Thermal Performance in Glass for Non Residential Dwellings

Why is thermal performance important in commercial architecture and which of our glazing systems offer enhanced thermal performances.

Office building with eaves windows and structural glazing

Thermal performance is one of the most important factors to consider in commercial architecture. When specifying glazing systems, the thermal performance will dictate how well insulated the glazing performs and how comfortable the internal temperature of a space can be.

As well as providing comfortable living temperatures, thermally insulated glazing can also save on heating and cooling costs. It is important to ask your chosen glazier about the Uw values of the glazing system, as this is representative of the performance of the glass and frame together as a unit. Many glaziers will give U values, which are only representative of the glass itself and do not take the frame into consideration.

Aluminium is the frame material of many of our glazing systems, due to its sustainable, long-wearing, and low maintenance properties. All of our aluminium glazing systems include thermal break technology as standard, to prevent the metal frames from being conductive of heat and to eliminate the risk of heat loss through the glazing.

Oversized slim framed window in shop front design

Steel window and door systems from IQ, which are suited to more traditional or modern industrial building designs, are also thermally broken. Traditionally, glazing was one of the biggest sources of heat loss in commercial buildings. Utilising the latest advances in modern glazing, we are able to provide thermally broken steel systems, such as the MHB system which is characterised by its sharp-edged profiles and slim frames, to achieve exceptional Uw values simultaneously with minimal designs.

Our in-house developed structural glazing system, Invisio, is the first fully thermally broken structural glazing system on the market today. Invisio allows architects and specifiers to create large elevations of frameless glass, perfect for commercial façade designs, which are thermally insulated as well as minimal in design. Thanks to the flexible nature of the Invisio system, we can engineer completely bespoke-shaped glass installations with little to no restrictions on size, shape, or performance.

thermal performance in non residential dwellings

For projects where higher thermal performances are required, or in extreme weather climates, triple glazing can be specified. The Invisio+ profiles have been developed specifically to accommodate thicker glass units, without detracting from the frameless finish. Slim framed sliding door systems can also accommodate triple glazed units, with only a slight increase on the vertical sightlines. Ask a member of the technical team if you have any questions about incorporating triple glazing within any of our glazing solutions.

If a commercial building needs to meet specific performance requirements or surpass the standard set out by Building Regulations, many of our systems can be adapted. Our talented designers are fully equipped to take on complex commercial projects of this nature, where our glazing systems utilise their flexible nature to deliver exceptional performance requirements without compromising on flawless design. The desired thermal performance or specialised performance requirements should be discussed at the earliest stage of planning a project, to ensure the requirements can be met with the best options for the glazing.

Steel framed window system in London skyscraper offices

What are Uw Values and how are they calculated

A calculated U value indicates the heat loss through a material or installation and is measured in units of W/m2K. When the ‘U value’ decreases means that less energy is able to travel through the material; so the lower the U value the better the thermal performance.

When it comes to architectural glazing specification, there are various elements of ‘U values’ that are relevant:

Ug Value = indicates the thermal performance of the glass panel.

Uf Value = indicates the thermal performance of the framework.

PSIG = indicates the thermal performance of the glazing spacer.

To calculate the overall thermal performance of an architectural glazing installation you combine these thermal elements together, along with the sizes of the opening, opening configurations and framing design, to give you an overall U value for the installation referred to as the Uw value.

Our team of technical sales advisors can advise on choosing the right glazing systems for commercial projects, taking thermal performance into account to achieve the most functional results without compromising on luxury design. 

To speak to a member of the team about your glazing specification, call us on 01494722880.

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Carly Coren

As a Senior Marketing Executive, Carly is an integral part of the marketing team at IQ. She studied marketing at university before putting her knowledge into practice within the glazing industry. You will find her working on social media campaigns or writing content for the websites. 

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