aluplast Passiv-haus equivalent standard Lift-and-Slide
aluplast’s new Lift-and-Slide door offers Passive Haus standard U-values. Yet this is just one of a number of features the systems giant is pushing, arguing that more is needed to persuade homeowners to part with their hard earned cash.
aluplast unveiled its new Lift-and-Slide door at last year’s FIT Show. Accommodating glazing units of up to 51mmit achieves ultra-low U-values of as little as 0.65 W/m2K – a Passive Haus equivalent – setting a new standard in door energy efficiency.
“The u-values we can achieve with the new Lift-and-Slide, are in anyone’s book impressive”, says Ian Cocken, Director of Sales and Marketing, aluplast UK. “Is that the priority for fabricators and installers w? The answer is ‘no’.”
“The reason isn’t that energy efficiency isn’t important, it’s simply that it isn’t immediately tangible. Consumers respond most positively to something that they can touch and engage with”, he continues.
“It’s about a narrative. Energy efficiency makes up an important part of the story but to market it effectively we need to set the scene and give it context – aesthetics, security and operation, things that drive an emotional response from the end user before appealing to their sense of reason.”
The aluplast Lift-and-Slide exploits proven technology. Sashes are mounted on an easy-lift mechanism that elevates when opened and lowers on to the track when closed. So, a fully closed door rests over lower weather seals improving the door’s weather tightness, thermal and acoustic insulation.
Capable of spanning openings of 6.5m X 2.8m v the modular 85mm systemalso delivers impressive design flexibility and uninterrupted sightlines. This is enhanced further through aluskin, aluplast’s highly innovative clip-and-fixaluminium external fascia system.
Launched by aluplast at last year’s FIT Show, alongside the Lift-and-Slide door and its new Ideal 4000 contemporary SquareLine casement, it allows fabriators to emulate the aesthetic of a solid aluminium system in a hybrid PVC-U/aluminium crossover product.
“aluskin means that homeowners can specify an aluminium asesthetic but combine that with the thermal efficiency of PVC-U – as a paired offering it’s a powerful retail proposition”, says Cocken. “This is really what we need to be looking at as an industry.
“It’s unrealistic to expect the majority of homeowners to be driven by energy efficiency alone. It’s an important purchasing decision but it needs to be sold alongside lifestyle, securtity and aesthetics. This is what drives engagement.
“Pay-back on their investment in saved heating costs is important but it’s not ‘fun’. We need to be selling energy efficiency but also selling lifestyle aspiration.”
He points to the resurgence the industry is seeing in Lift-and-Slide doors as a case in point. “Lift-and-Slide doors are a very diiferent product to inline sliding doors but at the same time, very much the same – they maximise glass area and minimise the interupptoion of the conection between inside and outside spaces by mullions.
“There are lots of benefits to them in terms of reliability and ease of operation but most homeowners would choose a bi-folding door over them, because bi-folding doors have been sold as a lifestyle choice.
“The core message that the industry is now bringing to the market with Lift-and-Slide doors isn’t very different to that that came 20 or 30 years earlier with inline sliding doors.
“Critically what is different is that Lift-and-Slide doors have an architectural quality. And not wishing to oversimplify things they have also appeared on Grand Designs and what Grand Deisgns has done for the bi-fold, it’s now doing for the Life-and-Slide door.
“This is because whatever the merits of energy efficiency, the majority of purchases that we make as consumers, are driven by our hearts rather than our heads.
“Anyone selling the aluplast Lift-and-Slide is fortunate in that it allows them to put a tick in each box.”
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