Frames replacement: The necessity, modern solutions
The need for energy savings is becoming more urgent nowadays, as a number of major changes have taken place at the way in which we see constructions and the built environment. The older notion that man with the help of technology can be independent of nature and the climate conditions it imposes, can no longer be acceptable, as it has been shown to be environmentally damaging.
As is well known, the greatest heat losses are caused by the openings of buildings. Therefore the factor that significantly affects the energy behavior of a building is also the type of frames to be selected in order to cover its openings. In every case, thermal-brake aluminium systems must be installed, opening or sliding systems, which will be combined with thermal insulation Low-E glazing. The benefits of installing thermal-brake aluminium systems, is saving energy that is used for heating and cooling and also providing a healthier environment.
Newly built buildings, as well as existing ones, will be subject to scrutiny by specialized energy inspectors in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Procedure for the Energy Efficiency of the buildings (KENAK) in order to certify their energy efficiency. According to the latter they will fall into individual energy categories and the corresponding Energy Identity Card will be completed, which will form an integral part of the building permit and it will be necessary in all dealings drawn up for the property.
- Saving energy for heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation of buildings, by limiting energy requirements
- In ensuring hygienic conditions and comfortable living for the users of the buildings maintaining the appropriate levels of thermal and optical comfort
- In applying the principles of bioclimatic design accompanied by an increase in the use of those provisions which contribute to the exploitation of renewable energy sources (photovoltaics, wind turbines, passive heating-cooling systems)
- conductive, through walls, roofs - roofs, floors, glass openings
- by transport with the movement of air, through the open windows or from the joints of the frames
- irradiated from the shell of the building when the outside temperatures are lower
Overall, the replacement of the old frames of a building with thermal-brake aluminum frames results:
- Increasing thermal comfort indoors.
- Reducing the possibility of water vapor formation on the surface of the aluminium profiles.
- Significant reduction in operating costs for heating and cooling thanks to energy savings, reduction which, taking into account specific factors, can even reach a percentage of 30-40%.
- Improving the thermal insulation behavior of buildings, by maintaining the desired solar gains for a longer period of time inside the building.
- Protecting the environment through the reduced demand for energy thus avoiding the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, that contribute to exacerbating the phenomenon of climate change. Furthermore the choice of aluminium systems is the most appropriate environmental solution for one more reason, as it is a recyclable material.
- The energy upgrading of buildings, thus increasing their commercial value according to the new data set by KENAK.
Key issue in achieving better thermal insulation in the building generally, is the position of the frame in the masonry. A thermal-brake aluminium system must be installed in the same straight line as the thermal insulation line of the masonry, to avoid the formation of thermal bridges but also to have a substantial effect on the thermal break of the frame. Better thermal insulation is achieved overall as the isothermal aluminium frame-masonry curves are in the same straight line. In case there is no insulated wall, the position of the aluminium frame does not play an essential role in insulation.
Finally, an important environmental issue arises is also the management of the old frames. Old frames are treated as 'waste' and as such it needs to have a specific collection and disposal policy. The categorization of old frames according to their construction material (iron, wood or aluminium) and their possible recycling is an issue that has to concern solid waste management bodies.