Yesterday I wrote about a Chinese company using quadruple glazing in an impressive 57 storey building that was built in just 57 days. Well, it turns out our Scottish neighbours are already on with quadruple glazing already. I was pointed to a news article on www.building.co.uk by Padiham Glass on Twitter yesterday, and it made for interesting reading.
Shaver blades and extra panes
In the article, the comparison made is that of shaver blades and panes of glazing. As we started shaving with one shaving blade on our razors, we had single glazing. As we increased the number of blades on a razor, so we increased the number of panes in glazing. They claim that with more blades, the better the shaver. I understand that. But the argument for more panes meaning better glazing is a lot less straightforward.
Anyway, the article talks about a company in Scotland called Envrio Windows. They are a fabrication and installation company. They have called their product Quattro, which I guess is the reason for the razor blade analogy. They say they are the first in Scotland to offer such a product.
The stats behind the product are seriously impressive too. They claim a U-Value of just 0.35. They say that this is as effective in keeping heat in as the wall of a house. If true, that’s a hell of a USP. What’s even more interesting, is that the article in the Building magazine explains that Enviro Windows’ sales were 70% triple glazing and 30% double glazing in 2014. But before we all get excited and claim that quad glazing is the future beyond a triple glazed future, lets take a step back.
Is it really needed?
Lets bare in mind that the company introducing quad glazing is based in Scotland, a country which is far colder than many other areas of the UK. So the demand and reasoning for triple and even quad glazing is stronger than anywhere else. In the south east of England for example, quad glazing would be pretty pointless.
Also, I do believe that we can still squeeze out more of double glazed units before we have to upgrade to triple or more. When you look at the selling points of triple and the new quad glazing, noise reduction and heat retention are the two big points. Well, we know that certain specs of double glazing, where glass thickness is different, is actually better for noise reduction rather than triple. And the heat loss benefits of triple are questionable at best for most specs.
I do fear that with the arrival of quad glazing, we might be trying to run before we walk. We’re only just getting to grips with triple glazing. Demand for that product is weak at best. I think there is a risk that should the industry jump on the idea of quad glazing, we could start to bypass triple. There are benefits to double, triple and even quad glazing, given that the spec is right and the reason for them being sold matches the spec. Do I think quad glazing is going to be a product that takes off? Probably not. Companies might get a few sales, but chiefly because they will be pushing the product, rather than being asked for it.
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