Senior Architectural Systems Ali Vu Window Reviewed

The Ali Vu Window is new, launched in early 2018 by Senior Architectural Systems, targeted at the residential market.

We take a look at this new slim aluminium casement window in our review.

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Slimline Ali Vu Window for the residential market.

First of all, Senior Architectural Systems deserves a more visible presence in the residential market.   By this we mean more domestic installers being aware of Senior products for the home.  Senior products are widely specified in the residential and commercial market.  Examples include developments of flats, apartments, student accommodation care homes.

The product range from Senior Systems is significant.  Anyone considering Senior gets a range of aluminium windows and doors, curtain walling, bifolding doors and commercial door systems. The range of hybrid windows and doors is available at Express Bifolds in their Leeds and Reading showrooms.  You’ll also find Senior Systems does excellent secondary double glazing.

Talk to any Senior fabricator, and they will say how easy to make their products are as well as easy to fit.  We would encourage residential installers to check out the suitability of Senior windows and doors.  In a market with AluK, Smart Systems, Origin, Reynaers and Schuco, (as good as these systems are), the Senior name could give installers something of a niche.   The reality is everyone’s aluminium showroom has these favourite brands. Technically and aesthetically Senior windows and doors are good. The Ali Vu Window is one of their latest additions to the residential market.

Features of Senior Systems Ali Vu Windows.

Focusing on the suitability of this new casement window for the residential market, there are many features.   The most notable being the slim sight lines. Senior Architectural Systems is marketing Ali Vu as a super slimline aluminium window. It indeed is thin, but worth comparing to other brands.

Here is how the Senior Ali Vu Window compares against other well-known residential systems for fixed light and opening sash dimensions.

Aluminium Window Sight Lines
 Window Brand/System Fixed Light Dimension Opening Light Dimension
Senior Architectural Ali Vu Window. 38mm 66mm
 AluK Optio 58BW Casement Window. 43mm 75mm
Origin Flush Casement Window. 50mm 91mm
Smart Systems Alitherm 600. 38mm 70mm
Smart Systems Alitherm 300. 41mm  67mm
Warmcore Casement Window.  50mm 97.5mm
Schuco AWS70 Hi Casement Window 38mm 63.5mm
SAPA Crown Casement Window  35.5mm  59mm
Aluk Optio 58BW Steel Replacement 43mm 66mm
Smart Systems  Alithern Heritage Steel Replacement.  33mm 58mm

The dimensions are from the outside of the frame to the glass line.  The dimensions shown use the widest front to back frames on the system., not the short leg frames. We have also taken the dimensions using standard and not the extended leg versions of the outer frame.  These dimensions suit new build openings, but for replacement window applications, you will need frame extensions.   Consequently, the above dimensions increase as a result of having a frame extension.

Aesthetics and Window Options.

In line with other quality window systems on the market, the new Senior Ali Vu comes in a range of window profiles and options.

There are two types of window frame comprising a standard and an extended as well as ovolo style.  The sash profiles consist of a radius vent for the more traditional looking window, a flat vent section for the more modern and even a stepped vent where customers want the pencil line detail.  An externally beaded sash option is useful when windows need the beads on the outside. Mullions and transoms feature both screw-port and shear block versions depending upon the configuration of the window. There are also the expected rebate adaptors for internal glazing beads.

The remainder of the window suite utilises both individual and system-wide profiles such as the glazing beads, corner posts, couplers and window cills. Fabricators will advise on which beads are not available with some vent sections such as a clash can occur with the gearbox side of the profile.

Regardless of the section chosen, this new Senior Systems aluminium window offers a modern, slimline appearance that makes it suitable for the replacement of old windows or into new openings. Also available with this window are Georgian bars, astragal bars and a choice of window handles both locking and non-locking, operating multi-point window gearing.

Colours.

Senior Systems has a state-of-the-art powder coating facility and offers Ali Vu in the full range of polyester powder coated colours.

Like the Senior Ali FOLD and PURe® doors, stock profiles in single and dual colour RAL 7016 Grey and White RAL 9910 Gloss offer the new window range on faster lead times.

