Choosing the right glass for your windows and doors
Windows and glass are fundamentally powerful design elements in our homes. Choosing the right glass can make the difference between an underperforming window and one which works to realize the full potential of your home. The combination of thoughtfully chosen windows, doors and glazing will define a room; encouraging abundant natural light, views and ventilation, while giving you the control to protect your family from the extremes of Australia’s climate. Ordinary glass is a comfort and energy efficiency weak spot in your home, freely allowing the passage of heat, cold and unwanted noise, and minimal resistance to breakage.
Today’s choice of performance glass can insulate us from the cold, reflect the heat, keep our homes quieter and connect us with the outside, while protecting us from weather, injury and intruders. We will make it easy by working with you to make sure you select the right performance glass for your windows and doors.
Where you live – location, orientation, site
By following these three steps, we will be able to better determine your window, door and glazing needs:
Step 1: Location
Understanding where you live is the first step to choosing glass that is right for your home. If you live in states that have colder and longer winters, you will need windows with glass that offer greater insulation from the cold than ordinary glass does, such as Low E glass, double glazing or a combination of both. In hotter parts of Australia, you will be more concerned with reducing the heat of the sun and will need to choose glass products that absorb and reflect heat such as toned and Low E glass with solar control.
Step 2: Orientation
The orientation of your windows will encourage natural light to create and define the mood of the rooms in your home as the time of day and seasons change. By understanding the orientation of your windows and doors, and how much they see the sun throughout the seasons, you will be able to determine whether you need to use glass that reduces heat entering your home. Viridian’s range of performance glass is designed to allow the passage of natural light while providing options to control the amount of solar heat that enters the home.
Step 3: Site
Assessing the site of your home is important in considering how your glass selection will help take advantage of the natural surroundings or overcome potential design challenges. For example, you may live close to a busy road and need to use a glass that can help to reduce unwanted noise.
Glass for Energy Efficiency
Windows and doors can make a difference in the energy efficiency of your home.
The cost of heating and cooling our homes is becoming more expensive. Many factors come into play when designing a home for improved energy efficiency, including its site orientation and materials used in construction. Not all of these aspects are always within our control, but through the smart use of different glazing options, you can address some of these challenges while enhancing the long term performance and liveability of your home.
There are both single and double glazed options that provide improved energy efficiency performance.
Glass for Acoustics and Noise Reduction
Windows and doors offer unrivalled access to natural light, views and a secure connection to the outdoor environment, but left unaddressed, they are typically the weakest link in the acoustic performance of a home. Our individual perception of noise is affected by both real and subjective factors, such as the type and repetition of noise, our mood, the time of day, background noise levels, its frequency and our expectations. Careful understanding of the noise problem and the selection of the right windows, doors and glass is critical in reducing the excessive entry of exterior noise.
Two fundamental areas are critical to the acoustic performance of a window. The first is how ell a window is sealed to reduce noise travelling through air leaks, and secondly the reduction of transmission of noise ‘through’ the glass.
Vlam Hush is a special laminated glass with a 3-ply interlayer that is designed to dampen sound in critical frequencies that can be irritating. Vlam Hush is a thinner and lighter glass offering the equivalent acoustic performance of heavier and thicker glass. It is also a Grade A safety glass and blocks 99% of UV light to help reduce fading of furnishings.
Windows and doors can sometimes have spaces and produce vibrations, allowing noise to travel through. Noise can pass through a barrier via poor seals and extra space between windows and frames. Our timber and aluminium products are manufactured to ensure frames and seals fit properly.
Glass for Security
With the security of family being of the utmost importance to any homeowner, your selection of windows and doors, together with your choice of performance glass, can contribute to the overall security of your home and the safety of your loved ones.
Viridian IntruderGuard looks like normal glass yet provides a barrier to forced entry that is 20 times harder to break through than standard float glass and it achieves this without making a building look like a fortress. IntruderGuard is specifically developed to offer a resilient and enduring barrier for vulnerable entry points across a broad range of applications. IntruderGuard is 7.52mm laminated glass and provides extra resistance to penetration because its interlayer is four times thicker than normal laminated glass.
The 300 Series and Architectural Ranges of Southern Star aluminium products, and all items in the Canterbury timber range, are suited to the use of IntruderGuard. The 300 Series and Architectural range also offer the added security of stronger and sturdier frames, further enhancing its resilience to attack. Extra peace of mind for the security of your family can be achieved by adding lockable hardware as an option to any product in the Southern Star aluminium range.** Some products in both the aluminium and timber range also come with lockable hardware as standard. Speak to your builder or Sales Representative for more information.
Extra peace of mind for the security of your family can be achieved by adding lockable hardware as an option to any product in the Southern Star Windows range**. Some products in both the aluminium and timber range also come with lockable hardware as standard. Speak to your builder or Southern Star Sales Representative for more information.
**excluding 200 Series Aluminium Casement Window and timber Casement Window
Glass for Safety
Most homes built in Australia before the 1970s were built without safety glass. Today, there are minimum requirements for where safety glass must be used in a home. These requirements are specified by two Australian Standards: AS1288 – Glass in buildings: selection and installation; and AS2208 – Safety glazing: glass in buildings. These standards specify that all low level glazing (close to the floor), internal and external glass doors, showerscreens, balcony balustrades and overhead glazing must be Grade A Safety glass. However, safety is more than just meeting Australian Standards and we recommend using safety glass throughout your home.
Toughened glass is produced by passing cut-to-size annealed float glass through a heat furnace. This process introduces stress into the glass and produces a glass 4–5 times stronger than annealed float glass. Toughened glass can still be broken. However if this does happen it shatters into small fragments, minimising the risk of injury caused by glass splinters.
Laminated glass is safety glass that has been manufactured by adhering two or more sheets of glass with a flexible interlayer. The interlayer is made from polyvinyl butyral (PVB) and prevents the glass from disintegrating when broken. The interlayer does not impact the transparency of the glass.
All windows and doors in the Southern Star aluninium and Canterbury timber ranges will suit safety glass options. Operative windows that are installed at a distance greater than 1.5 metres above ground level can also create the real possibility of a child falling out of an open window. Further safety precautions to consider are: Fit a restrictor which limits the window opening to a 105mm gap; Fit a safety or security screen. For more information about the use of safety glass, restrictors and screens, speak to your builder or Sales Representative.