CNY is coming soon! It’s time to add new and advanced features to your existing or new home. Home+Living explored the latest window system that facilitates far better cooling of homes and reduces the usage of air conditioners.
Let’s discover more about such windows in this interview with Sean Liew, General Manager of Sapphire Windows, a family-run company with over 30 years of experience. Sapphire Windows offers a range of double-glazed and low-E glass options that provide superior insulation, reducing the need for air conditioning during hot weather.
A brief bio of Sean Liew – Sean Liew, 36, proudly embraces his role as General Manager, driven by the profound responsibility of upholding his family’s legacy. Sean’s journey within the company has been marked by continuous growth. Armed with a mechanical engineering degree, he started to work on the production floor and in construction sites before moving up the ranks to GM and constantly keeps exploring cutting-edge technologies and solutions, driving the company to the forefront of the industry.
H+L: What are some of the weather challenges that Singaporeans have been facing in the past few years?
Sean Liew: Singapore has been experiencing scorching weather recently. Climate changes and other external factors like urbanisation, deforestation in neighbouring countries, and collision of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, have drastically affected the ambient temperature, which remains around 28 to 29 degrees compared to 25 to 26 degrees in past years.
We have observed an increase in requirements by architects and homeowners for efficient insulation systems for homes to maximise the airconditioner’s cooling and keep the heat out.
H+L: How can the right window systems help Singaporeans address these challenges?
Sean Liew: Windows play a key role in keeping the heat out of homes in tropical countries. A good window set has many configurations, but most people mainly focus on the glass as it is the main part of the window. People feel that double-glazed glass is enough to control the heat. Yes, double-glazed glass is indeed very effective in controlling heat but there are other components also. For example, using the Low-E coating which reflects the heat out, or using argon gas instead of air in the insulating layers between the two panels of the glass, drastically improves the windows’ performance.
Apart from the glass, another important aspect that contributes to the window’s efficiency is the frame. In Singapore, the majority of the windows have aluminium frames. Aluminium is a conductor of heat and allows a lot of heat to transfer inside the home. However, the latest UPVC window frames that Sapphire Windows offers, help maintain comfortable indoor temperatures by reducing the impact of external heat.
If a window is selected with all these criteria and features in mind, it will help Singaporeans maintain a relatively cooler environment at home and also save on the energy bill by enhancing the air conditioner’s efficiency.
H+L: What are the unique features of Windows by Sapphire Windows?
Sean Liew: Firstly, the windows by Sapphire Windows have UPVC frames which is not a mass-market product like aluminium frames. Their benefits like heatproofing and soundproofing help us design windows aligned with our vision of offering premium and customisable products to customers. Sapphire Windows can fine-tune the window as per your needs to make it heat-proof or sound-proof and adapt to various sizes and styles.
Most people feel windows are simple fitments that involve basic mechanisms. But, I would say, the experience with windows is similar to cars. Once you experience or operate it, you feel the difference. Our customers choose Sapphire Windows for the kind of window profiles we create. All the mechanisms like the locking system, heat insulation, and soundproofing, work in tandem and harmony with each other, offering a seamless experience in everyday life.
H+L: Why are windows by Sapphire Windows considered premium quality?
Sean Liew: The source of the material is very important for achieving the functions that a window should be delivering. At Sapphire Windows, we choose the best quality UPVC, which has 5 chambers within the frame, making it the most heat-resistant. Additionally, the high-quality compound for UPVC windows brings stability in the high UV and hot weather of Singapore. Our window frames have in-built steel reinforcements to give maximum strength.
Last but not least, the laminate which is glued on our windows is long-lasting, ensuring there is no peeling over time. This means customers don’t need to paint the window every few years as it maintains its newness for a long time.
H+L: Why should customers choose Sapphire Windows?
Sean Liew: Sapphire Windows is for buyers looking for superior-quality windows. The biggest benefit of buying windows from Sapphire Windows is customisation combined with high quality.
Not the same kind of window system suffices for all customers. So, if you are looking for customised windows for special requirements like dustproofing, soundproofing or efficient insulation, Sapphire Windows is Singapore’s go-to place. We offer the best quality windows in various styles – casement, flip-up, slide, swing and even skylights. We have customers from all types of housing in Singapore – HDB, condominium or landed property- looking to install premium quality windows with customisation.
Sapphire Windows products last more than 30-40 years and are smooth to operate. The windows are engineered to handle the wind load and UV radiation. You can read more about the benefits of installing windows from Sapphire Windows on our website.
H+L: Can you briefly explain how windows by Sapphire Windows helps in energy-saving?
Sean Liew: Since the efficiency of modern air conditioners has gone much higher as compared to earlier times, it would not be true to say that window systems are the sole factors contributing to energy-saving at home.
But, a good-performing window system can help you save the additional cost of adding screens on the windows, which are especially required in west and east-facing homes to prevent the scorching sun. Additionally, a premium window system increases the efficiency of air conditioners, thus in a way leading to energy-saving.
To explain a bit more in detail, the U-value or the heat transmittance value for windows by Sapphire Windows is as low as 1.4 to 1.6 as compared to 6 to 7 for the aluminium frame windows. This means, the windows not only prevent the loss of cool air that air conditioners circulate but also absorb lesser heat from outside. As a result, the air conditioners work less hard, resulting in low electricity bills.
H+L: What’s the way forward for Sapphire Windows?
Our ultimate goal at Sapphire Windows is to enhance the lives of homeowners, and that’s how we have received continuous success, and established a reputable position in the market. We will keep moving upward from here and work towards becoming the market leader in its segments, not only in Singapore but in nearby regions as well.