With much debate and changing attitudes to the way Residence 9 is manufactured, we wanted to make out position clear. Glazerite only fabricates Residence 9 windows via a mechanically-jointed and glass-bonded process - the way they're meant to be.
Launched specifically as a modern alternative to 19th-century timber window designs, the Residence 9 (R9) system was based on the stringent principles, shapes and dimensions of the Article 4 Conservation Area Guidelines.
Designed and made in the UK, R9 is an authentic replica of classic British architecture, combining the latest in window technology and virtually maintenance-free materials with the traditional flush sash character, decorative interior and equal sightlines expected of the Georgian and Victorian era.
The original intention of its creators, Window Widgets, was to design a product that would maintain character and meet demanding planning rules, whilst utilising the benefits of modern uPVC windows. Following rigorous testing, R9 is a true replica of its timber equivalent, made by embracing the repeatability of modern machining processes combined with the eye of a craftsman.
STRENGTH AND SECURITY
Wellingborough-based fabricators, Glazerite, have continued this approach. Chris Thompson, Glazerite's National Sales Manager, explains why the mechanically jointed and glass bonded process is so important.
"Some of Europe's greatest buildings are glass bonded, with the bead on the inside. This contributes to a high security performance and improves its overall strength, resulting in a trouble-free investment that lasts for years.
Our expert team hand finish R9 in our Specials factory with the excellent care and dedication this prestigious product deserves. This mechanically jointed process means the joints butt together to replicate timber, giving windows and doors the authentic timber appearance.
At Glazerite, we are continually evaluating our manufacturing processes. Should an alternative method be proven to meet or exceed the exceptional performance of the original glass bonded approach, we will review our own internal processes and liase closely with the guidelines of the Residence Collection. Until this time, we'll continue to manufacture R9 as the system was designed."
PREMIUM BRAND, HIGH QUALITY
With the R9 marketed as a premium brand, it's also been heavily invested in and undergone a series of stringent testing. Indeed, how it is manufactured is highlighted throughout marketing collateral and general information given out to the end customer,
Glazerite installer, Fred Doodey, of Worcester-based Ecologic Windows, agrees with the methods the fabricator uses to make the R9. For him, there's absolutely no question at all - he will only buy the product if it's been both mechanically jointed and glass bonded.
"Anything else is a complete no-no. If the unit hasn't been bonded, it affects the strength and rigidity, and therefore the structural integrity of the product."
For some in the industry, supplying R9 unglazed has meant easier installation of a much lighter product. But Fred believes cutting costs in this way compromises its quality, and the same goes for the cheaper welded versus mechanically jointed version of R9.
Though the fitting process for R9 is much more involved, Fred is adamant its worth it.
"It's a brilliant product that looks exactly like a timber window. It's just a shame that some have to cheapen and compromise what should remain a premium product in order to a price advantage."
FLUSH SASH ALTERNATIVES
For now, fabricators and installers like Glazerite and Ecologic Windows will only produce and dit R9 as intended. With Glazerite passionate about giving customers a choice, there is an alternative, with R9's younger sibling, Residence 7, available to buy.
"Easier to install and transport, with less plaster cutback, it's a great flush sash alternative and is available unglazed if required." says Chris Thompson.
For more information on the Residence Collection available from Glazerite, please visit our website or contact your Area Sales Manager.
Below and right a few of the recent R9 installations Ecologic Windows has been working on.