We understand building your home can be stressful at the best of times. When you add the complexities of compliance requirements it can be daunting and confusing.
The fact is your home needs to comply with a variety of regulations and standards:
Bushfire attack level (BAL);
Energy efficiency and thermal comfort;
Water penetration; and
These regulations have become more stringent over the years. This is a good thing.
We used to build homes with very little consideration for how they performed. In fact, Australian homes earned the nickname of 'glorified tents.' Temperature, noisiness, comfort and bushfires were rarely considered.
Now we’re thinking not just about how your home will look, but how it will actually feel and function to live in.
When it comes to BAL-rated windows, AWS has you covered.
We simultaneously comply with other regulatory requirements you need i.e. energy, ventilation, noise, etc. and
We offer stylish contemporary designs, favoured by architects, builders and homeowners around Australia.
The Benefits of a Tested System over ‘Deemed to Satisfy’
The importance of tested systems over ‘deemed to satisfy’ cannot be underestimated for windows and doors in bushfire zones.
Tested systems require the window or door to undergo extensive testing in ‘real life’ scenarios. They are tested in laboratories with actual fire and extreme heat applied.
‘Deemed to satisfy’ on the other hand have not undergone any testing. These products are manufactured to a formula in the hope that they will achieve consistent results.
Whilst these requirements are stringent, in our opinion ‘good enough’ doesn’t cut it. We don’t want any doubt.
We don’t want any doubt. We want peace of mind in what we’re offering so providing tested systems is a no brainer for us.
All our window and door systems that are tested and rated for BAL-40 can be used in lower BAL rated zones.
Deemed to Satisfy
Tested Systems & Natural Light
Unlike ‘deemed to satisfy’, tested systems don’t need screens on every part of the window and door. They only need screens on the parts of the window that open and close.
If you’re a lover of natural light, this will be important to you.
Screens impact the amount of natural light coming into your home. If you want a light, bright, spacious home, having the minimum amount of screens is what you want.
Just remember the whole window and the whole door has been tested to allow you to do this.
Tested Systems & Thermal Comfort
There is an assumption that BAL windows and doors perform better in terms of thermal comfort.
(Thermal comfort is that ability to keep your home at a temperature that is neither too cold nor too hot.)
You’d think if they can withstand the heat of a fire, then surely they can block out the heat of a 40° day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
If you want both BAL compliance and thermal comfort then you need to select a frame that does both. Not one or the other.
Thermal comfort in BAL zones is possible with a tested, thermally broken fame.
A thermally broken frame has a polyamide strip built within the frame to reduce this heat transfer in and out of your home. Therefore, making your home more comfortable all year round.
Most homes are built with a typical aluminium frame and standard glass. This lets in up to 87% of heat during summer and lets out up to 40% of heat during winter.
If you’ve experienced freezing cold winters and boiling hot summers this might be part of the reason why.
Building with tested, thermally broken frames would ensure:
Compliance with BAL ratings
Screens would be kept to a minimum, maximising natural light and
Your home would maintain a comfortably internal temperature year round.
What Builders & Architects Say
“We had two major constraints through the building process. We’re just off a national park, so we had to meet BAL-29 requirements. Plus the home is designed with a huge amount of glass so we had really stringent energy ratings to meet as well.
We went around and had window supplier after supplier say to us we cannot build windows to this specification. We thought we’d have to go back through town planning and spec up a home with less windows. But we didn’t want to compromise on design.
Then we discovered the AWS products and they were able to tick off our energy requirements, our fire rating and it feels and looks beautiful. It is a daunting process. It was awesome to know AWS have a network of approved fabricators, and they’ve got a team we can call on for advice. If I was going to do this again, I’d go straight to an AWS fabricator.”