UPVC window and door frames are an Eco-friendly material. Manufacturing energy consumption for aluminium profiles is over 7 times of that for UPVC profiles. UPVC profiles can be recycled and re-used.
UPVC windows have received top marks for environmental performance in a key international sustainable building rating system.
Building Research Establishment (BRE) awarded UPVC (unplasticised PVC) windows an A+ for commercial windows and an A for residential windows in its 2008 update of the Green Guide to Specification tool. The tool is designed to guide designers towards more sustainable buildings.
The guide covers a range of building categories and gives a score from A+ to E for all planned building elemental categories of external walls, internal walls, upper floors, ground floors, roofs, landscaping, windows and thermal insulation.
The BRE environmental rankings are based on Life Cycle Assessments. This means determining the environmental impacts of product systems through all stages, or various defined aspects, of the lifecycle, from raw material extraction, through product manufacture, to use and ultimate disposal or recycling. The resulting score gives a more complete representation of the product’s environmental credentials.
UPVC windows have a number of qualities that are being increasingly recognised. The frames are low maintenance as they are tough and durable, do not rot, and do not require painting overtime. The frames are also non-conductive, meaning they do not transfer heat and therefore will not influence the internal temperature of a building. The combination of UPVC frames and double glazing means maximum energy efficiency is produced.
While PVC is the material most widely used for windows across country, they are still a relatively small, but growing, part of the windows market. According to local UPVC windows fabricators, the increasing demand is due to owners’ and building designers’ desire to limit the environmental impact of their homes and buildings through limiting carbon emissions.
This latest recognition in the BRE Green Guide to Specification confirms UPVC windows can contribute to more sustainable buildings.