Unilux Timber Aluminium Remodel Project
This is a high spec remodel project incorporating timber frame construction with bespoke high performance insulation solutions. Unilux bespoke timber aluminium windows, french doors and wide span patio doors have been used to completely transform the style of this property. The client chose to use the Unilux Modernline range in anthracite grey on the exterior and a clear oak finish for the inside. These 48mm factory glazed units achieve an ultra-low U-value of 0.5Wmk2 and are installed to Weru Group RAL installation certified standards. Supplementary products used are Tremco Illbruck membrane seals and SIGA air tight tapes internal and external EPDM barrier membranes.
This was a client managed project in conjunction with:
Builders: AP Clarke Construction
Architects: Free Spirit Architectural Design & Conservation Ltd
Structure: Ipswich Timber Frame Ltd
The units for this project were delivered from the Unilux factory in Salmtal, Germany direct to Suffolk. The estimated time of arrival was 10-30am, with the actual time of arrival at 10.28am. Our fitters were working close by in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, so they were on hand to assist unloading. Thankfully the Unilux trucks have their own fork lift, which was needed as the large patio door weighed over 700kg! Everything arrived safely to the site in perfect condition, ready for installation.
Timber Insulated Structure
This Eco-home was built from a TimberFrame structure using external Steico wood fibre insulation wall boards. For the glazing, Illbruck membranes and SIGA Passivhouse airtight tapes were used, which are now as standard with Weru installations. This leaves the structure ready to render using proprietary render board with carrier and stop beads to form total solution for reveals. This eliminates the risk of any moisture ingress, which can often occur on Eco-wall construction.
The Installation Process
The images show our top installers Rick and son Adam busy installing one of the large sliding patio doors. SIGA Fentrim 20 is the internal air tight barrier membrane tape we use. The SD value at 20d is excellent and combining with its partner external tape SIGA Fentrim 2 tape gives the required ratio, ensuring that the outer seal remains weather-tight but breathable.
The much lower SD value of 2d is ideal for the outer barrier seal and will still withstand the worst of the weather long term. The sealing method in relation to ultra-efficient windows is equally as important as the window itself. Weru, to our knowledge, are the only UK installers to hold a genuine RAL certification covering correct installation procedure.
Adam prepared the SIGA Fentrim 20 internal air tight tapes before the 4-metre frame is lifted into the aperture. The Unilux windows are dispatched fully glazed from the factory and unlike most competitors, their timber aluminium systems are dry glazed with internal beads and not sealed in with silicon or glue. This means for installation purposes, the heavy glazing can be removed and refitted with ease for a perfect installation. Furthermore, the fully drained system ensures unit failure will not occur.
Rick installed the sealing on the lower threshold detail on the 4.5 metre patio door. We seat this type of door using a very durable Illbruck EPDM 400mm waterproof membrane under the timber aluminium structure. This ensures a reliable long-term seal, which is also ideal on balcony door sets.
Some apertures were installed on brick elevations, again well insulated using Illbruck compriband membrane sealing system in charcoal grey. It is very important on timber frame construction to have a weather-tight yet breathable seal to avoid problems in later years.
Unique RAL Certification
Adam, along with our other installers, has passed with distinction the RAL training programme on the latest installation methods. This includes the new innovation of packer-less fixing, using SFS type SK self-threading structural through fixing screws or the new cantilevered support bracket system. The adoption of this type of fixing and all the latest sealing membranes will, in our opinion, take many years to become the norm in the UK, which is mainly down to cost.
As a good comparison on this job, a typical sub contract fitting team would install these high performance windows with standard wood screws or expanding fixings and an unsuitable silicone. Gone are the days when silicone might be a safe and easy solution. The costs would be a fraction of what we have to spend, but the client paying more at this stage for a proper installation, should prove a very good investment for years to come.