Is energy efficiency a key driver of sales in the patio and bi-folding door markets?
Majoring on Passive Haus standard performance and its new aluskin aluminium external cladding option, aluplast unveiled its new Lift-and-Slide door in the summer.
Lift-and-slide doors, are establishing a beach head. Increasingly specified on Grand design-type high end installations, they occupy a premium end of the market but have potential to reach beyond it, to the mainstream and territory currently claimed by bi-folding doors.
With U-values as low as 0.65 W/m2K and capable of achieving Passive Haus standards, aluplast’s new PVC-U Lift-and-Slide door, its new Lift-and-Slide door combines aluplast’s highly innovative aluskin external aluminium cladding-option, it makes for a compelling trade and retail proposition.
“Energy efficiency was definitely a driver of interest”, says Ian Cocken, Director of Sales and Marketing, aluplast. What we saw, however, was a far wider interest in product performance, the lift-and-slide mechanism itself, our aluskin aluminium fascia system and how this coverts into end user appeal.”
aluplast’s new Lift-and-Slide door is designed to maximise opportunities. Capable of spanning openings of 6.5m X 2.8m with just two sashes, it delivers impressive design flexibility and uninterrupted sightlines.
“The sightlines are important. The reality is that bi-folds remain closed for most of the year and often most of the summer. Temperatures in summer last year, were according to the Met Office, slightly above average at 14.9°C”, says Cocken.
“We also had above average rainfall in June and July – the point is, if you had bi-fold doors, they would have remained closed for much of the summer. That means looking at the world through up-rights”, he adds.
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.
The moving sash can also be lowered on to any place on the track making for occasional ventilation. This makes this system ideal for enclosing large spaces and guaranteeing light transfer even on the gloomiest of days. Cocken points out that we had an above average number of these last June, as well as above average rainfall!
The modular 85mm PVC-U system comes in three configurations this includes a standard PVC-U door fabricated to ultra-energy efficient options, accommodating glazing units of up to 51mm. The performance of the standard door can be further enhanced with the addition of a thermally efficient upper guide rail and insulating foam inserts.
The aluplast Lift-and-Slide has also been designed to minimise stock holding and to deliver time savings during installation and through life, using a smart glazing system.
“If inline sliding doors have lost ground to bi-folding doors, lift-and-slide doors have the potential to take share from bi-folds”, says Cocken. “Our own offer maximises that potential not just through the door but through the finishing options that we can also bring to the table.”
FACTBOX: aluplast Lift-and-Slide door at a glance:
- Light touch easy-operate lift-and-slide opening and closing mechanism
- Slim sightline modular 85mm system
- Thermally broken aluminium threshold as standard
- Accommodates glazing units of up to 52mm
- U-values as low as 65 W/m2K – meeting Passive Haus standards
- Maximum width/height up to 6.5m X 2.8m
- Maximum sash weight of up to 300kg
This includes the Lift-and-Slide aluskin, aluplast’s highly innovative clip-and-fix external ascia system. Launched by aluplast at last year’s FIT Show, alongside its new Ideal 4000 contemporary SquareLine casement, aluskin delivers additional design flexibility.
“With the Lift-and-Slide, you have a high-end offer. It has a strong architectural aesthetic anyway but the addition of aluskin, lifts that still further, it’s the same with the Ideal 4000.
“Ideal 4000 and Lift-and-Slide are scalable and modular systems. You don’t need to tie-up cash in stock holding to achieve a high level of design flexibility.”
This includes aluplast’s foils offer. Aluplast foils more than 1.2million metres of product each month. That means that it holds thousands of metres of coloured and woodgrain profiles in stock, including popular anthracite grey, black, cream, rosewood and golden oak. These are available for ex-stock delivery within just days of orders.
It also offers special foils in 15-days or less with no minimum order, no surcharge and no setting up charge on special colour orders.
“Our offer to UK fabricators and installers is now very strong. The Ideal 4000, Ideal 70 and Ideal 70 ecotech, are among the UK’s most technically advanced and thermally efficient systems, we’ve underpinned that with a highly flexible foiling service and expanded on it further with Id eal 4000 aluskin.
“We’re now bringing a really considered and very flexible Lift-and-Slide door to market. The retail messaging is there both in terms of the core product but also in the exceptional u-values that the aluplast Lift-and-Slide can deliver.
“With corresponding investment in our customer service and technical support teams here in the UK and the continuing investment in innovation from our German parent business, that puts us and most importantly our customers in a really good place for the rest of this year and into next.
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