Monthly Archives May 2016

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, 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). Learn more about double glazing in Canberra.

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Leading Architect Champions Double Glazing

Melbourne architect recommends double glazing with uPVC framing.

Leading Melbourne Architect Recommends Double Glazing


Rebecca Naughti recommends double glazing.Best of Houzz award-winning Architect, Rebecca Naughtin, runs Rebecca Naughtin Architect– a small boutique practice that specialises in residential projects in Melbourne.

I came across her work by following up an article she authored for Houzz,  Renovating on a Budget: How Get More From Your Windows For Less.

What struck me was that, even though she was talking about working to a budget, she believed that double glazing was the best choice. In the article, Rebecca advises…

Don’t dismiss double glazing as an option
Most of the cold and heat enters through windows so double glazing has been installed in these aluminium-framed windows. They look smart, contemporary and the double glazing does not compromise the frame structure which is lighter than a timber frame. Double glazing should be considered for all projects; you may be shocked by how economical it can be and it provides a very comfortable environment.

In the article, she went on to discuss her preference in framing material…

Consider long-term maintenance costs
uPVC windows are relatively new in Australia, however they are incredibly durable, low maintenance and can resist wind, rain, corrosion, peeling and chipping. Something to consider for ongoing costs of your renovation.

More and more architects are recommending double glazing to their clients, with many good reasons!




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Double Glazing Installation Service

Tips for a good double glazing installation.
Top Ten Tips For Professional Double Glazing Installations

The following article was published by the UK’s Double Glazing Blogger. Having been involved in Sales, Service and Installation of a variety of products for over 50 years, I have a pretty good idea of the sort of service a customer should expect, and is necessary to produce happy customers, referrals, testimonials, and a growing business. His post rings true, and directly addresses double glazing installations, so I’m going to reproduce it, unedited. Here goes…

The world of a window and door installation company continues to become more challenging year after year. With more and more products becoming available from existing and new fabricators, and home owners becoming more well informed and demanding, here are my top ten tips for installers when dealing with home owners.


1. Stick to agreed times

During your interactions with the customer, be it on a first visit, or to the fitters coming to install products sold, stick to your times as much as you can.

If you say your sales person will be there at 10am on Tuesday morning, then make sure they turn up bang on 10am on that day. Remember that those home owners have probably arranged their days errands around that visit, and being late for that appointment could mess up their whole day. And what would be the chances of landing a sale if you mucked all that up?


2. Put all quotes in writing

This might sound too simple to even be included on this list, but during my visits to home owners every day, I continue to get stories of companies scribbling down a price on a scrap of paper, on the assumption that this in fact is a quote.

Clearly it’s not. Make sure to put all quotes to customer in writing, and have them as detailed as possible. The clearer you make your contracts, the better you as the installation company cover your own back, and will ensure that the home owner is crystal clear as to what they are getting.


3. Details count

Got a potential customer coming to see you in the showroom? Then it’s the little details that count. Offering of drinks is a must, tea or coffee as a minimum. Even have some small treats spread about. We have a bowl of small chocolates on our front desk and they’re the most popular thing with customers in our office!

Be sure to display written literature in your office. It’s relevant to the customer and becomes just another way to show off your product portfolio. Customer testimonials are also handy to have within reach. Potential clients always like to read what others have said about you. If they’re positive, they can quietly convince others to go ahead with you.


4. Being tidy works wonders

Again, this may seem an obvious one, but there remains plenty of window and door installers who fail to take care whilst working inside a customer’s home.

If you’re in their property, it really does help to keep things as tidy and clean as possible either after each days work, or at the end of the project if it’s a days work. Home owners in the main do expect some degree of mess, but if they find that the installers have done their cleaning for them, it really does leave them with a nice novel and surprised feeling.


5. Sort remedial work out quickly

The practical of us will understand that we don’t live in a perfect world. No matter how much we try, mistakes, be it the fault of the installer or not, will always happen. But, what is important here is that if any issues do occur, be it during or after the installation, they are solved as soon as possible.

Part of the reason why our industry has got such a stained reputation is due to the companies who after finishing their work, fail to come back to the home owner should they encounter a problem with their products. It’s a very frustrating feeling for the client, and does nothing for the reputation of the industry.


6. Communicate effectively

The process of purchasing new windows and doors is one that takes weeks, not days, so it’s important that an installer remains in regular contact with the home owner. Even if it’s just a call to say there’s nothing new, but that they’ve not been forgotten about.

Remember, you as the installer know the supply chain, the client probably doesn’t. Good communication ensures that the home owner remains informed at all times and gives them peace of mind that you’re on top of their project.


7. Explain your product portfolio clearly

There is a hell of a lot of choice now in our industry. And thanks to the internet, home owners have access to all of those products too. But there is a sea of choice, and as the installer, it’s key that when speaking with a potential client, they understand all the options suited to them as clearly as possible.

