What Makes uPVC Windows and Doors a World-Class Option?
When it comes to sustainable architecture and building materials, uPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) has emerged as a leading option around the world, particularly in the window framing industry.
uPVC is used widely throughout Europe and the US, with other countries growing steadily. Savvy consumers are now looking more holistically at housing, gauging the long-term ROI of materials.
In this regard, uPVC is a leader, with the exponential future benefits of increased thermal performance, lower maintenance costs and a reduction in utility bills.
On the whole, European countries need to adhere to higher energy efficiency standards and have embraced uPVC for its insulation properties. Scandinavian nations, with their extreme weather conditions, rely heavily on uPVC for its durability and thermal efficiency.
Its popularity has also been growing in Australia, thanks to its toughness and ability to withstand heat. There is a growing awareness and adoption of uPVC in the APAC region, driven by the increasing focus on energy efficiency and sustainable building practices.
What is uPVC made from?
Standard PVC – Polyvinyl chloride – is a highly flexible and insulating material used across industries. However, it is also made from 43% ethylene, a by-product of oil.
uPVC is much more sustainable than traditional PVC, as no chemical plasticisers are necessary to make it (hence the term ‘unplasticised.’)
It consists of strong impact modifiers, fillers, and long spaghetti-like strands called polymers that make it tough and durable. It also gains strength when it is recycled.
This means it has benefits that increase its sustainability and desirability as a construction material. Read on to discover the qualities of uPVC that make it a superior choice.
uPVC’s superior insulation properties and ability to limit heat transfer make it an excellent choice for an energy-efficient building.
By keeping interiors warmer in winter and cooler in summer, uPVC window frames significantly reduce the reliance on heating and cooling systems.
This leads to lower energy consumption and, ultimately, a smaller carbon footprint, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change. Let’s look at this in a bit more detail.
Low Thermal Conductivity
uPVC is a poor conductor of heat. This means that it does not easily allow heat transfer from the inside of a building to the outside, or vice versa. As a result, in winter, heat stays inside, and in summer, it stays outside, maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature.
uPVC window frames achieve exceptional air tightness through sophisticated design and manufacturing techniques. Tight sealing during installation minimises air leakage around the window, which is a major source of heat loss in buildings.
Thermotek products such as our Boutique Series and Sliding Systems are precisely engineered and manufactured to ensure that all components fit together without gaps, which is crucial for preventing air leakage.
The frames incorporate multiple seals, placed strategically between the frame and glass, and between the frame and the building structure to seal off air passages.
The joints in uPVC frames are also usually welded at the corners, creating a seamless and continuous bond that is much more effective in preventing air leakage compared to frames that are mechanically joined or bolted.
The tight-fitting design of the sash and the frame also plays a vital role. When the window is closed, the sash presses tightly against the frame, forming an airtight seal. The meticulous attention to detail in the design and manufacturing of Thermotek uPVC window frames is what makes them so effective in maintaining airtightness.
Thermotek uPVC window and door systems feature a 5-chamber design by aluplast. These chambers trap air, and because air is a poor conductor of heat, this adds another layer of insulation.
‘Multi-chambered profile’ refers to the internal structure consisting of hollow chambers or compartments that run throughout the length of the frame. These chambers are separated by internal walls or partitions, creating multiple enclosed air spaces within the frame itself.
Air naturally gets trapped in these hollow chambers. Air is a poor conductor of heat, meaning it doesn’t easily allow heat to pass through it. By trapping air in these chambers, the frame effectively utilises the air as an insulating layer.
This reduces the amount of heat that can pass through the window frame, thereby enhancing the thermal insulation of the entire window.
The multiple chambers act as a thermal break, significantly reducing the transfer of heat or cold through the frame. In summer, this means less external heat entering the building through the frame, and in winter, it means less heat escaping from the inside.
Double or Triple-Glazing Compatibility
Thermotek uPVC frames are used in combination with double or triple-glazed windows.
These glazing options include multiple layers of glass with air or inert gas (like argon) between them, significantly reducing heat transfer.
uPVC boasts exceptional durability. Unlike traditional materials that may warp, corrode, or degrade over time, uPVC retains its integrity and appearance for decades. It can withstand extremely hot or cold temperatures, which makes it an ideal choice for any geographical location.
Its robust nature makes it resistant to impacts and break-ins, providing enhanced building security. The material’s structural integrity also ensures that the frames do not bend or distort under pressure, maintaining a flawless appearance and functionality over time.
This longevity reduces the need for frequent replacements, offering long-term financial benefits and reducing environmental impact.
Unlike wood or metal frames that require regular painting or treatment to prevent deterioration, uPVC frames are virtually maintenance-free.
They resist peeling, flaking, and rotting and can be easily cleaned with basic cleaning solutions. This hassle-free upkeep makes uPVC an ideal option for both residential and commercial properties.
Over the past decade, the aesthetic versatility of uPVC has evolved. It is now available in a range of colours and finishes, including those that can replicate natural materials like wood.
Whatever the architectural style of a project, uPVC can now complement it, blending functionality with aesthetics. The Thermotek Boutique Series combines visual styling with energy efficiency and is available in a sleek range of Architectural and Woodgrain finishes. It makes it a great choice for both new builds and renovations.
Sound Proofing & Security
Besides thermal insulation, the multi-chambered design of uPVC frames also contributes to sound insulation.
The multiple air-filled chambers help to dampen and absorb sound waves, reducing the amount of external noise entering through the windows. In addition, the strength of the material and the tight sealing mean they can boost the security of a property. For example, Thermotek’s Smart Slide systems feature innovative locking mechanisms and high-quality sealing with no brushes.
uPVC Window & Door Systems Can Transform Your Building Project
uPVC’s amalgamation of durability, energy efficiency, ease of maintenance, strength, aesthetics, and sustainability has cemented its status as a world-class option in window framing.
Sustainability is at the heart of the growing preference for uPVC around the world. The material’s long lifespan and recyclability contribute significantly to environmental conservation.
By reducing the need for frequent replacements and being recyclable at the end of its life, uPVC is a sound and affordable choice for green building projects.
As Australia increasingly adopts uPVC, it aligns with the global shift towards more environmentally conscious and energy-efficient building practices.
Talk to Thermotek Today
Sustainability also runs through the core of Thermotek. We harness world-class German engineering and tailor it for the Australian climate. All our products for the local market are manufactured at our low-waste facility in Melbourne.
We understand the unique requirements of the Australian construction industry and will customise global engineering and innovation to suit your project.
If you’re about to embark on a sustainable building project, we’d love to help you leverage the power of Thermotek uPVC window and door systems. Achieve an energy-efficient build with longevity. Contact us today to start the journey!