Darren Lloyd, President of the Steel Window Association, advises why specifiers should seek the expertise of its member companies.
From the Ivy League university campuses of America to warehouse properties flanking many of our inland waterways, along with the internationally-recognised minimalist homes created by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, steel windows have made an indelible mark on our built environment.
Such historical references, however, offer only a narrow perspective on the performance potential of steel windows today, with member companies of the Steel Window Association routinely engaged in many types of contemporary contracts aside from the demand for ‘Replica Refurbishment’ work.
Between them, the members not only cover the UK from the South-East to the Scottish Highlands; they are active across many sectors including education, healthcare, commercial and custodial, as well as apartment buildings and individual private residences.
One of the key reasons that specifiers can source suitable solutions for diverse projects is the amount of effort and resources the SWA has put into product development over the decades. The fact that member companies pool their expertise and investment, to spend on research and testing, enables new and improved products to be brought to the market more quickly. So when specific challenges arise, members know they can consult the SWA’s technical committee as well as colleagues at other manufacturers.
While the projects mentioned earlier will feature W20 frames or have fenestration fashioned from the old universal suite of sections, architects and other specifiers can nowadays opt for the W30, W40 or the latest thermally-broken steel systems. Thanks to hot dip galvanising and factory-applied paint finishes in the full selection of RAL colours, corrosion resistance has been hugely enhanced for doors and windows which will offer a long, low-maintenance working life. The SWA’s efforts on research and development have also seen significant progress in terms of ironmongery and security measures.
Therefore, whenever a potential customer wants to make use of steel’s renowned strength or stylish sightlines, their first port of call should be to visit the Steel Window Association’s website where they can find all member companies listed by geographic area. They will learn that the SWA offers not just collective strength, but also in-depth capability and commitment to delivering successful contracts. The Steel Window Association’s members are able to offer a full selection of options for new build and replica refurbishment, as well as historic projects; including W20, W30, W40 and W50 frames able to comply with the requirements of Part L to the Building Regulations. Choosing an SWA member to manufacture and install your steel windows and doors ensures that you are receiving the highest standard of fabrication, Installation and customer service.