The magic of a virtuous circle

// the building envelope

In essence, the term ‘well-being’ can be interpreted as ‘contentment’, which imbues a state of happiness and satisfaction.  This can be derived from many aspects of life, whether through work, sport, family relations, other hobbies or satisfying activities.

Specific to the Built Environment, a feeling of well-being is probably most important to us, in our own homes, where we strongly desire to be warm and comfortable and to feel safe and secure, protected from excessive heat, cold, noise and intruders. Where we can, if we choose to, shut out the World and feel safe and content in our own comfortable surroundings.

House design is key to attaining this - and a major contributor is the selection of doors and windows, since they play a vital role in maintaining these aspects of protection, despite being required to open for ventilation and access, as well as providing outward visibility and incoming natural light and heat.

In order to improve the quality of houses, as well as environmental protection, Government legislation, via The Building Regulations, has, for over a decade, been pushing up minimum standards of performance for thermal and acoustic insulation, as well as sustainability and security (via the Police, Secured by Design initiative – ‘SBD’), which has put pressure on manufacturers of single material window systems (PVC, timber and aluminium), struggling to keep up. 

The nett result has seen a substantial shift towards ‘composite’ windows (made of more than one material), which are engineered timber windows with a complete external shield of aluminium, to protect the timber from water, whilst the timber protects aluminium from its poor thermal insulation values, thus a real ‘win-win’ situation and break-through in window design.  This is now renowned as the most exciting window material in UK, radiating out in popularity, from London - for residential and commercial developments, right across the spectrum, from Student Accommodation and Extra Care Schemes, to low maintenance, best value, social housing - or luxury apartment blocks in the most fashionable areas. 

One of the longest established manufacturers of composite window systems, for over 30 years, is Uniform Group, based in Italy, with Uniform Architectural Ltd, Bristol, as their wholly-owned UK operation since 2013.

The Italian, precision designed and made, “uni_one®” composite system meets the challenge for high performance head-on, achieving impressive thermal insulation “U” values below 0.8 W/M2K (the ultimate Passive House standard, for which we are certified) – and equally important acoustic attenuation up to Rw52, providing a calm, peaceful interior even adjacent to a busy bus route in inner-city areas.    And, all won on competitive tenders, so cost effective, too.

Simultaneously, uni_one windows and doors are strong enough to also provide a Police Preferred level of security, SBD certified, providing a robust and effective barrier to unwelcome intruders, which has already proved successful, many times.

There are many additional and often unique features within the uni_one range, including:-
• Externally - Welded corner joints on the aluminium, so there is no joint to see, or to corrode. See photo.
• Juliet balconies, consisting of laminated glass panels, integral to the aluminium window profile, so neat with no separate fixings and certified for guarding up to 2 metres wide.
• Internally - The widest range of 12 colour/wood effects, from the very hard wearing SILK™ veneers, for sheer beauty, durability, damage resistance and ease of cleaning.
• All window sashes are glazed using structural silicone, like a car windscreen, to give the ultimate strength and weather seal, as well as using the glass stability to allow far larger opening windows to be produced – which architects often prefer.
• Attention to detail, is our mantra!

There is so much more, too!  Our full range includes balcony doors; Lift & Slide Patio doors up to 3 metres per sash, low thresholds and SBD; Curtain walling; brise soleil; louvres; spandrels; solar control and triple glazing – plus your own bespoke preferences, where possible.

Uni_one® will change your perception of the ‘composite window’.  Permanently! 
Please contact us for more information, new 2018 brochure, samples, technical discussion, drawings or quotations:-

chris.dixon@uniform-arch.co.uk  
www.uniform-arch.co.uk

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