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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
    • CommentTime5 days ago
    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
    • CommentTime5 days ago
    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.
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