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glass & glazing 47


Innovations in efficiency


Phil Brown of Pilkington UK Ltd explores how contemporary innovations in the glazing industry are helping housebuilders create high performing, cost effective homes


T


he government’s 2016 nearly zero- carbon target for new homes has pushed energy efficiency to the top of the


agenda for housebuilders. Rising energy costs have also meant that potential homeowners are more concerned than ever about reducing their household bills. To help housebuilders meet growing legislative


demands and consumer expectations of cost- effective, highly efficient homes, the level of innovation in the glazing technology sector has accelerated considerably over the last decade. Regulations specifying minimum require-


ments for the energy efficiency of new buildings are being gradually tightened and, at the same time, a growing emphasis is being placed on the importance of improving existing housing stock. In response, technical advances mean house-


builders can now call on products such as double glazing units with low-emissivity coated glass that can deliver the same thermal efficiency as uncoated triple glazing. Solar control coatings can slash the amount of


solar energy entering a building, for example, reducing the need for power-hungry air condi- tioning in properties that are susceptible to overheating during the summer. Conservatories and rooms with large, south-


facing windows, as well as buildings in hot climates, can be especially prone to this issue. As more buyers prioritise energy efficiency


when choosing a home, it’s time for house- builders to familiarise themselves with the issues and potential solutions.


Enq. xxx respond online at www.hbdonline.co.uk


The race to cut energy bills


Despite the fact that unusually warm weather meant British homeowners used 14 per cent less energy during 2014, their energy bills continued to rise, with households paying £15 more for their electricity, which saw the average yearly bill reach £592, and £23 more for gas, at £752 per year. As much as 25 per cent of the heat from


homes escapes through the windows and, accord- ing to the Energy Saving Trust, installing energy efficient glazing in the average A-rated detached


home will save £120 to £160 a year through reduced energy bills. Energy efficient homes are also more highly


prized by buyers, and hence more saleable with potentially bigger margins for developers. Department of Energy and Climate Change


research found that homes with energy saving improvements commanded a premium of up to 38 per cent in some parts of England, indicating that energy efficiency is now a key factor influencing the sale price of most residential dwellings.


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