Category Archives : Thermal Insulation

Why Choose uPVC Double Glazing

uPVC double glazed winows cool your home in summer, warm it in winter.

The Case For Choosing uPVC Double Glazing Frames.


They Are The World’s #1 Choice.

Available across Europe in America for the past 60 years, uPVC window profiles are the most popular choice to deliver superior and proven performance.

Worldwide, more than half of all new and replacement residential windows are uPVC. That’s almost 290 million window units a year, chosen for their durability, low-maintenance, high energy efficiency, performance and style. The US and Europe have long focused on energy efficient windows.

However, in Australia, we’ve traditionally used either timber frames which are good insulators but high maintenance, or aluminium window frames which need less maintenance than timber, but have poor insulation. Thermal performance is one of the most important characteristics of a window.


Watch the video, or read the text!

They Have High Energy Efficiency

Double glazed PVC windows can be as much as four and-a-half times more energy efficient than a standard single glazed aluminium one.

The energy efficiency of a window system is commonly defined by two measures.

First, the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is a measure of the solar radiation going through the glazing into a building, and secondly by the u-value- the rate of heat flow through a window system.

For both measures the lower the number, the higher the performance.


They’re Cooler In Summer, Warmer In Winter.

A common misconception in Australia, is that double glazing is only for cold climates, to keep the cold outside, but double glazing is also just as effective in keeping the heat of an Australian summer out.

In fact, standard glazed windows contribute up to eighty-seven percent of the summer heat gain in a typical Australian insulated home. Choosing double glazed units with low solar heat gain and low u-values, reduces or eliminates the need for expensive artificial cooling.

By replacing your windows with high-efficiency uPVC ones, you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from household heating and cooling by more than one tonne a year.


They’re Durable & Low Maintenance

uPVC windows are considered durable, with expected life spans of 35 years, and leading brands have been tested specifically for resistance to Australia’s high UV. These windows will look good for years, without the need for sanding or repainting, and being resistant to salt, are ideal for coastal locations.

uPVC window profiles have been carefully engineered to incorporate multi-locking systems, providing a high level of security. They can be used in a wide range of styles for older, new, heritage or contemporary homes. And they come in a variety of colors.

Choose with confidence from a range of quality suppliers in Australia. The uPVC Window Alliance is supported by globally leading brands committed to delivering uPVC windows you can rely on in Australia.

uPVC windows- the wise choice for windows in Australia.

Article supplied by the Australian uPVC Window Alliance.

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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, 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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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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Siberia Overheating With Double Glazing

Can double glazing cause overheating in Summer?An OVER-Heating Lesson For Double Glazing- From Siberia!

I’m a longtime fan of Melbourne Environmental Consultant, Alan Pears. Alan is an Associate Professor at RMIT, and described by Wikipedia as “a pioneer of energy efficiency policy in Australia since the late 1970s”. I’ve met Alan, and I’ve corresponded with him on the subject of heat pump hot water systems.

As I’m very interested in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable, and particularly double glazing, I was fascinated to see a new article from him in Renew Economy, on his recent experience in Siberia. Believe it or not, during the short Summer season, some new Siberian residences are overheating. That’s right- OVER heating.

It seems that modern, well-built and designed units there are being built with excellent insulation, including double glazed windows. Unfortunately, they are also often being built without any shading of the windows. Great during Winter, but like an oven in Summer.

It’s an extreme lesson from Siberia, but it brings home a point for our local, Australian market. While double glazing does wonders for letting in sunlight and keeping in warmth during Winter, we need to plan for proper shading of windows that are sunlit, to prevent overheating in Summer.

Shading can be from properly-sized eaves on our houses. If that is insufficient to keep out the Summer sun, then we need to look at alternatives. These could include;

  • awnings over the windows
  • shadecloth protecting the windows
  • shutters on the windows
  • inbuilt venetian blinds for the windows

Double glazing is a brilliant product, which provides a whole raft of benefits. We just need to make sure we don’t sabotage their ability to do a wonderful job for us.

You can read Alan’s article here

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