Commercial aluminium windows provide opening and design solutions for all manner of buildings. While residential new build developments of flats and houses often use regular domestic windows, the commercial versions offer more features and greater design flexibility.
When it comes to commercial windows for buildings, there’s a substantial choice.
Information about commercial aluminium windows
Developments of new homes and apartments frequently use the same residential systems found in homes. However, it’s rare to find predominantly retail brands in these developments. Aluk, Smart Systems, Reynaers, Schuco are all well known systems with a range of windows used in the home. However, these systems companies also provide commercial windows with functionality rarely found in the home.
Examples of these include reversible windows, parallel opening, bottom hung and those windows controlled by automatic controls, window winding gear, smoke ventilators and other specialist products.
The design, manufacturing and installation of aluminium windows for commercial projects are no different from the windows made for the home.
A common belief is that commercial windows are in some way inferior to those products sold direct to homeowners. The truth is both window types are the same across all the critical areas. The difference is their use.
The quality and standards met by both residential and commercial aluminium windows are the same. Aluminium profiles, the powder-coated finish, components and glass. All of these remain the same regardless of use.
The construction and specification of windows also vary depending on the use, but it is possible to use residential windows commercially and the reverse. This, of course, depends on the design and client requirement.
Energy efficiency, security and weather performance of commercial windows
With U-Values and window energy ratings, heavily marketed, another assumption is that domestic windows are more energy efficient. Again, this is not true. Commercial glazing systems offer the same advanced profile insulation and high specification glass.
Moreover, they go even further. Products such as highly insulated windows by Senior Systems, come with different versions of insulation providing some of the best U-Values on the market. Comar and other systems provide Passivhaus windows. These you’ll find used in commercial developments of housing but rarely directly to the homeowner.
The same applies to security and weather performance. Both commercial and residential windows undergo the same performance testing. In fact, many commercial windows come with substantially better weather rated than those sold for the home.
The difference between residential and commercial aluminium windows
The main difference between commercial and residential aluminium windows is functionality and sizes.
Many commercial versions of residential windows come with ‘heavy-duty’ versions. These allow for larger window opening sizes to those required in the home. Typically a residential window comes at sizes of around 1200mm wide and high.
Heavier duty versions use a larger sash profile and different hardware. The result is larger opening windows up to 1600mm wide with many products by Aluk, Smart Systems, Technal, Schuco or Reynaers. These larger opening sizes also give flexibility to how the window open and close with hardware entirely different from regular window handles.
Most of the major aluminium systems in the UK provide commercial products. Unlike home improvement companies, systems companies are also substantially involved in the specification of new and refurbished buildings
Types of commercial aluminium windows
Clarifying the diversity of the commercial windows market, is just a small selection of the types of aluminium windows widely specified in commercial buildings. They’re also widely used in commercial developments of new homes.
The name casement window refers to windows hinged at the sides and opening outwards. It’s also a term describing windows hinged at the top and bottom, therefore opening onwards from the side.
Arguably the most popular type of windows, casements work in most installations. At the same time they integrate perfectly within commercial ground floor framing, doors and screens and facades
Steel-look commercial windows
As popular as the residential range of steel-inspired glazing, are steel-look commercial windows.
These are used in revovations of old warehouses and industrial buildings, refurbished into flats and apartments. They’re also extensively installed in factories and other commercial buildings with existing steel windows.
Smart Systems, Kawneer, Aluk, Reynaers, are just some of the well known systems companies with a commercial range of steel-look windows.
Tilt and turn commercial windows
The tilt and turn design is one of the best for functionality. Widely used in commercial buildings, flats and apartments, tilt and turn give a double function, all controlled by a rotating handle.
Tilting the window back is the standard position for ventilation. Commercial this also provides a safety feature on high level windows. Turned inwards, these windows allow the cleaning of the outside pane of glass from outside.
Another great advantage to tilt and turn products is they allow the design of very large windows at sizes approaching those of a door. Without the turn facility you’ll find bottom hung windows. These tilt-back only, providing basic ventilation.
Reversible or pivot windows allow the full rotation of windows for ventilation and cleaning the outside pane of glass.
Widely used in social housing refurbishments these windows provide added functionality at high level or where users require the the full opening. Both vertical and horizontally pivoting windows are available.
Another version of these is the top-swing reversible window. This design works like a top hung casement window. The window hinges then release allowing the entire opening to open further while also reversing inwards on itself.
Parallel Opening Commercial Aluminium Windows
The clever design of parallel opening windows uses advanced hardware. This opening method opens the casement equally on all sides and provides a much neater opening window.
Extensively used in schools and universities, within curtain walling and in office buildings, its one of the recent commercial aluminium windows innovations.
Other types of commercial windows
There are substantial other versions of commercial glazing in aluminium. You’ll find fire and bomb-blast systems, protection windows and other specialist designs. How these windows perform is down to client or architect requirements.
Aluminium remains one of the most versatile and suitable systems for general and specific-use windows, doors and screens.
More information about commercial aluminium windows
Installers, construction professionals and the wider trade can get in touch using our contact form, for suppliers and installers of commercial aluminium windows and doors.