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Front Doors

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New materials and methods mean the front door is no longer just for coming and going, says Sandy Patience

If keeping out burglars and the worst of British weather wasn’t enough, the modern domestic entrance door has lately become burdened with more duties. Doors have always been of limited consideration in the energy equation; traditionally we’ve just accepted that they let warm air out by the bucket-load and have virtually no insulation value. But with the tightening of the Part L compliance in 2010, we have to acknowledge that conventional door construction has become a threatening flaw in the thermal envelope. Throw in the low thresholds brought in by Part M and we’ve got a design challenge.

Traditional solid panel doors are being replaced with a range of composite types. Composites vary in their materials, but in their simplest form they typically involve a sandwich of two facing layers with an insulation core filling and a timber inner-frame providing the structural strength. With not much more attention to detail and uncompromised by glazing, doors of this type can achieve a U-value of under 2.0 W/m2K whilst still being in reach of the average budget.

The game changes when moving up to higher performance standards. The Passivhaus Institut recommends that doors have U-value of 0.8 W/m2K and very low air leakage. This kind of performance demands closer attention to how the components perform. These doors feature thermally-broken frames and thresholds as well as multiple lines of gaskets against air-leakage. Adding glazing can reduce performance, but even there, triple-glazing can limit the loss to around an overall door U-value (UD) of no more than 1.0 W/m2K

All this comes at a cost. Apart from being much thicker and heavier, Passivhaus standard doors imported from Europe command premiums of up to 100% more than regular doors, but for the end user, the comparison is described as being the difference between the door of a Ford Escort and that of a BMW.




Ecocontract is a cost-effective entrance door range. It is ideal for projects working to CSH & BREEAM requirements. Secured by Design accreditation also helps it meet extra requirements for housing association and social housing projects.

Manufacturer Green Building Store
Door ‘Ecocontract’ range
Performance rating Equivalent to CSH 3/4
Glazing Double & triple
Overall (Ud) u-value with glazing 1.4 W/m2K(double) 1.1 W/m2K(triple)
Air tightness BS EN 12207: 2000, 600 Pa (Class 4)
Overall thickness 68mm double / 78mm triple
Weatherseal Twin
Locking mechanism Multi-point
External facing redwood or oak
Internal facing redwood or oak
Warranty 10 years
Country of manufacture Lithuania




NorDan front doors incorporate double galvanized steel plates within the door leaf. In addition to this, the door is fitted with a three point locking system with steel striking plates, security cylinders and steel hinges with anti-lift side bolts to give maximum security, as required for Secured by Design accreditation.

Manufacturer BorDörren a company in the NorDan group
Door ‘Gallery’ range
Performance rating High performance
Glazing where included Triple as standard
Overall (Ud) u-value without glazing 1.0 W/m2K
Overall (Ud) u-value with glazing between 1.1 and 1.2 W/m2K
Air tightness Class 4 according to EN 12207
Overall thickness 59mm
Weatherseal Silicon bead
Sound insulation rating 28db
Locking mechanism 3 point locking as standard
External facing Painted HDF board
Internal facing Painted HDF board
Insulation core EPS
Warranty Different types of warranty up to 10 years
Country of manufacture Sweden


IG doors

IG doors

The standard GRP Fibrecolour range includes a large number of both traditional and contemporary designs. Finishes can be either self-coloured or primed for on-site painting as well as a number of textures. There are other options available for both PAS 23/24 Secured by Design and fire-rated doorsets.

Manufacturer IG Doors
Door ‘Fibrecolour’ range
Performance rating High performance
Glazing where included 26mm double
Overall (Ud) u-value without glazing 0.7 W/m2K
Overall (Ud) u-value with glazing From 1.0 W/m2K (dependent on glazed area)
Overall thickness 44mm
Weatherseal Foam weatherseals
Sound insulation rating 29dB
Locking mechanism Multi or single-point
Externalfacing Steel or GRP (prefinished or primed)
Internalfacing Steel or GRP (prefinished or primed)
Insulation core Polyurethane
Warranty 2-20 years
Country of manufacture UK




DreamVu™ 68 is a volume manufactured 68mm thick composite doorset introduced to meet the higher levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes. These doorsets are double weather sealed to counteract the effects of wind-driven rain and feature an innovative design, with one seal integrated within the frame and one within the door.

Manufacturer JELD-WEN
Door ‘DreamVu™ 68’ range
Performance rating High performance
Glazing where included Triple
Overall (Ud) u-value without glazing 0.7 W/m2K
Overall (Ud) u-value with glazing 0.8 W/m2K
Overall thickness 68 mm
Weatherseal Twin
Locking mechanism Multi-point, Secured by Design
External facing GRP Woodgrain Effect (various colours)
Internal facing GRP Woodgrain Effect White
Insulation core Polyurethane
Warranty 10 Year Manufacturing
Country of manufacture UK




Frostkorken is a certified Passivhaus product, offering a high performance option for specifiers of low energy buildings. Available in a wide range of timber, Frostkorken’s solid core flush door panel is insulated with natural cork. Its high airtightness / insulation levels ensure high internal surface temperatures with minimal heat loss.

Manufacturer Optiwin
Door ‘Frostkorken’ range
Performance rating Passivhaus-certified
Glazing where included Triple
Overall (Ud) u-value without glazing 0.72 W/m2K
Air tightness Q100 Pa = 1.2m3/(hm)
Overall thickness 100mm
Weatherseal twin
Sound insulation rating RwP 37 dB
Locking mechanism multi-point
External facing wide variety of timber available
Internal facing wide variety of timber available
Insulation core cork
Warranty 5 years+ (see terms & conditions)
Country of manufacture Austria




The Passivhaus-certified ‘Selection’ door offers a number of designs ranging from the contemporary to the traditional. Glazing can be either 42 mm triple or 68 mm quadruple. Structural integrity is provided by the composite construction whilst the hardware features triple adjustable hinges and one multi-point lock with locking bolt.

Manufacturer Internorm
Door ‘Selection’ range
Performance rating Passivhaus-certified
Glazing where included Triple and quadruple
Overall (Ud) u-value without glazing 0.73 W/m2K
Overall (Ud) u-value with glazing 0.86 W/m2K
Air tightness Q100pa (1.5 m3/m/hour)
Overall thickness 121 mm
Weatherseal Triple sealing system
Locking mechanism 5-point multi-locking
External facing Aluminium
Internal facing Timber - spruce/larch
Insulation core EPS
Warranty Different types of warranty up to 30 years
Country of manufacture Austria

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