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Refreshingly Honest

Published: 13th April 2014

Ahead of the Triple Glazing Question Martin Althorpe, technical director at Spectus Window Systems gives a frank and honest overview of where triple glazing fits into the UK market, and how it will impact on the consumer consciousness.

The arguments for and against triple glazing for the UK will not be answered overnight. As with many other innovations we are still learning, and the industry needs more time before it settles. Yet one thing is clear, there is demand for the product; whether this is industry or consumer led is open to debate.

Fact Not Fiction

“We should all make decisions based on facts, not gut feelings. We need to look at the achievable savings in energy consumption and compare them to the extra cost and embedded energy of the triple glazed option. We can argue about the UK’s window designs and the construction and insulation standards of our housing stock compared to our continental neighbours but we must also be realistic; look at our climate and the way we use our living spaces, how we furnish, heat and ventilate them.

Taking all of this into consideration, the facts suggest only a limited set of circumstances where triple glazing makes sound financial sense for the UK:

  • For new buildings achieving PassivHaus standards
  • For properties with large expanses of glass

New Build Matters

“This is the situation today but the construction industry is changing. The current Code for Sustainable Homes and the zero carbon initiative will mean that for new build, effective triple glazing will become more desirable. Consequently, as it becomes more commonplace in new homes and buildings it’s likely that an increasing number of consumers will demand triple glazing for older housing stock.

Supporting Consumer Choice

Some consumers may instinctively feel that triple glazing makes sense. While they aren’t wrong, they’re not entirely right either. The financial savings for an upgrade from decent double glazing barely justify the outlay. Fantastic results can already be achieved with double glazing, low emissivity glass and multi-chambered profiles, and for some homes it may even be a better choice. We should not stand by and allow a marketing gimmick such as “Three for Two” to push an inappropriate product onto unsuspecting buyers. Neither should we dig in our heels, and refuse to listen to a genuine desire for more sustainable, energy efficient homes.

Not all consumers are motivated solely by cost. Some have other agendas and if they are prepared to do their bit – reducing carbon emissions through moderate improvements in their home’s energy efficiency – we should be prepared to back them. At Spectus Window Systems we have a range of triple glazing options including 36mm, 40mm and 44mm. We believe it’s about consumer choice but we also believe that the consumer’s choice should be fully informed.

What do you think? Spectus Window Systems would love to hear your thoughts and views, tweet us @SpectusWindows to have your say #tripleglazingq.