Last Saturday’s Telegraph magazine (Jan 19) recently slated PVC-U windows in: Is it worth it? Double glazing, by Sarah Callard.
Not only does Ms Callard equate PVC-U with double glazing, she claims that PVC-U is an environmental no-no and uses a report by Greenpeace to illustrate this. Instead, she recommends secondary glazing, heavily lined curtains and wooden shutters to insulate our homes! It’s just one example of the muddled thinking and presentation of opinion as fact that our industry has to fight.
PVC-U windows have evolved. But some conservation bodies and environmentalists have an out-dated image of PVC-U windows formed years ago which takes no account of today’s windows. With major names falling by the wayside almost every month (if not every week) everyone in our industry should be making the case for PVC-U, all the way down the chain. We need to fight misinformation and prejudice with the facts:
Dr Patrick Moore, a founding member of Greenpeace, has spoken on PVC’s behalf on www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6M-ci4FQss and even in our own FENSA magazine. And the Reco
The Green Guide to Specification ( www.bre.co.uk/greenguide/page.jsp?sid=435), which uses a European standard life-cycle assessment system, gives PVC-U windows a 35-year lifespan (with little or no maintenance) and timber windows a 25-year lifespan – and that’s for a well-maintained, good quality timber window.
Finally, we know that a household fitting C-rated windows in place of standard windows can typically cut carbon dioxide emissions by over half a tonne per year. And most of the top ‘A’ to ‘C’ rated windows are made with PVC-U. Despite preconceptions, few timber windows have made the grade.
The BPF is fighting our corner, but everyone should be making an effort to make the case for PVC-U.
I’ve spoken out about this before and it was a key part in October’s Industry Debate. There are many active and outspoken letter-writers in our industry – why not join me and email firstname.lastname@example.org and see if we can really make a difference?
Spectus Window Systems