I’ve been in the aluminium window and door business for over 35 years and like many people in the industry I’ve found it frustrating at times. I felt the aluminium sector was being short-sighted in ignoring the advances of the PVC-U sector. While our PVC-U counterparts were designing customer-led systems from scratch, aluminium design ideas were, more often than not, being constrained by having to fit into existing product suites and often lacked the design flair that was needed.
I’ve watched as the PVC-U sector has designed systems that offer today’s homeowners what they’re looking for. Optima from Epwin Window Systems’ brand Profile 22 is an excellent example of what can be achieved when designers set their sights high. And the development of PVC-U flush casement windows is another perfect case-in-point – systems houses have gone back to the drawing board and designed a new type of window from scratch to support industry and consumer trends.
The result was compromise and the sense of an industry being held back.
That has all changed with the launch of Stellar – a brand new aluminium window and door system from Epwin Window Systems.
Our brief was simple but incredibly exciting. Go back to the drawing board and produce the best aluminium system for the UK’s homeowners. The design team and I accepted the challenge. We had an open mind and high ideals. We refused to compromise on excellence. We used our years of experience to inform our thinking. We evaluated, discussed, prototyped and tested every aspect.
Stellar is a system designed for the retail and light commercial market. It delivers everything that’s required to maximise the opportunities this growing sector has to offer. At the same time, it’s been designed to be simple to fabricate and install. And everywhere you look, there are ground breaking developments that set a new standard for the sector.
Let’s take the aesthetics as a starting point. Stellar has two casement window options and both break the mould.
The first is the only fully flush aluminium casement window on the market. It’s the ultimate in simple, streamlined design. With no stepped frame inside or out, it offers uncluttered views and an appearance that will never date.
The flush casement window has at least 30% slimmer sightlines than competitor windows and delivers a glass area that’s about 12% larger. It’s so slim it ensures the outlook is the focus, not the frame.
The bifold door has the option of using PVC-U beading, so it has the strength a bifold needs but the aesthetics that sit more comfortably in the typical UK home.
Despite all the aesthetic innovation, there has been no compromise on performance. Insulation is a fundamental part of the design, not an afterthought. Stellar meets Building Regulations and can achieve U-values as low as 1.1W/m2K without the complexity of additional foams or expensive aerogels. And the use of intelligent security features and Yale hardware means the system offers exceptional security.
There has been similar attention to detail when it comes to fabricating and installing Stellar.
The unique pre-gasketed system saves up to 20% on fabrication time and reduces waste. The patent-pending Reverse Butt Joint means no dummy sashes or reverse adaptor profiles are needed, so the system uses up to 30% less aluminium. It takes fast-fit espagnolettes so no shootbolts are required. And the fact there’s consistency in design of profiles, hardware and accessories and the system is compatible with PVC-U cills means you can reduce stockholding.
For installers, patent-pending knock-in beads make glazing quicker and easier. They also leave a clean gasket line on the inside, adding even more to the aesthetics. The frames are flat backed so it’s easy to position them perfectly. And flat rebates mean fitting glazing packers is simple.