double vs triple and aluminium frames

18 Aug 2013
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United Kingdom
We are just starting a new build project in a rural area consisting of a fairly large timber frame oak clad building with a lot of glazing, including several bifold doors. We are having difficulty deciding on the window spec and supplier, everyone seems to recommend whatever type of spec that they produce!

We have a really good value quote for Aluminium framed double glazing, the UPVC supplier who quoted stated that the thermal bridging in aluminium frames is not very effective resulting in condensation etc, and the timber frame supplier recommend we use their window supplier with triple glazed softwood alu-clad frames which come in at nearly 3 times as much!

It's a big project and we would invest in higher spec windows if we will feel the difference. But can someone advise if the pitfalls of the very attractive looking alu double glazed windows and doors are as significant as the price suggests?
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He recommended the aluminium framed double glazing on price/value, but the advice from the other glazing suppliers and the supplier of the timber frame has given me doubts. :confused:
If your architect is truely giving independant advice and is not 'IN BED' with your builder then i would take his advice. Do not listen to the uPVC installer who could well be slating your choice in favour of his own.

The thermal bridging he refers to is actually combated now with whats called a 'thermal break' which basically means the outer skin of aluminium is seperate from the inner skin which mean the cold doesn't conduct through, 1970's aluminium yes not in 2013, if it did it would never get spec'd in any building, everything nowadays is driven by U values
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What's the problem with timber frames, no other material has ever outperformed it, in some case it has a history of many centuries to it's credit.
Oh! and triple glazing will outperform double glazing and would be my first choice, one fact to consider would be it will pay you back in thermal performance i.e. cost savings over a period of time. Perhaps your architect can give you a breakdown, after all that's his job, or should be...pinenot :)
I would go for the timber clad ali, timber as it is a great for thermal and clad in the ali means no external decorating and looks modern and classy.

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