Sapa setting the standard

// the building envelope

Mark Robinson, Technical Director for Sapa Building Systems talks to HA Magazine about the company’s contemporary offering for the social housing sector.

When Maurice Wilks set about designing the first Land Rover back in 1947 he allegedly chose to use aluminium for its construction because there was a shortage of steel after the war; though it may help explain why the vast majority of the company’s recently discontinued Defender models produced down the decades are still in use today.

Although Sapa Building Systems’ reasons for utilizing aluminium as its primary framing material are far more varied – including strength, lightness, slimness of section, security and energy performance – Technical Director Mark Robinson did make the point that: “According to our industry body, 95 per cent of all the aluminium ever produced is still in use today, such is its recyclability.”

Social housing specifiers therefore can be assured that when a building does finally reach its end of life that the fenestration will enjoy valuable reuse – perhaps as a 4x4. And in the meantime Sapa’s systems such as the Dualframe 75 Si and Stormframdoors which are very popular for residential work, will offer very resilient and low maintenance performance.

Mark Robinson recounted: “We are always seeking to supply the most energy efficient products that we can: interestingly although the step changes in the Part L regulations has eased for the moment, in reality we are seeing increasingly demanding specifications, particularly amongst certain market areas which includes providers of affordable housing.

“We and our nationwide network of some 200 fabricators are able to respond to these demands with a selection of systems which feature high performance specialized thermal breaks, the inclusion of glazing units containing soft coat glass and warm edge spacer bar technology; while we also pay very close attention to details such as the air seal line.”

He went on to explain how this air seal line can be traced all the way through the different elements to the frame, any adjoining or coupled frames, the gaskets and into the reveal; where Sapa employs bespoke bracketry for the installation. 

Furthermore, within its portfolio, Sapa Building Systems can offer both PassivHaus certified and PassivHaus compliant systems, with the latter being employed more often as specifiers seek to reduce the overall build cost of near zero energy buildings.

And in harmony with this, Mark’s team can assist with value engineering such areas of design as ensuring windows can be cleaned from within, or that damaged IG units can be replaced form inside or outside depending upon the accessibility of the property, without compromising the security performance of the window system.

Sapa Building Systems’ preferred certification agencies are BSI and BM-Trada, meaning customers can enjoy the reassurance of both the Kitemark and Q-Mark.  In addition, the company’s comprehensive testing regime, perpetuated by its fabricator network, ensures that Secure by Design and the new Part Q regulation are readily accessible for all systems and schemes.

Superior thermal performance is achieved with a unique polyamide thermal barrier enabling the Dualframe 75 Si window to comfortably exceed the requirements of Part L 2013 of the Building Regulations.

The Dualframe Si suite consists of a high performance casement, tilt before turn, pivot, reversible and window wall - a cost effective alternative to curtain wall, allowing the installation of modular units that are constructed off-site. The full Si range can also be integrated with other Sapa systems including the Elegance 52 curtain walling and the Stormframe STII thermally enhanced door system.

Dualframe 75 Si windows have been awarded BSI Kitemarks to BS4873 ‘Specification for aluminium alloy windows’ and PAS24 ‘Specification for enhanced security performance. As with all products in the Sapa range, the suite can be dual coloured.

With U-values down to 0.9 W/m2K, the Dualframe 75mm Si window suite can achieve an “A+” Window Energy Rating.

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