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2016 Hottest Year On Record

Why Double Glazing? 2016 Was The Hottest Year On Record!

 

Using double glazing to  help cool your home is becoming more valuable by the year.

2016 is now officially the world’s hottest year on record. Just ask NASA and NOAA. It beat the previous record, which was set in 2015. Which beat the previous record, set in 2014. See a pattern here?

It’s a sobering thought, but anyone under the age of forty has never lived in a year that was not above the average temperature experienced over the whole of the 20th. Century.

As our summer temperatures get progressively hotter, it has a direct effect on our homes.

  • Hotter temperatures make us more uncomfortable.
  • Hotter temperatures mean that we use our air conditioning more, driving up our electricity bills- at a time when our tariffs are at a record high level, too.
  • The extra hours that your aircon runs, and extra on/off cycling, cuts down the life of your system, and increases the need for maintenance/servicing.

Fitting double glazed windows and doors to your home helps cut down the amount of heat entering in summer. If you also specify uPVC frames, you’ll get the very best combination of high thermal insulation, high acoustic insulation, and a long, maintenance-free lifetime.

 

 

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Geneva Double Glazing Law

Geneva, Switzerland introduces double glazing requirement.

Double Glazing Required In All Geneva Buildings From January, 2016

Canberra double glazing specialist, Karen PorterHow can we make double glazing compulsory in Canberra?

It’s a question often asked by my friend, Karen Porter, of Solace Creations, Canberra’s leading double glazing supplier. It’s a worthy ambition, but it’s not likely to happen anytime soon in Australia’s Capital City (or where you live).

While Canberra is close to the most renewables/environmentally-aware jurisdiction in Australia, solar (residential, commercial and utility) and wind power get the most publicity, and support. For all that, double glazing COULD be made mandatory in Canberra. How do we know?

Well, on January 1st., 2016, it became mandatory to have double glazed windows in the famous Swiss city of Geneva.

Geneva is the headquarters of many of Europe’s United Nations Agencies, the Red Cross, and a global hub for diplomacy and banking. It’s famous for being the place where the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of wartime combatants and prisoners of war were signed. It’s also a city very aware of it’s energy consumption, and a determination to reduce it.

According to an article in the newspaper GHI, all homeowners in Geneva that still have single glazing in their homes at the end of January 2016 will be fined. Double glazing incorporating non-insulated aluminium frames will also attract fines.

Housing consumes half of Geneva’s energy and generates two thirds of its carbon emission. The canton estimates that a canton-wide window upgrade will deliver energy savings of 15%.

Many have criticised the tight deadline. Christophe Ogi, an architect and member of Pic-Vert Assprop.ge, an organisation that defends the interests of property owners says “there could easily be more than 20,000 properties, showing the scale of the task. I think the main objective though, is to get started”. According to Mr Ogi, most of the work relates to around 15,000 villas (individual houses) with old windows. Many of these are owned by old people who cannot afford the CHF 10,000 to CHF 15,000 required to cover a window upgrade. He thinks some will choose to pay fines instead.

Some have also pointed out that the canton itself has many buildings that must replace their windows.

Serge Hiltpold, president of the Federation of building trades says “the date imposed by the canton is unrealistic. We cannot do all the work required because the capacity to produce new windows cannot be increased infinitely. It would make sense to extend the deadline so that we can spread the work. We are not going to replace windows during the winter.”

The Canton is not budging
Despite the complaints, Olivier Epelly, the director general of the cantonal energy office is showing no signs of budging. He says that “if they don’t respect the deadline, in the absence of an extension, they are exposing themselves to fines.”

So there we have it- a major European city can mandate the fitting, even retrofitting, of double glazed windows. They can even exclude poor-performing aluminium frames without a athermal break. Further, they’ll even issue fines for non-compliance. That’s a model we could follow, particularly in our colder cities/Regions/States.

Link to the Official Document (in French)

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Efficient Heating and Double Glazing Now ‘Home Essentials’

 

UK home buyers rank double glazing as 'must have'.

How Does Double Glazing Rank With UK Home Buyers?

Where does double glazing fit into the list of ‘must haves’ for UK home buyers? The pleasantly surprising answer, according to UK comparison website GoCompare.com,  is #2. Yes. double glazing outranks a garden, friendly neighbours, even an ensuite bathroom.

Energy efficient heating comes in at #1 of the ‘must haves’. You can understand that in the cold UK climate. In Australia, we’d probably say ‘efficient heating and cooling‘. Needless to say, fitting double glazed windows and doors to a home makes both the heating and cooling systems more efficient. They don’t have to run for as long, they cost less to operate, and they last longer.

#3 on the list is ‘secure windows and doors’. Double glazing again! Modern double glazed windows and doors are generally far more secure than the old windows they replace. Better design, burglar-resistant construction  and multi-point locking, all contribute to enhanced home security’.

‘A good energy efficiency rating’ also makes it into the Top 10 wanted features, at #8. Of course, double glazing contributes significantly to any measure of the energy efficiency of a home.

In the late 1980’s, I was in Real Estate. I can attest that most home purchasers were oblivious to energy efficiency measures or energy efficient design, and most new home builders knew and cared even less. Today, many buyers have become much more aware of the issues of energy-efficiency, both from financial and global warming perspectives. Unfortunately, the Real Estate Industry is still lagging behind. And the Building Industry? Having to be dragged kicking and screaming to better standards.

Ben Wilson, from Gocompare.com Home Insurance, summed up the UK survey…

“Our research suggests that today’s potential home-buyers are putting practical concerns ahead of aesthetics by looking for properties which are cosy, energy efficient and secure, rather than full of character. With ever increasing gas and electricity prices, fuel and financial economy are a concern for many households, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that well-insulated homes and efficient central heating systems are key priorities for buyers.

I haven’t seen a similar survey done in Australia, but it certainly indicates that any measures you take to improve the comfort and energy-efficiency of your home will not only make life better for your family, but they’ll be rewarded at sale time.

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