30 years ago, most windows were timber and maintenance was a major bug-bear. There was almost no requirement for thermal or sound insulation, glass was single glazed, little concern existed for the environment, or security – and the concept of ‘whole life costs’ and thus, ‘best value’, was just a dream in the minds of the more enlightened.
Since then, the introduction of PVC and aluminium windows to reduce maintenance, worked well for a while, but then, these new window materials began to struggle under the inexorable rise in performance requirements under Building Regulations, ecological considerations, global warming, architectural preferences and clients wishing to exceed these performance standards, even further.
Thinking outside the box and using synergy, a ‘smarter’ solution was developed by some industry innovators, exploring better uses of current materials.
Timber, despite its susceptibility to water, has many benefits of sustainability, inherent insulation and acoustic properties, ease of workability, and a desirable appearance – and when engineered into laminated profiles, becomes extremely strong and dimensionally stable (Example: Structural “H” beams).
Aluminium on the other hand, is a very poor insulator, and lacks the appeal of a warm internal finish, but makes an excellent water barrier.
So, combining the two and making an engineered timber window, with all those added benefits, but protecting it from water, by fitting an outer shield of aluminium – and the “Composite” Window was born – which has since become a legendary revolution in the industry, outpacing the growth of all other window types, in recent years. This applies equally to progressive designers of Schools and Student Accommodation, since long life, minimum maintenance, low U values, high acoustic attenuation and competitive pricing are all essential.
One of these leading pioneers, in the mid 1980’s, was the Uniform Group, in Italy, who manufacture exclusively, the uni_one® Composite Window System, which, today, sells all around the World.
Introduced into UK, in 2014, through Uniform Architectural Ltd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uniform) the many benefits of the uni_one® system, even over other composite windows, have been welcomed and appreciated by clients, architects and contractors, alike. Many unique features set uni_one® apart, as follows:-
A) Structurally bonded glass to improve strength and rigidity allowing much larger sashes to be produced, which architects and clients often prefer.
B) Vulcanised gaskets providing a continuous seal around the glass corners for much better and more durable weather-sealing.
C) Internal timber profiles are veneered in a variety of finishes, to provide significantly longer life, durability, appearance and protection from wear and tear, especially in heavy duty applications.
D) Unusually high acoustic performance, avoiding the need for secondary glazing is available beyond Rw50 and especially suited for traffic noise attenuation.
E) Triple glazing can take U values down to well below 0.8 W/M2K.
F) Sheer quality of manufacture of the finished product, cause many customers to ‘adopt’ us as their preferred window supplier, recommending us to their clients on future schemes.
G) Cost advantages over others on Tilt & Turn windows, due to economies of scale from high volume manufacture across Europe.
H) Cost advantages over aluminium-only windows, whose increasing raw material prices now make them more expensive than our composite windows, very often! Ironically!
I) An enthusiasm and passion by all within this Italian family owned business, to make the best window on the market; to embrace customer’s special requirements and strive to meet their needs.