Steel windows have remained an enduring element in both domestic and commercial buildings for centuries due to their slim sight-lines combined with rugged performance; yet they, like many building products, are subject to trends in styles and application.
Most recently, members of the Steel Window Association have reported a resurgence in the popularity of steel framed entrance screens and partitions; normally featuring a pair of double doors flanked by fixed lights, and referred to as Belgium Doors. These are most commonly installed as the outer door to a porch area, offering excellent weather protection while admitting the maximum amount of natural light. While these screen assemblies are revisiting a long-established arrangement of steel sections, the availability of modern systems and enhanced glazing options means that contemporary installations can significantly outperform those projects that provide inspiration to today's customers and their consultants.
Darren Lloyd of Govette Windows, an SWA member, reports: "We, and a number of other association members, have been asked to quote on these types of screens - for both interior and exterior use - over the last couple of years; and it seems they are really starting to make a comeback. This has applied to both new build and refurbishment projects.
"The "Belgium Doorset" contains a pair of side-hung opening doors together with side-lights forming a larger run. The design preference is to have two sets of horizontal bars running right the way across and producing equal pane sizes. They are proving popular with customers who might previously have purchased timber or aluminium bi-folding doors. We can compete on both price and performance with the steel option offering far better security and enhanced light transmission."