ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

As construction sites across the UK reopen and contractors return to work, we are presented with an extraordinary opportunity for change.  Beyond flexible working, employee health and wellbeing, and green business practices, lies a chance for self-improvement – advances that can lead to higher profit margins and business efficiency.

 

By developing your rooflight installation technique and broadening your product knowledge, you can look to step away from ‘off-the-shelf’ rooflights and vents and explore bespoke products with a higher value.

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Tackling Technique

A professional installation makes good business sense.  Fitted poorly, and even the very best rooflight can end up costing valuable time and money.  Call-backs are a financial drain, and at the very least, a waste of everyone’s time.

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The importance of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Continuing professional development might be a pain, but we all need to do it.  Adding to our growing pile of knowledge and skills, keeping our hand in the qualifications that we may have done years ago.

You may not even think you are doing it, but you are.  Every time you watch a webinar, or research a subject deeper you are adding to your already vast information base and creating new resources in your brain that may be useful to complete that project or report.

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A testimony to stamina

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In these trying times we could all take a leaf out of the Queens book of stamina.  She has successfully reigned over us for 68 years and during that time as seen 14 UK prime ministers through her doors.  She … Continue reading

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COVID – 19 Update

Howells Patent Glazing Statement

COVID – 19 Update

 

In light of the recent developments surrounding the government’s response to COVID-19 we have put into place a number of measures to ensure we are able to maintain a normal service to our customers and to ensure business continuity, the safety of our staff and customers.


We already have crisis management plans in place to ensure the continuation of our business regarding COVID-19 such as social distancing and the use of temporary labour via agencies if required.   Further measures include home working of staff where possible, cancellation of internal and non-essential external meetings or site visits, and stringent PPE requirements when visiting our premises.

 

Our business remains open and trading as normal via our main site and delivered orders.  We maintain good stock levels of our main products and have contingency stock at an alternative premises, so, unless the situation becomes prolonged, we are confident in our ability to supply.


We believe our plans will protect the safety of both our people and our operations and we will continue to follow guidance from Public Health England to ensure the safety of all parties involved in our business operations.


We will continue to take calls, emails and make collections / deliveries as normal. We are all in this together and will support our customer base as best we can.

 

Whilst the situation continues to develop and the scale of disruption remains uncertain, we hope the measures we have put in place will allow us to continue to trade normally during this difficult period. Should the situation change we will update as soon as possible.   This page is monitored, any queries can be directed via messaging, email at info@howellsglazing.co.uk or telephone 01384 820060

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When I’m Cleaning (Roof) Windows

 

Hands up for easy to clean windows! For rooflights most people want self-cleaning glass, Pilkington’s patented material.  However, this glass needs a minimum pitch of 30 degrees to work optimally. It can work beautifully on windows or a rooflight with a steeper pitch. Make sure to find out more about Pilkington’s glass options here Pilkingtons glass types.

A great alternative on a flat rooflight is Ritec –  a solution applied to the surface of ordinary glass to make it extra slippery. It’s something I would recommend on low pitched rooflights. If you want to find out more click here https://www.ritec.co.uk/.

 

Talk to a member of our sales team for expert advice on the best glass type for your project or check out our website https://www.howellsglazing.co.uk/domestic-glazing-options.php.

 

 

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MANAGING SOLAR GAINS

 

It would be reasonable to assume that an increase in glazing in new dwellings and buildings would improve the amount of natural light entering the space.  The challenge arises when solar gains in the summer are factored in.

 

Combating Solar Gains

The current Part L1A (Conservation of Fuel and Power in New Dwellings) addresses limiting the effects of solar gains in summer.  ‘Solar gains are beneficial in winter to offset demand for heating, but can contribute to overheating in summer.  The effects of solar gain in summer can be limited by an appropriate combination of window size and orientation, solar protection through shading and other solar control measures, ventilation (day and night) and high thermal capacity.’

Part L1A

Part L1A also recognises, when seeking to limit solar gains, ‘…consideration should be given to provision of adequate levels of daylight.’  Yet, Building Regulations in England do not specify a minimum daylight requirement.  Instead, the BS 8206-2 Code of Practice for Daylighting recognises that good lighting goes beyond achieving minimum illumination for task performance

 

It’s fair to say, it’s a balancing act.

 

Balancing Performance & Light

Reducing the window area of a new dwelling is one of the suggestions for limiting solar gains in summer yet it has ‘…conflicting impacts on the predicted CO2 emissions: reduced solar gain but increased use of electric lighting.  As a general guide, if the area of glazing is much less than 20 per cent of the total floor area, some parts of the dwelling may experience poor levels of daylight, resulting in increased use of electric lighting.’

