A proactive approach to research and development means aluminium windows and doors can still shine, according to Deceuninck Aluminium’s Director Nigel Headford.
Aluminium’s time to shine as a window and door profile is now, believes Nigel Headford, Deceuninck Aluminium’s Director, because done properly, it can offer all the key features homeowners are currently looking for, while offering benefits to fabricators and installers.
“High-end aesthetics, thermal performance, ease of installation – these are designed in to Deceuninck Aluminium’s products,” Nigel says. “When we started the Deceuninck Aluminium journey in 2019, we could see where trends were heading, so we put these key features at the heart of the design process.
“So, as we’ve grown the product range, we are one of the most relevant aluminium systems on the market.”
Aluminium windows and doors, Nigel believes, would have been consigned to the history books, had it not been for modern, forward-thinking designers.
“Two generations ago, we saw aluminium windows removed on a wide scale, to be replaced by PVC-U alternatives, because people wanted to improve the energy efficiency of their homes,” Nigel says. “And with the expected lowering of U-values to Passive House levels in 2025 for newbuild, we could see the same thing happening again.
“Thankfully, we are helping formulate new ways of thinking, which incorporate deeper systems, triple glazing and attractive flush finishes.”
Decalu88 Flush Casement
Deceuninck Aluminium has recently launched the Decalu88 Flush Casement Window, which drew on the systems company’s experience with the Decalu88 Bi-Folding Door, a product that was ahead of its time because it could comfortably meet the requirements of the latest Part L revisions with a double-glazed unit.
“We knew from our experience with the Decalu88 Bi-folding Door that homeowners are demanding increasingly thermally efficient products regardless of when the government plans to tighten the Building Regulations,” Nigel says.
“So, during the Decalu88 Flush Casement Window design stage, we included favourite features such as the preinserted gaskets and knock-in glazing bead, and made it flush on the inside and flush on the outside.
“But we also asked: how do we design an open-out casement window that performs to – and exceeds – the new regulations? And can we do a 400mm drop with an 88mm deep window?”
By working with hardware manufacturers and other suppliers at an early stage, Deceuninck Aluminium met these requirements while only designing one window, which could be specified for both newbuild and refurbishment.
“Traditionally, you would have a basic window design and add elements that would allow it to perform at a higher level,” Nigel says. “But we just decided to make a top performing window, and if you needed to enhance it further, you could just change your glass specification.
“That way, you’ve got a simple cost base, and you don’t have to worry about getting additional parts, which fits our philosophy of reducing stock holding and making life simpler for both fabricators and installers.
“The result is a headline U-value of 0.8W/m2K, achievable in a triple-glazed configuration, which meet FHS requirements. But – more importantly in my opinion – it can achieve a U-value of 1.2W/m2K with a double-glazed unit with a centre pane U-value of 1.0W/m2K.”
This, Nigel argues, is how aluminium will remain the specifier’s profile material of choice for windows in the future, because designers have taken a proactive approach to research and development.
“We set out to future-proof the Decalu88 Flush Casement Window, which is now paying dividends for fabricators, installers, and homeowners,” Nigel says. “Fabricators don’t have to worry about multiple components for multiple products, installers don’t have to worry about specifying the correct product, and homeowners can carry on loving aluminium.”