European Windows vs. North American Windows
The Benefits of European Windows and Doors over North American Windows and Doors
European windows and doors are becoming quite popular among residential and commercial developers in North America. There are a few good reasons for this but it can often be confusing to anyone who isn’t familiar with what sets European windows and doors apart from their North American counterparts. HighQ is Vancouver’s leading supplier of European windows and doors so we felt it was high time we explained the merits of our products and why European windows and doors offer advantages that should not be overlooked.
Stylish and Versatile Designs
There is no skirting the fact that European windows offer an aesthetic that can’t be matched by North American windows. European window and door designs are largely unfamiliar to North Americans so they add an instant element of character, history and intrigue to any space they’re installed in as users marvel at their novelty. For example, one of HighQ’s most popular styles is “tilt & turn” which is available for both windows and doors. The tilt & turn style is effectively three styles in one: a secure top venting hopper in the tilt position, an inward opening casement in the turn position and a tightly-sealed window or door when closed. All three of these styles are attainable in one aesthetically pleasing product.
Improved Safety and Energy Efficiency
European windows are praised for their safety and energy efficient features. Because European windows can be opened in so many different ways, they feature multiple locking points and dual weather seals which provide optimal air and water tightness. These multiple locking points are a terrific extra safety measure and because they are tested to such high standards during manufacturing can be reliable for years after being installed. Furthermore, European windows and doors are designed to regulate the movement of air between the interior and exterior of a home. Where North American windows and doors are basically limited to ‘open’ or ‘closed’, European windows have been designed to allow filtered air into a home through the sides, while allowing warm air to escape out of the home through the top. The airflow and ventilation patterns created will vary between each window and door design so if you’re looking to achieve a certain effect please contact HighQ and we’ll be able to recommend the best products for your situation.
The Ability to Fill Large Spaces and Still Function
European windows and doors have a definite advantage when it comes to the versatility of spaces they’ll fit. Many of our customers first approach European designed windows and doors because they can’t find a design that will be functional while still filling a large space. The large chambers of European windows and doors accommodate the reinforcements required to be applied to large openings. In other words, European windows and doors have reinforcements that make them able to fill very large spaces without the functionality being compromised. This is an attractive feature, especially in homes (like many of the Vancouver homes featured in our portfolio) that have stunning views that developers want to capture. Often, a view is used as the focal point of the design and the window or door that’s chosen to showcase it can make or break the project. Where a blank pane of glass may suffice, the energy efficiency and functionality of a European design that offers and uninterrupted view and airflow will trump other products every time.
In Summary: European Windows and Doors Do Seem to Perform Better
There are a number of reasons why European windows seem to be a cut above what’s being produced in North America. Higher testing standards and pressure from policy and product demand have lead European window manufacturers to produce a product that’s of higher quality while still being aesthetically pleasing. One developer quoted on Green Building Advisor sums up his perspective on the issue: “We’d love to use [North American] windows and glass manufactured in North America for the PH [Passivhaus] houses we’re working on,” he says, “but no one seems willing to step up to the plate and produce what we can get from EU for cost, performance and quality. …In our research, the glass in North America isn’t quite up to par with what’s being produced in the EU”.
The Challenge of Switching from North American Windows and Doors to European:
If you’re a developer or a residential homeowner who wants to replace your windows and doors with European designs it can sometimes be a challenge to navigate the technical differences in design, testing standards and measuring systems used by European manufacturers as opposed to North American manufacturers. HighQ is an expert on European windows and doors and is more than happy to walk you through a demonstration of any of our products in our showroom or answer any questions you might have about European windows.