Timber windows can stand up to even the harshest weather conditions and still last a lifetime, and there is no tougher environment than the Antarctic Peninsula to put this to the test.
Port Lockroy is one of Antarctica’s most historic locations and a highlight of any voyage to the frozen continent. It was originally set up in 1944 as part of a secret Naval mission during WWII code named Operation Tabarin. The base consisting of a large building ‘Bransfield House’ and a ‘Nissen hut’, was created and manned to provide Britain with a presence in Antarctica and saw the start of scientific research into climatic conditions. JELD-WEN (Formerly Boulton and Paul) created the prefabricated building ‘Bransfield House’ including the windows which was flat packed and assembled on site by the Royal Navy. This served as the main living area for the men at that time.
When the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) took over the management of the buildings, they chose JELD-WEN’s high performance triple glazed timber windows as part of the restoration of the historic Nissen hut. The UKAHT also requested support in providing new triple glazed timber windows to match the originals for “Bransfield House”, the main building which now acts as the living museum and ‘Penguin post office’.
Part of the reason for choosing timber was because it is durable and a natural insulator, all of which enables it to withstand the extreme weather conditions of the Antarctic. Protecting the environment was also a key concern and timber was chosen because of its natural non-polluting characteristics. Antarctica is the most unpolluted, unspoilt landscape on earth and using a natural sustainable product such as timber is all part of keeping it that way.
The Nissen hut was originally built as a storehouse and emergency refuge and was fully rebuilt in 2010 to the same specifications, but with modern insulation. The JELD-WEN products installed include two external timber doorsets, 35mm internal fire doorsets and triple glazed windows. The staff now use the hut as their living quarters because of its thermal performance and privacy. Its innovative adaptation won an award from the British Institute of Structural Engineers.
Lisa Avis, UK Operations and Communications Co-ordinator has stayed in the hut comments “The Nissen hut is incredibly warm and cosy. During my stay, at which point there were five of us living in the hut, the one additional heat source – a heater in the main lounge – was never turned on as we just didn’t need it! The windows, which are draft proof, do a fantastic job at keeping out the extreme climate, which when you consider that the wind can be extremely bitter and temperatures below freezing, is an absolute necessity.”
Port Lockroy receives 18,000 visitors each season. They visit the museum, purchase souvenirs and postcards from the Post Office and shop and come to see the large colony of 2,000 Gentoo penguins which also inhabit the island. Over 70,000 postcards are sent every year from the penguin post office to over 100 countries around the world.
To find out more about JELD-WEN’s triple glazed timber windows explore our range here.
When it comes to new or replacement windows, there are lots of things to consider and all the various options can make the process rather confusing, particularly when choosing glazing.
The type of glazing you choose will not only impact how much light comes into your home, but also how much heat is retained or lost; in fact, it’s quite a technical subject but one that can make a real difference to the performance of your new windows.
So, to make things a little simpler and to help you to make the best glazing choices for your property, here’s some guidance on the most important things for you to consider:
Are you looking to improve your home’s heat retention and keep those expensive energy bills down? For many of us the answer to this question I’m sure will be yes! If this is on the top of your list then there are a number of ways this can be achieved.
As a starting point increasing the amount of glass panes can provide instant benefits. For instance installing double glazed windows in a previously single glazed home can result in a saving of £160 a year on energy bills. For ultimate efficiency triple glazed windows offer even greater levels of thermal performance. Consisting of two air or gas filled spaces and three panes of glass, as opposed to two in double glazing, the extra cavity and layer of glass retains even more heat, keeping the house warmer still.
In addition to multiple panes of glass, the space between them is just as important. Glazing that has inert gas filled cavities, commonly argon, or krypton, as opposed to just air will improve its thermal efficiency, so look out for this.
It’s also worth considering whether the glazing has additional performance enhancing coatings e.g. glazing that has Low-E (low emissivity) coatings will help to stop heat from being radiated out onto the colder outside surface and instead reflect it back into the room, resulting in better U values being achieved.
Is there a particular look you’re after or need to adhere to, because of the area you live in?
If looks are the highest priority, you can be sure your windows blend in seamlessly with the style of your home, even if you live in a conservation area, when opting for a sensitive style. There are many glazing design choices you can make to ensure your new windows look as good as they perform.
Glazing bar designs add character and authentic touch to a window, putting a personal stamp on the exterior of any home. For a country cottage look consider a cottage bar design or alternatively for those period properties there are Victorian bar designs.
There’s also patterned glazing options available for an artistic flair and to create a sense of privacy, should you have a window that is closely overlooked by a neighbour or from the street, obscure glazing can make all the difference.
Perhaps you live on a busy road? If so, the type of glazing you choose can impact on the amount of noise transference. Triple glazed windows offer an even higher level of performance and will provide increased sound-proofing qualities. However, you may need to sacrifice the thermal performance to gain acoustic performance and vice versa, so it is important to find the right balance.
There’s also special acoustic performance glazing available should external noise be a real concern.
For enhanced security, double glazed windows with laminated glass or a triple glazed window will do the trick, and if you have a low level window, laminated or toughened glass would be recommended. Alternatively for a window that is high up, a self-cleaning coating can be applied to make this easy to maintain.
So, whilst there are a number of things to bear in mind when it comes to choosing the right glazing for your windows, there’s a solution to suit any property.
If you want to learn more about how glazing can impact on the performance of your windows the Green Building Advisor website is a really useful resource.
To explore the full range of JELD-WEN timber windows visit the website or you can find your nearest retailer here.