In connection with aluminium closing systems, durability, sleek design and a wide range of application opportunities pop into the mind of most people. Still, due to financial constraints many people do not consider this option when it comes to family home design. We spoke with Károly Lovász, managing Director of KAV Hungária, about the when using aluminium closing systems might pay off.
It is needless to state that an aluminium closing system is essentially a more expensive technology than wood, PVC or their mixed structures. At the same time, there are certain sizes and solutions, such as in higher lift slide doors and large fixed or moveable glass walls, where this priceyness “turns around” and, due to its durability and the much thinner frame, it is a lot more economical to use aluminium. It depends on the facade application, the use of sun shades, the height of the structure and what quality and quantity glass we join. A KAV professional can see at first sight if it is more economical to use aluminium closing structures in a house.
The advantages of aluminium closing systems, compared to products built from other materials, include for example the much broader range of height and sizes the movement options that offer the most alternatives, structural and surface resistance (e.g. against aggressive water), and there’s no need for maintenance. For family homes, the aesthetic aspect is also of primary importance: the integration of larger glass surfaces can be performed with a much thinner rim or frame structure when using aluminium closing systems than products made of other materials. We should not surpass the so-called “holy” 2,400 mm height threshold, commonly used by everybody for decades, although one of the most important elements of our current modern construction culture are the floor-height glass and closing structures. Where a closing field is designed in full height, floor to ceiling, then a sliding door, an entrance door, or a joined fixed glass solution from PVC or wood could only result in very thick, strong facade, a broken and divided surface. However, when using aluminium, these only vertical joints may be made just five to six centimetres wide by using aluminium. And this is not only important in the look of the facade, since the uninterrupted glass lighting surface adds to the long-term quality experience of the inhabitants.
Aluminium was born from communal construction technology, since people’s relationship with the interior of a hotel or an office block is completely different: they are subject to more wear and tear; in its lifetime a door or window may be opened on a couple of hundred thousand occasions. Aluminium is therefore a much more durable material, also on the basis of its “past record”, mainly due to its mechanical resistance, surface coverage and the high-performance parts and sealing systems used. In a family home, subject to proper operation, they will look the same even after 30 years In addition, premium aluminium system owners provide very good parts supply even in a 20 year horizon (like automotive manufacturers), although one must be careful since more and more companies force themselves into this sector, without a knowledge base or decades of history.
Initially we bumped into a lot higher walls and more rejection. We were considered pioneers, in that we offered aluminium closing systems especially for the residential building segment. However, as we progressed, partly due to customer satisfaction and partly due the word of mouth references, I can see that architects already started to exploit this option. They and their clients become braver and braver. The bravery of the market is also needed for it to become an increasingly recognised building material in the family home sector. But we are nowhere near Western Europe. Most family homes there are constructed with aluminium entrance doors, since this is one of the most important building elements in the property, since it is the most exposed. But we are going to the right direction and we invest a lot of effort in raising awareness and customer information. Partly by advising architects, already in the design phase, and partly by informing customers outside of our usual customer base. We can say that we are engaged in a special educational activity as part of our mission. We are not the kind of company to turn off a smaller family home that will not mean such a high revenue or professional challenge.
This is where we actually started from, since we combined information and knowledge from the world of PVC and wood with the technology, intellectual and manufacturing background for aluminium closing structures. At first we started to serve customers who recognised that, in certain cases, it is cheaper or more appropriate to use aluminium. KAV is made by the fact that instead of looking in a brochure for a ready element that we can “substitute”, we offer solutions to meet customer demand to the maximum, by uniquely combining, revisiting or hybridising parts, at a good price.