The Guardian Warm Roof

Re-invent your existing conservatory with one of our super fully insulated solid roofs by market leader Guardian.

THE PROBLEM
If you already have a conservatory, you’ll know how the outside temperature and weather conditions can effect the overall comfort of your room and how it’s used. If you’ve inherited an older conservatory through a house move for example, you may find that it’s an unusable space during the winter or hot summer spells. A common remark we hear is that “my conservatory is too hot during the summer and far too cold in winter.” A new Guardian Warm Roof could therefore be the perfect solution for you.

THE SOLUTION
The Guardian Warm Roof is a revolutionary step forward in home improvement – a high performance, lightweight roof system that has been designed to replace your existing glass or polycarbonate roof or be installed as an alternative on your new conservatory.

INSTALLATION BY RUISLIP WINDOWS. BEFORE: Glass conservatory roof with decorative cresting. AFTER: New Guardian Warm Roof installed – a complete transformation!

Fully tested and approved to all thermal and structural standards, the Guardian roof is a high performance insulated roof system comprising of a pre-engineered lightweight frame, two layers of rigid insulation board, internal insulated plasterboard, exterior grade plywood and a vapour membrane. Altogether this creates a more thermally efficient living space than your existing conservatory, keeping the warm air out in the summer and preventing the heat from escaping in the winter.

  • The solid roof will help you to maintain a consistent interior temperature.
  • Your room will be quiet and comfortable all year round.
  • Your new room can now be fully integrated into your ground floor living area.
  • It will give you the extra space you have always wanted.

Designed to retain the conservatory’s original windows, doors, frames and walls, the Guardian Warm Roof System is fully tested and approved to all thermal and structural standards.

(1): Choice of tile finishes. (2): Membrane. (3): Exterior grade plywood. (4): 25mm high performance insulation. (5) 40mm high performance insulation. (6): Timber battens. (7): 72mm high performance insulated plasterboards. (8): Rafter.

By removing your old conservatory roof and replacing it with a new insulated tiled roof, you’ll completely change the appearance of the rear of your home and garden. Now your conservatory will more closely resemble a proper extension and by choosing tiles that match your house you’ll be getting all the benefits of a ground floor extension along with the convenience and style of a conservatory.

If you’d like more details about the Guardian Warm Roof system and how you could transform your existing conservatory, download our PDF brochure here >> or contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail. We’re here to help! 🙂

Double glazing -v- triple glazing: what’s the best option?

Triple-glazing is often marketed as a better option than double-glazing, especially when it comes to thermal insulation. But is this really the case?

If you look at the websites of the big nationals for instance, you could be forgiven for wondering why so many companies are still even selling double glazing when triple glazing appears to be so much better at insulation and soundproofing your home! Here we attempt to debunk many of the myths that surround triple glazing, and clarify the facts to help you make an informed decision that’s right for you.

Example of a triple glazed sealed unit and a double glazed sealed unit.

While it’s true that triple-glazing does offer some benefits, it may not be the best or most economic solution for you.

Triple glazing is a better insulator for your home than double glazing.
The energy performance of windows is measured in U-Values. Lower U-values = a more energy efficient window. Traditional single glazed windows can have a U value in excess of 5. Building Regulations now stipulate that modern double glazing should have a U-value of no less than 1.6.

U-Values for older double glazing used to be much higher. However in recent years the manufacturing process has been greatly improved to provide much more energy efficient units. These improvements have been brought about by the introduction of wider cavities between the two glass panes, low-emissivity coatings being added to the glass to stop heat escaping (glass such as Pilkington K or Planitherm Softcoat Total), the cavity being filled with an inert gas (usually argon) and the use of warm-edge spacer bars (instead of aluminium).

Triple-glazing enables window manufacturers to achieve U-values of 1.0 and lower. So yes, triple glazing can enhance heat retention.  But such U-values are really only of benefit when they are installed into an overall energy saving build, such as in a low energy house or a “passive house”.  Where windows are being fitted into a standard build or as part of a refurbishment project then sealed units offering U-values as low as 1.1 are preferable and easily achievable with double glazing.

With the exception of perhaps the northern reaches of Scotland, the rest of the UK is simply not cold enough to warrant the use of triple glazing. Scandinavian countries such as Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and other far northern countries use triple glazing because temperatures such as -20° C can be quite frequent. Highly energy efficient windows and doors, triple and sometimes quadruple-glazed are absolutely necessary to help reinforce the fabric of the buildings against the cold.

As far as the UK is concerned, there are many who argue that triple glazing simply doesn’t make sense in our climate. It is more costly to produce, produces much heavier sections and has an embodied energy approximately 50% higher than double glazing. Why would home owners pay more when good double glazed windows would easily tick the box?

Triple glazing is a better sound insulator than double glazing.
One of the biggest selling points of triple glazing has been its ability to reduce noise and outdoor sound. The thickness of the glass used is one of the three key elements of the sound insulation. Different thicknesses of glass will block a different frequency, so a combination of panes of varying thickness is more effective at keeping noise out. This is known as asymmetrical glazing. However, (and somewhat ironically!) most fabricators currently appear to offer triple glazed units with standardised cavities and glass thicknesses.

The second key element is the size of the gap between the panes. The larger the gap, the better the overall sound insulation effect. Finally the use of an acoustical resistant gas to augment or replace the inert gas (usually argon) will effectively help reflect noise away.

