The evolution of Windows and Insert Elements has been driven by trends and enabled by technology – where are the limits?

The development of windows and insert unit constructions is essentially driven by architectural trends, statutory energy efficiency specifications, the growing sustainability culture, demands for optimised cost efficiency and the increasing requirements for comfortable living.

At first glance, the ongoing architectural trend towards more transparency and narrow profile face widths with concealed fittings is at odds with the requirement for highly thermally insulated constructions which are easy to fabricate and install. Increased demands for comfort necessitate the integration of mechatronic operating units, automated, decentralised ventilation and filter units, and sun shading, the space required for which also contradicts the quest for ever slimmer constructions.

The tightening legal requirements for energy-efficient building envelopes mean that particular attention needs to be paid to the performance of the entire “window” or “insert unit” system; opaque areas which are structurally easier to insulate are being curtailed during the design process and replaced with transparent areas due to the design trends. Greater importance is therefore being attached to the technology of transparent areas in the development of windows and insert units. Insulating glass with optimised energy efficiency can now meet both design demands and energy efficiency requirements when being accordingly constructed into efficient frames to become an efficient solution.

Newly developed window and insert unit constructions, however, are already pushing the intersection of the above requirements into the extremes. This is warranting the continuous development of all technology in these constructions and the facilitation of further development steps in future which are interdependent.

In addition to system providers, which are responsible for the development of profile and fittings technology, the glass, bonding and sealant industries also need to continuously develop their technology so that they can all meet the requirements of the future. Ultimately, the perfect construction has the perfect interplay of all components, which are tailored to one another and work as a whole.