How secure is Sunvista?
Security is one of the most important considerations when selecting this type of product and Sunvista is as secure as any minimally framed sliding door system available. Its unique multipoint locking system has passed the extremely intensive *PAS24:2016.
There are four particularly vulnerable areas of a sliding door system and Sunvista addresses them all.
Locks: All Sunvista doors are fitted with three 5mm thick, stainless steel, double hook locks which are strategically concealed within the frames. The location of these is not visible from the outside meaning that would be intruders would not know which areas to attack. The locks are operated by a single, easy to operate sliding handle. Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the locking handle; the Sunvista locking system is very secure and should comply with most UK insurance company requirements for glazed sliding doors and also provides an easy means of escape. The locking handles can also incorporate alarm contacts, if required. See question below.
Lifting doors out: All doors are fitted with anti-lift devices to prevent them from being lifted out.
Lever/crowbar attack: Part of the PAS24 testing involves attacking all profiles with nail bars, hammers and screwdrivers to ensure that they are not easily removable. There is no point in having secure locks if the profiles are easily removed.
Glass strength: As a minimum, double glazed units installed will comprise two leaves of 6mm thick toughened glass; this is up to five times stronger than standard float glass and is extremely impact resistant. Laminated glass is also available.
*PAS24 is a UK test and is the most advanced security testing method for residential windows and doors. The testing does not only consider the security aspect, it also includes weather testing and durability for long term use. The concealed wheel carriages have been designed and engineered to be maintenance free using corrosion free components and these, as well as the integral and elegant locking handles have been tested to 50,000 actions. PAS24 is also a requirement under Document Q of the Building Regulations if your project is a new build.
How does the system drain if it is in the floor?
The Sunvista floor track is designed to be fully recessed within the floor and the threshold to be transition free. Even when fully recessed, it is extremely unlikely that water will ever breach the simple but effective drainage system. The recessed base track incorporates an integrated drainage chamber system which ensures that even during the heaviest rainfall water drains externally and in most cases into an Aco drain or similar which is concealed below the decking or slabs on the outside of the building seal. The base tracks are fixed on bespoke adjustable brackets and no fixings ever penetrate the track which ensures that water can never seep through.
Sunvista does not rely on packing that can shrink or move over time; we install solid, adjustable, galvanised steel base plates which once set will never move and this will ensure that the tracks remain level. The base track needs to be perfectly level to ensure the tracks drain properly over the length of the track. If the tracks are not level, water will find the lowest points and this could create over capacity in that area.
It is essential that good quality damp proof membranes are installed to ensure a good seal between the Sunvista framing and the building structure.
What maintenance is required?
Sunvista is a fully tested system and has been designed to be virtually maintenance free. Not only has Sunvista been independently tested for weather tightness and security but also for durability and long term use. The concealed wheel carriages have been designed and engineered to be maintenance free using corrosion free components and have been tested to 50,000 opening cycles. The integral and elegant locking handles have also been tested to 50,000 locking actions.
The most vulnerable area is the bottom track, however, if this is kept clean the user should enjoy many years of problem free operation.
An occasional wipe over with a dry cloth is all the maintenance that should be necessary. NEVER use grease or oil based products which could attract dust. Grit, leaves or sand within the track can cause a problem. Please ensure this does not occur especially following building work because if sand or cement dust settles on the tracks it will prevent the doors from sliding smoothly.
What are the largest panel sizes available?
The normal maximum individual sliding panel size is 3500 x 3000mm, however, this can be exceeded. Fixed panels including frameless glass corners are available up to a width of 6000mm.
What warranty is offered?
Sunvista comes with an uncomplicated ten year warranty. Click here to view the warranty.
What configurations are available from Sunvista?
Any variety of configurations using two, three and four tracks can be accommodated including fully opening corners and pocket doors. Please refer to our 'typical details' which indicate some of the more usual options available. Sunvista is our own product and is made in-house, therefore we can be flexible with designs. If you require something different to those shown or a bespoke design please ask.
With so much glass will I have a problem with solar gain?
Depending on the orientation of the glass doors, additional solar protection might help. The further away from due south the glazing faces the problem of summer overheating is reduced. UV rays, in particular, are also much stronger when the sun is high in the sky. Neutral (non-tinted and virtually invisible) solar control coatings can be incorporated within the insulating units which will help protect your home by blocking out the harmful UV rays from the sun. These will not noticeably affect the level of brightness and will help to reduce solar gain.
The most popular solar control coating is SN 70/35. This is because it is effective in terms of solar control and does not reduce the light transmission that much. Below is an image which indicates basic performance data.
All solar control glasses have a slight tint, however, the 70/35 is neutral and does not impact the view when looking out. Below is an image of an installation in which this glass was used. As you will see, the view out is not dramatically affected.
How long does Sunvista take to manufacture?
Depending on the complexity of your project, the type of insulating units you have selected and on our workload at the time of order, we would expect to fulfil most orders within six weeks of receiving signed off drawings. Projects involving four track systems can take longer.
Can blinds be fitted within the system?
Blinds do not yet form part of the Sunvista system. Separate blinds which provide privacy and shading, such as those manufactured by Silent Gliss can be installed in recesses inside or outside the frame. See example below.
What frame colours are available?
