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Sudhakar Windows and Doors

The Changing Windowscape in the Indian Sub-continent

By: Satish Kumar, Deceuninck Group

Being in the window industry since 1999 in various capacities and companies gave me a unique opportunity to see the change in the window industry in the last 2 decades. Window sizes were smaller – 4’ x 4’, 6’x4’; window openings had shades (chajjas), and there was no concept of testing. When I used to talk about tests and performance, I was told, that our window has been functioning perfectly well for so many years.

Window profiles from DeceuninckDomal was opposed vehemently, and PVC was almost ostracised. Glass was from 3mm to 5.5mm. Thicker glasses and Double Glazed Glass for windows were very very limited. Sun films and tinted glass fought against each other to offer sun protection.

Entry of major European uPVC profile companies, aluminium system companies, hardware companies and performance glass brought in concepts of energy saving, noise reduction and functionality of windows beyond just opening and closing. However, installation still posed a big challenge. A good window is installed badly = bad window.

In the meantime, the façade industry was growing rapidly in terms of technology – unitised façades became more common. Façade testing started & people started taking leakage of air and water, structural performance and acoustic insulation more seriously. IT companies demanded bigger offices with shimmering glass façades.

Doors and Windows from DeceuninckMany of the window producers were attracted to the façade market and aluminium windows became poorer cousins of uPVC windows. uPVC windows started to grow rapidly especially in the southern region of India as the window sizes were still comparatively less challenging than in the west and north. As there was a big gap between a big aluminium window producer and a smaller low-cost producer, uPVC filled in. The visible problems such as poor powder coating, gaps in window corners, and poor hardware were easily solved by uPVC windows with welded corners and multi-point locking hardware.

2010 onwards saw a major change in building construction. Taller buildings, bigger windows, performance testing and engineered windows. Tall buildings and faster construction due to formwork construction led to bigger projects which started to attract the aluminium players back to the window market. Aluminium system companies started to push for testing and performance. Installation in high-rise buildings was a challenge as only a skilled façade producer could handle it. High performance in terms of structural stability with less weight and thinner sight lines for these tall buildings made it easier for aluminium.

Formwork construction and lighter outer wall construction design for more economical and faster construction led to bigger windows. The heights of windows began to increase to 6’ and then 7’; doors from 7’ to 8’ and now almost 10’ in many projects. Some feel a bigger size means less cost/Sq ft. But actually, a bigger size means stronger mullions to prevent deflection against strong winds. Cost doesn’t necessarily drop unless one just uses it without any design or structural calculation. This could be dangerous in case of cyclones or storms.

The introduction of glazing in the National Building Code has brought some awareness, especially in the usage of safety glass. The glass industry has strived hard to lobby for the right use of glass in buildings. Sometimes the focus is only on the glass and not on the framing material or performance of the window as a whole unit.

For the last couple of years, the Bureau of Indian Standards has started to push the industry to usher in standards for profiles, doors and windows. The cooperation between all major players, government and testing agencies is laying the foundation for new-generation windows and window technologies. These standards will drive “Make in India” and create opportunities in not only window production but also in hardware, gaskets, installation, software, management, testing and finance. Truly exciting times ahead!

Satish Kumar, Deceuninck Group

Group Business Development Director - Asia & Australia

Satish Kumar, the Group Business Development Director at Deceuninck Group – Emerging Markets, is a visionary leader with over two decades of experience in fenestration and façades. His expertise in profile systems, machinery, and fenestration software is widely recognised in India. Leading a multicultural team, he drives business development strategies, fosters growth, and expands the company’s presence across Asia and Australasia. With over a decade at Deceuninck, he fosters an environment of growth, strengthening the relationship between Deceuninck and its 65+ channel partners, and contributing to their individual success. actively contributes to industry standards, serving on the UWDMA Technical Committee for UPVC Profile Standards and collaborating with the Thailand Industry Standards Institute. He is also involved in the Australian Vinyl Council, promoting UPVC in Australia.

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