 

With Part L focussed on lighting methods and delivering efficiencies through design, it would be easy to think that new build homes across the UK are in a no-win situation – having to compromise on the number and size of windows (glazed areas) in order to limit solar gain while still providing a happy, healthy living space.

 

Letting in around twice as much light than vertical glazing, and up to three times as much as dormer windows, rooflights are a popular solution.

 

Let there be Light

The National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers (NARM) states that ‘…the glazing is pointing directly at the light source with very little diffused or reflected light.  Consequently, rooflights and roof windows can supply a great deal more daylight into the heart of the home thereby illuminating areas that might otherwise be quite dark.’

 

Making a room feel bright and airy, rooflights can help cut the cost of energy bills by reducing the demand for electric lighting.  And of course, the greater the rooflight area, the greater the potential savings.

 

NARM reports that ‘ the amount of energy needed to light a building artificially is often much greater than the amount of energy used to heat it, and is often the greatest single energy use in operating the building.’  The impact is both financial and environmental with ‘…electricity used for lighting being more expensive in terms of CO2 than gas used for heating.

 

Rooflights are particularly beneficial when designing a new build extension where the vertical windows have been removed.  Rooflights allow daylight to penetrate further into the building, illuminating areas that would otherwise be gloomy.

 

When addressing solar gains, the location and orientation of the dwelling must be considered during the planning stage, to assess the shading benefits of neighbouring buildings and trees.  This will also help determine the best position for the rooflight.

 

Glazing Options

Many rooflight manufacturers combat the issue of solar gains through high performance glazing, with suppliers offering a wide variety of glass options including coated and uncoated.  Solar control glass, for example, can help retain heat in cooler months, with a leading glass manufacturer achieving a thermal insulation U-value of 1.0 Wm2K.

 

While coatings can sometimes change the colour inside the building, there are options which are neutral in appearance and have low internal reflection.  Both of these factors help to give a clearer view to the outside.

 

Self-cleaning glass is now widely specified and is a popular choice for vertical and roof windows, conservatories and rooflights.  A unique coating breaks down the organic matter and even works on cloudy days and at night.  Some glass manufacturers also combine self-cleaning properties with solar control performance.

 

Benefit from Experienced Rooflight Manufacturers

All too often, rooflights are ordered within a few clicks but the UK rooflight industry has so much more to offer than a quick-buy on the internet.  With several rooflight companies starting as early as the mid-sixties and seventies, there’s a lot be gained from working with an established rooflight expert, not least the experience and knowledge to help realise the benefits of natural light in the built environment.

 

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HOWELLS DUO AWARDED CHARTERED MANAGEMENT STATUS

Members of the Howells Patent Glazing management team have successfully completed a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) development training programme, achieving the highest professional status within management.

 

Business development manager, Tracey Jackson and HR and finance manager, Deborah Willetts have been awarded Fellowship of Chartered Management status.

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Ventilating Your Home

During the summer months it’s easy to throw the windows open and let fresh air flood into your home. But once the outdoor temperatures start to drop, how do you weigh up the importance of ventilation versus heating costs?

 

Firstly, why is ventilation important? According to Allergy UK, there are around 9,000 deaths a year in the UK attributed to indoor air pollution which can be 2-10 times higher than outdoor air. Dust mites, cleaning products, building and furniture materials in the home can aggravate certain conditions so it is important to minimise the risks posed by poor indoor air quality.

 

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HOWELLS LAUNCHES NEW GLASS RAFTER ROOFLIGHT

Howells Patent Glazing is pleased to announce the launch of its new glass rafter roof light, Ultraline.

Designed to maximise daylight, Ultraline offers architects and specifiers the freedom to use larger expanses of glass.  Each joint is supported by a glass rafter, or fin, which reinforces the structure without breaking the sightline.

 

The low-pitch aluminium roof light is non-intrusive and typically measures 2.4 metres long and 1.2 metres wide.  However, as each roof light is designed and made to order, specifiers can increase the width and depth to suit the application.  Loadings are calculated by an independent glass consultant.

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HOWELLS LAUNCHES NEW GLASS RAFTER ROOFLIGHT

Howells Patent Glazing is pleased to announce the launch of its new glass rafter rooflight, Ultraline which was unveiled at FIT Show 2019.  Designed to maximise daylight, Ultraline allows for larger expanses of glass.  Each joint is supported by a glass rafter, or fin, which reinforces the structure without breaking the sightline.

 

The low-pitch aluminium rooflight is non-intrusive and typically measures 2.4 metres long and 1.2 metres wide, ideal for the average house extension, at around three to four metres.  However, as each rooflight is designed and made to order, customers can increase the width and depth to suit the application.  Loadings are calculated by an independent glass consultant.

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