If not, then there is a potentially huge can of worms to be opened further down the line if and when it comes to fitting said windows and doors!


8. Aid, not instruct

The job of an installations company is not to tell the home owner what they think they should be having. Their job is to listen to the requirements of the home owner, and provide window and door choices that best suit their needs.

There is nothing worse than being told what another person thinks you should be having. It’s patronising, arrogant and down right annoying. There’s a lot of choice now, and home owners want to view their options before asking to be quotes on one or two particular options.


9. Keep a clean and up to date showroom

If you have a showroom at your disposal, keep it clean! If you’re a home owner and looking at new windows and doors, there’s always a novel feeling when you walk into one that’s clean, fresh and visually impressive.

There is nothing more underwhelming than an out of date showroom. They need constant attention and tweaking to make sure that potential clients get to see as much as possible. Easier said than done if you’re a small business!


10. Drop the hard sell tactics

It’s 2016 not 1986, the drop closes and five hour marathons in people’s homes don’t have a place in a modern fenestration industry.

Keep your pricing honest, your demos timely and your information clear. More often than not, customers will be surprised that you didn’t resort to stereotype and didn’t go down the “typical double glazing” sales route.

These are my top ten, based on my 11 years selling to the general public. There are plenty more I could give, but these are a solid ten which have helped see me and our family run business well throughout the years.

Hi, It’s John back again. I’d probably add another item to this list. That’s after sales follow up and service. It’s partly covered in Tips 5 and 6,, but deserves more emphasis. After the installation, a customer should be contacted to see if they have any problems, or any questions. Do this right, and the installer may be on the way to the customer providing a testimonial or review.

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Adjustable External Window Shading

Adjustable shade sails keeping sun off windows.

Using Adjustable Shading To Prevent Summer Overheating

By Alan Pears

Alan Pears, environmental champion, discusses overheating in Sibereia.More on windows causing homes to overheat in Summer

The frustrating thing for me is that good adjustable external shading can fix a lot of the overheating problems.


Roller Shutters Can Be One Shading Answer

Before last summer, I installed those European external roller shutters (made in South Australia, and reasonably priced with solar powered motors) on my most exposed windows, along with a reflective roof coating. Despite a pretty hot summer in Melbourne, my living room never went over 25C with no cooling. In the past it would get to high 20s-30.


Shade Cloth Is Another Excellent Form Of Adjustable Window Shading

I also helped design a lightweight holiday home on the Victorian south coast neary 20 years ago. It had quite a lot of low-e double glazing, which made it fantastic in cooler weather. In summer we would hoist large areas of shade cloth and (with the help of the coastal climate) it was always comfortable without active cooling. My impression is that this was because the shading kept the direct sun off the windows, and the low-e coating reflected the re-radiated heat from the ground and decks. I was there one hot day when I didn’t bother to put up the shading: it was 35C in the living room by 10am!


Unfortunately, The Building Regulations Need Updating On Shading.

A concern to me is that, as far as I understand, the building regulations don’t allow you to rate a home with high performance internal or external adjustable shading. And the basic model assumes the home has fairly light coloured Holland blinds that are pulled down if significant sun falls on the window. This means consideration of effective shading is undermined by the present regulations… Someone needs to do more work on this.

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uPVC Framing And Home Security

uPVC window frames resist burglary.

How To Beat The Burglars. How Double Glazing and uPVC Framing Enhance Home Security.


Home security is a serious business. The costs can be high. First, there’s the cost of what is taken. Money, memories, valuable possessions. Then there’s the cost of the damage that’s done to gain access to your home. The last cost can be a very personal one… the feeling of violation, that someone has been in your home, invading your space, destroying your security.

You’d need to fill a book to cover all the aspects that contribute to home safety, so we aren’t going to cover much of the field here.

What we do want to do, is let you now that we’ve just uploaded an article that discusses some aspects of the subject, as they relate to windows, double glazing, and uPVC framing.

The majority of burglaries gain entrance through windows and doors. Obviously, burglars don’t want to attract attention, so smashing windows is not their best move. If they DO try to smash though a double-glazed window, they’ll find the outside pane thicker than the usual single-pane window, If they break the outside pane, they’ve then got to spend more time, and create more noise, to break through the second pane.

Because smashing through one or two panes of glass can be noisy, and attract the attention of neighbours, potential burglars will often try to force the windows.

That may be prising the glass out of the individual window frame, prising the window out of the larger frame, or trying to remove the whole window frame from the house.

With modern uPVC window frames, the burglars’ life is much more difficult! Enjoy the video, watching  a pretend burglar trying to force open a uVC window frame.

If you’d like to spend a bit of time getting inside the burglars’ heads, we have a video at the end of the article,  consisting of three convicted burglars discussing how they’d go about choosing your home to break into. The education they provide is free, but could save you a bundle.


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