With the aging of existing home unit buildings the replacement of windows and doors in older Strata Units is becoming increasingly popular. In the vast majority of buildings constructed as recently as the mid 1970’s window and door replacement is now necessary. Whilst the design and materials used at the time of construction were often the best available, they were never really suitable for use in high-rise building and particularly those located in costal areas, where apart from exposed locations there is the additional effect of a corrosive salt environment.
Other factors influencing the decision to replace windows and doors are the high costs associated with on-going repairs and the obligation for compliance with current building codes; including glazing with respect to human impact considerations.
Significant levels of noise reduction may now also be achieved with the installation of the correctly specified replacement windows incorporating appropriate glazing and acoustic installation.
Once the decision to replace windows and doors has been made there are many factors to be considered and many options available. Probably the most important thing to get right and the first thing that needs to be done is to establishing the necessary design rating for wind and water. Many windows and doors on the market are not designed to be installed in buildings of more than three floors so the correct specification in very important.
The correct selection of a surface coatings for your new replacement window frames also plays an important part in the preparation of a specification. The primary choice of surface coatings for Aluminium windows is either Anodising or Powdercoating; however both finishes come in different grades and it’s generally the location of the building in relation to the coast that determines correct product selection. Warranties on the different grades of surface coating vary and all Warranties will require periodic cleaning of the external window and door surfaces.
In relation to maintenance we recommend that your new replacement windows and doors are serviced on a regular basis in order to satisfy the requirements of the manufacturer’s warranties.
There is an Australian Standard for Window and Sliding Doors AS2047 and while it primarily deals with low-rise residential buildings it does lay out some guidelines for the selection of frames for buildings other than housing. Compliance with AS2047 is mandatory as it is referenced into the BCA (Building Code of Australia). What AS2047 says about product selection for buildings other than housing; is that the design wind loads should be specified by a suitably qualified person and importantly that the water rating should be calculated as 30% of the Serviceability State (Wind Load).
All windows and doors installed by Windowline are independently tested for compliance with AS2047.
At Windowline we provide a detailed Window Replacement Plan that specifies both the design wind load and also the water penetration rating. Depending on the project we will sometimes engage a façade engineer to assist in the evaluation of a particular building and location. Interestingly wind loads can be both positive and negative and the wind loads are significantly higher on the corners of a building.
We are able to offer windows or door that will replicate the design of the existing frames and depending on the brief we may be able to offer suggestions to improve the design as we did for one client at 21 Thornton St, Darling Point. This project involved the replacement of all the windows and door throughout the 20 floors of the building and we were able to reduce the number of frame members and introduce larger squares of glass to enhance the view of the city and harbor.
Not being affiliated with one fabricator is important to us, as it allows our consultants to make recommendations based on a frame that will suit your design requirements. We deal with leading Australian Window and Door manufacturers of Aluminium, Wood & Steel products of the highest performance. We are also able to offer an extensive range of imported PVC products from some leading American suppliers.
Glass selection can be important too, as there are now many different options available. Glass is available that will reduce solar heat gain, making you more comfortable in summer and reducing air-conditioning costs. Double-glazing is gaining some traction in Australia and will reduce heating cost in winter. Double-glazing is widely used in most part of the world including climates similar to Sydney like California.
Installation of replacement windows and doors in Strata Buildings is completely different to new construction and requires experience and a practical approach, as each installation is somewhat different. The primary focus in the installation should always be minimizing damage to internal finished thus reducing additional costs.
Generally the disruption to internal finishes is kept to a minimum, although this varies with the age and condition of the building. The primary areas where making good may be necessary after the installation of the new frames are Kitchen and Bathroom Windows where tiles may be disrupted.
Our detailed Window Replacement Plan and Contract documents set out clearly what to expect and what’s included and what’s not; so there are no surprises.
The installation of the new frames is tailored to each building and with 22 years of trading history; we have encountered most situation and are able to handle projects from a single frame up to complete home unit buildings.
Of primary importance in planning the installation of replacement windows and doors is making sure that any frame that is removed is replaced on the same day.
You’ll never be left with an unsecured opening overnight EVER!
Of course all building work creates some mess and although the average job is not particularly messy, removing old frames does create quite a lot of dust. Our installers use drop sheets in the immediate work area; however a little preparation on the part of the occupant will greatly reduce the clean up time.
We are process driven at Windowline and have systems and processes in place to facilitate the smooth delivery of all Windowline projects and of course this systematic approach extends to OH&S compliance.
Our Production team work with all stake holders including Owners, Occupants and Building Management to facilitate the installation process, ensuring that you are kept informed throughout the project.
Our projects are backed up with warranties exceeding all obligations with respect to the State and Federal Consumer Laws.