Showroom Gets The Green Light

Showroom Gets The Green Light hero image

With an ever-increasing focus on environmental sustainability, the pressure is on for builders and architects to meet very strict energy requirements. When Kinghorn Motors VW decided to upgrade their showroom on Princes Highway, Nowra, the project almost didn’t make it past the planning stages. In fact, this beautiful and functional space may not have been built at all, had it not been for an innovative new product called ThermalHEART™.

The ThermalHEART™ thermally broken window and door system is a groundbreaking product which is opening up whole new vistas of possibility. The true genius of this energy-efficient revolution lies in its design. ThermalHEART™ consists of two pieces of aluminium joined with an insulating strip to minimise the transfer of heat and cold between the internal and external environment. Astonishingly, it is approximately 60% more efficient than a typical aluminum window, and it tipped the balance when it came to how the Kinghorn Motors Showroom performed thermally. Indeed, it was the key to meeting the stringent energy demands for new construction under Section J of the Building Code of Australia.

The major challenge to face the building design team was the showroom’s less-than-perfect aspect, facing the highway and the eastern sun. Section J required the glazing to achieve extremely low U-Values and minimal solar heat gain, which were unable to be met using conventional commercial aluminium products.

According to architect, Blair Mullins, from Art House Building Design, “When we were approached by a local car dealership to design their latest showroom we didn’t imagine that we would undertake one of the first commercial uses of the Elevate™ ThermalHEART™ range of products. We were fortunate to have a close relationship with a local window company that specialises in energy-efficient products. Without the use of thermally broken windows and doors from Hanlon Windows we would not have been able to achieve the outcome that we did. The combination of thermally broken aluminium frames and high performance IGUs with Low-E glass made all the difference, and we were able to incorporate large glass facades to three sides of the building, which was extremely important for the car dealership owners as they wanted to obtain maximum exposure of their display area.”

The front door of the showroom needed to be very large and, once again, the ThermalHEART™ range exceeded the client’s expectations. The extra-strong door stiles on the Elevate™ Series 729 ThermalHEART™ Hinged Doors allowed for oversize door panels to be fabricated. The additional benefit of high water-resistance made the product the perfect choice.

The showroom facades were manufactured using Elevate™ Series 726 Fixed Awning Window Frames, and the extra-strong sash allowed large sash windows to be fabricated for high-wind areas.

Other products used included the Elevate™ Series 726 ThermalHEART™ Awning Windows, Dual colour ClearMIST finish to all windows and doors, and AWS ICON Hardware.All glass installed was double-glazed with a combination of Evergreen and Energy Advantage with a Low-E coating, to minimise solar heat gain and increase the insulation benefits.

The showroom’s green building credentials were further bolstered with the use of recyclable and long-life materials. The width of the louvred sun-awning around the building’s perimeter was calculated to provide winter sun while filtering out the summer sun - a basic solar passive principle which takes the load off heating and cooling systems. The lightweight external materials also have a small thermal mass while the internal thermal mass is elevated with the use of a concrete slab floor.

With all these elements combined, the result is a building that will continue to provide high energy-efficiency for years to come – without sacrificing the architecturally-inspired design and clean, striking aesthetic.

To find out more, download the project feature PDF.

Featured System

Series 726
Series 726

Thermally Broken Awning Window