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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorRobL
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2018
    I used that online company mentioned earlier for a friends Garage conversion into an ad-hoc music room - heated with a fan heater on demand, with internal roof/wall/floor insulation to house building regs. The original ~1950's 2 wooden windows & side door had rotted away after being unpainted for years, so we replaced them and the up & over door with DG uPVC windows, door, and patio door, for ~£1500+VAT. Thought about 3G, but it just didn't seem worth it, given the occasional use. The quality seemed fine to me - strong enough with good hinges & locks. I spent a while fiddling with the patio door as it didn't lock properly - until I found it had handy grub screw adjustments in the hinges, nice.

    As an aside, I used to live in Cambridge on a Mill Rd side street, and today walked back through it looking at the windows. The houses are all ~100 years old, 2 up 2 down slate roof terraces, generally owned by "Dinky's" (Dual Income No Kids Yet) and cost far more than they should. On one side of the street I counted 17 houses with original windows (wooden single glazed), 25 with uPVC, 5 with Aluminium, and I think 4 new wooden double glazed. The one we'd had for four years, and painted twice, was still original wooden single glazed, drafty and rattly like we left it. Well, mostly wooden - but for all the filler I used :-)
    • CommentAuthorgoodevans
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2018 edited
    As it happens I was able to make a visit to Munster's showroom on Monday.

    My favoured selection from them for mu build at the moment is their 'PassiV AluClad Casement Window - 3g'.

    Total cost at £410/m2 plus VAT supply only (all doors, windows, French doors) + bifold doors in Alu P (3g 90mm Alumininum frame). (2g at £340 / m2). Two dwellings 56m2 total. There have been no price negotiations - this is the first price they offered (and I don't know if more is available off that price yet).

    Things I like.
    The frames look like they will perform well Thermally - front to back at 120mm thick, UPVC structural core clad externally with Aluminium - internally with pine (which can be supplied painted white).
    Hinges and iron work seemed robust.
    Night latch available on PAS24 units.
    52mm glazing units.
    Good choice of sill depths as standard.
    Windows and doors can take the 'dead load' with only 60mm of the heal of the window/door sill supported (but additional support is required for the lip of the door sills for standing on).
    Two air seals on casements (except door threshold with one seal).
    The door sills are slender - if you have 20mm of floor finish the the sills don't need to be 'sunk into the floor' for part M thresholds).

    Things I didn't like.
    Half glazed doors - the opaque panels were also 52mm thick like the glazing - loosing the opportunity for better insulation where the is no glass (this allows them to use the same beading/process inside the door regardless of glazed or not - it also looked ugly).
    Limited or no choice of colours for the warm spacer (black), internal window gasket (white or cream), cladding colours (8).
    Their Gray colour is RAL 7015 (slate grey) not the typical 7016 (anthracite grey).

    Things to note -
    The door sills come in either white or silver grey (so that when shoes scratch/wear the finish the aluminium underneath blends with these colours better).
    All of the load is passed to the sills - the head and jamb fixings take no vertical load.
    Communication with Munster has been good and prompt - they are happy to talk with me but at the end of the day by builder will have to order - no big problem (and the builder will reclaim the VAT instead of me at the end of the build).
    • CommentAuthorTimSmall
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2018
    Re glazing and thermal comfort - there are other variables in this mainly the glazing fraction of the room and the type and location of any heat emitters.

    e.g. for the UK in a typical size room with under floor heating, a single small window (U Window = 2.0) thermal comfort will probably be OK. A large floor-to ceiling U value = 1.1 window with radiators on the opposite wall, and you're going to "feel chilly" and get cold feet.

    For the room that Kenny was describing with lots of glazing, it sounds like triple will be needed to stay comfortable.
    • CommentAuthorTimSmall
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2018 edited
    Posted By: KennyMAlso quite surprised by the conclusion that a 0.1 solar gain, is preferable to a 0.1 u value improvement, for pretty much all of Europe, including where I am where the sun has only been a rumour for around the last 8 months!

    ... only for (mostly) unshaded South facing windows. For North facing it's the other way around...
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2018
    @goodevans Are you based in Ireland? Or are you an architect/specifier? I didn't think they sold direct to the great unwashed.
    • CommentAuthorgoodevans
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2018 edited
    Posted By: gravelldAre you based in Ireland? Or are you an architect/specifier?