The aluminium frame profiles can be powder coated to over 200 standard, non-metallic RAL colours which are available at no extra cost. There are not quite Fifty Shades of Grey but there are not far off that! Click here to view the some of the standard colours. Please note that colours and shades can vary slightly. Metallic colours are available at an additional cost.
What U-values can be achieved?
A 'U' value is a calculation of the amount of energy that can escape through the external envelope of a building. The energy loss is calculated in Watts per m² Kelvin (W/m²K). The lower the 'U' value, the better the thermal performance.
Until recently the glazing element would have been one of the weaker elements when compared to more solid materials, however, Sunvista installs high quality insulating units with warm edge spacer bars, soft coat low ‘E’ (low Emissivity) coated glass and argon gas filled cavities that achieve a centre pane 'U' value of 1.1 W/m²K as standard.
Low ‘E’ glass is essential for all double glazed units in order to achieve the thermal performance criteria demanded by Building Regulations Part ‘L’. Low ‘E’ glass has an ultra thin coating on the internal face which reflects the heat back to its source.
A window is not like a brick wall where the focus is on keeping the cold out and the heat in; efficient insulating units can contribute more energy to the heating of the building than is lost through the window.
Sunvista is an extremely thermally efficient door system and depending on the configuration and glass area, ‘U’ values as low as 1.2 W/m²K can be achieved.
Does the system provide good sound insulation?
Noise pollution has become an omnipresent health hazard particularly in urban locations or in the proximity of railways, roads and airports. Sunvista double glazing provides good sound insulation as standard, however, if noise is a problem Pilkington 'Optitherm' acoustic glass can be incorporated. Click here for more information.
How do the doors slide?
Sliding panels run on bespoke wheel carriages which incorporate concealed, low resistance, top quality, stainless steel ball bearing rollers which create a smooth and easy door operation. These rollers are designed to be virtually maintenance free.
One extremely important issue regarding the sliding operation of the doors – any ground-based sliding doors - is that the base track must be level and stay level otherwise the doors will not slide well. Sunvista does not rely on packing that can shrink or move over time; we install solid, adjustable, galvanised steel base plates which once set will never move and this will ensure that the tracks remain level. Another reason for ensuring the base track is perfectly level is to ensure the tracks drain properly over the length of the track. If the tracks are not level, water will find the lowest point and this could create over capacity in that area.
Can doors be automated?
Sunvista doors can be automated.
Can doors slide into a pocket?
Doors can slide into pockets on one or both sides and on one, two, three or four track systems. They can even slide over the outside of the building if there is no room for an internal pocket. Please refer to our 'System Details' section for more information.
Can the doors be alarmed?
Most alarm contacts and sensors can be incorporated within the system, however, Sunvista has an advantage over other systems because it can incorporate sensors within the locking system that don’t only indicate that the doors are in the closed position, the alarm will not set until the doors are actually locked. We can work with your alarm company and, depending on the component type and size, will try to accommodate your components within the frame. Please let us know your requirements and the category of security required.
Are bi-folding doors available?
Bi-folding doors do not form part of the Sunvista product range.
Does the system incorporate trickle ventilation?
Trickle vents are very small openings normally integrated into window frames which allow air into the property. Gentle airflow helps prevent condensation, mould growth and dampness. Incorporating trickle ventilation in Sunvista sliding doors is not normally a requirement and is slightly complicated because the frames are normally concealed, however, with some minor modification it can be done. There are several other means of providing effective ventilation, extractor fans or air bricks are just two alternative means of doing this.
Can the system be used for high level applications?
If Sunvista is installed at high level and is required to act as a barrier from falling, laminated safety glass should be installed as part of the insulating unit and will provide anti-fall protection. Frameless 'Juliet' and other types of balustrades can be incorporated as another means of anti-fall protection.
Can Sunvista be triple glazed?
The already impressive ‘U’ values can be improved slightly by introducing an invisible, high performance film which acts as the third leaf of a triple glazed unit.
Triple glazing would not improve the weather performance because the perimeter seals would be the same whether double or triple glazed, however, there would be a small financial saving. In terms of money, based on a ‘U’ value difference of between double and triple glazing of 0.4W/m²K (0.7W/m²K triple glazing compared to 1.1W/m²K for double glazing) the energy saving for a window 2000 x 2000mm, assuming a rate for gas of 2.85p per kWh, would be approximately £6.80 per annum. If you only heat your house for six months of a year then this saving can be halved.
Does Sunvista come under the FENSA scheme?
It is not required to. FENSA stands for the Fenestration Self-Assessment scheme which was set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation to ensure that replacement windows meet the Government’s Approved Documents Parts L1B and K4 (England) or N (Wales) (safety in relation to impact). The Sunvista sliding door system does not come under the category of ‘replacement windows’ and as such the installer is not required to be FENSA registered. However, it should be noted that Sunvista more than meets these requirements.
Can we buy Sunvista and install it ourselves?
Only properly trained installers can install the Sunvista system. We need to be confident that the product is installed properly and in accordance with our installation instructions and that you, our customer, will be satisfied with the operation of Sunvista for years to come.
What are payment terms?
Unless agreed otherwise our standard terms are 25% of the contract value payable with order or receipt of signed contract; 65% payable ten days prior to installation and the balance payable on completion of the work. All payments are to include VAT at the appropriate rate.