In Fitzroy, Victoria, windows and glass doors in these aging dual 3-storey apartment blocks were in need of an urgent upgrade. The original timber frames were in a terrible condition with considerable wear and tear, rot damage, air leaks, and peeling paint.

The gaps in the timber framing negatively affected the performance of the entire building envelope as well as the comfort and wellbeing of those living inside from heat loss during colder times of the year, unwanted heat gain during warmer times of the year, and noise and moisture infiltration.

The single glazed regular clear glass did not help either, providing near-zero insulation and no reliable protection from the sun, all adding to unwanted heat loss and heat gain, and noise infiltration inside.

Fitzroy apartments

An infrared camera image taken before the retrofit showed an inside shot looking out on a typical cold Fitzroy morning. The thermal image showed an obvious colder glass surface compared to the frame and wall around it, depicted by the darker colour. This shows that inside heat easily escapes through the regular single glazed glass, making the surface of the inside of the glass closer to the outside cold temperature.

We also see in the image the body heat from the photographer reflecting off the glass! This is showing how cold the inside environment is compared to the body heat of a human, highlighting the negative impact on the health and comfort factors even further.

All these factors added to uncomfortable winters and summers, high energy waste and additional cost to heat and cool alongside impacts on the health and wellbeing of those living inside.


Fitzroy apartments

Retrofitting both the glass and frames to energy efficient glazing from Vue Windows & Doors brought the building into the future of energy efficiency as well as immediately positively impacting the comfort, wellbeing and health of the tenants living inside.

A darker external uPVC colour finish was used to modernise the look of the aging buildings with instant impact while allowing ongoing easy maintenance and cleaning thanks to the rot and corrosive resistant uPVC material. The welded corners allow a single piece structure to combat air, moisture and acoustic infiltration while also minimising unwanted heat loss and heat gain.

Partnering the high performance frames with high performance Softcoat LowE Double Glazing then allowed an ultimate total system solution. Insulglass LowE Prime was chosen as an ideal complementary and compliant glass option: Great insulation (lower U-Value) to tackle the colder times of the year with great solar control (lower SHGC) to tackle the contrasting warmer times of the year.

Fitzroy apartments

A neutral look to the glass reduces glare factors and yet high Visible Light Transmittance (VLT) with excellent colour renditions allow an unaffected view of colours from inside-out.

We interviewed the long-term tenants before and after the retrofit, in areas such as energy costs and comfort in winter and summer, as well as acoustics. The result of the retrofit has been a significant success in all of these areas.

One long term tenant commented: “We are extremely happy with the apartment, and the double glazing is the best feature I’ve ever found in a rental in 20 years, so we’re quite delighted by it. The glazing has especially been beneficial during winter.”


Outer: LowE Prime Toughened

Spacer: Spacer with Argon Gas

Inner: Clear Toughened

Site Address: Fitzroy, VIC 3065

Fabricator: Vue Windows & Doors

Photos courtesy: Australian Glass Group