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The development of windows over the past 20 years has been drastic. Long gone are the days of single glazing and wiping the condensation away each morning.

Tightening building legislation has meant window companies are investing more money into development, which has ultimately seen innovative new materials and designs being used throughout the industry. The past couple of decades have also seen an increasing number of architects trying to maximise the amount of light they can bring into their projects.

These factors have put great emphasis on two elements of window design. Firstly, with windows becoming larger and building legislation becoming stricter, the energy efficiency of the window has had to be improved. Secondly, with architects’ focussing on maximising light in-take, the demand for slim profile windows with more space for glass has increased.

Over recent years the market has developed from single glazed timber windows, to aluminium clad systems and now, composite windows. Through all these changes the most innovative companies continue to lead the way.

The key points of the modern window can be broken down into two main areas:

1. Materials

One of the biggest developments in the window industry has been the use of different materials. Whether a window is made from timber, aluminium or UPVC all can offer advantages in performance or the visual appearance of the window. Below we have covered a few of the markets most innovative solutions to window development over the past 40 years:

PUR (Polyurethane)
PUR is a hardened form of Polyurethane. It offers exceptional insulation properties and creates an unbeatable thermal bridge.

PUR is one of the latest window innovations and one of the highest performing products on the market. Products include: Futura+, Futura+i, Frame IC and Nation IC. The polyurethane core sits between the external aluminium casing and the internal material – either timber or aluminium – stopping the cold getting between the two materials and helping provide u-values as low as 0.65.

Aluminium|Timber

The last decade has seen a sharp rise in the use of aluminium windows in the UK market. Aluminium is popular because of its longevity and minimal maintenance. It provides a great defence against adverse weather conditions compared to a timber or UPVC alternative.

In the 1980’s we saw the first of many aluminium|timber window systems. The concept behind it was simple; the external aluminium profile would provide great protection to the internal timber and the customer wouldn’t have to worry about regular maintenance.

2. Innovative Design

In 2001 the Futura window system was released which offered architects a unique opportunity to design a glass façade with fixed and opening casements within the same slim 53mm profile. The system proved an instant success and the development of this product has continued.

2011 saw the release of the Futura+ window system. Building on the success of the highly popular Futura system but adding the PUR core. The addition of PUR has not only given architects a product that provides equal sightlines and large glass areas, but great energy efficiency too.

Development of the Futura+ system was completed in 2014 with the introduction of Futura+i. This window is the inward opening sister to the Futura+, which only opened outwards. This system has had a huge impact on both its home market of Denmark, and the UK market. Nicknamed ‘The Architects Window’, it provides complete architectural freedom to designers.

The development of the window over the past two decades has been vast. There is no doubt that with the development of legislation on energy efficiency, and the changing requirements of homeowners and architects, that the evolution of the window is set to continue at a fast pace.

As a company, we at Idealcombi pride ourselves on driving innovation in the window industry. Our goal is to continue to challenge our competitors with the development and manufacture of ground-breaking window systems.