Their latest report, included in the latest Glass and Glazing magazine, goes on to explain that installing PVCu to replace old timber windows does not offer ‘a dramatic boost in performance’. I’m sorry English Heritage, but you lot, as well as us in the PVCu industry both know how prone to draughts timber is. It’s a cold material, especially the older timber, and the glass in original timber frames and new timber frames being installed now isn’t too great either, so in terms of energy efficiency it’s poor. PVCu can boast the best A+ energy efficient ratings, using well insulated and reinforced frames and sealed unit technology wood frames cannot utilize properly. Now I would say that would offer quite a difference in performance!
The report’s next major flaw is how it explains PVCu will ‘detract from the charm and character of the property and its surroundings’. What English Heritage are still doing, is focusing on the poor PVCu windows and doors that were installed in the 80’s and 90’s. Since then, PVCu has come such a long way to improving the aesthetics and the authenticity of the product. The new PVCu sliding sash windows we install to homes look just like the original timber ones we take out, and that’s not us saying that because we install them, that’s the feedback we get from our customers. As with any home, with any material, if you choose the wrong style of window, be it made of timber or PVCu, it can ruin the charm of any home, any material is liable to that problem.
Next they complain about PVCu not being a sustainable material. Well timber isn’t exactly friendly to the earth. You’ve still got to fell trees that have been growing for decades, they don’t grow back quickly you know! Also, PVCu is completely recyclable and can be done so an infinite number of times. When timber is shot and cannot be repaired, what happens? It get’s chucked. Timber doesn’t have a recycling life span like PVCu does! Their next point within this gripe is how PVCu is a strain on oil supplies, something which eventually will run out. Now there’s no denying oil will run out, but PVCu windows and doors don’t necessarily have to be made from oil. If some of you ignorant English Heritage representatives come across this blog, visit this page: www.fightingbackwithfacts.com/facts_and_fibs/. On it you fill find that 43% of PVCu is produced from ethylene, something which can be produced from renewable vegetable oil crops, with a tiny carbon footprint. See, not so dependable on oil!
Then there’s the impact on the environment which they are all worried about. Again, referring back to www.fightingbackwithfacts.com/facts_and_fibs/, a PVC manufacturing plant would have to operate for 30,000 years to produce the same amount of harmful emissions during one bonfire night. Now I would say that there are more harmful factories out there than one that produces PVC.
English Heritage has to also realize that if PVCu was available at the time when these original timber frames were installed, builders would have always used PVCu. It’s easier to maintain, easier to install, customers will always prefer something that doesn’t need so much maintenance, and they are much more energy efficient than timber windows will ever be. And now with the introduction of dozens of different colours and wood grained effects, customers now have the double advantage of maintenance free PVCu with authentic timber effects.
What we have here is a case of a bunch of old men and the last of the traditional joiners, do-gooders probably, who still remember the day when you could still get good quality timber frames, installed by a good quality joiner. Times have now changed beyond the point of return. As with everything, evolution takes place and older materials and methods fall by the wayside. It’s time to stop seeing everything with timber tinted spectacles English Heritage, and realize that with the many improvements PVCu has gone through, it is now the ideal material choice for all home owners. And a word of caution, the PVCu industry will not take much more of your biased, narrow minded crap!