Members of the Steel Window Association (SWA) have invested further in the development of the W40 system in order to keep pace with the latest revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations.

The IG unit for a Building Regulations compliant W40 steel window would feature a 4-8-4-8-4 make up with two soft-coat Low-E panes, plus warm edge spacer bars and argon gas filling.

Alan Hart, Works Manager for London based SWA member, West Leigh, explains: “The W40 profiles which members have been utilising for a number of years are able to accommodate triple glazed units as a possible solution to meeting Part L with a U-value of 1.5W/m2K.

“Contracts which have already gained approval under the previous edition of the Building Regulations will not be affected, but the SWA is again demonstrating that steel windows will remain fit for new-build applications as well as the like-for-like refurbishment market.”

The SWA has a continuing programme of product development which has seen the energy performance, weather-tightness and security of its W40 and other systems steadily improved over the years.  The SWA also engages with bodies such as the BFRC to ensure the various options meet specifiers’ requirements for a wide variety of applications.

Many specifications and orders received by members of the Steel Window Association are prompted by a project’s need for strength and security – physical characteristics where steel frames are unmatched amongst fenestration solutions – yet there are countless others where the client has been attracted by the distinctive sightlines and an appearance that is synonymous with certain architectural styles.

Indeed steel window frames are integral to the Art Deco era properties when designers rarely detailed any alternative fenestration option; while those fortunate enough to occupy warehouse apartments anywhere from the Thames to the Tyne are likely to look out at the river traffic through steel frames.

The slender sight-lines also translate into the maximisation of natural daylight which pays dividends in the energy equation and motivates many architects seeking that link between indoor and outdoor space.

The manufacturers which the SWA represents are able to finish their frames in the full range of RAL colours, though they can also look stunning in their raw galvanized coating.

Fully weather stripped and protected against the long term effects of even the most hostile environments, steel windows remain relevant to new build as well as refurbishment contracts, while contributing their own, unique styling.

Designers looking for doors which combine slender frames with high strength and durability are increasingly opting for cold-formed tubular steel.

Tubular steel extends the scope of steel construction into heavy-duty doors, screens and curtain wall systems by retaining the high strength of steel with long spans and slender lines.

Ideal for public sector developments, such as schools, colleges and leisure centres, these doors can be relied upon to withstand high levels of usage while retaining their elegant appearance.

Tubular sections offer lightweight frames which maximise the ratio of glass to steel, producing very light, transparent facades which are ideal for busy showcase entrances.

Insulated profiles incorporating thermal barriers are available which ensure the highest level of thermal resistance for external doors, allowing designers to meet ever tightening energy conservation requirements.

When fitted with triple-glazed argon-filled low-E warm edge insulating glass units, tubular steel doors can deliver U-values as low as 1.3 W/sq m K.

Where there is a requirement for fire safety combined with maximum daylight and vision, fire-rated tubular steel doors are unbeatable. Several SWA members offer fire-rated tubular steel designs.

Steel doors and windows are corrosion resistant because all modern tubular steel frames are rustproofed, usually by hot  zinc-spray in accordance with BS EN22063:1994 and, where specified, are stoved polyester colour coated.

The beauty and practicality of steel window systems are displayed on the stylish new Steel Window Association website.

Combining simplicity, clarity and attractive architectural photography with technical advice and the latest news from member companies, the relaunched website contains everything that designers, specifiers and contractors need to understand what today’s steel windows can achieve.

The new-look site employs a straightforward layout with clear pointers for users interested in either domestic or commercial applications.

The history of steel windows, their place in British architectural history and their evolution into today’s high quality, high performance products are all briefly and concisely explained in the section focusing on domestic applications. Here, users will also find a guide to SWA members in their area as well as an enquiry form for further information and advice.

In the section devoted to commercial projects, users will find a wealth of technical information, including the popular specifier’s guide, fact sheets and profile drawings, as well as a link to recent project case-studies

Again, there is a link to the Member Directory to help users find their local SWA members and associate members. The Member Directory is also quickly accessed via a direct link from the Home page.

The News section contains up-to-date information on products, regulations, research and projects from individual members and the Association itself. The latest News headlines are also flagged up on the Home page.