Alternatives to Steel Windows
Thin steel windows are still a popular idea in the UK, but improvements to building regulations over the years mean that it’s becoming more and more difficult to be approved for use. Luckily though, we believe there are a few great solutions to this problem.
We have a pure aluminium product for super thin internal screens and doors, and a thermally-broken aluminium solution for external windows: perfect for stone mullions (this is our most popular aluminium product by far).
We even recognise the shortcomings of aluminium as a material, so we have a steel-style aluminium-clad timber solution too. This sadly is not compatible with stone mullions, but gives a top-tier insulation value alongside that traditional metal appearance. We recommend this over an aluminium-only product for a normal structural opening.
Steel-Style Systems (That aren’t steel!)
Thanks to a thermal break within the slim frame, the Alitherm Heritage can provide an overall Uw-value of 1.5 U-values Explained when paired with high-performance double glazing. The thermal break is 160x better than steel. Fantastic for renovations where a steel replacement in no longer an option, and perfect for stone mullions. The incredibly slim 47mm frame depth is perfectly suited to these, and including an odd-leg (or z-section) forms a neat cover over a small part of the angled external section of a stone pillar.
In general, Alitherm Heritage provides us with a modern solution to a traditional steel window. Better thermal efficiency, no rust and a 40 year typical lifespan. There’s no need for re-painting, or any form of serious maintenance – simply wipe down with a warm, damp cloth.
If you don’t need your new windows to fit within stone mullions, the aluminium-clad timber Unik Funkis window is a far more energy efficient solution, with U-values down to around 0.8. Their super thin 19mm decorative bars are a great traditional asset.
Unik’s primarily timber window is one of the most energy efficient products we offer. So adding that metal exterior to provide a steel-look and low-maintenance property is an amazing combination. Add the polyamide separator between the two materials, and the result is something pretty special and unique.
For steel framed items inside the home, insulation is obviously not a property that needs to be worried about. Origin’s non-thermally-broken internal screen system therefore provides a less costly alternative to steel interior design. Toughened 6mm single glazing inserted within a thin aluminium achieves that solid steel style without the associated cost.