Andrew Cooper, national specification manager from Senior Architectural Systems looks at the development of aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling that combine stylish slim sightlines with a wide range of benefits.
A key aspect of most design schemes is the use of natural light and daylighting has become increasingly important in creating buildings that are both inspirational and practical. The health benefits of interiors that are bright and airy have been well documented and by reducing the reliance on artificial lighting, embracing daylighting as a design concept also brings with it significant environmental benefits.
As a result, the trend towards specifying glazing systems that offer ‘less frame and more glass’ has emerged and this has led to major developments within the aluminium fenestration market.
The unique characteristics of aluminium in terms of its lightweight construction and intrinsic strength allows systems manufactured from this amazing material to support much larger expanses of glass within much narrower frames, therefore offering the slim sightlines and maximum flow of natural light that specifiers demand.
Robust and durable, aluminium fenestration systems are also safe and secure and the narrowness of the frame does nothing to diminish these qualities.
Embracing the greater use of natural light is not without its challenges however and one of the biggest concerns is managing solar gain.
As it is both expensive and damaging to the environment to mechanically cool interiors, the specified fenestration systems must be able to meet the increasingly stringent thermal and energy-efficiency requirements.
Fortunately, advances within the manufacturing industry has made this possible so that even the slimmest frames can provide exceptional thermal performance, with systems such as Senior’s patented PURe range of windows and doors offering some of the lowest U-values available.
The flexibility of aluminium window and door systems also makes them ideally suited for use in a variety of sectors.
Aluminium curtain walling and shop front glazing systems that boast slim profiles are especially effective when used in the retail sector where highly visible windows displays are so important. Similarly both the education and healthcare markets, particularly with regard to the projects that have been designed to meet the standards necessary for dementia care, also benefit from the greater use of natural light.
Windows and bi-fold doors that offer slim sightlines also work perfectly in the residential sector, helping to create contemporary interiors where light and space is so important and the link between indoor and outdoor living is so strong.
By creating a sleek, slim line, the use of windows, doors and curtain walling systems that offer larger expanses of glazing can also create greater harmony with the outside by providing the perfect, minimalistic, frame for views of the surrounding landscape.
The slim sightlines offered by such systems, particularly the window solutions, also make them ideally suited for restoration projects that may feature traditional style timber or steel framed windows that need to be sympathetically replaced.
Modern aluminium windows have evolved to ensure that even the most demanding design briefs can be met without the need to choose between aesthetics and performance.
As the manufacturing and design of aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling continues to evolve, growing appeal of slim framed systems certainly makes the aluminium fenestration market one to watch.
Senior Architectural Systems,
Phone: 01709 772600
Fax: 01709 772601
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