Spectus Window Systems, leading PVC-U systems house and part of the Epwin Group, has teamed up with top building sector magazine Building Products to uncover common myths that exist with specifiers about the use of PVC-U as a building material for doors and windows.
A questionnaire launched by Spectus was sent to 21,000 architects, specifiers, project managers and readers of Building Products to investigate the general attitude towards specifying PVC-U as a building material. The campaign enables Spectus to pin-point exactly what architects and specifiers are looking for when it comes to choosing between specifying PVC-U, timber or aluminium.
The project resulted in Spectus finding that a number of myths exist regarding the use of PVC-U, with over 50% of specifiers unaware that PVC-U has an A rating in domestic settings and over 75% unaware of its A+ rating in commercial settings, according to the BRE Green Guide in Specification.
Joanna Plane, marketing manager at Spectus, comments: “Some of the findings that we uncovered made it quite clear to us that we have a job to do here to make sure that people are aware of the misconceptions that surround PVC-U. For example, due to long-standing myths, some people didn’t know that PVC-U can be specified in conservation areas, and that PVC-U is 100% recyclable. We’re really keen to get the truth out there to specifiers and make sure that we fully inform them that this isn’t the case.
“The issue of PVC-U not being as aesthetically pleasing as timber and aluminium was also addressed in the questionnaire. It’s key that people are aware that the foiling technology that exits today means that PVC-U can really compete on this level.”
Looking at the results of the questionnaire, it was apparent that the security of PVC-U is a concern for specifiers; however windows and doors fabricated from Spectus Systems’ profiles can be manufactured to Secured by Design standard and these profiles are used in projects spanning sectors including social housing, education and healthcare.
Joanna continues, “We also found that some think that PVC-U is of a lower quality than timber and aluminium because it is cheaper, and this is a misconception that Spectus – and our industry as a whole - can put right. Although PVC-U is a cheaper option, the feedback from the questionnaire told us that a cost-effective building material is something that specifiers want, in fact it was top on specifiers ‘wish lists’ as the economic situation and budgets continue to bite. A material that helps the purse strings is obviously in high demand and Spectus can assure anyone that PVC-U is not a lower quality material.”
In a campaign set to roll out over Spring/Summer 2012, Spectus Window Systems is working to dispel the myths surrounding PVC-U. Starting with a four page Specifier Guide to be inserted into the Ecobuild issue of Building Products magazine, there will also be two ‘Dispelling the Myths’ videos launching shortly which can be viewed at www.spectus.co.uk.
The Specifier Guide will not only look at the myths in finer detail but will also use case studies to demonstrate the successful installation of PVC-U in the commercial environment. This will allow architects and specifiers to begin to understand the benefits of PVC-U and see that it performs on a thermal, weather, acoustic, aesthetic and cost level.
About the survey
Sent to 21,000, 200 responses were received from specifiers in sectors including social housing, education, commercial, healthcare, leisure, conservation, private residential and retail.