Trendy Fenestration materials- uPVC, aluminium & wood
Fenestration - Looking Beyond the Stereotype
While wooden doors and windows are still very much in vogue, alternate materials such as uPVC & aluminum are also making their mark in India, notes S.D.Khan
There's a bittersweet bond between scarcity and necessity. Ironically, necessities are abundant but the means of fulfilling them are scarce, and simultaneously, in every scarcity there's an element of unending necessity. The following quote sums it up perfectly, "The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it!"
Since the beginning of time, mankind has been enamoured with wood. Out of all the dispositions of timber, one of the most visible and notable is fenestration (doors and windows). So wanton we have been in churning out wooden doors and windows that this necessity is now on the brink of becoming scarce. Nevertheless, the quintessence of windows and doors in a building remains intact.
fenestration has undergone a drastic revamp all over the world, and the trends are fast catching up in India as well. Apart from wood, doors and windows are now available in alternate technological configurations such as uPVC, aluminium, and in some cases, a blend of these technologies. However, the attributes of every material, be it wood, uPVC, or aluminium, are unique and each one of them is useful in its own way.
The Growing Fondness for uPVCuPVC windows and doors are energyefficient, fire, wind, and moisture resistant, aesthetic, long lasting, thermally and acoustically insulated, and can be customized according to individual requirements. On account of these meritorious traits, this type of fenestration is gradually strengthening its foothold in the country.
According to Mr. Mario Schmidt, the Managing Director of German uPVC major Lingel, "We are really proud of the fact that Lingel has been welcomed with open arms in India. Our doors and windows enhance the quality of life through heat reduction, sound insulation, durability, low maintenance, and eco-friendliness. All our future plans with respect to marketing, promotion, and targeted sales volumes are based on this sentiment. We see tremendous opportunities for our products in the Indian residential segment."
A point to be noted here is that no matter how qualitative or aesthetic the fenestration product is, its real value and utility lies in proper installation. This contention becomes even stronger when we talk of uPVC windows and doors, as they are based on European technology. So, it's essential that Indian fabricators and installers are apprised of the technical nuances and installation techniques of uPVC fenestration.
Gladly, companies have taken cognizance of this essential, and are taking steps in this direction. For instance, German major Aluplast, which is quite active in India, conducted a comprehensive training session in Germany for its Indian channel partners and fabricators. Talking about this endeavour, Mr. Christian Feldmann, Market Manager Asia, Africa and North America, Aluplast GmbH, informs, "It was a very fruitful exercise as they were imparted theoretical knowledge, apprised of production technologies and techniques, and underwent a written test to validate their learning."
Training and knowledge upliftment has been VEKA's -another German majorpriority too. Highlighting the importance of quality fabrication, Mr. Shivendra Singh, Regional Sales Manager – North India, says "For the Indian market, we have developed a broad network of 'Associate Fabricators and Dealers' in all the four major cities. These associates are efficient designers and fabricators, and specialize in supply, handling, and installation of VEKA's uPVC fenestration solutions."
The company's bouquet of offerings comprises aluminum windows, doors, partitions, sheets and all other related accessories, and it also provides turnkey solutions across residential and commercial sector. He adds, "Apart from being elegant, these products are noise free, smooth sliding, and fitted with proper locking that ensures safety from unauthorized opening of the shutter from outside."
He is of the view that quality consciousness is on the rise among Indian consumers, and aluminium fenestration has played a key role in this. Creating consumer awareness has been one of Technal's success mantras. Nevertheless, Mr. Jena observes that a structured ethos in the form of an apex body can do wonders in promoting fenestration segment to higher levels. "A regulatory entity that can implement building codes enforcement and monitor the performance, standardization and functional aspects of aluminium fenestration industry is required in India."
Wood and Wooden SynergiesThe first choice of carpenters and a historical favourite, wooden fenestration has its own allures such as ease of manufacturing and installation, aesthetics, rust resistance, and durability. And despite the growing competition from its aforementioned counterparts - uPVC and aluminium- wooden doors and windows not only continue to don innumerable dwellings, but are also undergoing a transformation of sorts in the form of compliance with the 'green' requisites.
Mumbai-based Ritikaa Wood designs, manufactures, and installs high performance solid wood products such as glazed windows and doors and solid wood doors. All the products are made from Accoya, the world's leading high performance wood. Mr. Niraj Thakkar, Business Manager, apprises, "Our range includes casement, vertical sliding, horizontal sliding, louvered shutters, Lift- &-Glide / Slide-&-Fold sliding balcony doors (extra large windows), hinged balcony doors (large doors) and special shapes. We use 100% FSC/PEFC certified real-wood in all of our products which can be customized according to the varied requirements of clients. Architects and designers are instrumental in our growth. Pan-India, our trained installers leave no stone unturned in ensuring perfect workmanship. No wonder, we have executed more than 250 projects across the country."
Wood, as we have learnt, continues to be revered as a door and window raw material. It's akin to a motif that allows the artist to portray his thoughts freely. This freedom of creative expression is a USP of aluminium as well, perhaps that's the reason why they gel well. In fact, some fenestration majors specialize in this aluwood combo wherein aluminium windows and doors are fitted with wood panels inside.
Well, influx of diverse technologies, evolving consumer mindsets, and a structured approach by manufacturers are transforming the Indian definition of doors and windows. The options are quite broad and it's the joint prerogative of the customer and the architect to opt for a particular fenestration. So the coming years will surely witness a surge in these choices!