Futureproofing windows and doors


Adrian Pavey of Nationwide Windows and Doors discusses the importance of housebuilders and developers ensuring their properties’ fenestration meets the standards of tomorrow as well as today

It is a pivotal time for the construction industry at the moment, and one which is seeing a lot of change. 

There are several things that we need to do to improve how we operate, across many different areas, including environmental standards and workmanship quality, as well as meeting the demands of future homeowners. 

With all this change looming over those in the housebuilding industry, and the Government already making changes to the regulations for new homes, it further highlights the importance of having one eye on the future and being prepared to adapt to the challenges of tomorrow.

Future environmental standards 

Without doubt, one of the biggest changes occurring in the world right now is a shift towards a more environmentally conscious planet. The emphasis on this has grown recently with a big focus on the COP26 event, and it is clear that the Government is taking positive steps in its commitment to reach net zero by 2050. The construction and manufacturing industry has a big role to play in reducing the nation’s carbon footprint, which is why we have already seen the Government act and outline its changes to the efficiency standards of newbuild developments.

The Government’s Future Homes Standard set out plans to reduce carbon emissions for new homes and addresses Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations. It looks to improve the energy efficiency of new homes and ensure that those built from 2025 onwards will produce 75-80 percent less carbon emissions than homes built previously. 

What does this mean for homes’ windows & doors? 

As part of this, minimum U-values of windows and doors are set to drop by the spring of 2022, and again in 2025, meaning manufacturers will need to produce more energy efficient products and developers will also need to use products which meet these regulations and reduce the nation’s carbon footprint.

These products already exist, and there are various windows and doors on the market which offer the required energy efficiency to meet these changing regulations.

As well as the final products, developers and manufacturers also have a responsibility to commit to practices which are beneficial for the environment. This means choosing recyclable and sustainably sourced materials to ensure that homes are being built as efficiently as possible.

Making smart windows & doors 

Adapting to the demands of the future is not only about meeting environmental standards and regulations; one of the challenges of the future for housebuilders is being able to build homes which appeal to the modern homeowner.

The rise of smart technology in the home through various innovations and apps has meant that homeowners are expecting homes which offer modern benefits. This also extends to windows and doors, and there is now an array of technology available to help homeowners improve the way they live, making life easier and homes safer. 

Some systems allow residents to lock their doors through their phone – this is a great way of keeping up with the modern demands of tech-savvy homeowners. 

So, it is important to keep up with changes in technology and to build homes which not only meet demand but also offer something different.

Smart technology can also be used to make the lives of housebuilders easier. For instance, certain apps can allow for greater traceability of windows and doors. Users can scan a code to see all the certificates and standards that the window or door meets, making it easier to check if safe and compliant products are being used, something which is extremely important following the fallout from the Grenfell tragedy. 

Ensuring high quality installation 

The performance of windows and doors is largely down to the quality of installation, so it is important that windows and doors are fitted properly to help newbuild developments meet new environmental standards. It is also important to pass on the high standards of installation to the next generation, which is crucial for protecting your long-term reputation, as well as ensuring you continue to build the most efficient homes in the future. 

It is vital that organisations continue to move with change and bring through new talent to the industry, training them to work to best practice to guarantee that these new products are meeting the new regulations.

Making your business futureproof 

All of these things are about making sure that your business is prepared for the challenges that the future will bring. 

As the whole industry needs to adapt to this ever-changing landscape, it is important to consider the vital role that windows and doors play in helping developers meet environmental regulations and how working with trusted and innovative fenestration partners can help achieve these objectives. 

Adrian Pavey is commercial director at Nationwide Windows and Doors