Eyes on the prize
Nominated for Best New Product at the G21 Awards, Ian Cocken, Director of Sales and Marketing, aluplast, talks to GGP Magazine about the Smart-Slide patio door
GGP: Best New Product is one of the most sought-after prizes at the G-Awards and this year the competition is stronger than ever – what do you think the judges are looking for in this category?
Ian Cocken (IC): It’s been two years since the last G Awards, so it’s not surprising to see a record level of entries for the G21s, especially in the Best New Product category.
It always generates a lot of interest. That’s because great design and real innovation are a big part of our industry but also because businesses recognise that having access to the best products is a vital part of staying competitive.
What does it take for a new product to win at the G Awards? Primarily, it should be technically outstanding, but it should also demonstrate that it is capable of delivering tangible benefits to manufactures, installers and the end user.
GGP: How does Smart-Slide achieve this?
IC: Smart-Slide is the result of a huge amount of research and development, it’s an incredibly well engineered system. It can deliver a Door Energy Rating (DER) of A+, it can meet BS6375 for weather tightness and offers U-values as low as 1.3Wm2k, which is comfortably in line with proposed changes to Part L and stricter requirements for energy efficiency on replacement and new build doors.
It’s also offered with PAS24 as standard and a unique design feature that incorporates locking on all four sides of the sash. That’s beneficial for homeowners because they can leave the door part open, for ventilation, but their property remains fully secure.
One of its key USP’s however, is the fact that it can be manufactured to span a width of 4.5m at 2.5m high with just a sash and a panel. Those dimensions, the potential to accommodate sash weights of up to 200kg, have helped to re-define what is possible with a PVC patio door.
GGP: At these sizes, would it be possible for installers to offer Smart-Slide as an alternative to some aluminium products?
IC: For very high-end projects, aluminium will always be hard to beat. But with Smart-Slide, installers have an extremely compelling product to present to consumers. That’s because it is a best of both worlds’ solution. It has the contemporary aesthetics and premium level of fit and finish associated with aluminium, but the performance and price point of PVC.
That appeal is enhanced even more when you factor in aluplast’s comprehensive foil offering. That includes our range of stock options, such as Smooth Anthracite Grey, that are available ‘off the shelf’ but also our woodec and aludec foils, which are designed to accurately replicate the look and feel of timber and aluminium.
And there is one other key advantage over aluminium – availability of product! Material shortages are certainly not exclusive to aluminium, but an acute shortage of polyamide thermal breaks in aluminium systems have created a very big problem for the industry, one that’s made worse by ongoing high levels of demand.
GGP: How has Smart-Slide been received by your customers?
IC: The feedback we’ve had has been overwhelmingly positive. One of our customers, Costello Windows, has enjoyed a huge amount of success with Smart-Slide – that’s because they don’t have to work very hard to sell it, but also because it’s so easy to install.
Costello have told us that Smart Slide is the best PVC patio it’s ever fitted!
From a company with over 40 years’ experience, and one that frequently installs on the West Coast of Ireland – a location with the kind of weather that will put any window or door to the test – that is high praise indeed.