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Upvc Doors and Windows–The Best Bet
Mahesh Choudhury, Aparna Enterprises
uPVC windows & doors are the best bet for anyone who is ignorant about their doors and windows. It is environmentally friendly, rust and corrosion-resistant and hence has increased longevity as compared to others. The technology, design and testing process for the uPVC doors and windows helps to bring out their unique properties.
As a tradition in India, we have seen that the doors and windows are done by a carpenter who is known to a family or through someone’s reference, and who primarily uses wood, mild steel or aluminium as frames over some glass and some basic hardware such as handles, shoot-bolts and hinges to create the structure. But the life span of those windows is very short.
uPVC windows have many advantages, windows have come a long way from being insignificant to being recognized as the single most important area in a building for preventing energy loss and providing inhabitants with comfort. The primary objective of the division is to innovate and create quality products that would enhance the new-age building architecture. Apart from this, windows today also have to ensure low/high solar heat gain (depending on the climate), daylighting, noise attenuation, low dust ingress, air/water tightness, aesthetics, low maintenance requirements, and the like.
High performance and durability of uPVC windows & doors require the following technical qualities:
U-value (W/m2K): This measures how well a window is able to prevent heat transfer across itself either from outside to inside, or vice-versa. The lower the u value, the better the windows’ insulating value. Today, state-of-the-art window-making technology ensures u values of even 0.2 W/m2K.uPVC windows have uValue 1.5 to 1.7 W/m2K.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): This measures how well a window blocks heat caused by sunlight. It is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat the window transmits.
Visible Transmittance (VT): This measures how much light comes through the window. VT is expressed as a number between 0 and 1; the higher the number, the more the light is transmitted.
Air Leakage (AL) cfm/Sqft: When air infiltrates through cracks in a window, heat gain from outside or cooling loss from inside can happen. AL rating is expressed as the equivalent cubic feet of air passing through a square foot of window area. The lower the value, the lesser the AL. The uPVC windows and doors are welded to ensure that there is no air gap.
Water Tightness: This is the way to measure how much water can infiltrate through cracks/joints in windows. This is an important test for coastal and/or heavy rain areas.
Noise Attenuation or Reduction: Due to their better seal ability and product integrity, uPVC windows ensure that noise from outside does not come into the habitable area. This property is important for hospitals, hotels, educational institutions, and constructions close to noise centres, etc.
Wind Load Suitability: Windows has to withstand higher wind loads, particularly in windy locations, coastal areas, high rises, etc. uPVC windows are designed and reinforced to withstand even 3,000 Pascals of wind speed (equivalent to 245 km/hr of wind velocity).
Types of Glass Used: The choice of glass can really impact the performance of doors and windows by affecting energy savings, views, privacy and security. Different type of glass, like security glass of up to a maximum of 28 mm thickness, is recommended for installation. One has to understand that glass fitting is just as important as the installation of uPVC doors and windows. That is exactly why this technology also comes with an offer and the choice of an entire range of glass that can easily be fitted into these uPVC frames. There are choices of laminated, tempered, sound-resistant, insulated, bent and yes, even bulletproof glasses that are available in the market today and this range of glass is known for its strength and sturdiness.
Selection of Hardware: Selecting the best-fit hardware for uPVC doors and windows is key to the performance. Hardware available are handles, hinges, friction stays, door locks, cylinders, multi-point locks, rollers, thresholds, door closers, etc. For handles- looks, quality, design and colour matching the profile should be given priority. The selection of the right hinges and rollers depends on the panel size and weight.
Selection of Appropriate Profile: The design of the profile is important to get high performance of the doors and windows along with the aesthetics. We need to understand the way it is manufactured and fitted. Good quality hinges and locks, well-engineered reinforcement used where necessary and the right screws in the right places with the precise measurement of the window are the factors that play an equally important part. With the strengthening of properties like galvanized sections of steel, the profiles that are attached to the doors and windows have a more sturdy finish. The frame manufacturer should ensure that the frame has sufficient rigidity to stay within the permissible relative frontal deflection limits
A premium uPVC manufacturer uses a formulation that meets the weather conditions in India. The right levels of all components are critical. “Titanium dioxide” provides UV stability and colourfastness for the white profile. This compound protects windows and doors from discolouring. Titanium has a very high price and hence the premium doors and windows costs are high.
The outer wall thickness of profiles should be a minimum of 2.2 mm and above (2.8mm A grade) for better functioning.
Installation: Installation of uPVC windows & doors is very critical. The profiles should be cut to length and welded to 45 degrees. The window unit should be designed such that the water drainage does not pass through the reinforcement chamber. The window system should be fixed directly to the brick wall using a self-expanding nylon plug and driving MS zinc-coated screws into the plug.
Lead-free unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) is a rigid and chemically resistant form of PVC. It has various advantages that are enhanced to meet the customers’ expectations, such as needing very little maintenance and is much stronger as compared to traditional wooden and aluminium products. Unlike wooden products, when exposed to damp weather conditions, uPVC products do not swell or warp. uPVC’s durability is absolutely unquestionable.
When compared to their aluminium counterparts, uPVC doors and windows are hands down better in terms of security, appearance and most importantly, value for money. Apart from temperature, uPVC products remain unaffected by termite, rust, corrosion and dust. Keeping the above advantages of uPVC, we need to educate the Indian customers. Durability, comfort and style are further enhanced by engineered design for excellent insulation and easy clean, low maintenance surfaces.
There is a range of uPVC doors for bedrooms, living rooms and balconies while the uPVC widows can be attached almost anywhere! There are options for sliding doors, fold & slide doors and in the case of windows, there are casement windows, sliding windows, and tilt & turn windows.
uPVC windows& doors are increasingly becoming the material of choice for achieving economic and environmental balance as well as meeting higher demands on inhabitant’s comfort. With the natural resources dwindling fast, traditional products are becoming more expensive. At the same time, the requirement for building materials is increasing by many folds. uPVC windows and doors are making an enormous contribution to many different aspects of infrastructure development and hence need to be on every architect, interior decorator or builder’s radar screen.
Mahesh Choudhury, Aparna Enterprises
Mahesh Choudhury is the CEO of uPVC division of Aparna Enterprises, a flagship company of Aparna group and one of the leading players within manufacturing & fabrication of building material segment. He is responsible for the business growth of uPVC division, doors & windows. Mahesh has 18 years of experience in various capacities, and he is a management graduate and certified business manager from IIM Ahmedabad.