Etienne Patterson had four principles when he set about building
a dream home for himself and a matching home for his parents
in rural Hampshire: everything had to be cost effective to install,
run and maintain as well as complementing the pastoral setting.
So he chose the innovative Modus system of doors and
windows from Eurocell – the UK’s leading manufacturer,
distributor and recycler of window, door, conservatory
and roofline products – for both houses.
The decision was an important one for the Pattersons, since
both two-storey homes are equipped with 49 triple-glazed
Modus Casement windows and nine French doors, residential
doors and stable doors, all finished in agate grey externally and
white woodgrain internally. It is important to Etienne that every
element looks as if it is timber but with the unrestricted sightlines
of metal and the best-in-class technical performance of PVC-U.
The two houses are on the site of what was a 1950s
bungalow set in an acre of land – a prime spot that
set Etienne and his family in competition with local
developers when he bid for it, paying a premium over the
guide price to secure what he saw as the ideal site.
“Everything had to be cost effective to run and maintain – I
don’t want to be climbing ladders to paint windows in 10 years’
time – and clearly energy costs have to be low,” Etienne says.
He looked at many different door and window systems
before selecting the Modus range, commenting: “This type
of house is not intended to have PVC-U, but is meant to
be fitted with external doors and windows made of more
expensive materials, either all timber, composite or metal.”
He added: “Given that we wanted to achieve efficiency
both in energy and cost, Modus offered us both, particularly
important was the fact Modus doesn’t have the clumsy welds
that many PVC-U systems have and has the elegance and
simplicity to fit in and enhance the design of the houses.”
The houses – a four-bedroom home for himself and a threebedroom
home for the Patterson parents – are a hybrid of two
building methods, oak frame with timber frame encapsulation,
with externally a combination of render, brick slips and
weatherboarding. The impressive insulation overlaying a skeleton
of oak offers a contemporary take on a traditional design.
The slim framed design of Modus casement windows
matched the overall aesthetic of the two houses and
the opening windows are indistinguishable from the
non-opening ones, so the appearance is uniform.
“The casement design means the window can have a
floating mullion, so the first floor windows work like a
patio door, all four bedrooms have units in a line arranged
so that the left-hand or right-hand pair can be opened
together to provide a massive escape route,” For Etienne,
an Incident Commander in the Fire & Rescue Service, this
was an important point because, he says: “It means the
bedroom windows provide excellent means of escape but
they don’t look any different to the rest of the house.”
Colour was another important consideration as Eurocell
could supply all the doors and windows with an agate grey
finish on the outside to complement the general ‘heritage’
look made fashionable by paint manufacturers such as
Farrow & Ball – and back it with the company’s unique colour
match guarantee – while the internal finish is white ash.
The Modus range is not just attractive – it is also tough,
durable and thermally efficient, as its recent BBA
certification documents. The BBA concluded that the
PVC-U extruded profiles would continue to function
satisfactorily for more than 35 years and that the thermal
transmittance value or U-value of the three ranges was 1.2
W/m² using 4/20/4 mm sealed double-glazed units.
This effective thermal performance is due to the 75mm sixchamber
profile system that enables the range to achieve
a U-value as low as 0.7 by installing triple-glazed units like
the Pattersons have. This led to Modus becoming one of
the very first systems to achieve the BRFC Window Energy
Rating (WER) of A++. This is only awarded to windows with an
energy index value equal to or greater than +20; and Modus
A++ designs include casement, reversible and tilt and turn.
Consisting of 50% post-consumer recycled PVC-U as standard,
Modus achieves this by employing dual material extrusion
technology (DMET) that layers post-consumer recycled and
‘virgin’ material simultaneously, so the recycled material
is concentrated in the central core of the profiles where it
cannot be seen once the door or window is installed.
Coming with a 12-year guarantee, the Modus system
is available in nine solid and woodgrain-effect colours,
all of which are available with white internal finishes
to create a light and airy living environment. A further
range of more than 25 solid and woodgrain effect
finishes is available, including colour both sides