Clearview North July 2014 - Issue 152 - Page 56

DOORS&WINDOWS TRICKLE VENTS? I HATE ‘EM! In this lighthearted article for Clearview, Andrew Halsall, Managing Director of Origin Frames, a leading manufacturer of Aluminium Folding Sliding doors and Aluminium windows tackles one of his pet hates: trickle vents. As a user of doors and windows for more than half a century, I can honestly say that I have never once had the occasion to use a trickle vent. To me, it is obvious that if a room is too hot or maybe poorly ventilated, you open a door or window – after all, they do open, that is part of their actual function. I’ve yet to hear anyone say – in a home, shop, hotel etc – “I’ll just open a trickle vent as it’s a little stuffy in here.” Having got that off my chest, I admit that my personal employment background is outside of the door and window industry - so I have a very limited technical knowledge of how things actually work and the underlying reasons for them. But when I came into this industry, one of the things that struck me as really odd was the insistence of trickle vents on door and window products. From my point of view - as a manufacturer of aesthetically attractive products that need to be manufactured to minimal tolerances - the inclusion of trickle vents is an ugly addition that puts extra pressure on the fabrication process. It also adds an not from this industry and I am prepared to become a complete convert - if someone could show me where a conscious decision to open a trickle vent has saved the life of a person (or a small furry animal.) If not, please - in an industry currently being overrun by red tape and regulation -help me to influence the decision-makers to change their ideas on trickle vents in door and window products. Let’s banish trickle vents once and for all! Scene 1 – A meeting at the Ministry of Silly Decisions, a committee of five: extra “potentially” moving part that has the capacity to fail. Finally, it adds extra costs to the product that the customers have to stand. If this is a safety feature, surely it cannot be down to the operator to engage it? I doubt if I am the only person who believes that the trickle vent is just an idea that has been universally accepted as correct when in reality, it is a bit of nonsense. It is useless. What architect or designer would suggest that a building should be ventilated by the discretion of an untrained user? Who would suggest the desecration of a “well-designed” door or window with the addition of an unsightly trickle vent that is genuinely not wanted or required? It just appears to be another case of making the simple and elegant increasingly more complicated. I cannot for the life me imagine the conversation that preceded the introduction of trickle vents: it must have been like a Monty Python sketch. Chairman: “How should you improve ventilation in a house?” 1st person: “Open a door” 2nd person: “Or a window” 3rd person: “ventilation bricks” 4th person: “Trickle vents” Chairman: “What’s a trickle vent?” 4th person: “It’s a stupidlooking thing you can attach to a door or window that someone could open to let air in or out.” Chairman: “Would it make manufacturing more difficult?” 4th person: “Oh yes.” Chairman: “Would anyone ever use it?” 4th person: “No, of course not.” Chairman: “Would it add to costs?” 4th person: “Of course.” Chairman: “Wow that is genius, it is probably our silliest decision ever but hey, we will never get away with it!” As I have said earlier, I am e w *Well, Andrew certainly makes his points! But what is your view on trickle vents? We’d be interested to hear. Email: New Distinction Doors website will attract homeowners and the trade! Distinction Doors has just relaunched its website, www. primarily aimed at homeowners and utilising Distinction’s updated brand identity. It explains the benefits of a composite door and showcases the reasons to choose 56 JUL 2014 one from Distinction. The site has a complete product catalogue, as well as an innovative Door Designer application that allows homeowners to create their very own front door. The trade section focuses explains the Distinction Difference and features a login area where customers can manage their account, and a knowledge bank with technical and marketing information. Open Path undertook the design and Team 4 Marketing the content with Marketing Manager, Chantel Roach as project manager. To read more, visit