This is always an issue that stirs up contention, however I do think it’s high time we all started to face the facts that PVC windows and doors being allowed to be installed in conservation areas is going to happen more and more, and that’s its NOT a bad things.
Let me set my stall out on this one. I am very much for PVC windows being installed into listed buildings and conservation areas IF they are sympathetic to the building and do not take anything away from the structure in terms of character and design. I am AGAINST PVC in heritage buildings if they stand to negatively impact the structure.
There is a current crop of timber alternative products which do an extremely good job of mimicking the aesthetics of timber. The old crop of woodgrain PVC when compared to timber was poor, I think most would agree on that. But there is a real energy behind this timber alternative movement which is spawning some incredibly good looking PVC that clients are now finding it hard to tell what is wood and what is PVC. And for this reason, I do believe all councils should consider timber alternative PVC when it comes to having new windows and doors.
The aesthetics are as good as wood, and so are the green credentials. Energy efficiency is as good with timber alternative PVC as it is wood, and in some cases better. And when it comes to recycling, yes some timber products have a lifespan longer than PVC, however PVC can be just as easily recycled over and over again, reducing the long-life carbon footprint of the product.
I’m not saying one product is better than another, although there are advantages to timber alternative PVC over wood. What I am saying is that in my opinion, timber alternative PVC should be considered as the same quality of product as timber, and should therefore be as fairly looked at to replace old windows and doors in conservation areas. The current arguments against PVC are outdated versus products such as Evolution, Residence 9 and Prestige by Aztec. The anti-PVC brigade need to just take a step back, look objectively at the products I’ve just mentioned. If councils and planners are now accepting timber alternative PVC in conservation areas, then perhaps it’s time for the negative propaganda to stop.