If sound insulation is important to you then it would be worth considering acoustic glass sealed units (such as Pilkington Optiphon or St Gobain’s acoustic glass, both of which are laminates) or even secondary double glazing instead. Secondary glazing will have a much greater air gap than can be achieved in triple glazing, and can achieve great noise reduction at considerably less cost.

In conclusion – For

  • Triple-glazing offers low U-values suited to specific low-energy and “passive house” projects and can return the value of your investment when fitted as part of these specifications.
  • If asymmetrical glazing is used together with acoustic glass, some noise reduction can be achieved.

In conclusion – Against

  • Higher cost.
  • Reduced light penetration due to additional layer of glass.
  • Minimal savings in energy bills in comparison to the higher cost.
  • Benefits such as noise reduction and solar control can be included in double-glazing for less than the cost of a standard triple-glazed unit.
  • Overall greater weight than a double glazed unit could pose problems for your windows – sashes dropping can be an issue.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information. We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you soon! 🙂

What is smart glass?

Glass has got intelligent. And we think it’s all the better for it.

 

Generally used in conservatory and lantern roofs, the term “smart glass” or “intelligent glass” usually refers to the new generation of glass systems that feature additional built-in properties. This can include solar control, privacy glass and self-cleaning glass. There is now a growing demand for better performing conservatory roofing systems, both for brand new installations and for the emerging replacement sector. Glass is at the very heart of the thermal and acoustic performance of any conservatory and smart glass is not only far quieter but can also regulate temperature so your conservatory can be used all year round. It can reflect unwanted heat and glare from the sun in the summer, yet will also help to retain warmth during the winter months, and is almost three times as efficient than standard double glazing.

Smart glass can also filter out harmful UV rays and use self-cleaning technology, reducing the frequency of cleaning required and keeping your roof looking better, for longer.

TYPES OF “SMART GLASS” AVAILABLE

Pilkington Activ™
This was the world’s first self-cleaning glass. It’s basically the same as conventional glass, except for a unique permanent dual action coating. It works in two ways: first it uses daylight to break down organic deposits (such as dirt) and then uses rain to wash the dirt away. Pilkington Activ™ also dries faster, leaving the glass clean and with less streaks. It’s an ideal solution for conservatory roofs, orangeries, glass extensions, skylights and windows in hard to reach areas. The Pilkington Activ™ range comprises of several different types of self-cleaning glass:

  • Pilkington Activ™ Clear – self-cleaning glass.
  • Pilkington Activ™ Bronze – a tinted self-cleaning glass that combines self-cleaning with solar control.
  • Pilkington Activ™ Blue – a tinted self-cleaning glass that combines self-cleaning with medium solar control.
  • Pilkington Activ SunShade™ Neutral – a coloured glass that combines self-cleaning with superior solar control.
  • Pilkington Activ SunShade™ Blue – an attractive blue tinted glass that combines self-cleaning with superior solar control.

Check out the Pilkington Activ brochure on our website here >>

Dynamic SMARTGLASS®
This is an exciting new product by Clayton Glass – the industry’s first automatically self-tinting, glass technology for conservatories, orangeries and lantern roofs. In the middle of summer SMARTGLASS® Dynamic will change from a clear state in the morning to a darker blue one during the day, where solar control and light shading is needed most. Then as the unit cools, it will return to clear at the end of the day and into the night. (This reminds us a bit of those reactions lenses you can have in your glasses!). At all other times of the day and season this glass will offer various semi-tinted states, dependant upon the surface temperature of the glass. In its clear state, this glass offers a similar light transmission to a standard clear glass unit.

SMARTGLASS® Dynamic by Clayton Glass, shown in its clear and tinted states.

SWITCHABLE PRIVACY GLASS
Almost like magic, this glass can turn from clear to opaque instantly. Truly the stuff of “Grand Designs”, switchable glass is operated by a simple electrical switch, controlling the opacity of the glass from clear to translucent. The opacity is down to a special Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) film which includes conductive interlayers and allows you to change the visual appearance of the glass at the flick of a switch.  The latest generation of switchable double glazed smart glass windows combines the benefits of improved thermal performance with the immediate control over privacy and security. The PDLC can be applied to any type or thickness of glass including toughened, laminated and double glazed sealed units, offering a number of glazing solutions for both the domestic and commercial markets.

Now you see it, now you don’t! Switchable glass used in a shower screen to give privacy. Ok, we know it’s not a window or door, but hey, we liked this and think it looks cool!

SOLAR CONTROL GLASS
Excess heat and glare caused by the sun can be a major source of discomfort in some indoor environments, especially those with glass roofs, conservatories or with large glazed areas. The latest solutions for solar control reflect and filter the sun’s rays, allowing natural daylight into the room, but without uncomfortable visual glare. Rooms can be kept cooler during sunny periods, reducing the need for air-conditioning. A range of solar control glass solutions are available, from a number of trusted manufacturers such as St Gobain, Pilkington and Reflex.

Solar control glass can be incorporated into double glazing window with combinations of other glass, such as self cleaning, Low E and decorative glass. Combining solar control glass with Low E thermal insulation in one double glazed unit offers optimum temperature comfort all year round.

Talk to us about the different glazing options that are now available for your home. We hope to see you very soon! 🙂