Window performance.

As you would expect from a latest generation aluminium window, Senior has ensured their new slimline aluminium window meets or exceeds the required standards for thermal performance, security and overall weathering.

  • Using a domestic CEN Standard window, U-Values as low as 1.1 W/ m2K.
  • Triple glazed windows achieve A+ Rating, double glazed window A Window Energy Rating.
  • 28mm to 44mm glazing cavity readily accepts all types of glazing including integral blinds or triple glazing.
  • Thoroughly security tested to PAS24:2012 Enhanced Security and Document Q for new build homes.
  • Weather tested to BS6375.
  • The full range of RAL powder coated colours.

Senior Systems Ali VU Multi Frame option.

Added to the Ali Vu window is the Multi-Frame option. What Multi-Frame does is give greater flexibility to the aluminium system.  It provides a wide range of internally or externally beaded window designs.  The benefit of this applies to multiple panel windows or screens with combinations of fixed lights and opening sashes. Multi-frame uses the Ali VU SPW700700 multi-frame outer frame profiles converting external beaded profiles to internal and vice versa. As a result, Ali-Vu Multi-frame is a very flexible window system.

Senior Systems should market their windows better to the end user.

The Senior press release on this new aluminium window said:

Commenting on the new product launch, Senior Architectural System’s sales director James Keeling-Heane said: Along with Senior’s established Ali FOLD aluminium doors, the new Ali VU aluminium window has been specifically developed with the trade fabricator and installer in mind, offering a range of benefits that can be passed on to the domestic end-user.

It seems like Seniors should say “developed with the end user” in mind because:

  • Trade fabricators focus on and prefer supplying ready-made unglazed windows. They are not interested in marketing to end users or installers for that matter. As a result, they do not pass on the benefits of any product to the domestic end user.
  • Commercial fabricators (the majority of Senior manufacturers) are not interested in the residential market. Consequently, there can be a shortage of residential fabricators and installers.
  • Installers decide on what product to offer homeowners differently from trade and commercial fabricators or systems companies. Therefore it is installers systems companies must target to reach the homeowner.
  • End users and homeowners marketed to effectively are more likely to ask for your brand by name. Another reason is system company service levels are of little interest to the end user. Neither is ease of fabrication and installation.  It’s the product they desire and request.

Finally, to Senior Systems, we think the effort in targeting the end user better directly would pay dividends. Origin, for example, is arguably the one company that has successfully got its brand across to the end user. Other examples are Centor, Sunfold and Sunflex to name just a few.  To rely on your trade fabricator base (when many of them are in the commercial market) to sell your products to the installer and, in turn, to the end user is not going to promote a good product like this to the end user effectively.

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Senior Ali Vu Windows. What we think.

senior architectural systems ali vu product low To conclude, close examination of the Senior technical manuals as well as other data, reveals that the Senior Architectural Ali Vu has all the features of a slimline, modern aluminium window. This is especially relevant for the growing residential market.  This window, alongside the range of single doors, double doors bifolding and sliding doors, therefore, offers installers a complete one-brand product for the home.

Homeowners looking for aluminium windows in their new extension, the Ali Vu window is worth considering.  You can comfortably place this window alongside AluK, Smart Systems, SAPA or other brands.  On a like-for-like basis in virtually all areas, it is comparable.  It is suitable for new extensions or to replace your existing windows and doors. It’s slim, it’s attractive and complemented by some good Senior door products as well. If you want to use the new Senior Ali Vu window to replace your old windows you will invariably need to use the extended outer frame which will increase the overall sightlines of the window. However, this is no different from other slimline windows on the market.

Finally, for installers, we think there is an excellent sales opportunity in checking out the Senior range of windows and doors. The UK residential market has some very strong brands for windows. Offering the Senior suite could give your business a  competitive edge. In addition to this new slimline window, take a look at Senior’s hybrid range. It’s very capable indeed.

Contact us for more information and where to buy the new Senior Architectural Systems Ali Vu window.