    No - none of the above - I am building 2 houses so the order size is OK but not massive - I have been able to proceed on the basis of they will agree the quote and spec with me and then, at the end, my builder will order the product.

    I think the main reason that companies like Munster and say Howdens only operate 'trade' accounts is to limit their exposure to consumer rights legislation - It's the builder that front's the customer relationship and the builder only has contract law in it's dealings with the supplier.

    To be fair - if things go wrong I will have to bear the agro and the cost (as the builder will be making no margin on the order - he should take no risk). At the end of the job I will warn the builder that he should never do that again - another customer may not be generous - he needs to take a margin or not get involved in the transaction.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2018
    Thanks, good advice. I'll approach them - our order will be a little smaller, but worth a try.
    • CommentAuthorKenny_M
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2018
    Thanks RobL, good to hear that you have used www.modernupvcwindows.co.uk and found the quality to be ok. I know what you mean about filler and painted old wood windows, I cut a whole section of rotting sill from the bottom of one of my sash and case windows last summer, fitted in a new piece of timber, and with filler and paint no-one could tell the difference.

    Thanks all for your comments, some great info, a lot to think about. I am pretty much decided to go for triple in the modern extension, particularly for the sitting area where sitting where there is almost as much glass as wall. This is also good future proofing for other insulation measures as this is the only part of the house where I can really go to town and bring the walls/floor/roof up to modern standards. I think double glazing makes sense elsewhere in the house and on the front I intend to retain the original sash and case and just retrofit DG sealed units into them.

    I still need to decide on what type to go for, I like the idea of wood, the idea of a window frame lasting as opposed to PVC frame being in a skip in 15 years, but I am a little sceptical that a wooden window installed now, will last significantly longer. Its not that the window itself won't last, but will a 0.7 u value window be out of date tech in 20 years? Will a future owner rip them out and skip them when the sealed unit fails because its cheaper to replace the whole frame, or because they don't know its possible to replace the sealed unit only?

    The great irony of being in a conservation area is that because the windows at the rear are PVC already, technically I don't need permission to replace them like for like. To fit wood windows it would be a change and I would need planning permission! Madness.
    If your concerned of windows lasting then you cannot beat stone with glass direct into the stone mullions. House originally approx 1650 but extension built in 1721 which still retains its original leaded glass direct into the stone mullion so will soon be its 300th anniversary.
    • CommentAuthorKenny_M
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2018
    That's really interesting, it wouldn't be an option for me at the front as planning would want the sash and case to remain.

    I actually DIY thermally 'upgraded' two 1.2 metre square polycarbonate skylights in the extension by simply resting a sealed DG unit on top of a wooden frame at ceiling level. The sealed unit is only mm short of the space, so the u value of the glass should in effect be the u value of the window. I had thought about doing something similar for the vertical windows at the back, but this only really works for windows you don't need to open, making windows that open is well beyond my carpentry skills! :)
    Dont have any opening windows but do have MVHR using Lunos units which I am quite impressed with apart from the control unit which is badly made for UK electrics.
    • CommentAuthorAndy M
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2019
    Apologies for resurrecting this thread but I'm curious to know what Kenny_M went with in the end.

    I'm in a similar situation looking to glaze a 6m x 2.2m opening in an extension and that Optimal Glazing pdf pretty much confirms my thoughts that it is imperative we go with 3g.

    Unfortunately, here in France (just north of Lyon) there is constant resistance and so far only 1 of about 10 or 12 suppliers I've met with has recommended 3g. Everyone has said there is no point, that it is an unnecessary extra cost and that I would be losing out on light and valuable solar gains.

    Given the opening to be glazed faces a smidgen North of due West I think this is nonsense and that keeping the heat in through Winter is a much greater priority than gaining a degree or two of solar energy in the shoulder months.

    I can't find a proper French translation of that report so I guess I'm seeking reassurance that my assertions are right and that all these professionals are wrong...?
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2019
    3G is available, just ask the glass supplier(s)... however very few window suppliers will offer it ;-( look to N / E europe instead....
    Good luck ;-)
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2019
    Posted By: Andy MI can't find a proper French translation of that report so I guess I'm seeking reassurance that my assertions are right and that all these professionals are wrong...?

