VBH Systems Sales Manager, Rob Norman hails the next stage in the evolution of folding doors and windows
What makes a ‘must-have’ product? What drives consumers to buy products they didn’t know they wanted until they saw it? What makes these products stand out? Take juicers and blenders. They’ve been around for 80 years or more, but it wasn’t until Nutri-bullet came along that blending experienced an explosive renaissance – with seemingly every kitchen in the country proudly displaying a sleek silver bullet. But what makes it so popular? The answer is in the design.
Good design is like the perfect recipe: easy to use, mouth-wateringly stylish, and enriched with innovation. A ‘must-have’ product solves the problem or does the job better than anything else. Yes, Nutri-bullet blends fruit and vegetables into a liquid, but it makes the whole process easy (dispensing with the labour-intensive chopping and dicing that put many people off) and better (using every part of the fruit/vegetable maximises nutritional benefit) – all in a super-sexy sleek design. It represents the next step in the evolution of a familiar household device because it combines design and innovation to do the job better than anything else on the market.
These principles are what inspired VBH’s new slide & fold hardware solution for patio doors: greenteQ Invisifold. PVC-U bi-folds utilise large surface-fit hinges and brackets on rollers and guides. While functional, some people find them unattractive, so systems companies developed bespoke bi-fold profile suites to allow the use of slimmer, more attractive hinges.
greenteQ Invisifold represents the next development by completely removing the need for rollers and hinges on the sliding sashes. Instead, the sashes slide on Teflon pads across aluminium tracks and are held in place by a system of stainless steel I-Bolts and guides, all within the rebate. The only fixed hinges are on the main passage door, and these like the sliding components are concealed within the frame rebate. This means when the door is fully closed only the handle and profile-cylinder are visible, leaving just the uninterrupted clean lines of the door profile. This also opens up the world of profile colours without the need to match or attractively contrast the hinges to the frame. The system makes patio doors look elegant and stylish, while making them easier to clean and more secure because the concealed hardware means would-be burglars can’t see the best attack-points.
But what makes greenteQ Invisifold a ‘must have’ is its flexibility. Like PVC-U bi-fold systems, the sashes fold back to allow a barrier-free full opening – but it’s better because you don’t have to open multiple sashes at the same time. After the main passage door has been opened, each sash slides independently to locate into its fold position. The user can opt to simply move the sliding sashes within the frame opening, without reaching the fold position, to create flexible ventilation. Or, move only some of the sashes to the open position and have a split opening.
The system is unique because it uses standard profiles, so fabricators and installers don’t need to stock or order special profiles. Uniquely, greenteQ Invisifold can also be used for windows and allows inward tilt and turn opening - or even outward opening on casement windows to be folded fully open.
This flexibility is what impressed the homeowners, designers, and installers who flocked to the VBH stand at Grand Designs Live last October. The crowds of visitors loved the fact that the sashes operate independently and, although they had come to look at bi-folds, they preferred Invisifold. They also loved the window solution as they had never seen anything like it.
The FiT show 2017 provided a showcase for further unique developments, including the new bi-directional option (folds back both ways) and the greenteQ SecuriFold foldaway door handle. This operates the main passage door and folds neatly into the backplate when not in use (standing just 23mm off the profile). Not only does this build on the concept of clean lines by minimising visible hardware, it also allows the doors to be stacked more neatly and closer together when in the fold position.
It’s got the flexibility, it’s got the style, it’s got the ease of use, and unique features to make it really stand out - greenteQ Invisifold has all the ingredients to be the next ‘must-have’ system in the doors and windows sector.
This article first appeared in Windows Active magazine