not compromising on the neutral appearance associated with the SGG PLANITHERM range.


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