An ode to windows and doors - and how advanced they've become
By Saloni Walimbe
August 13, 2020 | 4:24 pm UTC
Photo By PGT Custom Windows + Doors
Construction projects, whether residential or commercial, are complex structures that comprise of an amalgamation of several crucial infrastructural elements. These elements, ranging from beams to brick & mortar to other construction products, constitute a major part of a robust construction project. One of the most integral, yet often overlooked elements of a sturdy construction are windows and doors.
Also known as fenestration products, doors and windows are structurally essential components for both residential and commercial buildings alike. The significance of these products in terms of infrastructural integrity can be attributed to many reasons. For example, doors are an essential part of a home, as they not only facilitate easy entry and exit from one room to another but also act as a barrier against any intruders from outside the home. Meanwhile, windows are the key sources of ventilation and light & sound passage to the home’s interior.
With an increased focus on renovation and home improvement, owing to rising homeowner propensity towards aesthetics and modernization, the windows and doors market is anticipated to witness a significant surge in demand over the years ahead.
Importance of doors and windows
Although doors and windows are often not the first infrastructural elements that homeowners consider during home improvement projects, they play a critical role in increasing the safety, comfort, and energy efficiency of the structure. Fenestration products help project the home occupants against extreme outdoor conditions such as weather and work in tandem with HVAC (heating and cooling systems) to maintain optimum indoor temperature levels. Poorly installed windows can create 'thermal holes' - leading to a nearly 30 percent loss of heating or cooling energy. For this reason, the installation of reliable and modernized windows and doors is an important contributing factor towards enhancing the livability of a home and increasing energy efficiency.
For instance, fenestration products with a low effective solar heat-gain coefficient (SHGC) and low U value can result in lower heating & cooling demand by nearly 6-11 percent in moderate climates, and over 8-16 percent in hot dry, hot humid and composite climates.
PGT Custom Windows + Doors vinyl 90-degree sliding glass door
In addition to efficiency, doors, and windows also add to the aesthetic value of construction projects. Doors are most often the first impression visitors have of a home, while windows add more depth and light to the rooms. Considering this, more and more homeowners in recent years are seeking versatile and timeless door and window designs, to give their homes a unique edge and an individualized appeal. In response to this rising consumer trend, PGT Innovations’ PGT Custom Windows + Doors brand has launched a range of all-black Modern Edge window and door frames. The new product line adds a new color option to the company’s existing portfolio of non-impact, energy-efficient, and impact-resistant doors and windows, thus offering an alternative to the conventional white and beige frames in order to deliver a modern monochromatic aesthetic to the property.
Advancements in architectural woodwork technologies
Wood has long been considered a viable natural construction material across the globe, given its high strength, low heat conductivity, and small bulk density, among other properties. Engineered timber and woodworking, particularly, is garnering massive interest in recent years, stemming from strong technological advancements and a shifting focus towards more sustainable construction practices. The use of engineered wood in myriad high-quality architectural applications is a significant contributor to the advancement of structural engineering.
Architectural woodworking refers to the process of developing wood-based products that are employed for functional as well as design purposes in buildings. The process involves the creation of sturdy, aesthetically appealing structural elements, such as stairways, doors, windows, flooring, furniture, and cabinets, among others.
Over the past few years, the use of structural timber and architectural woodworking has become more prevalent as building stems and design technologies become more advanced.
Innovative progress in design tools such as BIM (building information modeling), 3D rendering software, AVR (augmented virtual reality) and DfMA (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly) are presenting novel and lucrative growth avenues for architectural woodworking and design development.
To illustrate, Autodesk’s Inventor platform enables architects and designers to design and develop robust architectural elements, from millwork to furniture to cabinetry, and more, through simplified workflows. The technology takes a parametric design approach that significantly streamlines the building of the design intent by considering 3D models as the single source of truth, thereby surpassing the design and creation capabilities of conventional 2D CAD software.
Rise of the hybrids – how WPC doors and windows are paving the way to a sustainable construction landscape
Construction materials can assert a major impact on the environmental landscape, both positive and negative. Among the most common adverse impacts on construction products on the environment is the depletion of resources. For example, in India alone, nearly 75 percent of trees are cut down for the procurement of wood to be used for the manufacture of doors, windows and other furniture products, giving rise to strong ecological concerns.
In order to address these concerns, the construction sector is rapidly shifting its focus towards optimizing its use of resources such as raw materials, energy, and water, to mitigate its environmental footprint. In their quest to implement more green building initiatives, several developers and construction industry participants are adopting sustainable products and materials for the projects. A notable example of such a material is wood plastic composite or WPC.
WPC refers to a composite material created by the blending of plastic fibers with natural wood elements. Pulp, peanut hulls, sawdust, bamboo, and other unused woodworking residues such as bark can be combined with plastic powder to form wood plastic composites.
WPC windows and doors are gaining rapid traction in various green and sustainable building projects. This is largely due to the eco-friendly nature of the product, given its composition of recycled material derived from C&D operations, wood product manufacturing facilities, etc. Furthermore, used WPC can be repurposed for the development of new WPC material, making it a highly recyclable commodity in the construction landscape.
In terms of functionality, WPC windows and doors demonstrate high potential as efficient infrastructural elements, owing to the product’s superior rot- and moisture-resistance. These products are also integrally and aesthetically longer lasting than regular wood materials. Additionally, WPC has high-heat resistance as compared to conventional lumber, thus aiding in the creation of products that witness long-term exposure to external elements and are susceptible to warping and bending, such as fenestration products.
Several key players in the windows and doors industry landscape are responding in earnest to the burgeoning interest in WPC as an ideal infrastructural material. For instance, Saudi Arabian company Sabic’s Nusaned Investment arm recent inked a collaboration with a regional entity Suhul Alkhalej for Industrial Development and Investment Company, to jointly establish a new facility for the production of WPC (wood plastic composite profiles), designed for use in cladding, decking, WPC doors, and WPC, sheets, among others.
Meanwhile, Sharp Ply has taken a step further in material innovation and has developed a portfolio of EPC windows and doors, based on the WPC concept, which combines the merits of both materials. ECP, or engineered composite profile, is an advanced innovation designed to improve the existing woodwork modules to improve the convenience and longevity of doors and window frames. The low-maintenance, durable, and energy-efficient technology is made via the co-extrusion of wood plastic composites on engineered wood in a system-oriented method.
Source: Saloni Walimbe is a content writer for Global Market Insights. For more information on this study visit gminsights.com/industry-analysis/windows-and-doors-market-size.
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