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Double Glazing in Germany

 Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany.

Double Glazing in Europe vs. Australia

 

100 year old double glazed window in Berlin, Germany.

100 year-old double glazing in Berlin.

Over the last week, I Connected on Linkedin with Dimitri Geleen, who’s a creative IT professional with broad experience in Project Delivery, IT Ops and Business Analysis. Dimitri works in Berlin. So what’s the connection with double glazing, you ask?

Well, in the course of our discussion, Dimitri mentioned that he has double glazing. Now that’s hardly surprising. In most of Europe, double glazed windows and doors are the standard. In many cases, it’s triple glazing. Of course, in Australia, we’re very late to the double glazing game, and still trying to convince the local building industry to recognise that double glazing should be our standard, too. If we really cared about housing affordability, we’d give weight to the value of cutting our ridiculously high heating and cooling bills.

Anyway…. I asked Dimitri to tell me a little about his use of double glazing. So he did. Tell me a little. But, the little he told me was very powerful.

He sent me the photo you see above, with the words

I made a picture of my little private office in Berlin with almost over 100 year old double glazing. Thought you might enjoy that.”

Enjoy that? I LOVE it. Shows that local practice is 100 years behind Germany.

So, are you a little shocked that we’re 100 years behind Germany? Well, buckle up your seat belt, because we’re some 2000 years behind the Romans!

 

Double Glazing In Ancient Rome

Yes, the ancient Romans used glass in windows, but not the clear glass we use today. Nevertheless, they went one step further.

According to Wikipedia, they found out that insulated glazing (or “double glazing”) greatly improved their ability to keep buildings warm, and this technique was used in the construction of public baths. Over 2000 years later, the vast majority of Australian homes still don’t have double glazing

Double glazing used by the Romans 2000 years ago.

The ancient Romans used double glazing in their Baths.

No slouches in the field of energy efficiency, the Romans also developed underfloor heating, which today usually takes the form of hydronic heating, circulating hot water through a concrete slab floor. Australia, catch up!

 

 

 

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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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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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Installing Double Glazing Videos

Tips for a good double glazing installation.

Installing Double Glazing Videos Released.

How important is the quality of the double glazing installation for your home? It’s incredibly important.

When you’re installing double glazing, you’re making a serious financial investment, to achieve a whole host of positive outcomes.

Hopefully, you’ve spent a lot of time researching your needs and your priorities, and have selected window designs that will work for you.

Hopefully, you’ve carefully chosen a good company to deal with, chosen quality products, and got a fair price for the double glazed windows and doors you’re buying.

So, all that guarantees a happy ending, doesn’t it? Well, no. There’s one more, vital step. Installation.

Installing double glazing  needs to be done very well. or the benefits you’ve paid for are diminished. The extremes of temperature still creep in- the cold air still comes in, and the warm air still leaks out. The annoying exterior noise still gets through. The heating and cooling bills don’t drop as much as they should. Australian Standards may not be met. It’s for these reasons that the Australian Windows Association produce a number of publications on Installing Double Glazing. Now, they’ve gone nine steps further, and produced a series of videos on installing double glazed windows and doors, in a variety of construction types. Members of the double glazing industry should watch them, to better serve their customers. Customers who want to be aware of the standards their installers should be following, should watch them, too.

To watch the nine ‘installing double glazing’ videos, click here.

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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). Learn more about double glazing in Canberra.

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