    Remember that the report is optimising embodied energy, whilst the professionals might well be optimising cost. So it's quite possible for both to be right. Although many of the statements on this forum assert that there should be no additional cost for 3G on continental Europe. So I suspect you makes your choice and you pays your money, and you're the customer so you're always right.
    • CommentAuthorAndy M
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2019
    3g is available here in France and in most cases it doesn't cost that much more. It's just a question of convincing the suppliers of the benefit.
    This is probably in the 'how long is a piece of string' category, but can anyone advise what is the absolute minimum Uw value I should be aiming at for a set of 3 windows spanning 6m x 2.2 in total? They will be in a well insulated room of 70m2 with UFH.
    To be entitled to Eco Tax credits here, the Uw must come in at under 1.7 which seems to be setting the bar rather low
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2019 edited
    Posted By: Andy Ma smidgen North of due West

    Watch out for stifling summer (and sometimes, even "WINTER"...) evenings ! Which implies having the low-E coating on the "proper" plane...

    Are you fitting external roller-blinds ?

    How close does the UFH come to the window area ?

    We went the same eco-tax route as yourself, used a "major" supplier (Brittany), it was a mixed experience. Next time I would go for a local artisan...

    (in fact, for my garage door I did do, and it came out around one-half the price that our earlier window supplier quoted) (not sure how to say "foutage de guêle" in English !) (probably, "taking one for an effing ride...").

    (IMO, all this eco-tax nonsense is just that - nonsense ! These window outfits inflate the price in anycase, so the benefit is for THEM and not for YOU ! *PLUS* due to "effet d'annonce" they load their orderbooks, then get extra discounts from their east-european suppliers because of their bulk-buy arrangements !).

    (end of rant...)


    To summarise, I'd say that U values might be the least of your problems !
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2019
    @Andy M: maybe no worse than 2 or 3 times the other exterior walls?


    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2019
    I have two Velux to replace, we have been discussing double or triple glazing with the supplier...

    After the following read, I have decided that triple glazing is not worth the extra cost in this case...


    So we'll be fitting DG, and I'll continue using my good-old board of 30mm XPS for those coldest weeks...

    • CommentAuthorKenny_M
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2019
    Hi Andy,
    I haven't been following this forum since last year, so total co-incidence that I happened in on this.

    I'm afraid I can't help though, I have been so busy with other stuff, finishing a bathroom renovation and a number of other household disasters, part time PhD and a 4 year old, that I haven't got back to the windows. I did DIY replacement of the glass in one of the old wooden frame windows with a DG sealed unit, the SG was cracked so I had to a repair anyway. I've more or less decided to do something similar in most of the windows in the old house and stick to DG for those.

    In the modern extension I may yet go with TG where there is a very large area that is glass. In Scotland I am not convinced we get enough sun to really see more benefit from solar gain.

    • CommentAuthorAndy M
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2019
    No, we don't intend to install external blinds at present but the room is dual aspect and we will obviously have the windows open most of the time in good weather. The UFH will come right up to the windows.

    Just about all the major suppliers use local artisans so each time I've contacted the likes of Schuco, Internorm etc, it's been an artisan from the area who would supply and install

    The house is built from stone so I've insulated the walls to about 0.27-0.3 and no less in part due to the various threads on here. A Uw for the windows at x3 of 0.9 is achievable but 0.6 is going to be pushing it a bit around here. The best 2G quote so far comes in at Uw 1.3

    I know how it feels, good luck
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2019
    Posted By: Andy MThe UFH will come right up to the windows.

    The reason I asked is, if it's not too late, you might be able to benefit from solar gain in the floor by not laying UFH within, say 2 metres of the window (depending on how the sun "paints" the room...). Mine was laid thus.

    Posted By: Andy MJust about all the major suppliers use local artisans so each time I've contacted the likes of Schuco, Internorm etc, it's been an artisan from the area who would supply and install

    That actually sounds like good news !

    (Although if it is the artisan driving the supplier, rather than vice-versa, it might be even better !).

    Posted By: gyrogear
    Posted By: Andy MJust about all the major suppliers use local artisans so each time I've contacted the likes of Schuco, Internorm etc, it's been an artisan from the area who would supply and install

    That actually sounds like good news !

    Can't you go straight to the artisan ?
    • CommentAuthorAndy M
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2019
    In the months where we would want solar gain, the sun barely touches the room due to the aspect and treeline.

    In many cases I have done. I've researched window suppliers that have products that meet my requirements and they have then directed my towards a local artisan who uses their product or I've gone straight to the artisan
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