Triple glazing has been with us for quite a while now. It’s introduction into the industry mainstream a few years ago was heralded as the next evolutionary step for our sector. But in it’s few years of existence, it has failed to make the sort of impact many were expecting.
When triple glazing was introduced to the market, there was quite a big difference price wise compared to double glazing. This will have put some people off it from the start. But as with most new technologies, prices come down and the difference is now not as wide. However, that gap is still too much for customers to pay for only a slight gain. Until the cost of triple glazing starts to drop to just a very small increase, it will still be a big barrier for most.
Then there is the actual requirement for triple glazing. There are some very advanced double glazed windows out there, some of which achieve numbers very close to triple glazing. Thermally, they achieve U-values not so far apart from each other, and in recent tests, double glazed windows actually perform higher on the A-G WER scale than triple glazed windows do!
The only occasions where I have been asked about triple glazing are from consumers that live next to high noise areas, such as main roads. And even then, demonstrating a significant enough difference hasn’t been that easy.
For whatever reason, triple glazing just has not caught the eye and the interest of the consumer as we thought it would. I think that the majority of triple glazing sales will be down to the company pushing the product rather than the customer actually asking for it. In an ideal world we want the consumers out there to be coming in and asking for it. But I guess until either prices come down or we start to demonstrate good enough reasons to pay more for it, it will remain a small selling item in the years to come.
That is however, unless construction standards in the UK improve. We have just had some recent Part L changes announced that did very little to improve the overall efficiency of the UK’s new-build housing stock. But, if you look to other countries where their standards are more robust, say Scandinavia or Germany, triple glazing is far more widely used. Germany for example has it’s PassivHaus building standard which has to have triple glazing in order for it to meet that standard. If the UK really wants to get tough on energy efficiency in it’s housing stock, then maybe if we made triple glazing the new standard and lowered the costs to ease it in properly, then maybe both the product and the carbon footprint (or reduction of it) would improve somewhat.