SAPA Building Systems have launched the new Crown patio door system which is a direct replacement for the industry leading Monaframe Patio door available in two, three and four pane configurations.
For those familiar with the Monaframe system, this was arguably the finest residential aluminium patio door system on the market and led the way for well over 20 years. SAPA have had to modify the product due to the 1st October changes in the building regulations and whilst the new Crown patio visually has similar sight lines there have been some inevitable changes and omissions on the current product compared to the favoured original.
The profile sizes have had to increase due to the profiles now having a polyamide thermal break instead of the previous resin/pour and cut variety.
Front to back dimensions have increased from 96mm to 120mm on the head, 96 to 118mm on the jambs and 161 to 139mm on the cill. The interlock is now 51mm on the face. I forsee situations where this incresed frame depth will result in some additional work being required to the internal finishes of profiles. I dont believe this is an error on the part of SAPA, more what they had to do to the profiles to achieve the Energy Rating required to meet the building regs.
The significant change from the original Monaframe patio is that the system is no longer manufactured around the glass. Very good news indeed for the fabricator, the trade supplier, the installer and now simple unglazed frames can be taken to site. The door is beaded on three sides of each pane meaning that the glass is part shuffle glazed into the pocket opening and then beaded in the normal way.
Aluminium profiles are extruded from aluminium alloy 6063 or 6060 T6 complying with the recommendations of BS EN 755-9:2001. Polyester powder coat finishes are available to BS EN 12206-1:2004 in a wide range of colours. Anodised finish is to BS 3987 Grade AA25 etch silver. The major benefit now is that due to the polyamide, the patio is now available in either single or dual colour powder coated options. A must for today’s modern installations. Colours available are White, Black, White/Black, Silver Anodised, Single colour powder coated and Dual colour powder coated.
Weatherstripping is a woven pile internally and externally, set in undercut grooves in the frame. The thermal barrier is achieved using two polyamide extrusions separating the internal and external faces. Frame members are square cut and shouldered (where necessary). Joints are secured using stainless self tapping screws into screw ports extruded into the profile. The thermal barrier section is achieved using two separate aluminium extrusions and polyamide extrusions mechanically jointed to form a single compound profile.
Crown Patio Doors can meet and surpass the area weighted average U values stipulated in Part L of the Building Regulations. Lower U-values can be achieved using double glazed units with enhanced thermal insulation, such as ‘soft coat’ low emissivity glass, argon gas filling and thermally enhanced spacer bar. The patio meets parts L1B of the buiding regs for existing dwellings with a unit centre pane value of 1.0, 1.1 or 1.2.
Panels slide on adjustable stainless steel tandem rollers. Panels are locked using a multipoint lock with 6 hooks into a full length keep. Both lock and keep are mild steel zinc plated to give corrosion resistance of Grade 4 in accordance with BS EN 1670. Handles and panel stops are zinc die castings.
Double glazed units of 24mm, 28mm and 32mm can be accommodated.Drainage meets the requirements of “Ventilated and Drained Glazing System”, as specified in BS6262. Glass is set against extruded self adhesive Nitrile rubber gaskets retained in the aluminium sash profile for security. Final retention of the glass is achieved by the application of a co-extruded PVCu / Nitrile wedge gasket between the inner face of the glass and the bead.
The performance specification is impressive with the Crown Patio meeting UK exposure category 1200.
Water Tightness Air Permeability Wind Resistance is Class 7A (300 Pascals) Class 2 (300 Pascals) Class A2 (800 Pascals)
The new crown patio has had the size limitations increased over the old system.
2 pane patios:
Maximum height = 2500mm Minimum height = 1830mm
Maximum width = 3230mm
Minimum width = 1530mm
3 Pane patios:
Maximum height = 2500mm
Maximum width = 4810mm
Minimum width = 2260mm
Maximum height = 2500mm
Maximum width = 6408mm
Minimum width = 3009mm
Max weight per sliding panel = 80Kg.
There is a six point locking system now, the previous shootbolt locking has been superceded and all doors come as standard with a high security euro cylinder available in silver or chrome. Anti-lift blocks are now standard across the range.
The handle arrangement differs greatly from the previous Monaframe with a more contemporary handle being fitted and now available in White, Silver, Polished Steel and Polished Gold. Some might find the lever used to activate the multi-point locking slightly on the small side but it is definitely a more contemporary and attractive handle.
A major change is the new trickle vent arrangement. Gone is the old hood vent at the top of the entire door, there is now a trickle vent which internally looks like any typical window vent to the inside of the rail on the fixed panel. Externally there is a grille/mesh arrangement which appears to be the only solution bearing in mind the sliding leaf now has to slide in front of the trickle vent. Some may consider it untidy or attractive especially with the fixing of the outer grille.
At present there appears to be no midrail (or midrail/letterplate availablity) which is an oversight presently, bearing in mind how many thousands of these patios over the years have been installed in Porch arrangements acting as a main entrances to a dwelling swith the patio door having a midrail and a letterplate. I hope they will introduce one soon.
Another omission currently from the patio is a suitable coupling arrangement to enable the patio to meet window and door systems or indeed conservatory roof systems. The problem could be overcome with commercially available T, H or Z sections to close off the back of the profiles, however SAPA will no doubt introduce a coupling arrangement to integrate the Crown patio with the rest of their product range soon.
Finally, there is no hardwood subframe option with this patio door system and therefore anyone familiar with the old ‘woodfix” patio may struggle to find an alternative. Certainly, the feedback from the trade is that there has to be this option.
Pricing is higher than the original Monaframe patio door but understandably so due to the polyamide and the differing sections. SAPA do have quite a hefty minimum paint charge on single and dual colour options, meaning that if you have a small contract with coloured patio, resi doors and windows the trade would be hit with quite a lot of paint surcharges. On the other hand however, the aluminium industry is familiar with minimum paint surcharges.
Visually it is not that much different from the original. Some would say having glazing beads on three sides of the pane only looks a bit odd, however on a two pane this is quite symmetrical on the opposite pane of a 2pane patio. The inner gasket looks thicker than before too. One frustrating feature of the patio is the clip in sections at the jamb, which if you tap them, do rattle, however fabricator feedback to SAPA may resolve this in the future. Installers may choose to silicone seal these in. On the version I saw also, the back of the section at the head where it met the door stop had become dented and damaged. Again this needs addressing as homeowners are bound to pick up on this.
In summary, the new Crown patio is a good product which is already selling very well, however it will be very easy to continuously make comparisons against the original Monaframe patio. Some may consider it nowhere near as good however that is an unfair comparison to improve on a massively successful original concept within the confines of also meeting the requirements of the new building regulations. The beaded arrangement is an excellent improvement – one which will assist installers in site calls to replace broken units without having to take the whole door apart and easier supply to the trade as an unglazed product.
SAPA are an excellent systems with a very good reputation and I really do hope they listen to fabricator feedback on the new Crown Patio. Equally, feel free to comment on this posting.
Deliveries of this product have only just started to hit the market in fabricated form, so pictures of installations to follow soon.